There are very few times of year that will drag me out to go shopping anymore with the advances in online shopping. This time of year is just that though! There are still great deals to be had online right now but there are some things that you just have to get to the store to grab.
Trouble viewing the video? It’s ok watch it here if needed -> Post Christmas Shopping Secrets
On average most retailers especially large stores such as Walmart, Target, Kohls.. etc… generate around 15% of their profit in the post Christmas shopping season. That week from Christmas to the end of the year is very crucial for them and to make sure they hit that bottom line they always take all those items you saved for to give at Christmas and slash the prices on them :).
If you want to try to create a financial makeover this year try to start looking at the year as a whole instead of this month. The end of December to the end of January is a great time to plan ahead of the year’s expenses.
As with anything there are certain times of year that you can count on to pay a fraction of the price for most anything. Buying clothes out of season is an example. Well the same goes right now. I am going to take you through exactly what you should be looking for right now that will save you money through the ENTIRE year.
I also want to show you how that regardless of your budget you can spend as little as $20-$30 and make a difference in your spending this year.
Here are my top 5 things you should be looking for this season to maximize your savings –
#5 – Baking Goods and containers
This time of year you will find a lot of clearance for holiday baking items. You can also stock up things like sugar, flour , oil and chocolate chips. Many of these items you could stock up on and simply put in your freezer to make them last!
I like to keep an eye out for tins and containers for baking each year because I like to put together some baked goods for the kids and I like to make for our neighbors. They are normally $2-$2.50 and these I DO hold out on for the 70-90% off on these. They rarely run out of them and I’m not really picky about what they look like as long as they are a bit festive.
You can also get some great deals on ziplock bags, food storage containers as well this time of year.
#4 – Outerwear – Coats, hats, gloves and scarves … Believe it or not before you know it the winter clothes will be gone from every store and it will still be 10-20 degrees here in Missouri. Stores take this time to start discounting their clothing to get ready for spring. Have you ever tried to find a pair of gloves in March? I have… there are NONE! You REALLY don’t want one of your kids growing out of their winter coat before the season is over because pretty soon it will be impossible to find one.
This time of year is a great time to grab any outerwear, any type of cold weather gear. With kids, if it’s possible try to predict what size they may be in next year and grab that new coat now while they are cheaper.
#3 Gifts, Gifts, Gifts – Whether it’s birthdays for the year… Mother’s Day and Father’s Day or Christmas presents for next year now is the time to grab a lot of things! It’s also a great time to pick up items that would be great in Easter baskets that aren’t Christmas specific.
Here are a couple of examples of some of these:
Candle sets and mugs .. Candles are great gifts for any occasion and many are discounted to at least 50% right now. Christmas mugs will be set at rock bottom prices. These can be GREAT for teacher gifts. Grab a couple of mugs and come next Christmas add a couple of packets of hot cocoa and some nice wrapping and you have a great teacher’s gift for less than $1.00
Ornaments – Great to give to the mailman, also teachers.
Items marketed at stores like Target, Kohls and Walmart (just some examples) as stocking stuffers. Maybe a GPS holder, a knife with 4 or 5 tools. These will all be marked around 50% off and can make great birthday gifts and Mother’s Day and Father’s Day gifts.
Taking advantage of box sets that are sold for Christmas is a GREAT way to save on gifts. You can find perfume, cologne, bath sets, nail polish sets, make-up, make up brushes, toothbrush sets holders (great for toddlers). These are easy to repackage for holidays other than Christmas. Another great find are the car care sets. They will be marked down and they are great for the car lover!
The benefits of shopping ahead of time are HUGE! This can chop a large portion of your annual expenses in half! If you want to start shopping ahead an easy way to do that is to create a gift closet. Don’t worry it doesn’t have to be an actual closet just a place where you can stockpile some gifts. It can be a drawer, cabinet… whatever extra space you can find. I was able to do this living in a small 2 bedroom apartment by using an under the bed box.
Here’s a sheet I put together to help you keep it organized. You want to make sure you have a plan and this will help you.
Download it here.
#2 – Christmas Items – Ornaments, a new Christmas tree, tree trimmings like toppers, Stockings, Serving Items, holiday dishes or maybe that new tree skirt you’ve really been wanting.
Make a list of what you need. Did you have Christmas lights go out? Are you getting down the bottom of your stash of Christmas lights? Think of upcoming Christmas plans. Things you would like to do in the future. To give you an example I bought my house 5 years ago and really wanted to outdoor decorations so for a few years (even before buying the house) I started grabbing outdoor Christmas decor. It wasn’t something that was urgent so I didn’t purchase anything until it dropped down to 75% off.
This might seem self-explanatory but there are a couple of things you can keep in mind here. Many serving dishes aren’t red and green and can be used year round too. Keep an eye out for items that are versatile.
Also keep in mind plans you may have for the future. For the last 5 or 6 years I have been slowly planning a new Christmas tree I want desperately!! I can’t give up the one I have because there are so many memories attached but I would love to have a separate tree for decoration in our family room. I LOVE white, silver, black and red together but most of the items that go with this décor are a little more expensive. I go each year and buy one or two items towards by dream Christmas tree :).
Drumroll please…………… and the #1 thing to save big on this month IS….
Gift wrapping supplies!!!
Now I’m not JUST talking about Christmas wrapping supplies. While there is A TON of savings there if you are smart about your shopping you can get wrapping supplies for the entire year that will save around $100 per year for the average family. You may be wondering why this was #1 when you can see that buying gifts ahead of time can save you much more than around $100 per year.
This is really important because it’s the first step to changing your mindset. Stop looking at this month or this week and view the year as a whole. This will allow the average family to save thousands of dollars a year! You are the CEO of your family and it’s your responsibility that you are making the best decisions for your family right?
One of the best decisions you can make is to start planning ahead because by doing that one shift in mindset it allows the power to be put back in YOUR hands, the consumer. You are now starting to dictate what you are willing to pay for something.
This makes a HUGE difference! I’ll warn you… I could go on about this part forever but I won’t, that’s another post :). However, that’s the biggest reason so many people have changed the way they even shop for groceries. Using couponing and stockpiling methods. Not because they need 10 boxes of cereal today, but because they are taking control and saying.. I’m only going to pay $1 a box for this cereal, not $3. So I will buy what I need to have until it’s back on sale… make sense?? If not don’t worry it will.
Back to my #1 pick…
I rank wrapping supplies #1 for one reason. It’s budget friendly. You can get the same savings on many gifts that you might use throughout the year but regardless of what your budget is right now buying your giftwrap ahead of time is doable. You can start with a budget of $20 if you need to. This makes it practical for everyone.
So…. What are you looking for in wrapping supplies during your post-Christmas shopping trip?
Personally I like to go with wrapping paper that matches my color schemeJ. I’m picky like that! The cool thing is you can buy the higher dollar paper for next to nothing. I also like to head to the miniature Christmas tree section where they have little ornaments and things like that. They make great package decorations for next year and you get 4-6 of each item for $1-$1.50.
Here’s where you really want to think ahead. Go ahead and grab what you want for the holidays but the goal is to plan for the YEAR, not just for next Christmas. You will notice when you are shopping around.. at Walmart especially that while they have seasonal items on sale they also have items that could be used year round.