How to Save Money on Toys as a Parent

While it is safe to say that a vast number of UK children are spoiled, doted upon, and have the privilege of growing up in a high income home in which they were never in want of toys, play things, or any other necessities of childhood, this is not the case for all. Many young children who are raised in lower or middle class financial situations have only a relative few number of toys, must share with many others, or have none at all, at least not the most trendy and expensive ones which are naturally the ones they may be begging for each birthday and Christmas.  In this day and age of ballooning technology, toys are no longer just a few marbles in a cloth bag or a stuffed teddy bear that had been passed down. The most highly sought after toys, instead, are several hundred pound video game consoles, collectible and limited edition doll houses and even iPhones and personal computers.

Because of the pressures and desires of children and the influence that their peers may have on their want for this doll or that remote control car, it is no doubt a hardship to not be able to have the toys that you want. But how can you, as a parent, provide your child with the newest and most popular toy on the market without cutting out funds from your food budget or emergency fund? There are a few resources you can turn to in this situation, whether you have few financial savings or none at all.

 

Spending What You Have Wisely

If your toy budget for your children is limited, but you want to be able to stretch your funds as far as you can without going over board, make an effort to follow a few simple rules when purchasing toys. First, try to buy off peak season. Some toy prices spike at the beginning of the summer holidays when many more children are at home, or during the winter holiday season when Christmas gifts galore are being bought. Try buying clearance toys at the end of the summer holidays when children are back in school, and saving them as presents for your kids to enjoy later. Secondly, buy secondhand. Ebay is an excellent resource for purchasing new or used discounted games, puzzles, electronics, figurines, plush characters, cards and more. Or, try your local charity shop to score serious bargains on everything from children’s books to electronic toys.

Another idea that you might want to consider to save money on toys is setting up a toy swap with friends who have children of similar ages. Some families keep their toy collection fresh and interesting by trading toys with another family every month or two, so that the children never get bored with what they have. Essentially, you are getting an entirely new toy set that will keep the kids entertained for hours, without having to spend a single pound. This sharing of the wealth is a great practice to keep up amongst families on limited budgets whose children are of similar ages and interests.

 

Affordable Solutions for Toys

There are a good many toy gifting charity organisations throughout the UK whose purpose is to provide  toys to families who cannot afford them. Supplement your children’s toys through an outlet like this, such as the Toy Trust Children’s Charity UK. Though your child may be demanding of bigger, better, more technological toys with lights and sounds, keep in mind that simpler is usually better. Spend time as a family playing classic card games or creating toys of your own like making your own teddy bear or doll out of used fabric scraps.

Comments

  1. These are great tips. No kids yet but I’m sure its helpful for future reference.

  2. Well, my little man jud asked me for a gift that he wants and told him he has to save it because we are not going to buy it unless we have spare money. We always like to check out second hand stores though or garage sales. There are some toys that are still good as new when you get lucky.

  3. If I were to be followed, I would stop buying toys for my kids at their age now, it is just my husband that can’t seem to stop hehehe.

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