Toying Around with Christmas Shopping

Did you know that when Christmas shopping, if you add up the cost of the most wanted toys it comes to a staggering £552.89 RRP! 

I for one cannot justify spending this amount of money on toys this Christmas. With 3 daughters to buy for we have set a limit and are determined to stick to it. Of course, if you are clever and shop around you don’t have to spend anywhere near that amount to get those toys your children are craving.

Whilst people are running around like headless chickens potentially overpaying to get the best toys for their children this Christmas, there are another set of people, myself included, who are savvy, shopping smart and using a few simple methods to get the best price. 

Online Comparison

Google ShoppingThe first and most important method I use is price comparison. There are a number of these sites online but I always use the most obvious, Google Shopping. Here you can pop the name of the product into the search box, hit the enter key and viola! You are presented with a range of prices from a range of sellers. 

Online Auctions

eBaySecondly I check eBay. Now I’m sure dear reader that you have used eBay in the past and once you add up the cost of postage and packaging the prices aren’t that different to the high street. Well think again. When it comes to Christmas shopping I don’t just search for the product name. I search for misspellings and for items that are local to me thus saving on delivery charge. There really are some bargains to be had. 


TopCashbackNext, I check out sites like Quidco and TopCashback. Once signed up, you simply search for the shop you want to purchase from, check out the cashback rate and click through to the store. Essentially, you are getting paid to spend. I let the cashback build up and put it towards next years’ Christmas shopping.


SavooAlso, check out voucher sites like who have a range of codes and deals which you can use on top of the cashback site for even more discounts. Additionally the site has a great feature where you can search for local deals and discounts as well. A really good money-saving tool.

Extra Smart Christmas Shopping

Once you know what you want, where you’ll get it from and the best bargain possible, get the kettle on and invite your friends and family around. We shop together online and in stores such as ToysRus and Argos, which have deals like “3 for 2” or “2 toys for £30” and then go Dutch. Doing this and then splitting the cost can save you a fortune on your Christmas shopping! 

One last tip is to take advantage of “click and collect” services. When browsing online you find better prices than on the high street. The problem with this is that the majority of stores charge postage. Often you can avoid this by ordering on their website and collecting the item at a local store. 

By shopping around and using the above methods you really can make some great savings. 

Have a Merry Christmas and a thrifty New Year!

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Ricky Willis is the Founder and Editor of the Skint Dad blog. As well as an avid money saver, writer and blogger, Ricky also enjoys dabbling with the technical side of blogging and will soon be launching a WordPress tips blog,

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  • Tom @Ideas4Dads

    Thanks for this Ricky.

    I pretty much do exactly the same but really like the idea of getting friends and family together to have buying parties.

    On another note never realised you had 3 girls. We have our 3rd girl joining us in March. Would welcome any advice you have for suviving with 3 on my recent post :-)

  • missbaah

    I think we might be quite mean in our house! We never ask the kids what they want for Christmas. We keep a sneaky ear peeled for things they mention in the passing from around the summer onwards then decide what we can afford. Our budget is tiny – £50 per kid and not a penny more – so a lot of the stuff that 9 and 11 year olds might ordinarily want isn’t even a possibility.

    I just thank goodness that at least the 2 year old is too little to want anything more expensive than the odd Batman/Peppa Pig toy he spots in Asda!

  • Anonymous

    Ooooooh savvy, very clever……

  • Mark VBlue

    We buy a fair bit of second-hand from local “Sell ‘n Seek” online groups and at playgroup “Nearly New” sales. That includes clothes and toys. We have been known to buy £300 worth of stuff (at brand-new prices) for around £50 – branded unworn/barely worn clothes in particular.

    Don’t buy much new stuff online, but this guide is a great way to ensure you get the best value. Thanks.