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Remember those great deals after Halloween. Well, they are back and even better. Now it is time for the deals after Christmas.
Halloween tends to be the preview of what is to come, but there are usually a lot more deals after Christmas.
If you have leftover money from your current year Christmas budget, you can use that to stock up on holiday products for next year. Maybe you have already set up your Christmas budget for the coming year. If you make purchases now for next year, you can easily deduct them from that budget and document what you bought. I guarantee in 11 months you’ll have forgotten what you bought. We did this last year with LED lights for outside and containers for cookie gift giving. What a great surprise when I discovered the new items we had and that was already paid for and part of the budget!
So let’s talk deals and what you should be on the lookout for.
The discounts will start right away on December 26. Some stores will be busy with lots of people out seeking these discounts, but they will be more crowded at customer service with returns. (side note: if you have a return try to do it when the store is least busy and definitely not on December 26. Nothing says your return must be done the day after you receive it)
The markdowns typically start at 50% (some at 30%) and will increase the further away from the holiday it gets. Items still left on the shelves in early January may be discounted as much as 90%. You decide if it’s worth the gamble to wait for the steeper discount. The everyday items that happen to have holiday packaging are unlikely to last long enough to be discounted that heavily. Less popular items or items a store has an overabundance of are likely to reach that 90% off mark.
What you should be looking for:
Candy: I learned this trick from my mother-in-law. If you have candy dishes that you like to fill for the holidays, buy the holiday M&M’s and sort them. Keep the white and red ones for Valentine’s Day and the green ones for St. Patrick’s Day. You will have filled candy dishes much cheaper than if you bought M&M’s with those colors closer to those holidays.
Of course stock up on any other candy you enjoy as well. It will taste fine for months to come, but the stores can’t sell it that long due to the holiday packaging. They need to quickly make room for the Valentine’s Day candy, which you probably already see on the store shelves.
Toiletries: All of those great gift sets of soap, shaving products, etc. that are on sale in the stores for Christmas will be priced to move immediately after Christmas. It’s a great time to stock up on these toiletries. Just be sure to open up the packages and get rid of the excess packaging, so they take up less room in your linen closet. (Check out my linen closet makeover for how to store your stockpile, so it’s easy to access).
You will also find toiletries with holiday packaging or scents discounted for quick sale as well. If you don’t mind candy cane chapstick in March, you can get a great buy.
Household essentials: Anything with holiday packaging or seasonal scents/flavors is going to be on sale. This is a great time to get out those coupons as well because you have the potential to save even more.
You will find good buys on such things as Ziploc bags, Tupperware, napkins, paper towels, Kleenex, handsoaps, etc. When you are out in the stores shopping, which I bet you are doing a lot right now, check out the products with holiday packaging or seasonal scents. Maybe make a note so you’ll know what to look for after Christmas to be on sale.
Holiday Décor: Of course holiday décor is going to be on sale after the holiday. It’s a great time to stock up for next year. Do you need new Christmas lights? Do you want outdoor décor? Are your decorations getting a little out of date or maybe the kids broke a few this year? There is no better time to get deeply discounted decorations. Buy them now, pack them away for next year and you’ll be excited when you go to decorate and see all the new decorations you forgot you bought.
Gift Wrap essentials: Be on the lookout for wrapping paper, bows, ribbon, gift bags, gift tags, etc. It’s also a great time to check out the wrapping paper to see if any of it is generic enough to be used throughout the year. Often, there is plain colored paper that can be used for birthdays or anniversaries.
Craft Kits: Do your kids like to do arts and crafts? Crafts can be a great activity to slow down and relax amidst the chaos of the holiday season. We especially love doing crafts with Christmas music or a favorite Christmas movie on in the background. Michaels, Jo-Ann’s and Hobby Lobby always have a lot of holiday craft projects, and they will be on sale. Buy them now and put them away with your holiday decorations for next year. We do this every year. This past year I even bought a gingerbread house on clearance after Christmas. I don’t care about the “taste” of the house because we’re going to make the house, not eat it. This may not be a good idea if you plan to eat the finished product.
Stocking stuffers: Imagine the stocking stuffer section in Target. All of those things that are $3.99 right now will be at least 50% off right after the holiday. As long as it is not edible, you can buy it for next year. Little canisters of Play-Doh will keep very nicely for a year or more. Keep an eye out for these things and think about the age of your children or grandchildren next year and buy accordingly.
Baking supplies: Muffin/cupcake liners with holiday images and colors will be on sale. We make muffins a lot at my house, and my kids have never cared if they are eating a muffin out of snowman liner in July or not. You can also store them for next season if you want. You should also stock up on cookie decorating supplies such as sprinkles, colored sugar and containers to hold the cookies. We ALWAYS buy our cookie containers after the season for the next year. We give a lot of cookies away as gifts, and there are always plenty of these containers on sale after the holiday.
Clothing: If you can easily predict what your children’ sizes will be next year, you can buy some holiday clothing at a great price. Leggings, shirts, and socks will be a great price. You will also find deals on adult clothing.
Where to shop:
The list is endless where you can shop. If the store has holiday items, they will have deals after Christmas. My favorite places to bargain shop are Target, Wal-Mart, and Michaels. There are so many more, but these are the ones I usually check out the day after the holiday.
When to shop:
The morning after the holiday is the best time to get as many deals as possible because there are many other bargain shoppers stocking up too. However, if you are less concerned with what specific items you get and would rather get the steep discounts you should wait a week for even better deals after Christmas.
COUPONS– yes, you can use coupons for these discounted items. This makes some items super cheap.
Bonus Tip: Schedule a friends’ luncheon after the holiday. It is always difficult to find free time during the holidays, but come January most people’s schedules are pretty free. One of my friend groups does a gift exchange, and we meet in January. We have a spending limit and the goal this year is to see who can find the best deals after Christmas for their gift. Imagine how far our $20 spending limit can go with holiday products at 50% off. If your family happens to celebrate Christmas after December 25 (like mine does due to having three first responders in our family), you can do the same thing, especially for stocking stuffers and candy.