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Baby gifts on extreme budgets

Using coupons to give gifts without breaking the bank

Gifts for babies and children can bust a budget very quickly. Between holidays, birthday parties and new additions, many families buy gifts for their own children, as well as children of friends and family members, several times per year. Couponing and strategic shopping are essential if you want to purchase brand new gifts for the little ones in your life at affordable prices.

Stack 'em high: Many stores that sell toys and baby products, including Target and Toys 'R Us, allow customers to stack frequently released store coupons with coupons issued by product manufacturers. Organizational skills are required to locate the coupons and pair them together, but the savings is well worth the effort, especially when you can score a triple discount by stacking two coupons with an in-store sale.

Hit seasonal sales: Black Friday and the day after Christmas are ideal days to scour the clearance racks for birthday gifts to give throughout the year. The days following other holidays, such as Valentine's Day, Easter and Halloween are opportunities to stock up on small toys, stuffed animals and colorful candy for gift baskets.

Price match: Go to one store that matches competitor prices on toys and baby items. As long as you are armed with a stack of competitor adverts, you'll be able to one-stop shop while always getting the lowest prices in town.

Rack up points: Sign up for free shopping rewards programs, and pay close attention to your mail and e-mail so you know when you've built up enough points to stock up on gifts. If you can be disciplined enough to pay off your entire credit card balance each month, sign up for one that allows you to accumulate points that are exchangeable for store gift cards.