Wednesday, December 2, 2015

My Top Tips for Buying Gifts for Kids #holidaygifts #holidayshopping

Christmas with children is so magical but it can be pricey. It doesn’t need to be though and I try to be as frugal as I can. I have a few tips for you for ways to save money when buying gifts for kids.  But you can still have a great holiday season.

~ Set a Budget

Work out how many people you want to give a gift to and how much money you have. Stick with your budget. Be strict with yourself. Don't use the budget as a rough estimate; a budget is a promise, so keep it. Don't count on things like bonuses. Only factor the money that you know you're going to have in your budget. If you look up online, there is a lot of budgeting software you can use, and it figures it all out for you. The most important part of this tip is stick with it!

~Throw in Useful Toys & Presents

There is an old fashioned quote that I like; that gives ideas for presents:

  • something they WANT
  • something they NEED
  • something to EAT
  • something to READ

I think that sometimes we focus too hard on just buying toys. If we think about what they need, it helps get useful gifts. If they are in need of new pyjamas, then get them som! The something to eat could be their favourite cookies, homemade, rather than just candy. This makes it a much nicer gift too. They still get something they want and a fun book too. Get your kids used to the idea that getting new PJ’s and gloves is great, as well as just toys!

~ Think about Your Child’s Personality

It can be fun flicking through a catalogue with them and you could still do this. It is great to get ideas. Often, though, they will see things that they’ve never seen before and like the look of. Will they use it, though? Bear in mind your child’s personality and how they play with things at the moment. You will know best about what toy or gift will last and is something that they want. Rather than something that have just seen.

~ Shopping online? Use Voucher Codes

I much prefer shopping online for gifts, and something that I always do is look for voucher codes. There are lots of different sites around, but I have used discountrue in the past from Stein Mart to Sears. Always check if there is a code for the store you're buying from. These kinds of websites offer discounts for a variety of items and brands. Always check if there is a code for the store you’re buying from.

~Buy Long Lasting Gifts

I think some of the best gifts are things that will last a long time. Wooden toys can be a little more pricey but they will last longer. Try to avoid plastic if you can. It breaks easily and isn’t always well made. In my experience, toys that need batteries can also be a little bit of a waste of money. They too break easily and can be costly having to replace the batteries every few months. Have you ever had any experience of this, too?

~ Second Hand is OK!

This can divide people’s opinion but second hand is OK. Your children will not be ruined by not having a super expensive gift. Or even by getting something second hand. Obviously, some things aren’t good to get second hand.  Use your judgement and see what good quality pre-loved items you can find. There are a lot of thrift stores out there and selling pages on social media groups. Do your research and see what you can find.

~ Spend on Experiences

One thing to do is spend some of the budgeted gift money on something they would be doing anyway or are starting to do. Could the money be spent on a series of soccer classes? You could have them open a soccer ball that has a note saying when their classes will start. Do your kids love trains? Perhaps book a trip on a train for them and enclose a note for them to unwrap.

This kind of thing probably only works better on older children as they will be able to understand. I can see younger children getting a bit upset when all they open is a note!

Hopefully these tips are of use to you. Try to use a few of them and see if you can save some cash. What are your tips for saving during the holidays?What works for you? I’d love to know in the comments!

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