For the last several years, we’ve done the majority of our Christmas shopping in July and it saves us a ton of money. Toys are one of those things that go clearance in large quantities in July so that retail stores have space to bring out all the hot new toys for the Christmas season. This means you can get great deals on things that were hot last Christmas. My kids don’t see many commercials since we don’t have cable or broadcast TV, just Amazon Prime streaming video. so they don’t get too into the hype for this hot toy or that one, which is why this works so well for us. We did our major trip this week since most of the toys we’d been watching went on their final mark down this week and got probably two thirds of our Christmas shopping out of the way for around $150 for between three and four hundred dollars worth of toys and games. We also have some stuff that we purchased last year, but decided none of the kids were ready for yet and a few things that we’ve purchased at other points in the year.
We also figured out what other toys we plan on purchasing so that we can watch for good sales on Amazon or Zulily (a decent flash sale website). I usually have all but a few small things purchase by early November because I work retail and the last thing I want to do is shop during the holiday season and I really don’t have the time.
Obviously, this won’t work for everyone and it probably won’t work for us forever. Mr. J regularly points out that when our kids get older they will be more specific about what they want and they will have more exposure to what’s hot and more peer pressure to get the same things their friends have. It’s something to try if your kids are young and you have some time to hunt for things they might like and a place to store it until you need it.