After Christmas Sales

By ERIN TURNER

I know, I know…the figgy pudding isn’t even finished yet and already I’m thinking about after Christmas sales!   But hold on, you want to save money right?  And gee weren’t you one of the many people I heard this last week at the stores say, “Next year, I’m going to be more prepared!”  Well, this is your chance to get a huge jump on next year’s holiday while saving a sleigh full of money!

The key to after Christmas sales is to buy with confidence.  You need to know that you will use the items next year.  If you’re wishy-washy about something, don’t buy it.  But if you know it will be used, then by all means pick it up now!  You’ll be paying 60-90% of the retail price these next couple of weeks!  For the best choices, it is wise to get out this week but if you can’t, no worries…there will still be deals next week as well.

Some people like to even shop for gifts for next year.  I just can’t do that…my kids’ tastes change over the course of the year and I really don’t want to be stuck with a Darth Vadar mask that talks if my son decides he doesn’t like Star Wars anymore–even if it was only $3.50! (Although, it might come in handy if my almost-teenager son decides he doesn’t want his friends to see me dropping himoff!)

If you can buy gifts for people now and are confident you will use them, go for it.  In the long run, it will save you a bundle.  But don’t buy just to save the money because you’ll pay twice as much if you end up not using your after Christmas deal as a gift (then you can’t call it a deal).

Now, things that I love to pick up for next year include: paper napkins and plates, wrapping paper and bows, tissue paper, decorative ribbon, silk poinsettias and other floral décor, white tree lights, gift tags and holiday Kleenex boxes.  These are all things which I know I will use each year and would rather spend a handful of change now vs. full price come November/December next year.

We also pick up the Gingerbread House kits for our annual Gingerbread House Decorating party.  Since the kids don’t actually eat the houses (other than the candy they use to decorate them), we’re fine buying them a year ahead of time.  It saved us 50% last year.  And we decided if we reach that year when the kids say they are too old for this kind of party, we’ll invite a bunch of adults over and we’ll decorate them instead.  So, no fear of the houses going to waste.  (The boys are adamant they will never be too old for this funparty!)

My gift to you this Christmas is to give you the motivation to think ahead to next year and stock up on clearance items now.   You will be so proud of yourself come next holiday season when you discover you are prepared AND you saved lots of money.  Planning for next year right now is a piece of cake.  Everything is still fresh in your mind as to what you may need.  Take notes as you un-decorate and make a list of needed items.  Then hit the stores this week or next and stock up!

Well, go enjoy the last of your figgy pudding, sing some carols and cherish your time with your family.  But tomorrow get serious about planning for next year and check out the after Christmas sales. I’m sure I’ll  hear at least one less person complaining in the stores next year about not being ready…will you be one of them?

Merry Christmas to all and to all a Good Deal!

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Erin’s got tons of tips for saving money, couponing, and sticking to a budget in her previous posts: Holiday Entertaining on a Budget, Learn How to Save with a Couponing Class, andTeaching Money to Kids and Teens. Be sure to check out the Missoula Save it Club.

   Visit the Coupon Queen’s “Save It”archive.

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Erin Eisenman-Turner is proud to be a native Missoulian. Along with her husband and three sons, they raise chickens, pigs, rabbits, and vegetables at Turner Family Farms in the Orchard Homes area. When the farm chores are done, the coupons clipped, and the blog written, you can find Erin exploring Montana, collecting antiques, and trying to maintain a well-run, happy, and organized home for her family.