I like to think of myself as a bargain hunter, however this can sometimes is interpreted as tight or even cheap. Whenever it comes to spending money, especially on birthdays and Christmas’ I have to know I am getting the best deal, as we often have a rather tight budget. SO yes I like things cheap but I wouldn’t say I was cheap, nor am I tight, I just hate to spend money on something if I can get it cheaper elsewhere, and guess what? You can almost get anything cheaper elsewhere!
This week Megs turned 3, but this is not a post on what we did nor on my feelings about her growing up so very fast before our eyes (though that is happening and that post will come) but rather about how she had a mint pile of presents, oodles of glee, wonder and excitement all within our £30 birthday budget. We gave her everything she wanted (and a little more) and it made her life, made dreams come true and made us as parents feel absolutely mint. I don’t know if £30 for a 3 year olds birthday sounds tight or not? Im guessing we are on the “cheaper” end of the spectrum when I speak to other parents about what their kids get but its just how we have to be at the moment (though come to think about it, I don’t think id spend much more even if we did have the cash to spare) and I have the confidence that I can always pull off some amazing things for them whatever the budget!
So here’s how I did just that…
Sales – An obvious place to start, but always an important one, because of course if a different shop has it on sale then get on sale and save some £s! Look online as it saves you trailing all over to compare!
On the top of Megan’s list was a “Princess Merida” doll as she absolutely loves Brave (Im guessing its because she is one of the more wild/free princesses…much like Megs) anyway, one day back in April I saw Merida for £10 in the sale at The Entertainer. I snapped it up and hid it away. A few weeks later I added to the stash a lovely floral onesie I found on sale in Primark for £1.50 . We then more recently found some lovely books in The works which were on offer 4 for £5 and so of course at that price I bought 4; some as gifts for other family members and one was put aside for her – “Guess how much I love you”.
From Ethan I found her a Disney Princess Belle Play dough thingy in ASDA on sale from like £10/£15 for only £3!! YAHHHOOOOO!!!
Ebay -A couple of weeks ago she expressed an interest in the ELC Happyland stuff, specifically the fairy “mushmoom house” I searched around and bagged one for £4.25!
Car boot Sales – Im all for car boots for stuff for my kids..clothes, books, equipment, toys…were no stranger to a second hand good. The last couple I have been to I have found some brilliant toys in excellent condition and some which we bough for Megsies Birthday. We picked her up a plush mini mouse she wanted (BNWT £1.50) , A bag of Happy land People & Animals for £1 and the Tent for £2. As her birthday is in the summer we always like to have something for her she can use outdoors and a ruddy tent for £2 was a steal!
Charity Shops – You can already see I love a second hand bargain, you may be reading this and thinking “yes you are most certainly cheap! Who gives their kids second hand tat for a BIRTHDAY? ” Well I ask you…does a 3 year old know the difference between a new and used toy if its in great condition? Probs not, nor a DVD and from the charity shop we bought her “Happy Feet” on DVD as she absolutely loves watching it at my mums, loves penguins and loves to dance – that was just £2 and I know it will be worth every penny!
Finally I got her a bag of marshmallows, which are another of her favourite things for 50p in home Bargains and some little insects from the gift shop at Tropical World for like £2
So there you have it a tent full of dreams for only £29 (including the play tent)! Remember…a little time, a little savviness at the shops and an eye for a bargain ensures your bank account doesn’t take a beating but your kid can still have all they want. Parenting can be quite competitive ground to be on sometimes and I have learnt quickly that my kids dont need a load of expensive stuff, they dont need tonnes of toys and certainly don’t need stuff just because its New or In!
We Love them, Spoil them on their birthdays and barely spend a penny…Its brilliant – I promise you It will make you feel amazing when you see how much you can get!