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Planning for Holiday Shopping With Two (Or More!) Kids

The holidays are upon us! Deck those halls! Roast those birds! Spin those dreidels!  Shop ’til you drop!

Or shop until your credit card squeals for mercy.

If you’re like me, you are one of those moms who gets to November and thinks “Gah! I have to buy Christmas gifts! Why didn’t I start this six months ago and spread out the costs?” I never do that because my children are so young that I can’t predict what will be a good gift for them so I’m left with the holidays packing a wallop. Add in my son’s birthday in early January and you’ve got the makings for a real budget-buster of a season.

But not to fear! You can have a nice holiday with more than one child without sacrificing their college savings accounts to do it! Here are some ideas for saving money on gifts:

Plan Ahead: Make your gift list before you hit the stores. If you know what you’re going to buy already, you’re a lot less tempted to impulse buy while browsing the toy store aisles. Planning ahead also lets you compare prices on items so you get the best deals.

Regift: If your older child has outgrown some toys, try giving them to your younger child. Clean them up, wrap them nicely and voila! Good as new to a baby! Just make sure to talk to your older child about it so Christmas morning doesn’t include the words “Hey, that’s mine!”

Create a Free-Cycling Circle: Talk to friends with children of different ages and see if you can swap cast-off but good condition toys.

Look for Two-for-One Deals: Keep and eye on sales promotions to get more bag for your buck. This could be especially handy for buying clothing!

Take Advantage of Free Shipping Offers: Save on gas and skip the lines and the parking lots and shop online when retailers offer free shipping. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are good times to pick up free shipping.

Keep An Eye on Craig’s List: Sites like Craig’s List and neighbors listservs can be great places to find quality used toys. You can scan what other people are selling or post “in search of” notices to ask for what you want specifically. Always go see the goods before you pay though!

Consignment Stores: I love consignment and thrift shopping all year long. It can be a time commitment but if you are willing to hunt around a bit, you can find barely-used or even brand new items. I like to go to consignment stores in high-end areas to look for bargains on top quality stuff!

What tips and tricks do you have for saving on gifts for your kids at the holidays?

A big thanks to Citi for sponsoring this campaign. Click here to see more of the discussion.

Read more from Rebekah at Mom-in-a-Million, The DC MomsThe Broad Side

Follow Rebekah on Facebook and Twitter too!

Photo credit: Photo Stock

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