While the rest of the world is lounging in their new sweat pants and playing with their new toys, savvy shoppers are still making their lists and checking them twice. The after Christmas sales are out of this world. Retailers don’t want seasonal items taking up space in their stores so they’re willing to sell them at a discount rather than risk not selling them at all.
Obviously, after Christmas is the time to buy holiday merchandise. If you’re in the market for a new tree or ornaments now’s the time. Buy those lights and inflatables now, same with artificial wreaths and flowers. The longer you wait, the deeper the discount. If you’re not looking for a specific item; see what strikes your fancy in January for discounts on décor as low as 90 percent off.
Gift wrap and holiday cards start at 50 percent off and get cheaper each passing week so stock up for next year. Unless you have your heart set on a particular design, hold off until January for the biggest bargains. Remember solid color wrap and bows can be used year-round. Think outside the box and look for things for other holidays too. Red stuff is good for Valentine’s Day. Green is good for St. Patrick’s Day. Silver and gold are great year-round.
Pick up holiday candy that’s marked down. Again separate the red wrapped ones for Valentine’s Day and the green for St. Paddy’s Day. Christmas candy can be enjoyed anytime and chocolate freezes, you know.
Holiday gift packs go on crazy good sales because of the holiday packaging. Pick up a gift pack of fragrance or beauty products for yourself. Look for sales on winter wear like pajamas, sweaters and winter coats. Flannel sheets and blankets are on sale too.
In the grocery store, look for holiday foods being marked down. Holiday cookies and cakes still taste great and cupcake baking cups and festive sprinkles will keep for next year. You can enjoy dried fruit and cranberries year-round but they don’t want them taking up space in their store.
Watch for wine sales after Christmas. The retailers buy wines in quantity this time of year and don’t want to be stuck with that entire inventory after the New Year. Their loss is our gain! Also look for special holiday bottles and gift sets for liquor bargains.
In general hold off on electronics purchases until the end of January. The Consumer Electronics Show in January is the launch of many of the 2014 models. This means the 2013 models will likely be discounted toward the end of January and early February.
Wall calendars and personal organizers go on sale at the end of January and will continue to be discounted through the first quarter. Since most calendars go through January it’s a good bet to hold off.
Be sure to spend thoughtfully, taking into account what you’ve already spent on the holiday. A bargain isn’t a bargain if you go into debt to buy it. All these items will go on sale again next year if you didn’t budget for it this year. But if you can afford another spree you can save some cash while you build a stash of presents for all year-long gift-giving.
Frugal Fodder contributed by Patti Diamond author of Divas On A Dime — Where Frugal, Meets Fabulous!, www.divasonadime.com Join us on Facebook at DivasOnADimeDotCom.