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As we’re on the countdown to Christmas, I’m sharing my tips on how to get organised, save money and have a stress-free Christmas. This week is all about how to save money on toys.
Play is such an important part of childhood and toys are a wonderful thing to have. But we all know they can be expensive, especially if your little one is into the latest craze. There are plenty of ways to find bargains and save money on toys. From buying second hand to finding the best discounts, here are my top ways to save money on toys.
Love Your Local Charity Shop
I have to say I totally love charity shops. Not only are they great for bargains, but I also get a sense of satisfaction knowing my money is going to help others. We also use charity shop trips as a way to declutter and get rid of old, unused toys. We get tons of bargains and I love that these toys have been used and loved before. I recently found a load of Thomas trains in our local shop for £2.99 each. They were all in perfect condition and when I looked underneath they were made in 1995! Cheaper than buying a brand new train, more eco-friendly as there’s no plastic packaging and they aren’t being mass produced, and they’re over 20 years old and still in perfect condition!
If the kids see a toy they like, I rarely buy it there and then. A quick Google search will show you the cheapest prices – they even have a shopping feature which compares prices from different websites. It’s definitely worth shopping around as the price differences can be massive. We recently went to Thomas Land at Drayton Manor and I saw this spiral train track for £14.99. I only noticed it because I’d bought it the week before in ASDA for £3.57! Just shows how much the same toy can vary in price in different places.
Buy Second Hand
Buying second hand is a great way to save money on toys. These days there are so many ways to find good quality second hand toys – I’ve already mentioned charity shops, but you can also find bargains on eBay, Facebook, Gumtree and carboot sales.
This is a great place to find cheap and sometimes even free toys. We have had so many bargains from there over the past few years. Ollie uses his train table several times a day and it only cost £10 from Facebook. It needed a bit of cleaning, but a similar one I found online brand new was £45! My Mum bought a Little Tikes slide and climbing frame for £10
Now I’m going to be honest this one is not for me. I know as a bargain hunter I should be all over the carboots but in all honesty I just don’t like early mornings! From the few I’ve been too, I can tell you there are some serious bargains to be had. You also have the added bonus of being able to haggle and having tons of stalls to browse all in the same place so if you’re an early bird it might be worth looking for your closest carboot.
I use eBay all the time – mostly for selling unwanted stuff from around the house, but every now and then I find a bargain purchase on there too. The downside is you’ll usually have to pay for postage, but if you time your bids right on an auction, sometimes the savings will outweigh the postage cost.
Nearly New Sales
These are great for finding bargains and sometimes you can get toys brand new at a fraction of the price.
Buy At The Right Time
If you want to save money on toys, buying at the right time is crucial. My favourite time to buy kid’s toys is just after Christmas, and I will often stock up on cheap presents to use throughout the year. But, there are still plenty of good times to buy toys from now until Christmas. December is notoriously bad for shops raising their prices so getting organised now can help you save money.
Personally I love Black Friday because companies are often competing with each other to get the most business.
Amazon Black Friday is great for bargains, and if you have Amazon Prime, you get access to deals before everyone else. You also get 1 day delivery on Amazon Prime purchases. If you don’t have prime, wait until just before Black Friday and take advantage of their 30 day free trail!
Check Out Big Toy Sales
Argos, Smyths and Sainsburys all run big toy events each year. They can be a great chance to stock up on Christmas presents and save money on toys. Be warned though – just because something seems like a good offer doesn’t necessarily mean it is. For the second year running Argos have been accused of bumping up their prices on the toys in their 3 for 2 event. That’s not to say you still can’t get a good deal. Just find the toys you want and note the prices, then compare them online with other shops to see if you can get them cheaper elsewhere first.