Friday, October 3, 2008

Saving Smart! Series: Day Three

Thanks for joining me for my Saving Smart! series. Yesterday's post was lengthy and serious, so today I'm easing up and chatting about birthday & Christmas presents for kids & families. (In honor of my youngest son's second birthday today! Happy birthday, little O! Love you bunches!)

Don't have kids? No problem! You can use these tips if you buy gifts for kids or families.

Like others, we are often asked for gift ideas for our kids. Like many of you, we have lots of toys and clothes for our kids (or can easily and inexpensively get hand-me-downs).

These are not necessarily inexpensive gifts, so.....How do these tips save money? These tips will save families money in the long run and be more valuable than plastic toys that will no longer be used, will get broken, or be thrown away.

So here are some creative ideas for gift giving that will be appreciated by kids & parents alike!

Gift memberships to the local family favorites: the local zoo, science museum, art museum, a children's museum, amusement park or swimming club. Even better? Spend some time with your child by taking them to one of these places on their birthday when you give them the gift!

Give the gift of money but designate it go to a specific activity: piano lessons, gymnastics classes, T-Ball, Little League, art classes, horseback riding class, summer camp, etc.

Give the gift of time for busy families! In nearly all families, dinnertime is busy time! We try to eat all of our dinner meals together as a family, but like others, we are crunched for time some evenings. Purchase gift certificates for families for nearby restaurants or fast-food places, or purchase a gift card for the family for a dinner prep place (such as Super Suppers, Dinner by Design, Supper Thyme, etc. You can find a complete list broken down by city & state here.).

Give a gift the kids will look forward to all throughout the year. Magazine subscriptions are a great idea as all kids love to get their own mail! You can find fun things for kids from preschoolers through college students. Simply match the magazine to their interests (nature, dolls, cars, games, etc.) and they will enjoy a fun little gift all their own each month!

~~~~~This is Part Three of my Saving Smart! series. Be sure to stop in each day from October 1st through October 10th for more money saving tips and advice. For specific money saving questions, please email me.
"When I have money, I get rid of it quickly, lest it find a way into my heart." -John Wesley

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