How to handle present pester power

pester power

pester powerHow much do you plan to spend on Christmas presents for your kids this year? And will you give in to pressure and buy last minute ‘top-up’ gifs?

A recent poll shows that parents will spend an average of £104 per child, while 84% of us tend to buy last minute ‘top-up’ gifts.

When the kids are whining about the latest must-have game or gadget it can sometimes seem easier to simply give in and buy them what they want – no matter what the cost. But very few of us can actually afford this.

Don’t feel you need to flash the cash this Christmas – there are lots of frugal ways to keep the kids happy. Here are some of the things we have found most useful.

1. Avoid panic buys

It doesn’t matter what you’re buying, if you leave it to the last minute you’ll panic and end up paying a lot more than you need to. The answer is simple – shop ahead and look out for sales. This will also help you save money by spreading the cost.

2. Bag a bargain

Stock up on gifts at clearance sales, and then hide them away from prying eyes. Look for fancy dress costumes after Halloween, chocolates after Easter and pens, crayons and stationery once the kids have gone back to school.

3. Beware high prices on the high street

Look on websites such as Amazon for deals on DVDs and video games. You’ll usually be able to find them at a fraction of the price you’ll pay on the high street. You’ll also save time as you can buy online with the click of a mouse and have it delivered to your door. Take a look at our pick of gifts for girls and boys for under £10.

4. Family presents

Buy something the whole family can enjoy, such as a Wii console or game. Get the kids to open it (a large part of the excitement is in the actual unwrapping) and then enjoy good, old-fashioned family time.

5. Match old with new

Don’t shy away from mixing brand-new presents with second-hand ones from websites such as eBay. You can also mix and match the old and new within one gift. For example, buy a new Lego head and fill it with old Lego. The kids will be none the wiser and you’ll save a lot of money.

6. Think traditional

Board games, frisbees, footballs, hula hoops and playing cards are the types of gifts that never go out of fashion and bring years of enjoyment.

7. Present themes

Keep costs down by sticking to a theme. If your child has a favourite colour or cartoon character, just keep to that. This means you can bulk buy on three-for-two items and group more expensive items with gesture presents. It will also help you save time when shopping as it streamlines what you’re looking for.

8. Recycle wrapping paper

Don’t stick to your budget on the presents only to waste money on wrapping paper that will simply be ripped open. Get creative and store away colourful paper, foil, ribbons and bows throughout the year to make your very own, personal wrapping paper come Christmas.

Any more ideas? Tell us how you keep costs down by commenting below!