Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Frugal Birthday Gift Ideas for a Two-Year-Old Boy

As you can see from the picture above, our son, Howard, did pretty good on his birthday, and these are just the presents from us!  I tried to keep in mind activities and characters that he likes, and I started gathering things before Christmas for his April birthday.  Tip #1: Give yourself plenty of time to find good deals.  We also live in a small apartment, so I try not to buy toys that are super huge, I leave those toys for the relatives who like to spoil him to buy.  This insures that he gets fewer of them.  I also purchased his gifts from a variety of stores, including Michael's and Giant; two places I wouldn't have thought to look for boy toys or gifts.  Tip #2: Shop around; sometimes deals can be found in unexpected places.  You'll also notice that he had plenty to open - 9 presents in all from just his parents.  I could have easily bought more just because it's so fun to buy your child presents, but that can get super expensive.  Tip #3: Set a budget well in advance.  I knew I didn't want to spend more than $40 on gifts for his birthday.  I figured that gave me the ability to buy a bigger/more expensive gift, or quite a few smaller gifts, depending on what deals I could find.  This made me evaluate each purchase -- Will he play with this?  Is it similar to something he already has?  How will it be stored?  Is it of good quality for the price?
Overall, I'm pleased with the presents I was able to find, and the deals I got.  Howard loved everything that he opened, and has enjoyed playing with it all.  His favorite toy is, of course, Daniel Tiger, who now has a place in Howard's crib each night.  I am hoping that you find these tips and ideas helpful the next time you have gifts to buy for a young one.
Below is a listing of what I purchased, from where, and for how much - just in case anyone is interested to see how my present budget broke down...
  •  Smart Play Pad: Free from the Pamper's Rewards program. I enter codes from Pampers diapers and wipes packages online and earn points that can be used for different rewards.  Along with this program, as long as you enter one product code per month, you can earn additional rewards every quarter - like more points, or free custom address labels or photo cards, or toys, like this Smart Play Pad.  
  • Curious George Christmas Movie DVD: I bought this at Target on after Christmas clearance for $4.99.  Howard LOVES George and the man in the yellow hat.  So much so that Howard has his own yellow hat. 
  • Talking Daniel Tiger Stuffed Toy: I also picked this up on clearance at Target for $14.  I could have waited for the price to come down more, but I was afraid they would be gone before I got him one.  This was his 'big' gift from us, and I knew he would love it.  
  • Play-Doh Sweet Shoppe Play-set: This was one of the first things I found at Giant for Howard -- Giant has an AMAZING clearance area in the back of their store.  I can always find great deals there, but I especially love it when they discount stationary supplies and toys!  This set was only $2.99!
  • Play-Doh Grab and Go Refill Set: This was another clearance find at Giant, and for only $1.49!  Howard has a set of dough toys from the Dollar Tree, so we just needed some Play-Doh, and this was perfect - lots of bright colors.
  • Curious George Coloring Book: I lucked out and found this at the Dollar Tree one day when I was shopping for some other birthday items (plates, napkins, etc.), so only $1!
  • Daniel Tiger Coloring Book: Also just $1 -- at Michael's of all places.  I was in the check-out line waiting to buy planner items, and just happen to see these nearby.
  • Mini Mr. Potato Head: I also found this at Giant, for only $0.99!  I spent some time digging in the clearance baskets for the other 2 characters that are advertised on the back of the package, but no luck.  Howard has really loved playing with this little guy, plus he's the perfect size for the diaper bag or my purse for when we are out running errands.
  • Dino Train Color Wonder Set: We were shopping at 5 Below for something else, and came across this set.  Howard loves Dino Train, and I have heard wonderful things about the color wonder products, so we decided to give it a go for $5.  He loves it, and Mama loves that he can't color on the table or himself - Yay!  #colorwonderforthewin 
Total Spent of Gifts: $31.46!  
Under budget by $8.54!!!!
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