Saving Money From Home – shop in your TOY BOX

9 Jun


Anyone know how to make a child NOT want a new toy every time you take them to the store???  I just don’t think such a child exists!  So this challenge is intended for parents, not children:  saying NO.  In my opinion, it is important to teach children that they do not get something the WANT every time they go to the store for several reasons.  Here are a few: 

1.  Teaching them the value of money.  I think it is important to teach children to save up for something they want.  They can earn money, use their gift money, etc.  But if they want it bad enough, they will save for it.  If they don’t really want it that bad, they don’t really need to bring it home.

A few exceptions:  (1) birthdays and special occasions.  If a child has worked hard all year, and gotten all A’s – why not let them pick something out!  (2) grandparents.  feel free to spoil your grandchildren as much as you want!  (but this only applies to children whose parents monitor their behavior and how they treat their grandparents – demanding or tantruming to get their way is NEVER acceptable.)

2.  Teaching them how to be respectful when they don’t get their way.  Tough lesson to learn in life.  Let them learn it from you instead of from the world.  It’s easier!

3. Children need to learn the word no.  How to use it and accept it!  I firmly believe that children who have heard no are more likely to use it when they get into tough situations – i.e. Saying no to drugs. 

So parents, remember that we are doing them a favor AND saving money at the same time!

1.  Prepare them.  Before you go into the store, tell them that they will not be getting new toys today.  Tell them that it is because you are choosing not to spend money on new toys and that it isn’t a punishment.

2.  Promise them an alternative.  Promise them their favorite meal if they don’t ask for a new toy; promise to let them invite a friend over this weekend if they are nice in the store;  Do NOT promise anything that costs money!  Do not make the promises if they are demanding or tantuming in the store!  And do NOT make a habit of this!  The first few times are ok to teach them the ropes, but after that, it should just be their job to behave without expecting anything in return. 

3.  Promise them your time.  Tell them that they can’t have a new toy, but you will play ____ with them when you get home.

I know, I know.  This is supposed to be about shopping in our toy boxes, so back on subject.  If you are not in the practice of telling them no, or they are not used to hearing it, expect a huge fight! 


Be prepared!


By organizing your child’s toys, you can help them learn no without as much of a struggle and reduces clutter!  Here are a few ways to prepare while going through the toy box today:

1.  Pull out some toys that your kids love and have forgotten about. Put them in a secret hiding place ready to pull out after your next adventure to the store. 

2.  Package toys.  I use the nice zippered pouches from sheets, curtains, and toys to pre-package toys.  We have a pouch for church, a pouch for each vehicle, a pouch for shopping trips.  If he doesn’t see them any time but then, he is excited about them and is entertained by them longer. 

3.  Store half of the toys.  After a few weeks of playing with the first half of toys, they will be excited to get a whole new set of toys! 

4.  Replace batteries.  It’s like brand new again! 

5.  Rearrange everything!  Put the books on the dresser and the stuffed animals on the shelf.  Put their tent in the corner and fill it with random toys they seldom play with.  Make usually inaccessable toys accessable and suddenly they have a room filled with NEW!

 These are just a few of my ideas and insights for reinventing toys to save money and reduce clutter.  I KNOW some of you more experienced moms have more!  Care to share any of your tips with us?

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