Tips for saving money all year by shopping after-Christmas clearance (+ my 10 favorite things to buy)

Can I tell you a secret – I love after Christmas clearance shopping almost as much as I love Black Friday shopping and even almost as much as I love thrifting/yard sale shopping!  There are so many deals to be found and I save so much money not just on Christmas stuff but literally all year long on things I buy on after-Christmas clearance!  So let me share a few of my tips and secrets with you!

Shop early for the best selection and things you really want and shop later for the best discounts and deals

The day after Christmas most stores will have Christmas clearance on at least a 50% off discount.  Some stores may be at a higher discount.  Kirkland’s is usually at 75% off the day after Christmas

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And Hobby Lobby is usually at 66% off the day after Christmas.  A few days later they will discount things even more.  Usually Walmart goes to 75% off on New Year’s Day, Target goes to 70% off on the 29th/30th, and then Target goes to 90% after January 1st.    So I usually go early the morning right after Christmas and get any very specific décor I just love or really want and anything else that has very low quantities.  Then I will wait to buy a majority of items (wrapping paper, cards, bags, candy, etc.) once things have discounted to 75% or more.

For example, I am looking for another Christmas tablecloth and liked this one at Target  – but there is 7 of these!  So I will wait for it to discount further and decide if I want to buy one. Smile

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No way I’m buying candy at 30% off when they have fully stocked shelves like this (they were actually opening and stocking more boxes of candy!)  There will be plenty left when it gets to 50% off or even 70% off.  Target always has their food a percentage behind the main Christmas clearance – so when Christmas decor is at 50%/food is at 30% and when decor goes to 70%/food will go to 50% off.

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Again – tons and tons of bows.  No need to buy now.

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Shop and look for things you can use all year long.

I don’t want tons and tons of things I can only use 6 weeks out of the year and have to store the rest of the year.  But I do want to buy things on deep discount that I can use all throughout the year.  There are several things I always look for during this time if I need to replenish my supply – white tissue paper, scotch tape, plain gift bags (like brown, gold, striped bags), wrapping paper that can be used all year round, candles, ribbon, blankets, electronic toothbrush gift sets, makeup sets, bath sets – so many items that you can use or either give as gifts throughout the year.

This throw was 50% at Target today (I think down to $9.98) and nothing Christmas about it!

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You can always find wrapping paper that isn’t Christmas themed or even Christmas colors.  I love this wrapping paper (but I’m waiting to buy until 70% off). You can use wrapping paper in so many other ways than just wrapping presents – see how I used wrapping paper as table runners and backdrops at my little girls 1st birthday here.

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Usually Scotch and 3M/Command products will go on clearance too.  So stock up on command hooks and scotch tape now!

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Shop several stores and stores you don’t even think about.

My favorite stores to shop are Target, Kirkland’s, Walmart, Hobby Lobby, Michael’s and Joann’s.  But Home Depot, Lowe’s, Kohl’s Big Lots, Dollar Tree, CVS, Walgreens, Dollar General, even grocery stores all have Christmas items and all will be clearancing them after Christmas!  I got the prettiest knit sweater looking red tree skirt for $9 at Kroger of all places this week! And if you have several of the same stores, shop as many as you can.  I have 3 Walmart stores within driving distance and try to check all 3 at some point in the 10 days after Christmas.  Each store will have different stock depending on what has sold out so you may find tons at one store of something and none of it at another store.

Buy gifts for throughout the year on clearance after Christmas

All these little bath sets, perfume sets, makeup sets, nail polish sets are perfect to stash away for gifts!  I plan on getting some of the bath paint/play sets for Valentine and birthday presents for our little girl – but they had tons so I’m waiting until they are 75% off.

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These men’s body wash/cologne sets are also great deals on clearance! Think Valentine’s Day! Smile  Or if you husband/son use this brand or product buy them now in gift sets for them to use all year – in most cases when they go 75% off it is way cheaper to buy like this than to buy individual products during year.

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These Axe brand sets came in such nice bags!  I sometimes look for cosmetic bags for me after Christmas if I am in need of one.

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All the stocking stuffer toys, candy, chapsticks, gift sets  – buy enough for Valentine/Easter gifts for your kids now! Smile

Buy Christmas outfits/clothes/pajamas/accessories in the next size for next year

I love to have Christmas t-shirts and outfits especially for kids to wear throughout the holiday season or special Christmas pajamas for Christmas Eve.  So if there is any Christmas pajamas or clothes still in stores they will be clearanced as well!  So buy in the next size for next year! Smile  You could even put them away and then let the kids “open” a present to begin the Christmas season next year and it be a new shirt or pajamas for them to wear throughout December.

Look in other areas of the store  – not just the designated Christmas clearance area

This is especially true in Target but also in Walmart.

Foil pans, Glad containers, Ziploc bags, Saran wrap, Kleenex, and more will probably still be on the regular aisle.  But if they are Christmas themed at all they will probably scan at a discount.

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These plates were marked with a sign but in the regular section of the store.

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And this is my big secret!  Look all throughout the store for anything remotely Christmas looking.  That snowflake pillow was in the regular aisle but 50% off.   And would be perfect to use for winter through January and February.

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And that red pillow and JOY pillow was in the regular aisle but 50% off.  I found the best stuff last year by looking on the regular aisles, grabbing things I thought might be included in clearance and taking them to a scanner.

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Price scanners/checkers are your very best friend!

If you have any question about whether something is on clearance put it in your cart and then find a price scanner!  Or a helpful store employee can be a big help – even ask if they know of other clearance areas in the store.

Have a specific list or budget and stick to it

I know how it is – the thrill of the deal sucks you in!  But you aren’t saving money if you are buying tons of things you don’t really need or won’t use just because it is discounted.  So make sure you have a plan or budget and stick to it.

Follow blogs or look on Instagram to find hidden Christmas clearance deals!

This is my favorite way to find those hidden deals – especially at Target!  You can look on Instagram and search hashtags like #targetclearance or #targetChristmasclearance or #Christmasclearance.    My favorite Target deals specific blog to follow is All Things Target and then I love Passionate Penny Pincher or Money Saving Mom for deals in all stores.    Here’s a great post from All Things Target of items she saw yesterday on clearance this year at Target- her store had a lot of good stuff!

Now here’s a list of my favorite things to buy!

10 things I ALWAYS (and usually ONLY) buy on-after Christmas clearance

1. Wrapping supplies

This is probably the #1 item to look for on after-Christmas clearance.  No reason to buy wrapping paper, tissue paper, bags, tags, and bows full price ever.   Decide on theme or color if you do that and then find wrapping paper for next year.  And look for plain brown bags or gold bags, white tissue paper, and wrapping paper that can be used year round.

This paper shred is perfect for any kind of gift basket!

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2. Lights

I ALWAYS pick up several boxes of white lights after Christmas for the next year.  I’m sure I’m not the only one that has spots in the tree that goes out or need strands of lights for garlands or you just want to add more lights someplace.  Outdoor lights is another good item to buy and don’t forget clips for outdoor lights.

3. Cards and stationary

I also never buy cards full price – so I stock up at 75% off and grab cards for $2 a box for the next year or two.  I also pick up stationary to write a Christmas letter and labels.

4. Candy

Can I tell you a secret?  I rarely buy candy unless it is on after-holiday clearance.  So we eat Christmas candy in January and February, Valentine candy in late February and March, then Easter candy until 4th of July… you get the picture Winking smile  Occasionally I will pick up something at Publix when it is BOGO and I have a coupon making it an awesome price.  But other than that I just pick up a few bags of candy after each holiday and make them last until the next holiday. This is also a great time to stock up on candy for baking – so M&M’s to make cookies, Hershey’s kisses to make peanut butter cookies with kisses or the pretzels with kisses.  Candy also freezes well to extend the expiration date.    I also try to think ahead so if I’m going to be planning a party that I maybe could use red M&m’s for – I would stock up on M&M’s after Christmas or Valentines and use for the party.

5. Trees, garland, wreaths

If you are needing or looking for a new tree or garland or wreaths, buy them now!  They are 50% off now and probably by this weekend or January 1 will be 75% off!  I scored my flocked tree that I love at Walmart 3 years ago for 75% off – $149 tree I got for $37.   I am hoping to grab some matching wreaths this year for my kitchen cabinets and French doors and maybe a flocked garland too.

6. Ornaments

This is the perfect time to pick up more ornaments for your tree.  If you want to change colors on your tree – pick up new ornaments now!  The more expensive individual ones are great to pick up now too.    Don’t forget about ornament hooks too!

7. Decor

This is my favorite! Smile  I always try to sort of evaluate my decor each year as I am putting it up and make a list of some other things I would like.  Would I like a different color tree skirt, or different color ornaments, do I want to do a different color scheme or theme next year?  Then those are the things I am going to look for and stock up on after Christmas.  Everything from ornaments, Christmas tree skirts, Christmas villages, pillows, blankets, ribbon, tree toppers, signs, glassware, Christmas dishes, all kinds of decorative items will go on sale after Christmas.  Candles are another favorite!  Look for a plain pillar candles or jar candles that you love.  And battery operated candles I can use all year are another one of my favorites!

8.  Stocking stuffers

Who says you can’t buy next year’s stocking stuffers this year after Christmas?  Not food items but gift sets like lotions, bath stuff, toys aren’t going to go bad.  Plus crayons, craft sets, balls, play cards, socks, Band-aids, all those little stocking stuffer things you see – pick some up for next year!  I bought cute Christmas socks today for my little girl for next year in the Target dollar spot.  I also love to watch clearance after other holidays to stock up for stocking stuffers.  Target puts their dollar section on clearance every other month or so and all kinds of things in there are great for stocking stuffers.  And you could buy all these little things and use for Valentine’s Day or Easter baskets.

9. Ziploc containers/bags, Glad containers, foil, Saran wrap, Kleenex, plates/napkins

This is another great item to stock up on at 75% off and use all year!  I know some people that buy a year’s supply of Kleenex and Ziploc bags/containers after Christmas for all year.  I surely don’t care if my Kleenex box has Christmas on it – if it bothers you get a cute Kleenex box holder Smile And I’ve been using Christmas cling wrap since I opened a new box in September 😉

10. Non-Christmas themed items

Now you may be thinking but it’s Christmas clearance?  Yes but just because a store markets it as “Christmas” doesn’t mean that it is only for Christmas.  Here’s some things I buy on after-Christmas clearance that I use all year: scotch tape, white tissue paper, wrapping paper that is plain/pastel colors, plain gift bags like brown or white or gold, lanterns, travel coffee mugs/water bottles, ribbon that isn’t necessarily Christmas, candles, blankets (like plaid, white, gray, or even red if that fits your decor), pillows (white, silver, gold or plaid pillows), and more!  Target always clearances lines of general Home décor along with Christmas decor and you can score small furniture, decorative items, pillows/throws and more.

This was a home line that Target has on clearance with Christmas clearance.  Sometimes you will find these items in the Christmas clearance area or sometimes they may be in the regular aisles.

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I hope you can find some great deals this year!  And maybe be inspired to think about and look at after-Christmas clearance sales differently than you have before.  I would love to see what you find too!  Post a picture on my facebook page or send me a message! 🙂  I’ll post some of the things I find too throughout the week.

Comments

  1. Great tips! I’m on the hunt for outside decorations, gift wrap, paper products (plates, napkins), and dish towels.

  2. Great tips! I like to check out the Christmas section for clearance but hadn’t really thought about looking in other areas of the store. I decorate with lots of red, greens and golds anyway so I could probably find decor to could use Year around.

  3. What a great post! Thank you so much for sharing your savings tips, I’ll definitely make good use of them!

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