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Tips for saving money on Christmas sales

Since Christmas is almost here, I thought I’d share some ways you can use after Christmas sales to help make next Christmas and occasions throughout the year financially easier.

After Christmas sales can be a great way to save money on things you would buy anyway, without paying full price. As you see the things that are on sale, try to predict which of those things you are likely to need during the next year.

Don’t limit your thinking to Christmas! Consider how you may use after Christmas items for other occasions in the coming year. Be creative!

Don’t go crazy and buy everything they have just because it is marked down. If you buy 20 of something you don’t need and eventually just get rid of it, you didn’t really save by getting it on clearance.

If you want to get some great deals but you also want a lot of selection, you’ll want to show up in the store pretty early on December 26th. You can get deeper discounts if you wait several days or a week for the stores to mark items all the way down to 75% off. The down side of waiting is that the item you want may be gone if you wait too long. If you really have to have it, you probably want to get it sooner rather than wait.

If there’s something that you want at Wal-Mart, you will definitely want to get there the first thing on December 26th because Wal-Mart attracts the die hard after Christmas shoppers who buy like hungry locusts. ;-)

You can often find good buys at grocery and drug stores a week or two after Christmas because there’s not as much demand for after Christmas items in those stores.

Here are some of the things to consider as you visit after Christmas sales:

Buy new Christmas decorations for next year. This seems obvious to some of us, but if you’ve never thought about it, you can usually get lights, lawn decorations, indoor decorations and other holiday-specific items for 50-75% off right after Christmas. We like to add to our display every year and it is much less expensive to buy after Christmas this year rather than before Christmas next year. Even our Christmas tree was a 50% off after Christmas buy. (Don’t try this with live trees! They don’t keep well! ;-)

Buy “Baby’s First Christmas” items (pajamas, bibs, ornaments, etc.) for those friends and relatives expecting babies in the next year.

Purchase holiday craft items. Christmas ribbons, needlework, and other craft supplies are often marked down to 75% off. Get started on those projects and get them done early. Don’t forget to get enough red ribbon and craft supplies for Valentines day.

Buy your red Valentine’s Day and green St. Patrick’s Day candy on clearance after Christmas. You can also freeze Christmas chocolate for year-round baking.

Christmas isn’t just red and green any more. You can get every color under the rainbow now. If you are decorating a room or having a special party, such as an anniversary you can purchase your supplies for 75% off. I’ve also purchased things like specialty lights for my son who collects anything that will light up.

Purchase gifts for next Christmas, birthdays, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and teachers’ gifts. You can often find wonderful gift bath sets that make great gifts for teachers at 50% off. There are also bath sets for kids, make up sets for girls and cologne and perfume for men and women that you can give for any occasion. I purchase several extra girls and boys gifts sets for the kids to take to birthday parties. I buy hubby’s cologne for the year (again, as a gift set) and give it to him on Father’s Day. My sister in law liked a particular large red candle that I happened to notice was on sale after Christmas. I purchased it for $2 instead of the $10 regular price.

If you have a wedding coming up, look for decorations with your wedding colors after Christmas. You can also get tablecloths and napkins for your household on clearance after Christmas. You can buy these at up to 75% off and use them every day.

Look for wrapping paper for other occasions. Stores have colored and white tissue paper and wrapping paper that isn’t necessarily just for Christmas. You can also buy Christmas paper for next to nothing after Christmas and save it for next Christmas or use it white side out for other holidays.

I buy the pre-packaged gingerbread kits that are now available for my kids. For $2 each, it is much easier to have the house already baked and rolled out. I save them for the kids to decorate next year. (Of course we don’t eat them.)

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