Any parent will attest that raising a child is expensive. You can try to be a good shopper and search out deals and not spend excessively, but that only helps to a point. Not buying your child every new toy, game or device that comes on the market will also help. Yes, our children deserve to have whatever they want. That is until parents decide that point has been reached.
There are many other ways to bring your children happiness than just running to the store to buy a toy. In our house we have become heavily in favor of do it yourself projects. Yes, one reason is to save money. But in addition, there are many advantages of doing it yourself versus just buying something. You can completely customize it (well at least within your own skill set) for your child. It will be far less expensive to build, though obviously you will have to commit the time. Depending on the project, you can also get your children to help make it. They will enjoy having an activity with their parents and it will also be a sense of accomplishment when it is complete. And, at least in my mind, you should have a sense of pride when you complete the project and your child plays with it or uses it.
No, not every project will be easy or perfect when it is complete. There will be a lot of trial and error. So far we have started fairly small though eventually we may get the nerve to do larger projects for our son and our home. The projects we have done have a purpose as well. We encourage our son to read, so we built bookshelves that allow him to easily choose a book and read without having to get anyone to help him. We want our son to learn the alphabet so my wife made flashcards for him to color and draw on that he can practice with after they are laminated.
There are many many different projects that we can do for or with our children. It is as much the time we spend with our children as it is the actual project. I have said it before and I will say it again, be present.