Monday, August 22, 2011

Frugal Christmas Gifting

If you've been reading my blog very long, you know I love to give handmade gifts. A lot of my blog focus this year has been on handmade gifts. But I don't want you to think that's all I ever give.

There are plenty of ways of buying retail items brand-new at a great price. I'm just going to highlight two of them, since I've recently found gifts there.

First of all, there are closeout stores. Not all closeout stores are created equally, though, so know your prices before you go shopping. I have a Tuesday Morning store just ten minutes from my house, and I've noticed that they get a lot of Playmobil toys, usually in shipments that they advertise in their flyers. My son was introduced to Playmobil toys about two years ago at his birthday party, and he loves them as much as he loves his Legos.

Just this month, I saw a new Playmobil shipment advertised in Tuesday Morning's flyer. This is what I picked up:

It includes:

  • Firing Catapult #4278 - $3.99 (retail $7.99)
  • Speedboat with Underwater Motor #5833 - $6.99 (retail $12.99)
  • Racing Park #5798 - $6.99? (retail $21.50)
  • Knight's Ruin #5861 - $4.99 (retail around $15)
  • Knights with Crossbow #5860 - $3.99 (retail around $12.99)
On a previous shipment this year, I found:
  • Pirates Octopus Attack #5865 - around $6.99 (retail around $25)
  • Knight Carrying Case #4177 - around $5.99 (retail $38.99)
I check every time I go into the store, which is once every couple months. They'll occasionally get a smaller shipment of Playmobil toys that aren't advertised. These can't compare to thrift store prices, but Playmobil is good quality and hard to find at thrift stores. I'm thrilled to get them for half price (or better), brand-new in the package.

As I've mentioned before, we also have an Ollie's store about the same distance from us. I recently found this treasure in their book section:

My son is currently obsessed with detectives, so he's going to love this! The enclosed book gives you three crime scenarios and the child is supposed to use the kit components to solve the crimes. For $5 (retail $20), my son is going to get hours of enjoyment.

The second place I've recently found brand-new toys may surprise you: Goodwill!

For the life of me, I can't figure out why someone would never open the box and just donate such a cute toy to a thrift store. It's not like it's an ugly doll or obscure toy, after all. It's a La Baby (retail $24.99)! My daughter loves La Baby dolls, and $5 was an awesome price for this one.

I don't often find things like this at thrift stores, but I have a few times. It's always worth looking!

I haven't given any of these gifts to my kids yet, so I hope they don't find this blog post before birthdays and Christmas. :)

So, what about you? Do you have any favorite resources or tips for getting great gifts at truly awesome prices? Leave me a comment. I'd love to hear about it!


Shoregirl said...

Looks like you found some good deals!

Pam said...

My kids used to love playmobile toys and they just weren't available. I used to find them at Big Lots in the Pittsburgh area when I visited my grandparents. There is one where I live now, but I don't know if they have things like this anymore or not.

Christa said...

I'll have to check out Big Lots next time I'm in that part of town. I've only scanned their toy section once or twice. It wasn't very impressive, but I wasn't really looking with Playmobil in mind, either. Thanks for the tip!

CraftyViolet said...

I did really well thrifting this week too. Brand new, hand made, well built birdhouse - $2.99. 3 stamps including an extra large background stamp plus other things in the bag, $4.99 and 6 new satin covered foamed hangers - $3.99.

You did great this week with the toys you got. It is surprising what people donate.