Still trying to figure out how you're going to score that hot new toy for your kids this holiday season? If you live in California's Orange County, you may have some stiff competition. According to research from Citi Cards, families in the city of Orange, California spend more on toys than in any other major U.S. city, making an average of $640 in purchases at toy stores per household over the past year. Suburbs of major cities dominated the list of top-spending locations, with Dallas and its suburbs occupying 7 of the top 20 cities based on average household spend.
Did your city make the list?
Looking for ways to get the most out of your toy-buying dollars? Keep these money-saving tips in mind:
Work on a wish list. Don't just assume that your child is clamoring for the hot new toy that's being feverishly restocked on store shelves across the country. Save yourself time, money, and energy by focusing on what they really want and need.
Shop early. According to a recent survey conducted by Women & Co. and Real Simple, nearly 1 in 4 women shop year-round for holiday gifts - and 63% start their shopping before Black Friday. Worried that you'll pay too much if you shop too early in the season? Look for a service that can help you save AFTER you've checked out, like the Citi® Price Rewind service available to eligible Citi cardholders. Just register your covered purchase and Citi Price Rewind will search products across hundreds of retailers' sites. If the same item is found and is at least $25 lower than what you paid within 30 calendar days of your purchase, Citi Price Rewind can refund you the difference, up to $250.*
Search online for coupon codes. If you're online shopping, don't leave the promo code box empty without a quick search to see if you can find any coupons or codes for a discount on your purchase.
Shop with points. Before you hit the stores, check to see how many toys you can cross off your list by redeeming points that you've acquired through credit card or retailer rewards programs. Citi ThankYou Rewards members, for example, can redeem points for hundreds of different toys, games, electronics and gifts at www.thankyou.com - and, if they have a Citi credit card that participates in ThankYou Rewards, they also have the ability to use points to complete their transactions while making purchases on Amazon.com.
Look for daily deals. Amazon.com's Holiday Toy List is an easy-to-search guide of the season's hottest toys, and their Gold Box section highlights daily deals with low prices on top electronic products, video games, and more. For updates on new deals and limited-time offers, users can also sign up for their Deal of the Day e-mail, or follow Amazon on Facebook or Twitter.
* Prices are tracked for 30 days from the original purchase date for the same item by the same manufacturer. Citi Price Rewind only tracks online prices. In order to be eligible for a refund, the price difference must be at least $25. Price Rewind refunds are limited to $250 per item and $1,000 per calendar year. Multiple purchases of the same item are limited to a $250 maximum claim payment per sales receipt. The entire purchase amount for the item must be made with your Citi card to be eligible for a refund. This program is not available on all cards. Business cards are not eligible for this program. Items purchased with Thank You Points are not eligible for this program. For customers who qualify for benefits for the same transaction under Citi Price Rewind, Internet Price Protection and Price Protection coverages, or any combination of those coverages, the Company will only pay under the coverage providing the highest benefit and no benefits will be due under the other coverages. Additional limitations and exclusions apply. Not every product found on this site qualifies for coverage so please see the Description of Coverage for program details and to learn what items are covered. Citi Price Rewind is underwritten by Triton Insurance Company.