Now is the best time to shop after Christmas Clearance. The rookie frugalista may think that the best time is right after Christmas, however it is best to wait. Why? Well first of all, right after Christmas, most "Clearance" items are only marked at 50% off. That may seem like a lot, but not when you consider that waiting an extra week can save you anywhere from 75% off to 90% off! Also, there is a much bigger selection at first so you may get carried away with the "oh wow, its on sale so I must buy it even if I don't want it or need it" bug.
What to Get:
- Pick up wrapping paper and other wrapping supplies.
- Christmas decor that you actually will use (for example, if you need a new Christmas tree topper, now is the time to get it. But don't pick up extra odds and ends that will just take up space).
- Non-dated/generic Christmas ornaments - When you get them at a great deal, you can use them for lots of things and actually make wonderful package trimmings. And when you get them for 10 cents a piece, it isn't too shabby.
- Christmas cards for the next year.
What Not to Get:
- Don't pick up the candy unless you absolutely need it (I've picked up Clearance candy for work events, but that's it). You don't really need the extra calories and when you buy it in bulk, it will tempt you to no end.
- Don't get any gift items that are dated OR are trendy. For example - don't pick up that Jonas Brothers notebook that is on clearance for 95% off...you never know if they will be hot when you need to gift the item.
- Don't get a ton of generic "gifts" that you are planning to stash for extra presents. You'll find better deals throughout the year, plus you may end up with a closet full of stuff that you never end up gifting.
- Don't get more things than you can comfortably store. What's the point of loading up on goodies if you are going to be miserable finding a place to store them?
Pointer: If you buy things for next year, remember to place them or store them in a place where you will remember them. If you are going to get a good deal on Christmas cards, they don't do a bit of good if you don't remember where you put them next year!