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I know that many people are still finishing up their Christmas shopping for the year. That said, if you are a frugal shopper like I am, you are already looking ahead to the after Christmas sales – and starting to make your plans for next Christmas!
Shopping the after Christmas clearance sales is one of my favorite things to do. Actually, my husband enjoys it as well, so we’ll probably make a family date out of it one day over his Christmas break. You will find Christmas clearance at almost every store so choose your favorites and start shopping. We like to visit Hobby Lobby, Michaels, Family Christian, Kohls, JC Penney, Meijer, Target and Kroger, to name a few.
A general rule of thumb on mark downs is this. Most stores are 50% off the day after Christmas, but some jump straight to 66% off. By 3 to 4 days, most stores have jumped to 75%. After about a week, any remaining Christmas clearance is marked down to 90% off. The selection will be more limited but you can find really great deals if you wait for those 90% deals! I’ll shop the clearance sales a time or two watching for those mark downs.
Over the years, I’ve learned there are certain areas where I can save the most in the sales. Below, is a compilation of my favorite areas to shop the Christmas clearance – to help save you money!
1. Wrapping paper. Wrapping paper is in abundance at all the stores and it often makes it to 90% off! This is a great time to stock up on your gift wrapping needs. I try to look for solid colors of paper that can also be used for birthdays. Gold or silver is perfect for weddings, too! Also, look for sales on gift bags and tissue paper, remembering that solid colors can be used year round. Hobby Lobby’s wrapping paper is some of the nicest we’ve used, so if you want thick, high quality paper, you may want to shop their sales first.
2. Table wear. This is true of paper plates, napkins and disposable silverware, as well as tablecloths. Not only can you buy table wear for next Christmas, but look for solid colors that you can use all year. If you wait long enough, I’ve been able to get packages of paper napkins for only $0.15 – and we’ll use them anytime of the year at that price!
3. Christmas cards. Do you send Christmas cards? If so, shop the sales for cards to send next year. Not only will you save money, but you’ll be ahead of the game by having your cards purchased months in advance. It is one less thing you will have to do next Christmas!
4. Christmas lights. Christmas lights just don’t seem to last as long as they used to! If you are able to find lights on sale after Christmas, buy some extra boxes now so you’ll be prepared for next year. We stumbled upon a large selection last year and went ahead and bought almost 2 dozen boxes of white lights on clearance. Now, they are sitting safely in our basement until we need them!
5. Christmas tins. My favorite place to buy tins is at the Dollar Tree, and yes, they mark their Christmas clearance down at least 50% percent, too. For only $0.50, I can buy tins to package homemade Christmas goodies in for next year. These are a big bulkier to store, but if you have the space and like to give homemade gifts at Christmas, now is the time to purchase your tins and containers!
6. Ornaments. It goes without saying that ornaments will always be left on the shelves after Christmas. If you have a relative who collects a certain theme, make sure to check the ornament selection that is marked down. A collection of non-breakable ornaments for children (with a marked down small tree) would make a lovely and frugal gift next Christmas. I know my son loves his, and we’ll be looking for more child friendly ornaments when they are marked down after Christmas.
7. Gifts. In my frugal opinion, it’s never too early to start shopping for Christmas presents for next year! We start the day after Christmas and are able to find really nice presents for great prices. A couple years ago, I found the Fisher Price Nativity marked down to only $15 and bought several for gifts. Nathan’s been enjoying playing with it this Christmas! My sister-in-law collects reindeer so we are always looking for unique gifts to add to her collection. After Christmas sale time is the perfect time to start looking!
8. Christmas books. If you are a book lover like I am, or want to start giving your children a Christmas book every year, be sure to shop the Christmas sales for marked down books! It is so nice to get hardcover books for less than a paperback normally costs. If you are looking for Christmas book ideas, here are some of my favorites for children!
9. Food and baking items. This is one of my favorite areas to shop for after Christmas! Not only can you find treats like M&Ms and other chocolate candy, but you can often find baking mixes, muffin liners and chocolate chips. Some food items you wouldn’t even consider seasonal might be marked down, just because they have a tree or a snowman on the package. As with everything, think outside of the box. You can always sort the Christmas M&Ms, using the red ones for Valentine’s Day and the green ones for St. Patrick’s Day. And remember, chocolate freezes great!
These are some of my favorite areas to shop for deals after Christmas. Do you like to shop the Christmas clearance sales? And if so, what would you add to this list?