Friday, 16 November 2012

Mama Owl's Most Wanted

I started shopping in January this year. I hit the sales and picked up some great bargains, things that I knew the children would still like come this Christmas or items that I could use as gifts for others (for birthdays & parties through the year as well as Christmas). It's always worth checking out the sales for things that can be used later on, for example like I mentioned before I buy the children's Halloween costumes for the following year in the sale right after this year's spooky celebrations are over. E's costume for 2013 was reduced from £10 down to just £2 (a complete outfit - dress, hat and tights), and the boys costumes were all less than half price and are now all tucked away ready for next year.


I collect the free gift catalogues that just about every shop offers around this time of year and sit the kids around the table with pens and paper and tell them to write me their lists (or draw around things in the catalogues) and I will send them off to Father Christmas (that last bit is normally met with a roll of the eyes from A & J though they do play along for the little ones, I think they secretly enjoy being "in on it"). This has the added bonus of keeping them quiet busy for a while, too!

Obviously I can't afford everything on their lists, nor would I buy them everything they asked for even if I could, but I do try and get one special thing that I know they particularly want. I'm not going to give anything away on here because I know that little eyes occasionally check out my blog (*waves hello to A...*) but I wanted to share some of the top 'wants' on their lists for those maybe looking for inspiration.


Don't forget that I have been reviewing toys for Toys R Us as part of their 2012 TRU Toyologist program if you'd like some more ideas for your 6/7 + year olds, or maybe check out my reviews for DKL Toys for a couple of ideas for younger ones.


One of 14-year-old A's top wants is The Vampire Diaries complete box set Series 1-3 on DVD which is available for £36.60 from Amazon.co.uk. She's a huge Vampire Diaries fan and has missed a few episodes from each series so this way she would be able to catch up on all of them. We probably wouldn't see her for days.


I think if J (11) only got one thing this Christmas, as long as it was Fifa 13 for the XBOX he would be perfectly happy. Every time I have asked him what he wants, that is literally it. The game is priced at £38.99 from Graingergames.co.uk and they will also price match if you find it cheaper elsewhere online.


Nine year old L's current obsession is Skylanders Giants and he desperately wants the booster pack for the Wii. He's building up his collection of characters and he is very keen to try out the new Giants characters and levels. The pack is available from Toysrus.co.uk and is priced at £39.97.

H (soon to be 7) has seen the adverts for the Kurio and hasn't stopped asking for one since. It's available at Argos.co.uk for £149.99 and if you spend over £100 at Argos at the moment you can claim a £10 voucher (offer ends November 18th, redeemable until December 24th).

As for Miss E, who is 2 & a half, she is a huge fan of dolls & dollhouses and that sort of thing, and after having discovered them at a friend's she has developed a big interest in Sylvanian Families. Littlewoods have Sylvanian Families Cedar Terrace on sale for £37 right now, I'm looking forward to getting started on her collection this Christmas and then expanding it for her birthday in April. Hopefully this will be something that will last a long time and get lots of play time!

To help spread the cost of Christmas, as well as buying little bits and pieces each week throughout the year, I also save with Park. I've actually already started saving for Christmas 2013, as soon as I had finished paying for my 2012 Love2Shop vouchers (which are burning a hole in my pocket, I need to get out and get my shopping finished) I immediately ordered and starting paying for next year's.

Another top tip of mine is to sign up for an account with Topcashback, it is completely free to join and there are no catches or fees. If you shop online a lot (like I do), all you have to do is click through the merchant from the site, your visit will be recorded and you earn a percentage of cash back on your purchase (percentages vary). You can also often find promotional codes listed with many retailers. Since opening my account I have earned back over £400, which I save up for birthdays or the occasional treat!

What do your kids have on their Christmas lists this year? Do you have any top tips for stretching the pennies?

**Disclaimer: This is not a promotional post and I have not been asked or paid to write this, these are entirely my own personal findings of products, websites and retailers that I have come across while Christmas shopping online.

2 comments:

SarahMummy said...

Some good tips there! The only thing I do is hang on until the shops I want to go to have a 20% off weekend or similar. Not a Christmas thing, bug I also buy bigger clothes in the sale to fit them the following year.

Iota said...

We've just given our son Fifa13 for his birthday. Total hit. And our daughter is into Sylvanian Families, so she's getting the Water Mill Bakery (on sale in our local toy shop weeks ago - bought with foresight).

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