Affording Toys for the Holidays

If you are having a lean year, like many of us, you might have started getting concerned about the holidays and how you will be able to afford getting toys and other gifts for your children. Yes, we all know the real meaning of the holidays does not involve material gifts, but what parent doesn’t want the pleasure of giving toys to their children?

This will be a two part series on affording toys for the holidays.

As I look around our living room, which has been turned into a playroom for the kids, I feel blessed that we are able to provide play things for the kids. At the same time, it is hard for me to pick out toys that we actually purchased new. About 90 percent of the items that we own, including toys, are second hand.

Second hand does not have to be dirty words. You can get lovely, expensive, educational and fun toys that way. Second hand does not have to mean broken, either, although you may run into some of that. Of course, you can get new toys for less, too, if you know the strategies.

Here are my favorite ways to get free or low cost toys. Your toys will “over floweth,” so don’t forget to share your bounty with others this holiday season.

Promotions

Carefully follow the store promotions and available coupon codes to get the best deals. I recently blogged about getting games and puzzles for buy one get one free. Some toy stores and mart stores are offering printable coupons and coupons in magazines and flyers that are good for dollars off of toys.

Thrift stores

There are usually a wealth of toys at local thrift stores starting in October and continuing into early January, as families clean out their toys to make room for the new ones coming in from the holidays. Check back to these stores on different days and at different times to get the best selection. Last year, we got my daughter a bike this way.

Click here for more articles by Mary Ann Romans.

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About Mary Ann Romans

Mary Ann Romans is a freelance writer, online content manager, wife and mother of three children. She lives in Pennsylvania in the middle of the woods but close enough to Target and Home Depot. The author of many magazine, newspaper and online articles, Mary Ann enjoys writing about almost any subject. "Writing gives me the opportunity to both learn interesting information, and to interact with wonderful people." Mary Ann has written more than 5,000 blogs for Families.com since she started back in December 2006. Contact her at maromans AT verizon.net or visit her personal blog http://homeinawoods.wordpress.com