Time to Play: How to Save Money on Toys

We’ve all been there. (Many still are!) You’re walking the aisles of your local toy store and your little munchkin looks up at you with those big, beautiful eyes holding a new Barbie doll, or a light saber. Maybe it’s a pack of Pokémon cards. You’re on a tight budget but, come on, parents aren’t made of stone. Sometimes we’re just too weak and we cave too easily when it comes to toy shopping. The real problem is when we just can’t stop!

There are loads of ways to still get great toys for your kids, without having to give up dreams of them ever attending college without a full scholarship. Here’s a rundown of some of your best options for saving some cash but still getting great toys.

End Caps
Know those areas at the end of the aisles that you usually zip right past? Well… don’t. The end caps at many stores (especially Target!) are generally filled with mega clearance items or discontinued product the store’s trying to unload. You can certainly find some incredible bargains!

Online Marketplaces
Try various marketplace types like eBay, Craigslist and Amazon Marketplace to find regular folks selling new and used versions of what you’re looking for but at massively discounted prices.

Coupons
They’re not just for groceries, you know! Check the coupon inserts in your local newspaper or even find a good printable coupon site online. Certain manufacturers often post valuable coupons for $5 to $10 offers for some of their latest toys. Also, check out the manufacturer’s website, as they’ll often post coupons on their site as well!

Comparison Shop
There are plenty of comparison shopping sites online that can help you find the best price almost instantly. Just type in the toy you’re looking for, and you’ll get quick results showing you the top places to buy that item along with the most current price. Some sites even let you type in your zipcode to calculate shipping and taxes into the equation! Just be sure to double check the price itself on the store’s site before purchase. Most comparison shopping sites work off data feeds from the stores, which can have a slight delay in information.

Online Coupons
Besides comparison shopping online, you can also shop at online merchants, many of whom offer significant money-saving coupons. Search for coupon codes online and you’ll find all sorts of free promo codes for free shipping, 10% off, $5 off, etc. Simply find a coupon for the store you’re looking to make a purchase, and at some point during the checkout process, there should be a box to enter your coupon code. Your discount will be taken right off!

Those are just a few alternatives to save you some money on toys. Of course you should always keep an eye out for mega sales (especially right after a major holiday) at your local toy stores. And the biggest tip of all? Next time you go to the toy store… leave your kids at home!