Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Pley. All opinions expressed within are my own and have not been influenced in any way.
I am pretty sure there would be unilateral agreement from anyone that has ever visited our house that we have a ridiculous amount of toys. Now, I am certainly part of the problem because I think one of the best parts about being a mom is that I get to play with all.the.toys again with absolutely no guilt.
Yet, to ensure there is actually room in both my house and my bank account to accommodate our growing collection, we have a few tricks that help us save money on toys without skimping on what they really want.
50% of Christmas Gifts Go Into Hiding
Friends often ask how we do it, but we have convinced the kids that many of their new toys should go into storage so that the surprises last throughout the year. With Santa, grandparents, and family, the boys will often get most of their biggest wishes each holiday.
The day after Christmas, the boys look through their new gifts and choose a few to keep out and play with. We store the others on a shelf in the basement, and when we think the kids could use a new item added to the rotation, we pull one out and it is like Christmas all over again.
This trick has been a lifesaver for my oldest’s LEGO addiction. He will ask for his favorites for Christmas or his birthday, and then keep one out to play with. When he is ready for a new set, he can choose one from the storage area. This year, his LEGO gifts lasted until October using this distribution method. He was thrilled to have new LEGOs all year and I was thrilled he was busy all year.
Rent to Play Options Keep Toys Novel
Speaking of my LEGO strategy, there are other options to “distribute” toys throughout the year in ways that keep clutter out of your house and save you money at the same time. One option for toy rentals is the company Pley. I have been following this company for a little over a year now and I jealous that I did not come up with this concept first. They have over 400 LEGO and popular robotics sets that get sent to your door. When your kids are done with the set, they package it up and send it back for a new one!
I love that Pley encourages kids to reduce waste and encourages sharing at the same time – these are lessons that I think every kid needs to learn early on. Stop by and visit Pley to see their large selection of toys, and consider giving a Pley subscription as a gift this year to a child that you know could use unlimited access to LEGOs this year!
Shop All Year and Keep a Stash for Special Events
I’ll shop the week after Christmas for the boys’ birthdays, birthday presents for the boys’ friends, and even the next holiday. I have a stash room where I keep gifts. Often I will buy with a child in mind when I see something they might like. This way, I can give a more substantial gift for less when their birthday rolls around. Take my 4 and 6 year old’s BFF. He was over last year going crazy over a Hot Wheels set. The next week I found the same set on sale, so I picked it up to have for when his birthday rolled around.
Fend Off the Gimmies and Set Expectations for “Getting”
One of my pet peeves is “the gimmies”. From the time the boys were tiny, the expectation was set that when we went into a store, we would not be “buying them something” every time we were there. Yes, sometimes we might pick up a treat for the kids like ice cream or a new video game character, but most times we go to a store together, we will return with only the items we set out to buy. With these expectations set from the beginning, we do not make impulse toy purchases and the kids don’t (usually) whine their way through the entire shopping experience.