Christmas is less than 2 weeks away which means crunch time for many of us Moms. Sorry for the horrible reminder, but the truth hurts. 😉 Some people buy gifts throughout the year and if you one of those people, I praise you. My son decided this week to let me know what he wants for Christmas, which I have been asking for weeks! Now that it is getting closer we are all stretching our Christmas budgets, trying to find the best deals and of course the safest toys for our children. I have some great money saving tips and some safety tips for choosing those gifts.
Everyone loves to save money when it comes to purchasing gifts, I love saving any money that I can! Here are a few ways you can save money on your purchases.
- Bundle your online orders, this way you can have free shipping. Many websites offer shipping deals throughout the month. Target has offered free shipping on all orders since November, they even offer free returns. Toys R Us is offering free shipping with no minimum for a limited time. Walmart is another great site that offers a free site to store. I have used their site to store plenty of times and have never had an issue, I have a few orders I placed last week that are arriving this week. Walgreens also offers free shipping on orders over $35, or free if you ship to store. They have some great holiday deals going on too!
- Sign up for rewards programs. So many stores offer rewards programs now, which is great especially for us loyal customers. With Toys R Us and Babies R Us , you earn $5 in “R”Us Rewards for every 125 points you earn. You earn 1 point for every dollar that you spend at either store. This works online and in the stores. (They also have a great little birthday deal for your little ones.) Walgreens has a rewards program that you can earn points even on your prescriptions.
- Search for online codes and coupon deals. This is simple, you just google your favorite store and coupon deals and so many will pop up. While adding items to your cart, be sure to check any cookies that are saved on the sites. Some are harmless, whih others aren’t. Many couponing and deal sites will have comment sections or let you know if the deal has been working for other people. Facebook Groups are another great way to find couponing and deals.
- If you do use a credit card for your purchases this month….pay off the balance at the end of the month. This will help you to avoid any finance charges. Using credit cards for purchases throughout the month and paying them off at the end is a great way to start your year off without the Christmas debt!
Finding good deals have you feeling great, but do not let those ‘great deals’ get in the way of you purchasing safe toys for your children. Sometimes the knockoff brands are cheaper for a reason. They many not have been tested the same ways as the real thing. Their parts and pieces may not be as sturdy and trustworthy. Many people are more concerned about money rather than safety. ALWAYS read the reviews when purchasing online, or if you are in the store, take some time to google some reviews of the products.
Another way we try and save money is buying secondhand toys. This is not a bad idea, it is a great money saving tip, but be sure you are safe about this. Here are some things to make sure you look at when trying to purchase a secondhand gift.
- Is this product on the recall list? Many toys (even furniture for your babies and children) have been recalled in the past. Most people do not pay attention to this when reselling, but you should be aware. Safekids is a great site to look up any recalls throughout the year, or even on the holiday gifts.
- Do not let your excitement get the best of you, make sure you check for missing pieces. One small missing piece could make a difference in how a toy functions properly.
- Check for any broken pieces, dents, and make sure someone did not try ‘fixing’ it themselves by adding parts that did not come with the toy (or furniture).
One of the most important tips is to trust your gut feelings, you as a mom know what is best for your child. These are all great ideas to help save money and keep it safe, do not let the stress of Christmas cause you to overlook your child’s safety. Be sure to look at the ages on the boxes of toys or even games, they have appropriate ages listed for a reason. They all have to have an age listed, whether it is ages 8 and up, 2 and up, etc. They may have pieces that children smaller can choke on or get hurt by.
Check out some of these toys from the past that would NOT pass the safety standards today, oh have the times changed. 😛
If you have any more ideas to help other parents with saving money and keeping your children safe for the holidays, be sure to share. Check out the Consumer Safety website for more great safety tips for the holiday season and through the rest of the year. 🙂 Make sure you keep an eye on the latest recalls on the Recall Report. You can find recalls on products and information and alerts on drugs and side effects to help keep your kids and family safe!