(NEWS10) – The holidays are just over a month away, which means its primetime to get shopping completed.
Wish lists grow and grow. Kids want everything they see for the holidays, but you can’t always get them everything they want.
However, there are some strategies to still make a very successful gift giving season.
“I call Christmas final exams for mothers,” Cheryl Libutti, of Delmar, said. “You have to study; you have to prepare; and Christmas is execution.”
Libutti is a mother of three and a planner by trade. Her shopping is regimented from budgeting.
“The easiest thing to do is calculate what you spent last year, divide that by 12, and save that amount every month,” she recommended.
She’s able to buy exactly what her kids want without going over budget.
“You absolutely cannot go rogue and get what you think they want,” she said. “You have to ask them what they want because that’s the anticipation for them.”
With aisles full of old school classics, to the newest lifelike Lego set, it can be hard getting what everyone wants while not coming out on the short end yourself.
Some local moms have ideas to help make that happen. They said to start by thinking functionally and stay true to your budget.
“I try to really balance what they need, what they want, what is going to fit into my house, what is going to be useful for them – possibly something educational would be great,” Libutti said.
“Shop for sales, talk to other parents that have kids their age, clothes wise, toy wise, what can they use; make as many lists as you can,” she added.
Toni Cerqua is a grandmother from Niskayuna.
“I actually think it’s not so overwhelming if you start early,” she said. “It’s only one day you really have to draw the line. You can go into debt.”
Libutti has other tips.
“Activities that they can get; not things – move tickets, going to Flight Trampoline Park,” she said. “I take pictures everywhere of things that I see in the stores with the price, so I know the prices there, and then I can compare that to what I see online and in other stores.”
In addition, if you find the toy your child wants, but it’s a little too pricey, split the cost with family or friends and always have a backup plan.
It could only take the one, right gift to make your child’s Christmas the merriest it’s ever been.
“It really makes you happy, and that’s really what Christmas is all about,” Cerqua said. “It’s not what you get as an adult, but that’s really what’s important in life. Just to make them happy and have your kids say growing up was the best.”
The biggest thing is to know what you’re looking for, plan where to get it for the best deal, and watch your budget like a hawk.