Coupons for Good: 4 Ways Savvy Shoppers Save Money on Toys
Buying toys for your children can be an expensive proposition. With constant changes in trends and an entire industry based on finding the newest things for children to play with, you might feel compelled to shell out cash for every new shiny thing on the market. But with a few simple and helpful tips and strategies, you can keep your kids in toys without blowing your budget.
Hand Me Downs
If you have more than one child, you need to take advantage of the magic of hand me downs. Hand me downs are the items left over from an older child, like clothes that they have outgrown or toys they no longer play with. You can repurpose the items for the next child who passes through that age category. You won’t have to purchase duplicate items, and you’ll extend the savings you get from using coupons at places like Babies “R” Us. That said, be sure that the items passed down aren’t degraded in quality to the point where they pose a danger.
Image via Flickr by Nicholas Eckhart
Although the bigger toy chains are attractive to both parents and children, they are not always the most cost-effective choice. Stores like Wal-Mart are a great source of inexpensive goods, especially when you have coupons. These department stores may not carry the same depth of lines as you’ll find at specialty stores, but they often make up for it with prices that are far more reasonable than their competition. Of course, these same low prices can make them a first stop for bargain hunters looking for gifts, so make sure to shop early rather than putting it off to the last minute.
Buy Out of Season
Toys are highly subject to the changing trends in the children’s market. The hottest ticket one holiday season is last year’s news the next. By waiting for stuff to fall slightly off-trend, you can save a lot of money. Your kids may feel somewhat different about the feasibility of waiting a while to get their latest obsession, of course. However, the process of waiting itself teaches kids a lesson about the value of patience. You can reinforce that with an economic lesson by walking them through the costs and savings associated with waiting.
Wherever you shop, you can take advantage of coupon discounts to make toys more affordable. For instance, you can find online coupons for Toys “R” Us to bring down the cost of the newest toys for your kids. You can combine this with the previous tip by waiting to buy a certain item until there is a coupon available somewhere to reduce the cost. You might even bring the kids in on it by letting them know what you are doing and charging them with checking to see if the coupons are available periodically.
However you decide to save money on toy purchases, consider letting your kids in on the tricks. After all, toys aren’t just about occupying your kids’ time. They are about learning important life lessons, too.