My son recently celebrated his 7th birthday, so I thought I would share with you what we got him and how we kept his gifts within the budget.

He received:

-5 books,

-1 Lego 3 in 1 car

-Arts & craft supplies (construction paper, tape, glue, washable paint pens and pencils)

The total for these gifts was $16.34; the retail value is $59.28. 

How did we save 72% off retail?  We used several strategies.

-I have a number of old books that I list on Paperback Swap.  I have received credits for shipping out several of my old books, so I used some of these credits to get my son the 5 books for free.  I was delighted to see that every one of the books arrived in like new condition, and they should give my son some enjoyable time reading. 

-A few weekends ago, Babies ‘R Us was running a deal on Huggies diapers.  Buy two big boxes and get a $20 gift card.  I used the gift card the next day to buy my son’s Lego toy, so I got it for free.  (If I hadn’t run across this deal, I would have redeemed some of my Swagbucks to get the toy for free or at a discount.  Now, I get to save my Swagbucks for Christmas presents.)

So, all I had to pay for out of pocket was the school and craft supplies.  Honestly, I was kicking myself for not buying more school supplies last summer when they were so cheap.  Now that I know my son is enamored of all things school supply related, I will do a big stock up this summer when the prices are low and save some for the kids for Christmas and birthdays.  It really pained me to pay retail for the same items I know will be nearly free in just a few short weeks.

If you think the presents look skimpy, we have learned to go light on our kids’ presents because they have very generous grandparents.  My son also received a globe/geography electronic game, more books, $10 from other relatives, $100 from grandparents, and more arts and crafts supplies.

How much do you typically spend on your child for birthdays?  Do you try to find ways to cut corners?

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