I'm sure everyone has their favorite places to shop, but I thought I would share my shopping techniques I've picked up in the past few years as well as some places I like to spend my cold hard cash.
Well first off I have to say this. We always use to tease my grandma just a bit, because her shopping was usually done in her attic. No we didn't get used toys or clothes from the 30s. We got a box of new stuff. Stuff she would buy all year and throw in the attic or one of the guest bedrooms (if you call not being able to see the bed or most of the floor because of the large amount of crap a "guest bedroom"). She's done this for so many years and picked up so many "on sale" items over the years, we get an occational item which we sometimes are able to date back to the 70s or 80s. Which it's the thought that counts, right? Plus it was mostly items which were "practical", such as bath salts or paper towls. Well and also, the "main" gift is always a wad of cash. Works for me! Thank you grandma and grandpa! :D
So even though we've teased her a bit, there's something to the way she does it. It really is smart shopping if you think about it - buy stuff all year if you find it on sale or if you think HEY this would make a PERFECT gift. So I've slightly picked up on that, and managed to have all my October baby's gifts bought by the beginning of September. Hell I even had a few left over for Christmas that I kept in "the hidden box". Sweet!
Since this worked so well for the last birthday, I've already started picking up things here and there that I find interesting at craft shows we go to. Of course I just know it will be mid December when I'm rushing off to Amazon, crossing my fingers the package will get here in time for Christmas. While I do support many work at home moms and buy from several "indies", you just got to make that Amazon trip to get the true crap the kids want, even though you know in the back of your head the toy won't work as it's suppose to, or it will be broke in a few months, or all the pieces will go missing. Even still I've got a few gems from Amazon the kids still enjoy (I've found the more peices the better, just as long as you don't need them all to make whatever it is work. What's left makes up for what's missing).
Speaking of Amazon, I've been seriously thinking about buying my son his own laptop. Well, kinda. It's like a toy laptop with just access to games. But it's the idea of his very own computer that has me really thinking about this.
My biggest fear is that he'll either break it or like many electronics in this day and age, just stop working after a year. $50 isn't a cheap toy, and I'm not sure I want to spend THAT much on something which might not last. This would definately be a "special" toy which only gets down when I can supervise closely. Although still.....arg what a hard choice to make. I just know he would LOVE this, and it would be the end-all-be-all toy this Christmas. Anyone have this particular toy and would like to tell me how it's held up?
Alright so in addition to picking up stuff here and there at craft shows and making an Amazon list, I've also been eyeing things on Etsy
. I picked up some SUPER CUTE soaps
from an indie soap maker. Oh let me tell you what, these soaps are PERFECT for my kids. It's her own unique creation called "Floap", and I got the Cow-me-flage ones for my kids. What I love about etsy is the ability to start a conversation with the sellers, and ask for them to list a special order just for you. I ended up with 2 floaps and a lip balm for my girl. There's a ton of other stuff I want on that site too, but the bath stuff is perfect for the kids (love love love handmade soaps!!).
I better go before I start getting emails of people who go broke on Etsy, Amazon, or some other shop I've recommended. :P