How to Save Money on Toys During the Holidays

sponsoredpostgraphicAs a parent, my biggest purchases involve toys during the holiday buying season. Whether it’s the toys to buy for all my nephews and nieces, or the big ticket items for my own kids, my wallet can take a big hit! So making every dollar count is key. So here are a few ways on how to save money on toys during the holidays and add to your saving account in the process.

how to save money on toys

1. Go to directly to the source. Often we look for discounts from retailers themselves, but consider skipping the middleman and go directly to the brand. Sites like Fisher Price or Hasbro sell directly on their site and have special seasonal offers that sometimes can be better than a retailer’s offers.

2. Shop outside the box. Instead of shopping at the traditional big box toy stores, or even local toy stores, head to a non-traditional toy store. Stores like BJ Wholesale Club, Home Goods, TJMaxx or Marshalls have a great selection of toys at a fraction of the retail price. You’ll find that many stock the name brands and the latest toys too.

3. Follow online. Set up a separate email account and Twitter account. Sign up for your favorite stores’ mailing lists and start following your favorite retailers and brands on Twitter. You’ll see tweets with discount codes or coupons, or get the heads up on an email flash sale. Setting up special email account for those ensures that the deals (often very time sensitive) don’t get lost in your daily electronic feed.

4. Shop consignment. Whether it is the local Salvation Army retail store or a nearby kid consignment shop, they have more than just clothes, and often more than just used toys. Keep an eye open for one-time only weekend consignment sales and follow your favorite consignment stores. Many of them have mailing lists or Facebook pages and you can often get deals on top of the steals.

5. Set Standards. Think about what you really need to give or what your kids really need to receive. Setting standards as to the amount or quantity of toys can go a long way to making sure they are happy during the holidays, and you are happy when the credit card bill comes in the mail!

6. Don’t Buy More or Buy Up.While saving money often means buying more items (because your dollar goes further) or buying up (getting a more expensive toy at the fraction of the price), think more about buying what you can afford. Then if you get a coupon or a discount, look at your receipt. Often the amount you saved is printed on it. Then take that money and put it in your savings account. Growing up, that is how my Mom paid for our first trip to Disney World. She would clip food coupons. The money she saved every week on groceries, she put into the trip fund.

Bonus Tip: Sign up for sites like Upromise.com. You can shop at major retailers like Old Navy or Toys “R” Us and get cash back just buy shopping online through the UPromise portal. The percentages vary by retailer and sometimes the retailers can have special offers, like double cash back. For example, you can get 5% cash back on your Melissa and Doug purchase through the Upromise website by going to Melissa and Doug through the Upromise portal. You spend $200 at Melissa and Doug. So you end up earning $10. Then you can put that $10 into your Upromise account. You can choose to invest your earnings in a high-yield savings account or tax-deferred 529 plan; use it to pay down a student loan; or request a check that can be used for college or other expenses. That is on top of any other deal or online coupon you may have directly with the retailer! As a busy Mom, I am often shopping online and this is a easy way to add to my kids’ 529 plan without much effort! I add this to the money I am already saving from the discounts and coupons.

There are some great toy related Upromise retailers too. Toy brands like Melissa and Doug, VTech Kids, 800Bear.com, Toys “R” Us, BJs Wholesale Clubs, Babies “R” Us, Buy Buy Baby, Build a Bear, Disney Store, Giggle, Game Stop, Leap Frog (and more) are Upromise partners.

So hopefully one of the ways listed above will give you less financial stress after the holidays are over. Because we will have enough stress as Moms, when we can’t fit into our skinny jeans after all those holiday cookies! 
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