December 12, 2016

With so many retail options to choose from—both online and in-person—it can be challenging to decide how, when, and where to purchase toys this holiday season. Thanks to promo codes, apps, and purchase incentives, even if a toy isn’t on sale, you can still find a way to save. If you’re helping Santa out this season, here are ten tips — from the experts at — for finding just the right toys—and saving big.

Don’t expect the most popular toys to be discounted, but look out for gift card bonuses

This year’s top five toys are Nintendo Classic Edition Console, Titanfall 2, Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, Lego Skylander (probably won’t be sold out but certainly a hot item), and Hatchimals. These popular items are unlikely to be discounted, but be on the lookout for special incentives with purchase that will help sweeten the deal.

Best time to buy toys pre-holiday: Mid-December and Super Saturday (Saturday before Christmas)

Mid-December is the best time to find deals on toys, because pressure to move inventory may spur retailers to offer discounts to last-minute shoppers. You can also find great deals on Super Saturday, the Saturday before Christmas.

Be patient

Check toy prices over a three day period before purchasing. For standard products, there will be sales in different intervals throughout December.

Think outside the big box

You can find deals on toys in unexpected places such as electronics stores, discount stores (e.g. TJ Maxx), and dollar stores.

Get 50 percent off one toy per day with the Target Cartwheel app

Until Dec. 24, Target’s app Cartwheel will offer customers 50 percent off one toy per day. They also offer free shipping throughout the holiday season, and price matching for every purchase.

Always check for extra promo codes, cash back offers, shipping discounts, and coupons

Don’t click Buy until you’ve checked popular discount sites such as or for updated promo codes.

Can’t think of a good gift idea? Consider “Comeback Toys”

Spirograph, Cabbage Patch Kid, board games like Clue and The Game of Life … you loved them and so will your kids! Many manufacturers have updated some of these iconic toys to make them fresh for this generation.

Make sure the toy has not been recalled

Give the gift of safety by checking to make sure that a toy has not been recalled—before you buy. Visit to see an updated list of recalled toys.

Stock up on toys post-holiday

The best time to purchase gifts is immediately following the holidays. Stock up on toys in January for gifting throughout the year.

Gift an experience instead

Kids love spending quality time with their families more than anything else. So skip or cut down on toys and give the gift of your time instead. Consider a museum membership, with a promise to take your child once a month. Or purchase a gift card to your child’s favorite restaurant or amusement park with a promise to visit together soon.