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Old 10-02-2012, 11:09 AM   #1
katied718
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Buying Christmas Deals

I know a lot of stores are having mega toy clearances right now. We are on a super tight budget this year and I am tempted to go buy toys for my nieces/nephews for dirt cheap. We have a budget of $25/kids (7 nieces & nephews). If I can get $25 toy for let's say $7, would you just try to pick out something that child might like and reap the savings or would you just go on the premise of-we have $25 to spend & if you want something off your list, then the $25 isn't going to go too far. As a parent of 3 little kids now, we are going through mega purge selling a ton of stuff-some toys are unopened! I am to the point where I would rather give my kids experiences rather than things-such as trips to the movies, museums, & other events. So, I don't know if I should try shopping now for my own savings for something they may/may not like (and won't be able to return), or if I should wait and get them something specific from their wish list.
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Old 10-02-2012, 11:13 AM   #2
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You could do a gift exchange between the kids...that way you can spend the $25 on something you know they want. There are always so many gifts at Christmas, we started drawing names at Thanksgiving (for extended family) and it has made the holidays a lot less stressful!
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Old 10-02-2012, 11:20 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by katied718 View Post
I know a lot of stores are having mega toy clearances right now. We are on a super tight budget this year and I am tempted to go buy toys for my nieces/nephews for dirt cheap. We have a budget of $25/kids (7 nieces & nephews). If I can get $25 toy for let's say $7, would you just try to pick out something that child might like and reap the savings or would you just go on the premise of-we have $25 to spend & if you want something off your list, then the $25 isn't going to go too far. As a parent of 3 little kids now, we are going through mega purge selling a ton of stuff-some toys are unopened! I am to the point where I would rather give my kids experiences rather than things-such as trips to the movies, museums, & other events. So, I don't know if I should try shopping now for my own savings for something they may/may not like (and won't be able to return), or if I should wait and get them something specific from their wish list.
I think it depends on the ages of the kids you are talking about. If I have someone young like 5 or under I wouldn't think twice about getting them an actual gift instead of an experience. I also would get it early, epsecially if the price is right.

In the past we had decided to pick names since there are so many nieces and nephews. Last year we (all the families) decided not to do gifts for them at all. They are older, don't need anything and we just wanted to make it about getting together to spend time with eachother. Not saying you shouldn't do gifts, but picking names was fun for the kids. They were always excited to see who got them, and they were excited to get their person. It was a nice tradition while it lasted.
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Old 10-02-2012, 11:23 AM   #4
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The 7 children's ages range from 1-13.
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Old 10-02-2012, 11:27 AM   #5
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Agree and it depends on the kids. Here is what I have done for that EXACT situation. I call the parents and get a yay or nay on the toy. That makes my purchasing decision. Agree that for 5 and under you can likely buy and be okay. I would honestly pocket the savings. I have come to realize as a parent, that less is more. My kids get too much stuff as it is and I am forcing a toy donation purge by both to eliminate seldom-played with toys. I would vastly prefer you give the single toy and either pocket the savings or, if you are hell bent on giving my kid the full $25 worth, just hand me the difference for deposit into their college funds. FWIW, yep, I've scored on sales here and there and have managed to get toys for almost all of my sister's 3 well under budget.
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Old 10-02-2012, 12:22 PM   #6
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I vote for specific from the wish list.

A toy bought on sale that is never played with in my eyes is no savings at all.

Our parents bless their hearts- find the need to give each of my children a gazillion little dollar store things so they have a bunch of stuff to open. I'd rather her get them 1 quality item, and I think the kids would too. I've told her repeatedly "they have too much stuff, please stop". It doesn't work and by February half of its going to Goodwill or the landfill I hate the consumerism that Christmas has become.

+1 on the name picking for gift exchange. I wish my family would go for it, I suggested it once and everyone flipped out on me.

On a side note, I wanted to share a funny story. Hubby and I celebrated our 11 year anniversary recently. He was hinting around to see what I wanted. I said whatever you get me, it must be under $25 because he tends to buy really extravagant gifts. And having a price limit forces you to be a little creative. So what does he do, buys me a bunch of presents and puts $25 in an envelope on top of the gifts so it was "under $25"! Face Palm!
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Old 10-02-2012, 12:54 PM   #7
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I vote for something specific from the list, or an experience, as you say. Maybe a membership to a children's museum or zoo if they live near one?

A dozen elephants for a nickel is only a deal if you have a nickel and need a dozen elephants.
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Old 10-02-2012, 02:16 PM   #8
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So what does he do, buys me a bunch of presents and puts $25 in an envelope on top of the gifts so it was "under $25"! Face Palm!
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Old 10-02-2012, 02:21 PM   #9
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The younger kids will love whatever you get them even if its $10 not $25. I have done the disney buy one get one free many time for friends and families kids.Older kids I would stick to the list
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Old 10-02-2012, 02:44 PM   #10
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I have found that the younger the child, the easier it is to please. Especially if they are just 1, 2, or 3. I buys gifts all year round to get great deals on toys. I have a gift closet that I pull from (or let the kids pull from when they have birthday parties). And I do that for my DD8 and DD10 and their friends. As they have gotten older, there are more specific requests but I just make sure I am buying those items all year. For instance, buying barbie items will satisfy many girls. And for the one girl it won't, you go get something else. But if you bought barbie's pool for 70% off, you WILL be able to use it for another child whether it is for Christmas or a Birthday.

Kids WANT to open gifts. But even if you give them the toy of the moment that they requested, it does not mean they will play with it more or less than the clearanced item you purchased.

I have tons of nieces and nephews I purchase for at Christmas and I budget $15 per child and usually ONLY spend $5 to $7 yet I get a ton of stuff - and stuff they like.

And guess what, if they don't like it or they get two of them or whatever, maybe that parent is fine with having that 'extra' gift for their gift closet. It ends up being one less gift they have to purchase in the future. (My theory is that a gift is a gift and it is up to the recipient on how to use it.)

Now you can just send the $25 and let them pick out what they want. But if you are on a tight budget, buy what YOU can afford. Don't go spending your money just because you want Susie to have the latest and greatest toy.
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Old 10-02-2012, 04:27 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by katied718 View Post
I know a lot of stores are having mega toy clearances right now. We are on a super tight budget this year and I am tempted to go buy toys for my nieces/nephews for dirt cheap. We have a budget of $25/kids (7 nieces & nephews). If I can get $25 toy for let's say $7, would you just try to pick out something that child might like and reap the savings or would you just go on the premise of-we have $25 to spend & if you want something off your list, then the $25 isn't going to go too far. As a parent of 3 little kids now, we are going through mega purge selling a ton of stuff-some toys are unopened! I am to the point where I would rather give my kids experiences rather than things-such as trips to the movies, museums, & other events. So, I don't know if I should try shopping now for my own savings for something they may/may not like (and won't be able to return), or if I should wait and get them something specific from their wish list.
I would buy the gift valued at $25 for $7 and pocket the $18, and be happy and know that the kid will like his $25 gift. For nieces and nephes, I wouldn't be too worried about their wish list, because I would assume that their parents are going to make sure they get their most wanted items, and I would get them something they might not think of.

But more than that, I'd probably buy something for the whole family rather than a gift for each kid. So if there are two siblings, buy one gift for that pair etc. We usually do a game/movie/snack or something like that for each family group. At this point, I only have one niece to buy for but today I bought a "make your own rootbeer" kit for $15 at BJs for her, and I'll probably buy something else like an apron to go with it and that will be it for her.
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Old 10-02-2012, 05:59 PM   #12
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I have five adult nieces and nephews and nine, soon to be ten, young nieces and nephews (some are grand nieces and nephews). We all buy for the kids in the family which is defined as anyone under 18. I shop for the littles year round and search for good deals because there are so many of them. I don't worry too much about their wish lists because that's the responsibility of their parents. I just pick things I think they will enjoy. However, I will say that when my older nieces and nephews hit their teen years, I pretty much stuck to money or gift cards unless my sisters gave me a specific suggestion of an item they wanted.
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Old 10-02-2012, 07:39 PM   #13
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I would buy the gift valued at $25 for $7 and pocket the $18, and be happy and know that the kid will like his $25 gift. For nieces and nephes, I wouldn't be too worried about their wish list, because I would assume that their parents are going to make sure they get their most wanted items, and I would get them something they might not think of.
This is the way I feel. I bought my niece 2 American Girl DVDS on sale last month at $5 each. That is probably all I will get her, the DVDS cost $15 each not on sale so I will pocket the $20 savings and know she will enjoy the movies regardless of their cost.
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Old 10-02-2012, 08:14 PM   #14
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For the older ones, I would try and stick to something on their list. If you know specifically what they want, you can watch for sales and still get a good deal.

For the younger ones, you can probably easily pick out something they will like. They probably don't have a list.

I have already purchased gifts for my three nieces and one nephew. They are ages 6, almost 4, 2 1/2, and 9 months (at Christmas time).

I got everything for a great price (like a LaLaLoopsy Littles doll for $10 instead of $17, and the My First Disney Princess Snow White picnic doll & set for $10 or so instead of $30). I also just ordered a couple of gifts on Amazon using gift cards I earned from Swagbucks so that also counts as savings. I used to buy extra gifts to spend the full $25-$30 (we do that amount, too!) if I got lucky and found great bargains but the two oldest kids ruin all of their toys so now we just find great deals and pocket the extra savings we would have otherwise spent. They each just get one toy now.

We also now pick two children in need from the Christmas giving tree to donate a toy to (they have specific items on their lists like Baby Alive, Beyblade, etc) and we love doing that.
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Old 10-02-2012, 08:43 PM   #15
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For the younger kids (maybe 5 and under), I would definitely purchase a toy worth $25 but on sale for $7 and pocket the difference. Kids that young won't understand not getting a gift. Older kids maybe wait to see what they request or call mom and dad now to see if there's anything on their wish list already. (I know my DD8 can already spout off a few things she wants.) I wouldn't feel the slightest bit guilty about buying clearance items. Heck I've bought gifts for my nieces and nephews at consignment and garage sales.
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