How to Save Money on the Hottest Holiday Toys


ToysAs I child, I was so excited to get the Toys 'R Us catalog in the mail around the holidays. I would spend hours pouring through it, picking out exactly what I wanted for Christmas. Since becoming a parent, however, the catalog hasn't given me the same feeling of joy and excitement. Instead, I worry about my four-year-old picking a ridiculously expensive toy she'll only play with once.

This year, I resisted the temptation to toss the catalog before she saw it, and instead gave her the opportunity to browse for what she'd like. I challenged myself to either find ways to save on that must-have item, or purchase a close alternative. Here are a few of my finds.

Save on Dolls:

This year's hot toy list includes a Doc McStuffins doll, a Lalaloopsy Silly Hair Star doll and a Disney Princess & Me doll. Skip the brand-name item and go with a doll in Target's Circo or Our Generation line. They're a fraction of the price and come complete with clothing, accessories and furniture. Order online and get free shipping on your order over $50.

Save on Toddler Tech:

LeapFrog's line of handheld game consoles like the Explorer or LeapPad are always a popular present. Add game cartridges to the consoles and you're looking at a gift that's well over $100. Instead of buying the LeapPad2, purchase the less expensive LeapPad1. Collaborate with friends and family to create a LeapFrog game library and swap games throughout the year.

Save on Teen Tech:

For older kids who would love to get an iPad Mini, think about a PanDitgital Android tablet instead. It can often be found on sites like for a fraction of the cost. Rather than purchasing new games for Xbox or Wii, give a membership to where you can rent games.

Save on Legos:

If your kids are Lego fanatics, you know these little bricks run at a high price. Before you purchase the newest Lego set, sign up to receive the free Lego catalog which typically contains in-store and online coupons. While you're at it, sign up to become a Lego VIP and receive a $5 reward for every 100 points accrued.

Save on Bikes:

Getting the first grown-up bike is a big day for many kids. It's a timeless present that's asked for year after year. Still, there's no reason they need an expensive model designed to tour the Alps. Try Play-It-Again Sports for savings on gently used bikes, or check Coupon Sherpa's mobile app for in-store coupons to save at stores such as Sports Authority and Sears.


Maisie Knowles is a working mother of two with three-year's experience writing on parenting and partner issues. She co-founded Kinoli Inc. with her husband in 2005 and currently spends most of her time at home with her two young girls. For more information, visit

I'm a former 7th grade Science teacher turned stay-at-home mom that lives in Houston, Texas. I am married to my college sweetheart and have a beautiful daughter named Riley, who definitely keeps me on my toes! I am also involved in starting a small business which would both manufacture and sell an invention that I've patented, called Toothpaste 2 Go. I love interacting with my readers and hope to learn as much about you as you learn about me!

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2 Responses to How to Save Money on the Hottest Holiday Toys

    Stacy Uncorked Says:


    I didn’t know there was a Lego VIP option – Princess Nagger has gotten into Lego’s big in the last six months or so – I’ve now signed up! :) The other suggestions are stellar, too – when PN was 4 I usually got her the non-name brand stuff and she was just as happy. Now that she’s 10 it’s a little tougher to do. ;)

      Melissa Says:


      I know what you mean! My little one LOVES LEGO’S now and I made sure to sign up for the VIP plan too. My daughter is four and I still love to shop at the dollar store and get her a ton of stuff for about $20-$30…ah, those days won’t last much longer {sigh}.

      With your 10-year-old, I’m sure you’ll already feeling that pre-teen crunch where they want all the latest (and priciest) stuff. Good luck Stacy! :)

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