Find fabulous budget gifts for your kids

by Laurel Pretorius
Find fabulous budget gifts for your kids - BabyYumYum
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There’s no need to blow your budget while shopping for your kids’ gifts this Christmas, writes self-confessed bargain queen Laurel Pretorius.

I don’t know about you but as a self-employed mom I often find myself struggling financially at Christmastime. This has made me quite the pro when it comes to finding gifts on a budget for my daughters.

What I have discovered on this spendthrift journey is that I pay more attention to what they want and need, and in so doing have realised that it’s not the cost of the gift that matters, it’s the thought process that they seem to love even more.

Choose safe kid’s toys

Here are some of my favourite ways to save on kids’ Christmas gifts while having a good time doing it:

Second hand treasures

Second-hand shops are not only veritable treasure troves but they are also a dime a dozen so it is almost guaranteed you will find what you are looking for when it comes to gift shopping for your toddler, tween or teen.

Not everything in these higgledy-piggledy shops are “gently used” but with a little patience you will find some real gems at a fraction of the original cost. Find anything and everything from pre-loved cuddly toys, boardgames and puzzles to trinket treasures and cool retro fashion accessories – I bought a stunning imported ukelele for my daughter once at a 10th of the actual cost.

Additionally, there are many online platforms selling used goods, Facebook Marketplace being a popular one. However, my personal favourite is Yaga which can best be described as a local Etsy for the thrifting market – everything from clothing and fashion accessories to gadgets, books, games, toys and more.

Fashionable thrifting

Fortunately for us bargain-hunting parents, thrifting has become a huge trend on the teen scene. My daughters and their friends regularly ask me to take them to the local thrift shops. Find out what styles they’re into (all retro, I guarantee) and then hunt down their latest looks in the racks and racks of clothes at a thrift store (or market) near you.

There is nothing more satisfying than finding 10 items of good quality, pre-loved clothing (and accessories) from your local thrift that would normally get you 3 new items in a run-of-the-mill fashion retailer at the mall. And again, I cannot recommend Yaga enough for tired parents who want to do their gift shopping from the comfort of their couch.

Early birds catch the worm

A rule of thumb is that most retailers have sales at the end of each season, and I have found some of my daughters’ most favoured gifts on these sales. Don’t wait for the holiday season before doing your Christmas shop. Go when it’s quieter and take your time browsing the sales. I also keep my eye on online specials regularly from around June/July onwards and have found some incredible bargains this way. Takealot, Amazon, OneDayOnly and Hyperli, to name a few, offer great deals year-round.

For the book worms

Books make wonderful gifts for children and teens, and they can often be found at affordable prices. Look for the specials at factory outlets like Readers Warehouse and Bargain Books. You’re bound to find some excellent deals. But my most favourite thing to do when I am Christmas shopping for my kids as well as my niece and nephews, is to visit the little second-hand bookstores and local libraries.

Books Galore is a good start because there are branches nationwide. However, there is something quite magical about shopping for books in the small second-hand shops where the books are crammed in from floor to ceiling. It’s here you will find fabulous bargains and often books that have been beautifully looked after and are difficult to find anywhere else, all at a fraction of the cost.

Lovely little stocking filler

Finding awesome stocking fillers for my girls has always been my most favourite thing to do and has really cemented an important Christmas tradition in our family. Even now, in their teens and twenties, my daughters will choose getting an over-stuffed stocking over bigger gifts under the tree if they were given a choice. Find fabulous budget gifts for your kids

The best thing about stocking fillers is that with a little bit of smarts you can get away with spending less than you would on one gift under the tree.

Here are the 10 goodies I always put in my kids’ stockings:

  1. silly socks or a funky t-shirt (bought on a sale)
  2. a slab of chocolate
  3. a bag of sweets
  4. an item of stationary
  5. a small game or puzzle
  6. stickers (yes, teens love them, too)
  7. something arty
  8. something homemade (with love)
  9. something second-hand (a treasure)
  10. a healthy treat

There is something incredibly rewarding about finding your kids’ gifts on a small budget that they absolutely treasure. Give yourself plenty of time to hunt down the bargains and have fun doing it. Happy shopping, happy kids, happy Christmas!

Also read Christmas gifts for kids

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