When we began the process of working on Emma’s Christmas gift, we knew we’d be on a tight budget. We knew we couldn’t go out and buy every accessory to go with her kitchen. Don’t get me wrong- there were TONS available. The issue was there wasn’t billions to spend on them, which was very possible. This didn’t get us down and out, though, because we knew that we could make it work on a budget. It was very possible to find things for Emma that were
cheap frugal and just as good as the expensive, brand new stuff. Here are some tips on things that we did.
We set a budget to buy the accessories we wanted. We found a few pieces at Ikea prior to our trip there and budgeted in the money for the pots, pans, utensils, and felt-material food that we wanted. We planned to spend that money so when it was time to buy these items, it didn’t hurt our budget. We had already planned for it. Be sure to set what you can afford to get and go from there.
We told others what we were doing for Emma in hopes that they would consider being a part of this experience with us. My parents bought Emma the Melissa and Doug bread, fruit and veggie set. We LOVE it! It’s wild how much it feels like you’re really cutting bread with the pretend knife. It seriously is beyond us. We also received some utensils and cook attire from Emma’s aunt, uncle and cousins. It’s so stinkin’ cute. She may not fix the yummiest meals but I will pick her as my cook any day based on cuteness alone.
We used what we had. We didn’t make plans to go out and buy towels, wash clothes, cups, silverware, plates, and more because we already had these things. She has some of my old but gentle used items that I used to cook with along with items that she received at her first birthday party. Also, when I have boxes and tins emptied from cooking I put them in her pantry. They make great “food items” for Emma to use and pretend to cook with until she destroys them. Right now, they’re still in great shape.
We plan to buy as we go. We went after Christmas shopping and were able to find some GREAT deals on some Melissa and Doug products to give to Emma for her birthday. My mom was also able to find some things to give her, too. Between both of our families, Emma will have several new pieces to add to her kitchen at her birthday and who knows what else may appear along the way. The same will be true of items I empty as we go. As I empty items for cooking, I will continue to put them in her pantry. We also ended up finding her magnets for her fridge. Where you may wonder? A friend got them in a kit from Pick Your Plum and gave them to us. For free! So, by being patient and taking our time we were able to save A LOT of money. Just in case you didn’t know, we like to get stuff for
cheap frugal prices and this stuff isn’t cheap.
Here are some tips on how we made Emma’s kitchen work and how we will continue to make it work. The kitchen alone is enough of a gift and an awesome one at that. It will continue to grow with Emma as she gets older and we will continue to add to it. Thus far, I think it may be the best gift of all time, but I am a little biased.
If your child has a play kitchen, how do you stock it?