Cashing in on After-Christmas Sales

by Kim Danger

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Make the Most of After-Christmas Sales

The holidays are over. Your gifts are unwrapped and the decorations are coming down. For a lot of people, the end of the holiday season can be a little depressing. For bargain shoppers, however, the fun is just beginning! I look forward to the post-holiday shopping season almost as much as I do Christmas day itself. Here are a few tips I've picked up over the years to make the most of those after-holiday sales.

When to Shop: Sales begin promptly when stores open on December 26th. Be there early if you want the best selection. You will typically save 50% the day after Christmas, progressing to 75% the week after, then up to 90% in January. However, the longer you wait, the more picked over things will be.

Where to Shop: You'll often find the best deals in the most out-of-the-way places. The key is to use your creativity when shopping. Where do you think most shoppers in your area will be? Try to go elsewhere.

Grocery stores. Shop for items such as colored plastic wrap, baggies or anything with festive prints. I stock up on the kids cereals, cookies, or snacks that have holiday packaging. Your children won t know the difference! Shop for candy and baking items as well. If you buy good quality chocolate, you'll save a bundle and be able to use it for cooking or recipes.

Your local thrift stores. Thrift stores see an influx of goods this time of year, due to people wanting to claim their tax deductions before the year is over. It s a time when these stores see a surplus of donations and a slow-down of shoppers. The perfect time to shop!

Fabric stores, book stores, and hardware stores. These stores may offer the same type of things you re looking for at giant retailers like Target, Wal-Mart and Kmart, but they aren't as picked over and reduce their prices more quickly. Shop for items like Christmas lights, greeting cards, wrapping paper, decorations, etc.

What to Buy: While holiday themed decorations and paraphernalia are the most obvious things to buy, keep your eyes open for other sales. The large stream of shoppers presents retailers with a great opportunity to move other clearance items as well. Toys are often greatly reduced post-holiday, so think ahead to upcoming birthdays and even next Christmas.

Other ideas:

  • Buy a yearly Christmas ornament for your child with the year on it, but purchase it after Christmas and save 50-75%.
  • Buy your Christmas cards and address them now.
  • Wait until January to buy your family's calendar. You may not get to choose exactly the one you want, but you're likely to find something you like for up to 75% off. This is also a great time to buy non-dated calendars like daytimers/organizers. They make great gifts, too!
  • Look at the pre-packaged holiday gift baskets. You can always disassemble them and use them for other gifts.

Kim Danger is a 30-year-old work-at-home-mom living in Southern Minnesota. A self-proclaimed cheapskate, her website helps make moms make the most of their time and money. Visit today and sign up for the free weekly newsletter at

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