Shopping for After-Holiday Bargains

by Michelle Jones

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Make the Most of After-Christmas Sales

Early Christmas Shopping

I first learned about this great money-saving tip last summer while having a chat with another t-ball mom, and we were just talking about family camping, of all things. The tip she gave me was about purchasing inexpensive holiday tablecloths, after the holidays. You see, after each of the major holidays, theme decorated tablecloths are marked down drastically to make room for the next holiday's items. As you can imagine, this bargain shopping idea will pay off year after year.

By the way, she said those cheap tablecloths are also great for camping because if they get messed up you haven't really lost any money. You can even use them for a mat on the ground as well as their intended use, which is to brighten up dinner tables (or in this case, picnic tables). I thought her tip was just brilliant because many of us don't invest in holiday decorations but would love to if we could get them for a good bargain.

We probably talked about those cheap tablecloths for 20 minutes, discussing back and forth which holidays would be best to get them. I hope to see her again soon so I can tell her what other great holiday bargains I've found since our little chat.

Like many of you, I've always shopped after-Christmas sales for bargain decorations and gifts, but I have to admit that I was often overlooking the other holidays such as Thanksgiving and Valentine's Day. Not to mention St. Patrick's Day, Easter, 4th of July and others.

At the time of this writing, Valentine's Day has just passed and my oldest daughter and I recently made a trip to Target to exchange a pair of shoes for my two year old that didn't fit properly. (Never put off taking something back if it doesn't fit!) And, not only did we find shoes that were a perfect fit and should hopefully last throughout the summer, we also stumbled upon another great after-holiday bargain, one completely unexpected.

As we entered the store and headed straight for the shoe section, we walked right past the older girls clothing section, just by chance. Something with red hearts caught my attention. I stopped to see what the items were, but first noticed that there was a big sign above the rack that read "70% Off!" Then our eyes scanned downward and we saw what was for sale at such a great bargain. We found adorable heart pajamas, with two pairs being her exact size.

I had just been thinking earlier this month that I would like to buy my daughter some new pajamas, since her last ones no longer fit. But, since they only fit her for a year or two anyway, I really hate to "waste" money like that. After all, she does have several extra large t-shirts she's had for years that make great sleep shirts, so it's not like she really needs them.

Yet, they were so pretty and practically being given away for free! So I bought her both sets and told her "Happy Birthday!" At 70% off, this after-holiday bargain fit into our family budget just fine and I'm sure we'll be able to come up with something new for her birthday in August, but I always mention the next gift-giving holiday just in case.

Now I'm getting anxious to see what will be on sale after Easter, but I think I'll go shopping alone this time!

Copyright 2003 by Michelle Jones

Michelle Jones is a mother of 4 and the author of Dealing with Debt. She is also the founder and editor of, a web site filled with great money-saving tips, budgeting help, home business tips, frugal recipes and much more. You can visit the site at or sign up for a FREE subscription to the monthly Ezine at

True or False

We're still paying off last Christmas and worry how we'll afford the holidays this year without charging it again! Tell us: Yes, we could use help getting out of the debt trap we're in! or No, debt is not a problem for us but I'm always looking for ways to trim my family's expenses further!

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