The holiday season is often one of the most expensive times of the year due to the various amounts of gifts people tend to buy.
If you have kids, you know that Christmas toys and gifts can add up quickly.
My son always thinks he’s going to hit the jackpot each year and get all these new toys and expensive play sets. Plus, he is starting to like video games, which can drain your wallet if you aren’t careful.
At the same time (and like most parents), I want to buy my child nice things for Christmas, especially if he’s been well-behaved, does well at school, and doesn’t receive too many toys throughout the year.
If you want to keep your holiday spirit and avoid getting into debt and going overboard for your kid’s gifts, here are 5 ways to save money on Christmas gifts for kids.
1. Implement the 3 Gift Rule
One of the best ways to lower your spending on Christmas gifts for your kids is to set a limit on how many gifts they receive. There’s a popular method that some parents like to utilize around the holidays and it’s called the 3 gift rule.
Basically, you purchase one thing your child wants, one thing they need, and something to read. You don’t have to follow this rule exactly; you can adjust it to fit your child’s needs and your budget by limiting them to 5 gifts instead.
Have your child create a wish list and let them know about the gift limit early on. This will prompt them to think about what they’d like for Christmas instead of asking for everything they see in an ad on television.
2. Use Layaway to Budget For Everything
I have mixed feeling about layaway, but I see how you could use it to stick to your budget and save money on Christmas gifts if you use it correctly. Layaway basically allows you to pick out items you wish to buy and pay for them over time.
Unlike a credit card, there is no interest on the payments, and items stay in the store until you’ve paid the entire balance off. Many stores offer a layaway program around the holidays, and customers usually need to put some money down (around 5-10%) in order to start the process.
There may be a cancellation or restocking fee if you fail to make payments on-time or need to cancel. If you have a fixed budget for Christmas gifts, putting things on layaway allows you to grab everything you’d like to buy at once and pay the balance up before Christmas.
That way, you know how much you have to spend on Christmas gifts, and if your kids ask you for something else, you can say no easier because you already met your budget and grabbed all their gifts.
On the other hand, using layaway can prompt you to overspend, which may lead you to cancel or remove some items from your list. Hopefully the store fees can deter you from grabbing more items than you can afford.Want to treat your kids for Christmas, but don't want to go overboard? Use these 5 ways to save Click To Tweet
3. Take Advantage of Holiday Sales
Retailers really want you in the store around the holidays, so they tend to offer some great sales. Kids’ toys can be super expensive, so it’s nice to catch a sale and take advantage of events like Cyber Monday, or dare I say it, Black Friday.
Black Friday tends to get a lot of negative feedback, but I think there’s a right and wrong way to participate in this event. If you see a good Black Friday deal on an item or toy your child wants, and it doesn’t require you to stand outside in the cold for 10 hours or fight with other parents for the last one, I say go for it.
Last year, I went out on Black Friday to Target to grab a few Ninja Turtle toys for my son. It was about 2pm so I felt well-rested and I scored a great deal because all the Ninja Turtle merchandise was half off.
4. Look For Stores That Are Closing
Another way to save money on Christmas gifts for your kids is to shop the deals at stores in your area that are closing. I was pretty bummed that a WalMart near my home was closing its doors for good, but my husband and I recently stopped by to check out all the last minute sales they were offering.
In the final month, they offered 75% off on everything, and in the final week, they offered 90% off on everything left in the store. I found a few toys that were super cheap, and we picked up three video games for about $4 each (regularly priced at $20-$30 each).
It sucks when stores in your neighborhood close down for whatever reason, but they need to get rid of as much merchandise as they can, so it doesn’t hurt to look around and see how you can save money. You can find out about store closings in your local newspaper or online via a press release or digital news article.
5. Don’t Be Afraid to Shop Used
Finally, if you’re on a tight budget for the holidays, don’t be afraid to pick up some gently used items. If you have younger kids, they go through toys and clothes so fast that they probably won’t even notice the difference.
Stop by local consignment shops and stores like Goodwill or Once Upon a Child if you have them in your area and see what you can pick up. If you’re planning on making a larger purchase like a game system, stores like GameStop sell used and refurbished systems at a more affordable price.
Mixing new and used gifts for your kids for Christmas is a totally acceptable way to save money and still get them everything they love and will enjoy.
How do you save money on Christmas gifts for your kids? Will you be using any of these ideas?