When people brag about how much money they spend on this or that, it’s kind of silly, if you think about it. “Aren’t I great? I just spent half of my income on these shoes, and they don’t even look well on me!”

The only time you’ll hear a savvy shopper brag about how much money they’ve spent is when they’ve managed to spend a significant amount less than you might have anticipated they would.

Look, let’s be honest here: these are not the easiest times for anyone (unless you’re an American banker and just got yourself a new corporate jet on taxpayer money, that is). But let’s face it: even if you are an American banker, these are not the easiest times for anyone. This is not an age for buying as a form of self-expression or acquiring status symbols; rather, it is an age for shopping in a sensible manner and saving as much money as possible.

You may throw a fantastic birthday party for your children, your nephew, or whoever it is you’re shopping for by being familiar with a few strategies for purchasing inexpensive toys. This is true regardless of whether or not you have an infinite amount of money at your disposal.

First things first, when shopping, choose quality above quantity. You may gift your child hundreds of presidents if you want to, but try to go back to when you were their age and the things that you enjoyed doing. Do you think you’ll be able to remember all of the roughly one hundred different toys you played with between the ages of five and fifteen? Or did you perhaps have a dozen or so that you held in particularly high esteem over the course of your life? Therefore, rather than having a birthday celebration with one hundred gifts that are easily forgotten, how about having a party with six or seven presents that are truly exceptional?

Likewise, doing one’s toy shopping online can be a big time- and effort-saver in this regard. Numerous factors contribute to the fact that purchasing toys online typically results in cost savings. One benefit is that there are fewer employees for whom one must consider whether or not they will be paid. There is no actual store that needs to be kept up. To establish a successful online toy store, the only things you actually need are some toys and a website of your own to sell them on. All of these factors lead to a reduced price for the consumer, and pricing on the internet are typically quite a bit lower than they are at “brick and mortar” stores, also known as traditional retail locations.

In any case, what exactly is a gift? When giving someone a gift, the amount of money you spend is not as important as the depth of your relationship with that person. When you go to the toy store and pick up something that turns out to be the ideal present for a loved one, what you’re really saying is, “I pay attention to you, I love you, I know what you enjoy, and I want you to be happy.” In most cases, you should be able to convey it with something inexpensive.

An expensive present may really have the reverse of the desired effect. How many of your childhood friends had parents who weren’t always there for them, but those parents made it up to their children by buying them expensive gifts to make up for it? When you went to hang out with him, didn’t it seem like it was always the same child who had the newest and most costly video games, but his parents were always at work?

It’s true that a present needs to be an expression of love, so please excuse us if we start waxing mushy, but it is what it is. If it does not truly come from the heart, then it is nothing more than a plaything. You may show your family that you care by purchasing thoughtfully and intelligently and by being aware of the specific items that your kids are most excited to find under the tree on their special day. Putting out a significant amount of financial investment is not really relevant here.