August 2011 Moms

WWYD: Christmas shopping

I recently got laid off and have been working a small amount of part time hours and the rest is made up for in unemployment. It's not like we have nothing, but we are living very frugally right now. Lucky for us, we have a toddler who doesn't care about presents under the tree yet. I was just going to wrap up things we need anyway (sippy cups, etc.) and put them under the tree. I went to a mommy market a few weeks ago and picked up a few things for cheap but not much.

Last night I went on craigslist to see if I could find more things cheap, and I found the Step2 Neat & Tidy Cottage that someone is selling for $60. I really want to get this for her because we don't have much to do for outside play, and it's something she can grow into. I think it's a great investment.

My question is, when all the other inside toys have grown stale, would you opt for the better investment toy or get more inside toys for the money you would spend? Sorry so long...

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Re: WWYD: Christmas shopping

  • First of all, I'm sorry about your job loss.

    DH lost his job last year a month before DD1's 2nd birthday and it sucked. We got her a few smaller toys and were also able to get her a used play kitchen for $25 and I think that was one of the best purchases we've made for her so far. All the toys she got then have long been forgotten, but she still uses her play kitchen.

    All this to say I would choose the cottage over more toys without hesitation. Go for it!

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  • First off, I'm sorry about getting laid off. But, you're right, your kid is at an age that they don't care very much about gifts.

    Are you rotating your LOs toys that are inside? That will save you some dollars. Also, we you swap with friends. Which is fun and they get to play with something different every week or so.

    I think you should go for the outside toy. Also, offer them less than what they are asking.

    Both of my boys never get tired of house type toys. We have a teepee that never gets old and a playhouse that they're never tired of.

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  • Thank you for the advice. I will definitely talk to DH about it when he gets home from work. We have a lot of family in the area too that I can pass off the smaller items that I had in mind for her too, now that I think of it. She's really getting into dolls! So cute to watch her pretend to feed them and rock them.

    It is difficult to switch toys out throughout the year because my ILs watch her instead of day care, so it's more like switching toys between houses. Although, the switching between friends is a really great idea, because I have 2 very close friends with kids her same age, within 6 weeks. I did that once with my best friend with a tummy time mat. I don't know why I haven't thought of it for other stuff too!

    FWIW, it hasn't been that bad financially as long as we stopped eating out, made coffee in the morning instead of hitting Dunkin Donuts, little changes like that. The loss of benefits hit the hardest. COBRA is a joke, and if I forked out the money for that I'd be in the negative. We opted for a private PPO for really cheap with a high deductible. As long as her well checks/immunizations are covered that's all we're concerned about. My husband has been given extra hours and is getting mega-overtime. I still work for the same company but they had to get rid of my full time position for financial reasons that I completely understand. The work wasn't there for them to justify paying me a salary.


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  • Sorry about your job situation. Even if you understand why they eliminated your position, that doesn't resolve the strain it puts on your family.

    I would definitely go for the house, too. If we weren't moving, I would have considered that more seriously. (I can't buy anything like that since I don't know what kind of yard our next house will have.)

    "More toys" is always tempting, especially if you find deals (ha - you should see my initial Black Friday wish list :), but the outside toy is going to last you years, and she really isn't going to know the difference.

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  • Our house is teeny tiny. We do not have a playroom. We gate off the living room and she plays in there and sometimes her bedroom. So unfortunately there is no room for anything else, but we have a ginormous patio with nothing on it, so I always figured when she is old enough that there would be an outdoor play area there. We have a lot of close family so I think she will get enough that I don't need to worry.

    We did decide to get the house. I think we are going to pick it up tomorrow. Thank you all for the input.

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