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More families are 'swapping' to save money on holiday shopping

This holiday season, local parents are finding creative ways to bring holiday cheer to one and all, on a budget.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — This holiday season, some central Ohio parents are trading in Black Friday shopping to save money and the planet by “swapping.” 

Instead of buying all new things, moms Beritt Mann and Danielle Fritzes and members of their Facebook group “Moms Help Moms,” have collected gently-used items to help make sure every child has a merry Christmas.

“I just looked around and I just saw a world where there were women whose kids weren’t going to have Christmas,” Mann said, tearing up.

The women say they have three houses filled with donations they’ve collected and are inviting people across central Ohio to come to bring items and grab whatever they need. 

“I’m going to shop but I’m not going to pay to shop,” said Fritzes who is thrilled to swap this year, with inflation on the rise.

“The holidays are always very crazy at my house. We have six kids ranging from 5 to 17, and very expensive toys the older they got obviously because they want the bigger expensive things. But even with the little ones, everything is always so expensive."

Fritzes said "swapping" has made the holidays more affordable, no matter what your budget is.

“One thing I have noticed universally is that they don’t care that it’s new and shiny, they just like having the stuff. And they don’t notice if I’m buying something second-hand or if someone else has used it before, they genuinely don’t care,” she said. 

Fritzes also shared tips on how you can save this holiday season, including sticking to a budget and focusing on immediate family members.

“We just keep it to just us and as far as my extended family goes, we will send out Christmas cards and we will get together for the holidays,” she said.

Fritzes recommended buying in bulk to fill stockings and wrap individual gifts from the bulk items.

“I do a lot of little things, like bath bombs and things like that, things I can buy in bulk and then split up so I’m not having to spend as much money,” she said.

Fritzes also recommended getting your kids involved in the swapping process.

“I think it’s a great lesson for them to learn too. You have too much stuff and if you want to get more stuff at Christmas, you need to pick out five things that you have outgrown that you are OK to give to another child,” she said.  “When I emphasize we’re going to give this to a little kid that doesn’t have as many toys as you do,  and I think that’s a great lesson to start teaching them really early on.”

“Kids go through phases so quickly that one minute it’s pirates, one minute it’s power rangers, and I think that’s one of the reasons why swapping is so powerful,” Mann said. 

She also said to check out your favorite stores and their calendars for deals of the day and take advantage of online outlet retailers.

“ThredUp is an awesome place to buy designer clothes for teenagers at a really low cost and Target also discounts their items on particular days of the week,” Mann said.

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