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Christmas is coming to a close, but the best sales of the year are still happening. Shop smart during the two weeks after Christmas, and you can save yourself money all year.
1. Shop holiday clearance for two weeks after Christmas to get the best deals.
Hold out for at least 7-14 days after Christmas. Kohl’s typically marks clearance items down every 14-21 days, so items that get marked 60% off the day after Christmas will get discounted to 70% or 80% after two weeks.
Shop the day after Christmas to get the best selection of clearance merch. Holiday clearance only lasts 3-5 days at Walmart before it gets cleared out, so get there on December 26th if you want to get the best stuff.
We saw Christmas clearance hit 70% off on January 1 last year and December 29 in 2016. This is the time to replenish your gift stockpile with toys! Be prepared to buy, and remember the Target clearance markdown schedule:
- Monday: Electronics, Accessories, Kids’ Clothing, Books, Baby and Stationery
- Tuesday: Domestics, Women’s Clothing, Pets and Grocery
- Wednesday: Toys, Men’s Clothing, Health and Beauty, Diapers, Lawn & Garden items and Furniture
- Thursday: Books, Housewares, Lingerie, Shoes, Toys, Sporting Goods, Decor & Luggage
- Friday: Auto, Cosmetics, Hardware, & Jewelry
2. Buy gift cards in January to save up to 20% at your favorite stores all year.
You know those gift cards you get for Christmas to stores where you don’t shop? You’re not the only one — other people are selling them to sites like Gift Card Granny, because they’re getting cards they won’t use. You can save all year at your favorite stores by buying discounted gift cards in late December when sites like Raise, Gift Card Granny and Cardpool have the most inventory.
For example, I know my family will hit up Red Robin at least five times this year and spend an average of $40.00 each visit. I buy a $200.00 Red Robin gift card from Gift Card Granny after Christmas and pay just $171.00, saving 14.5%.
3. Use stocking stuffers and Christmas candy to fill easter baskets.
I’ve stocked my kids’ Easter baskets with clearance stocking stuffers, all for under $1.00.
Buy red, blue and silver candy at 50% off, and grab non Christmas-specific stocking stuffers when they get to 70%-90% clearance. Target Dollar Spot, Walmart’s $1.00 stocking stuffers and Michaels’ $3.00 bins all have items for $0.10-$0.90 each.
4. Buy seasonal stock at Costco if you see a price ending in 7 or 0.
Costco stocks tons of books, toys and food items that are around only for the holiday season, and these prices end in 7 or 0. After Christmas, grab these while they’re still in stock, because you know Costco — once it’s gone, it’s gone.
5. Buy wrapping paper, tape, bows and gift bags the day after Christmas, and use them all year.
True story: Red, pink, blue, gold and silver wrapping paper works for Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, birthdays, graduations and even next Christmas.
Hit stores the day after Christmas when you can get wrapping paper and supplies for 50-90% off; buy non-Christmas-specific colors and patterns, and use all year long for pennies on the dollar.
6. Get free holiday plastic containers, Ziploc bags and Reynolds Wrap by combining coupons with clearance prices.
Use your coupons to get holiday-themed food storage for free. Last year we snagged free Reynolds Wrap at Target this way.
7. Buy food gift sets at 50% off, and use them for entertaining in the summer.
Starbucks coffee, Hickory Farms meats, and Tabasco hot sauce gift sets run between $5.00-$10.00 at Walmart and Target, but after Christmas you can get them for up to 50% off, which means cheap sausage and coffee all the year long.
8. Freeze seasonal meats like turkey and ham to use in months to come.
I dare you to find whole turkeys in the middle of summer. If you love turkey and have the space in your freezer, buy now while they’re under $0.99 per lb, and serve them up all year.
9. Buy electronics the week after Christmas when they go on sale
Get some of the lowest prices of the year on iPhones, Fitbits, Beats headphones, cameras and more after Christmas when stores get rid of their overstock to make room for the new models.
In 2017, the Fitbit Charge 2 was only $105.00 (regularly $150.00), and Beats by Dr. Dre headphones were only $64.99 at Best Buy, both lower than Black Friday prices.
10. Stock up on pantry staples like flour, brown sugar and cake mixes.
Sure, December is the time to stock up on baking supplies while they’re cheapest, but holiday clearance is also your last chance to buy pumpkin spice cake mix or gingerbread marshmallows.
11. Use white Christmas lights as year-round decor.
Buy Christmas lights to hang in your bedroom for mood lighting, or in your dining room for a bistro feel.
12. Make your own Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day gifts with cosmetic and fragrance gift sets.
Create your own non-Christmas-themed gifts to give all year. Gift sets can be broken apart and each of the pieces given separately, or you can create your own gift baskets for holidays like Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day.
At the end of October, stores start stocking their shelves with holiday fragrance and cosmetic gift sets. Shop stores like Sephora, Ulta and Macy’s after Christmas to grab these gift sets for up to 50% off.
13. Wear Christmas pajamas all year (like a boss).
Find Christmas pj’s for as low as $1.00 at Walmart after the holidays. At that price, my kids and I can wear Santa pj’s until June.
Or if you know someone having a baby, buy “baby’s first Christmas” pj’s now for next year’s gifts.