Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Build A Bear - on a Budget

My son turns 3 this weekend, so we went to Build a Bear for his 1st Animal.

In case you have never done a Build A Bear animal, here's tips for how to score a great fun adventure without spending alot of money! I have done this 3 times and have never come out of the store spending more than $13.00!!! (Today we spent $10.07.)
  • Sign up for the BAB (Build a Bear) Stuff for Stuff club. Make sure you register all of your childen's birthdays. That way you will get a $5 coupon about 3 weeks before your childs birthday. You will also earn 1 point for every dollar spent which will then give you free money to spend eventually.
  • Watch magazines and newspapers for a $5 off coupon. I see these coupons several times a year and they usually have long expiration dates. Usually they are $5 off an animal priced $10 or more.

You can 'stack' coupons at BAB. For example.... you can use the $5 birthday coupon + the $5 off $10 animal. So you have instant savings now of $10!

Today they gave us a bonus coupon that doesn't expire till June for $5 off any $25 purchase!!!! That means I'll be able to stack it with the other 2 coupons and be able to buy $25 worth of stuff for my oldest son's birthday in May and only have to spend $10!!!!!

Now for the animal...... There are 2 bears you can build that cost $10 each. Then each animal goes up from there. The bear Luke chose in the picture cost $12.

Here's where you have to make sure you and your child have talked ahead of time. I am very thankful that we don't have whiny kids. :-) By talking about this stuff ahead of time, we are able to have a great experience all around!

  • Sounds: You have the option of including sound inside your bear. These sounds start at $3.50 and go up from there. My kids don't EVER get a sound. Why would they want an animal that is going to talk to them in the middle of the night. I don't even let my kids have this option. So I immediately save this money.
  • Clothes: As my daughter says "We can't leave here with a bear/animal naked!" So we always have to buy clothes. I know that I have already gotten the animal 'free' with the coupons above, so I am willing to pay up to $15.00 max for the clothes.

Here's the basic prices for clothes:

  • full outfits - $12 - $20 per set
  • skirts/shirts/pants/shorts - usually about $6 each
  • Shoes - usually about $6
  • Panties/underwear/boxers - usually $3.50 each

What we have done so far is allow the kids to pick out 2 things OR 1 outfit. That way I know I won't go over my budget of $15.00. I have found that for the boy bear we were able to get a pair of camo boxers and a shirt and the bear was dressed! Done. No problem. Natalie's bunny got a pajama dress and a pair of panties plus the free bows and had a great outfit!

(Ribbons are always free at the register!)

The birth certificate is free and included. The animal gets placed in a special house/box that is also included for free!

Then you can bring your animal to life on the computer and play for free online at buildabearville.com.

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