After Christmas Sales

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After Christmas Sales - $5,000 Money Saving Mama Challenge

after christmas sales
Looking for after Christmas sales? Want to know about the best after Christmas deals?

Look no further. This page is chock full of cheap Christmas ideas for the frugal mama.

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Christmas shopping can be fun, yet stressful at the same time for us mamas. We love shopping for gifts and decorations, and prepping for the holiday season. What's not so lovely is the price tag attached to these things. What is just as bad is all of the scrambling around we end up doing, trying to make sure everything is perfect.

If only we could have everything taken care of in advance, so that we can relax and enjoy the holiday. If you can relate to that desire, you are in the right place. This page is all about how to save money on next year's gifts and décor by shopping in advance. It will also give you some tips on how to use what you have.

After Christmas Sales Tip: Buy More Now, Worry Less Later

Ok, so you can probably anticipate my first tip - shop in advance. While manufacturers are sure to come out with a lot of new products between now and next year, some things are great gifts, no matter what year it is. If you see items that you know will make great gifts, grab them while they are on sale.

Also keep in mind that Christmas is far from the only gift-giving holiday that we celebrate. Birthdays, anniversaries, and a variety of other holidays also warrant the giving of gifts. So why not save money on these gifts by buying them now. Not only do you save yourself money with the first of these cheap Christmas ideas, but you save yourself the possible stress of trying to find (and afford) the perfect gift later.

After Christmas Sales Tip: Overstock Items

When stores have a ton of inventory in a particular product, they may be desperate to move/sell those products. Which means these products will go on super sale. These often include cheap, generic electronics such as DVD player, Bluray players, and television sets. These are also among the first of the after Christmas deals to be snatched up, so if you want to snag one for your family, you just might want to get there early.



After Christmas Sales Tip: Look for Clearance Synonyms

A lot of consumers have a negative connotation of the word 'clearance'. They often assume (erroneously) that if something is on clearance that it is somehow less worthy of purchase (for example, lower quality, nearing expiration, damaged, etc.). Because of that, the marketing powers that be will often use a term aside from 'clearance' to sell discounted items. So, when looking for great bargains, keep an eye out for the following phrases: "Price Drop", "Instant Discount", or "Instant Rebate" or “Special Purchase". You may also see a sign of a significant discount in the fine print. If you see phrases such as "Limited Supply", "While Supplies Last", or "No Rainchecks", chances are you will be getting a good deal.

The best time to catch electronics at a great discount is in January. This is because new electronics are introduced at this time at a huge annual convention (the Consumer Electronics Show) and they are sent out to stores in February. If stores have an overstock of the older electronics, they will usually put them on sale at a great discount to get rid of them before the new items hit the shelves.

After Christmas Sales Tip: Regifting

Ok, so chances are that at some point in your life that you have received a gift that, though appreciated, was not quite your "thing". Rather than returning or exchanging it (which is always an option if you have a gift receipt), you can hold on to it to give to someone else who may be able to put it to a better use than you could. Just be careful that you don't regift it to the person who gave it to you. That could be a bit awkward.

After Christmas Sales Tip: Open Box Items

The days after Christmas often finds people at the store, returning and exchanging gifts that they received the day before. This is actually great news for money saving mamas. Although many stores will accept returns and exchanges gladly (with a receipt0, they typically try to turn them around quickly - especially if the products had been opened. These products are usually marked down 5-15% and so the days after Christmas are a great time to go to stores on the lookout for open-box deals.

There are a few things you should be sure to do though. First off, make sure that everything that is supposed to be included in the box is there - including parts, the warranty manual, and the instruction manual. If anything is missing, you might be able to negotiate for a lower price. Secondly, ask if it is possible for you to make sure the product actually works before you leave the store. If they say no, ask them what the policy is if the product turns out to be defective upon purchase.

After Christmas Sales Tip: Repurpose Gift Baskets

One type of item that is really popular for gift-giving for any occasion is the gift basket. I mean, come one, everything just looks better in a basket, surrounded by pretty tissue paper, wrapped in cellophane and tied with a bow. So here’s one of my cheap Christmas ideas - repurpose the gift baskets that you receive to create gift baskets for others throughout the year. It's really simple to put a gift basket together. Grab some items that you think the person would enjoy (i.e. their favorite things, beauty products, baby shower items, etc.) arrange them in a gift basket that is lined with tissue paper or some other type of decorative item, wrap it with cellophane, and use a length of ribbon to secure it. If you are feeling extra fancy, add a bow to it. Voila! The perfect gift.

After Christmas Sales Tip: Go Neutral

When buying, try to find things that are neutral. Just because the stores whip them out during the holiday season, does not mean that everything is only appropriate during that time. Look for things that are not overtly Christmassy. When buying gift wrap, avoid ones that have Santa Clause, reindeer, snowflakes and other prints that are obviously Christmassy/wintry in nature. The same thing goes for other decorations, such as serving dishes and gift tissue paper.

After Christmas Sales Tip: Stock up on Gift Wrap & Christmas Card

After Christmas deals are going to be rampant for holiday cards and gift wrap. Stores are going to be marking these items down drastically so make sure you stock up on them for next year. Why pay twice as much for the exact same thing next year, when you can get it for super cheap now? Other things to buy are holiday stationary and gift boxes.

After Christmas Sales Tip: Think Outside the Box

When looking for great after-Christmas deals, don't be afraid to get a little creative. Just because something is Christmas-themed does not mean that it cannot be used in other ways. Those little decorative figurines may be just the thing for a little girl to play with. Things that are in Christmas-themed packaging, but that aren't necessarily Christmas-themed themselves can be taken out of the packaging and even repackaged in something more suitable for whatever occasion you buy it for.

After Christmas Sales Tip: Holiday Decoration

After Christmas is the best time to get your holiday decorations for next year. Everything from ornaments and lights to figurines and Christmas trees will be deeply discounted in the time after Christmas. Places like Hobby Lobby and Garden Ridge are a must if you are going to be looking for the perfect tree and decorations for next year.

After Christmas Sales Tip: Stock Up On Kids Clothing

The days after Christmas are also a great time to buy clothes for the children in your life. This is the time to stock up on seasonal clothes for next year. Just be sure to remember that you are shopping for next year, so buy their clothes a few sizes bigger in anticipation of growth. Some stores that you will definitely want to check out are Kohl's, Wal-Mart, and Target.

After Christmas Sales Tip: Avoid Impulse Buys

As always, I urge you to avoid buying things simply because they are on sale. If you cannot foresee yourself using something or giving it to someone else to use, you do not need to buy it. That is definitely one of the hazards of after Christmas deals - you are tempted by so much savings. However, if you buy something that just ends up sitting in your closet or thrown away, you are not really saving money - you are wasting it. And that, my friends, is counterproductive to our goals.

So, which stores should you put on your list to shop at and what hours will they be open? Well, each store does things differently, but typically the sales happen in three phases.

Phase One: December 26th-December 31st. Most stores (national and some local) will offer a 50% clearance sale. Although it will mostly be seasonal items, you can also score some everyday and gift items as well. This is the best time to stock up on your holiday decorations/accessories, especially if you want the nice things. This is also probably the best phase to shop during because the discounts are great and the selection is still likely to be worth your time.

Phase Two: January 1st-January 7th. Most national stores will mark things down even further, starting at 75%. This is the best time to get anything else you are looking for because chances are they may not be available during the third phase, but that is up to you.

Phase Three: January 8th until supplies run out. Most national stores will mark down their remaining inventory, starting at 90%. This is a good time to go and do a quick check to see if there is anything left that is worth buying.

It is worth pointing out that most small businesses will have smaller markdowns than national businesses and will mark things down a little further each week. So, if you are into shopping "small" to support your local community, keep that in mind.

Below, I have compiled a list of several retailers and their traditional after Christmas business hours. Those with earlier business hours are listed first.
Kohl's
Stores open 5:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. December 26th

Wal-Mart
Stores open at 5:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. December 26th

Hy-Vee
Stores open from 6:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. December 26th

JCPenney
Stores open from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. December 26th

Meijer
Stores open at 6:00 a.m. December 26th

Toys 'R Us
Most Toys 'R Us stores open at 6:00 a.m. December 26th

Academy Sports + Outdoors
Stores open at 7:00 a.m. December 26th

Old Navy
All Old Navy stores open from 6:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. December 26th

Dick's Sporting Goods
Stores open from 7:00 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. December 26th

Lowe's
Stores open 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. December 26th

Macy's
Most Macy's stores open at 7:00 a.m. on December 26th

Michaels Stores
All Michaels Stores open 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. December 26th

Pottery Barn
Stores are open 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. on December 26th

Sears
Stores Open 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. December 26th

Target
Stores open from 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. December 26th

Bass Pro Shops Inc.
Stores open from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. December 26th

Best Buy
Stores open 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. December 26th

Pier 1 Imports
Stores open 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. December 26th

Ross
Stores open at 8:00 a.m. December 26th

Saks
Saks stores open December 26th at 8:00 a.m.

Dillard's
Stores open 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. December 26th

Big Lots
Stores open regular hours on December 26th
So, my money-saving mamas, what stores do you ladies plan to shop at? What has been your favorite after Christmas deals? Do you have any cheap Christmas ideas of your own to share? Feel free to join the discussion by commenting below.

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Sneak Peak at Next Week

Like this section on after Christmas sales? Next week we'll be talking about how to save money on personal care.

Related Pages
  • Your Gift Closet
  • Holiday Gifts for the Extended Family
  • Holiday Gifts for Friends and Neighbors
  • Holiday Gift Planning Guide
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