Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Bargain Shopping After the Holidays

Who doesn't like a good sale? I shop for sales after Christmas rather than before. I am not a big fan of "Black Friday" because of the mass amount of people who crowd the stores. Plus standing in four hour lines to HOPEFULLY get what you want just isn't appealing to me. I know a lot of people love it but I think the after holiday sales are better. You can find more bargains and you don't have to run or box out every other customer that is also trying to get the same deal. Me sprinting down the aisles to try and get to something before someone else isn't a pretty sight at my age, not to mention I don't feel like having a heart attack before the New Year. So, like I said I wait for the rush to pass on by and shop after Christmas. Believe it or not you can shop for next year and be done with your Christmas shopping a year early. I also like to buy birthday presents for the new year. I may even sneak in a sweater or two for myself since I am saving so much money.

Know What You Want Before You Shop
After Christmas sales are a great time to
buy next year's decorations.
What I usually do before I hit the after Christmas sales is make a list of people that I need to buy birthday presents for in the coming year. I also see if all my Christmas decorations and lights are in good shape. The worse thing is when you start decorating for Christmas and you open up your light box and realize you have a strand that doesn't work.  It seems like we are always looking for lights every year so I always buy a box or two after Christmas when they are 75% off at Target, Walmart, or Kmart. You can also find wrapping paper, bows, and greeting cards for more than 75% off.  I don't wait to buy any Holiday wrappings right before Christmas anymore and I have saved hundreds of dollars by doing this. Another secret place I loved to go to before I found all my outdoor Holiday decorations was Home Depot. I went there for a few years right after the Holidays to get all my big outdoor decorations. They always have a ton left over and you can buy big items for pennies on the dollar.

If you are buying birthday presents for the upcoming year here are a few tips to remember while walking through the shopping mall and big department stores. 
  • Teenagers can be a bit more trendy then most of us, so stick with scarves and sweaters for the girls and sports clothing for the boys. Those are things that are always in style.
  • Buy toys for younger children since they are constantly growing and their clothing sizes change quickly.   
  • Find some home decorations that everyone on your list will love. There are always great bargains. I've saved up to 60% off on candles, bowls, frames, and wall decor that the department stores are trying to get rid of to make room for the new products that are coming out in the Spring.
  • Hit the Clearance racks too not just the sales. You will find that there will be additional markdowns on top of the clearance prices. You can sometimes find clothing that is 90% off by the time they take off all the markdowns.You can't pass up that kind of bargain.

With the new year coming this can also put a damper on medical expenses. If you are like me, January means my deductible is back and I have to start paying for all my medical costs and prescriptions until my deductible is met again. I can't help much with bargain shopping there but what I can help with is making sure you get the FamilyWize discount for Rx's with your card. Don't ever go to a pharmacy without it.  

Marci Psalmonds
Contributing Writer

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