Blissful and Domestic - Creating a Beautiful Life on Less: Four Ways to Save on Kids Toys This Holiday Season

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Four Ways to Save on Kids Toys This Holiday Season

Four Ways to Save on Kids Toys This Holiday Season

I am Lydia, a lover of coffee, a wife to my husband of nine years, a follower of Jesus, a mother to two little boys and love of all things frugal.

I am not going to lie to you. I am not a naturally frugal girl. Oh no. I was thrust into frugality when my husband and I decided three years ago it was time to get out of debt.

We cut back on everything, including what we spent on gifts. This was a little difficult for me at first because I love gift giving. I especially love giving gifts to my nieces and nephew and of course, my own children.

But gifts for kids can really eat into your Christmas budget. And the frustrating thing is that often kids play with something a few times and then it get forgotten in a closet or under the bed.

So here are a few tips to minimize the costs of children’s gifts, while still maximizing on the season.

1. Give the gift of experience.

Recently my sister asked me if there was anywhere special my two boys liked visit. That got me thinking about experience gifts.

Often websites like Groupon or LivingSocial will run deals to local zoos or aquariums. It’s a fun little outing and adventure that will be a great memory for the child and won’t clutter up a home like that forgotten box of Lincoln Logs.

2. Try something homemade.

The idea of homemade has always intimidated me. I am not crafty. This year for my niece’s birthday I made her a quiet play lap book. For less than $5 I created hours of fun by using felt, magnets, some stickers and an old three ring binder.

I looked on Pinterest for some felt “paper dolls” and found a slew of free patterns. For just a few dollars I created a world she could fill with her little imagination.

I also took a few adhesive magnet sheets and a book of stickers from the Dollar Tree and created magnet paper dolls by simply placing the stickers on the magnet and cutting around the edges.

My sister was excited about quiet playtime, my niece was excited about a new toy and I was excited to have made something homemade that didn’t look like it was created by a monkey in a blindfold.

3. Be okay with buying used.

I am okay with my kids not having the latest and the greatest toys. The adorable green pedal tractor we got my son for his third birthday was purchased for $3 from a yard sale. Several of their Christmas gifts came from Goodwill. These things do not bother me. And if you don’t let them bother you I promise they won’t bother your child, particularly if you foster this idea early.

My child could not care less that his new riding toy had been loved before he received it. Instead when he saw it he asked if he could sit on it the next morning to eat his breakfast.

A good friend of mine recently showed off the new play kitchen her daughter got.

“I found it on the side of the road and cleaned it up!” My friend beamed as she showed it us.

4. Focus on what really matters.

I don’t know what your background is, but in my house we really focus on the true meaning of the season. For us it is a time or worship and hope as we reflect upon the birth of Christ Jesus and we pay thanks and celebration to everything He has done in our lives.

The emphasis is not on the gifts but on the gift of life that has already been given to us. We also try to spend, as much time together as possible, creating lasting memories and traditions that might not cost us a penny, but are worth their weight in gold.  

You can connect with me on my YouTube channel, Five4Five Meals where I blog three times a week about simple and frugal living, the debt-free way! 

XO Lydia
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