Holiday gift giving can add up to hundreds and even thousands of dollars. If your family is on a budget, you might be asking yourself if your child really needs all the items you've been purchasing. If you do plan to scale back on the amount you spend during the holidays, then you'll want to shop smart for your kids and get them the highest quality items at the best prices possible.
Limit the number of items. If your children are old enough to understand, you may want to have a family meeting and tell them that you are going to cut back this Christmas. Allow each child to pick one or two items he or she truly wants. You may want to put a price limit on the items as well or you could wind up getting requests like four-wheelers or ponies.
Shop early. Another way to save money when shopping for kids is to shop the after Christmas sales the year before. This is a great way to pick up stocking stuffers and small items at a fraction of the full retail price. Some retailers, like Target and Walmart, discount seasonal items as much as 75 to 90 percent.
Brave Black Friday. Although the crowds frighten some shoppers, popular items can sometimes be snagged for deep discounts on the Friday after Thanksgiving. Review the newspapers the day before to see if the items your children want are available and if the sales are enough to warrant an early morning shopping trip.
Use coupons. If your son loves sports and wants a new baseball glove, look for coupons for Dick's Sporting Goods or another local sports equipment retailer. National chains are more likely to offer percent off coupons or points for purchasing items. Sign up for discount cards and watch Sunday circulars for coupons.
Other children's stores that offer regular discount coupons include Toys 'R' Us, Meijer (mPerks program and in-store discounts), Bass Pro Shops, Kohl's and most major clothing chains like Aeropostale and American Eagle.
Ask for discounts. If you can't locate a coupon or a sale price, don't be afraid to ask for a discount. Politely ask to speak to the manager. If you are purchasing many different items or several of one item, you'll have a better chance of securing a percentage off the item. Even if the manager only offers you 10%, these discounts can add up. If you normally spend $1,000 during the holidays, a mere 10 percent will save you $100.
- "Financial Peace University": by Dave Ramsey: 2004
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