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Get toys for free by swapping with friends, family and neighbors
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One of the best ways to acquire new toys without spending a dime is to swap them with other families. Host a toy swap party or play date, where everyone brings a few toys their child no longer plays with, and everyone can leave with a few toys that are new to them. This is a good way to prevent toy boredom without having to buy new ones. Invite each Mom to bring a friend to expand the circle even further. You could also work with your church, school or another community organization to get even more parents involved.
The average household spends about $200 per year on toys according to the NPD Group (more if the kids are all under 6). If you can swap in a free toy instead of a $20 one from the store, and do this 2-3 times per year per child, that's $50-$100 savings each year!
To get a longer life out of your children's toys, you can also take a "sneaky" approach and hide some of those that have gone unnoticed in a while. Re-introduce them months later and they'll (hopefully!) be new fun all over again. This also works well right after a birthday party. If your child received more toys than they can process at one time, quietly slip some away for future use. As you can imagine, this works much better for the little ones than those eagle-eyed older kids!