Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Day 5: Shop After Holiday Sales for Holiday Items

Shopping the post-holiday clearance racks might just be one of my favorite things to do. Use the opportunity to stock up on holiday decorations for the next year or for gifts that you won't be giving to people until you see them after the holidays (my friends and I usually exchange Christmas gifts when we catch up sometime in January). Or I buy the holiday decorations that I would never pay full price for -- one instance being Mr. & Mrs. stocking hangers that my hubby and I wanted, but didn't want to pay $10 a piece for. Today we scored the set for only $2 at Target in their 90% off holiday clearance aisle.

Knowing your local store's method of discounting items is key to finding great deals. For example, Target marks their holiday merchandise down by 50% the day after the holiday, then to 75% off a few days later, and after about 7-10 days it goes down to 90% off! To find out what it is at your local store either check in a few times after a holiday to get a feel for the markdowns or ask a manager or a store clerk. As long as your polite about it, they are usually more than happy to let you know when the next markdown is scheduled to take place.

Also, as can be expected in the shuffling of holiday merchandise, you may find the item your longing for missing a price tag (this happened to us today -- no bar code or anything!). If this happens to you, first try to find another one of the item to take to the front (maybe even a different color). If that doesn't work, try to see if you can find one of the store's shelf tags for the item. Next, try taking a similar item with you to the register. If it's a Christmas ornament, try to find one similar in shape and size. When you get to the register explain the situation and see if the cashier or manager is willing to accept the price of the similar item. If all else fails, head on over to customer service and see if they will price it for you. They want to get rid of that holiday merchandise as much as you want to buy it. As long as your being reasonable and they can find some basis for a price, they will likely sell it to you.

The clearance aisle is a treasure trove of great deals waiting to be found. I've snagged Halloween and Christmas cookie jars for as little as $1.29. But more than that, you can find every day items that are on sale just because they are in holiday packaging. Today I found recipe cards, scented oil diffuser sets, acrylic plastic reusable plates, bowl, and cups, and even a set of dinner knives that were only $1.49! Take a look at my post about today's post-holiday shopping trip to see more.

You can also stock up on gift wrap, ribbons, craft supplies, candles and more items that are just useful to have on hand for when you need them.

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