Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Year Round Christmas Shopping

So.....I'm done with my Christmas about you? :)
Okay, that's not entirely true.
I'm done shopping for my 3 boys. (with the exception of movies that haven't come to DVD yet)

I gather things all year that I find on sale or on clearance and save them for Christmas. My boys are young enough that they don't really care what they get. I know I will not be so lucky when my boys are asking for Snowboarding equipment, Lagoon passes or video game consoles. And I'm sure I'll find a few more things along the way before Christmas comes. But for the most part, I will not be running around crazy with all the other "last minute shoppers" paying whatever price is asked and trying to find Zhu Zhu pets, Tickle me Elmos, or whatever it is that will be popular this year. My boys understand that "the cool toy" this Christmas will be on clearance in April.

(Now is a great time to check for clearance summer items to put in Easter baskets. (Sand toys, bubbles, water toys) Even summer outfits, flip flops, water shirts, hats and water socks would be a great deal right now. I've seen kids size patio furniture and outdoor toys on clearance recently.)

Some things that I have gathered for stocking stuffers in the past are:

If you have boys, look after Halloween for plastic costume swords, axes and knives. I found some very sturdy swords and axes at Target last November for .99 normally $7. Santa gave them to my boys (as I type this, I find the irony in Santa giving toy weapons to my kids.....ha ha) and they LOVED them. They still play with them and they were such good quality that they still look brand new.

For little girls, you might be able to find some cheap costumes you could use for dress up costumes. What little girl wouldn't want a princess dress for the dress up drawer?

I also found some Iron Man coloring/activity books on clearance after the first movie came out. I stashed them, and now that the 2nd movie is out on DVD, my boys will be getting them in their stockings.

What about giving a new crayon package that you bought at the back to school deals? Or even a 10 cent notebook? My boys love to have their own notebook to draw and write in. (they are getting Spiderman ones I found on clearance after the back to school sale this year)

I've been able to find Backugun toys, Pokemon toys and action figures on clearance. School book fairs are currently underway and books make a great gift. (my husband is a teacher, that is my teacher plug for the day) One lady I know buys her kids each a book from the book fair for their grandma to give to them for Christmas every year. What a great way to give to the school, it's a great gift, grandma doesn't have to go out shopping and guess what size, or what the kids would like and it's something the kids want. I thought it was a great idea.

I've read of friends getting together and doing a "Stocking Stuffer Swap". That means that each person buys or makes enough small items for all the kids in the group. Then like you would a cookie swap, you all get together and "swap" items. You go home with all new, unique items.

Kathy makes 12 finger puppets
Shelly buys 12 Christmas erasers with pencils
Pat finds a deal on wedding bubbles and brings a dozen
Debbie brings 12 new packages of crayons

Each woman has 3 kids, so they all take 3 of everything and have enough goodies for all their kids.

I've never done it, but it sounds fun!

You also might want to check out this deal that was posted by freebies2deals:

Toys R Us has some sales this week that match with the Hasbro ads in the Sunday paper. Keep in mind that Walmart price matches. I've read that Toys R Us is running low on the ad items that have coupons with them. Walmart might have a larger stock of those items.

The trick is to remember what you have hidden away. I have a designated box in my storage room that holds all my finds. I went through it yesterday and was excited to see what I already had because that means I don't have to buy much if anything later on.

How do you prep for Christmas shopping?
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1 comment:

  1. I am not done this year yet. :( With the move it has been a little hard. BUT I have decided this year I will try to trade for a bunch of Christmas. I like homemade stuff and so do my kids. So I am trading cloth diapers I make for stuff that I can't, or don't have time to make... like felt food, wooden toys, purses, hair bows... that sort of thing. I think this year my kids will also get stuff to decorate rooms... new house, new rooms, new decorations! :)

    I found a GREAT deal on the Wii fit balance board on pinching your pennies on FB. And we are going to be getting a Wii for the big family present. So now mom has her christmas done too. :) I am slowly working on it though. -Vilate


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