THE BLOG
12/04/2014 04:44 pm ET Updated Feb 03, 2015

Tips for Making Holiday Toy Shopping a Little Less Stressful

It's the most "wonderful" time of the year! The holiday shopping season has kicked into high gear and you are completely lost as you peruse your kids' 12-page wish list that consists of every toy they've seen on TV or on the web over the past year. You are determined to stick to your budget, but also worried about making your kids happy this holiday season. Great news: You can do both! And here's a few ways to make it happen:

First, let kids know that Santa has to make lots of kids happy, so he tries to bring each child at least one toy he or she will love. Ask them to pick a favorite so you can pass the message along to the North Pole. It helps to avoid disappointment on Christmas morning, but also gives you an idea of what is really topping that long list to bring lots of big smiles.

Don't procrastinate. If you are determined to find that Frozen product, or that rare Shopkins collectible figure, don't wait! A good rule of thumb is to buy it when you see it, but know that overall, retailers want your business and will continue to place popular items on sale.

So, how do you know when it's the best time to buy? Below are some helpful tips to help you get the best deals:

1. Set yourself up with a new, separate email address to give to retailers when you shop (either in-store or online, everyone asks). This way, your personal email address won't be inundated by promotional emails and all the deals will be coming to one place. Retailers, such as Amazon, will automatically begin sending you suggestions and deals based on previous purchases.

2. Follow your favorite retailers, manufacturers, and brands on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram -- any and all social media outlets you use. They will share coupon codes and other specials that you wouldn't otherwise know about.

3. Sign up for your favorite toy retailers' newsletters. Many retailers, such as Toys "R" Us, has a deal everyday -- sent right to your inbox.

4. Loyalty programs and layaway deals are abundant. Pick a favorite retailer and try to stick with that choice. If you focus your spending to one place, you'll earn money and points towards gift cards, free shipping, and other rewards.

5. Download your favorite retailers' apps -- and use them! Don't let them just eat up free space on your iPhone. These apps can give you a head's up on the store's best deals and specials, and are always in your pocket or purse.

The holiday shopping season can be chaotic, but hopefully these tips help to ease your stress and keep your holidays joyful. Happy shopping!