Toys are such a huge expense for parents!
Some people act like buying more toys for their kids shows how much they love them, but be realistic- there are only so many toys your child can actually play with at once!
And they tire of them so quickly! (Often they get more use out of the box the toy came in!)
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If you’d like to save money on buying toys for kids, whether you’re saving money on toys for Christmas, a birthday is coming up, or whatever the occasion, here are some of my favorite tips:
1. Buy toys at secondhand shops:
You can often find good quality toys at a fraction of the price at thrift stores, consignment shops, garage sales, online marketplaces like Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist. While some of these toys will be gently used, they also sell brand new toys.
2. Look for generic or unbranded toys:
Instead of buying expensive branded toys, consider purchasing generic or unbranded toys. These are often much cheaper than their brand name counterparts and can be just as entertaining for kids. Little kids care less about the brand name!
3. Look at stores you don’t think of for toys:
At places like Sam’s Club, Costco, BJ’s, TJ Maxx, Big Lots, Tuesday Morning, Marshalls, Ollie’s, overstock stores, and other similar stores will often have some great buys on toys!
4. Buy in bulk:
Consider buying toys in bulk if you have multiple children or if you know other parents who would be interested in purchasing toys with you.
Buying in bulk can save you money per toy, so you may even be able to sell those extra toys for a little more on Ebay, Amazon, FB Marketplace or Craig’s List and make extra money! They could also make good emergency birthday presents or baby shower presents!
5. Focus on quality over quantity:
Instead of buying lots of cheap toys, consider investing in high-quality toys that will last longer and provide more value for your money in the long run.
One example of this for our family was those magnetic tiles that were super popular when they came out. We splurged for the name brand & got this basic set of MAGNA-TILES.
While getting the brand name was expensive (we did get it on a good sale though), our son has played with those blocks for at least 6 years now & he’s still playing with them at 11!
Since he liked them so much, we added on a few more sets over the years- and whenever we decide to sell them, I know they’ll keep their resale value pretty good too!
6. DIY toys:
Consider making toys yourself, or getting your kids involved in the process. You can find many ideas for DIY toys online, and often use materials you already have at home. Check out this article for over 80+ DIY toy ideas!
7. Shop during sales:
Of course always keep an eye out for sales and discounts, especially during holiday seasons or special occasions.
You can save a significant amount of money by purchasing toys during sales. Online prices may also be cheaper than in store prices, so check the store websites too.
8. Use websites to keep track of toy prices & set up price alerts:
Set up price alerts when a specific item goes below a certain price, find price mistakes, special deals & more by using these websites.
9. Hold a toy swap party with your family and or friends:
Swap gently used toys with friends or family to get “new to you” toys for your child. If your neighborhood or apartment complex has a lot of kids, you could get a great variety of toys to pick from!
10. Join local Facebook groups:
Find your local Freecycle, free stuff, or similar Facebook group in your area to find what people are giving away for free & to give away things you don’t need anymore.
11. Use store apps and sign up for store mailing lists to get coupons & subscriber-only deals.
If you don’t want your email clogged up with newsletters, set up a separate free email account just for sales emails.
12. When shopping online or in store, don’t forget to use websites like Rakuten & Ibotta that give you cash back on purchases!
While not all stores will give a percent back on shopping, even 1% adds up over time. I’ve seen Ibotta have coupons for LEGO sets, Play-Dough sets & all sorts of things, so it never hurts to take a minute to look. Remember, pennies are money!
13. Earn free giftcards from websites like Swagbucks, Ibotta, and others to use towards buying toys.
I usually get Walmart, Target, or Amazon gift cards when I cash out. If you’ve never used sites like these before, a lot of times you can get an extra gift card as bonus when you first sign up- don’t lose out on free money!