Just because the holiday is over does not mean that you can close up the wallet. There are times when spending money can actually save you money in the long run and this is one of those times.
By snapping up all of those clearance holiday items, you can save a fortune on your next years holiday shopping. Retailers do not want to store this stuff all yer long and you can often see savings of up to 90 percent. Here are some of the top things to buy.
This one is obvious. Holiday decorations take up a lot of storage space and retailers can just not afford to store it for 9 to 10 months until the next season starts again. This means that they will often sell the stuff at cost or even at a loss.
If you have had your eye on a new artificial tree or want to go to town next year on your light display, now is the time to take action.
Do use some restraint however and only buy items that you really want and will use. That singing elf decoration might look like a heck of a deal at 80 percent off but is it practical or will it just get on your nerves.
Also, be sure to check out any electronic items before putting them into storage. Light strings do not always work right out of the box and they will be a heck of a lot harder to return in 10 months than they are now.
2. Greeting Cards
These are easy to store and can be had for quite a bargain at the end of the season.
It should go without saying that you should avoid anything with an actual date or timely theme. Choose classic cards that can be used at any time.
Greeting cards are always a good thing to buy and put in storage at the end of any season, but the holidays are a particularly good time to save. There will be more cards available and given the volume of cards you send during this season, the savings add up.
Hit the stores fast after the holiday to get the best selection.
3. Stocking Stuffers
If you have kids, you know that all of the little things can add up in a hurry. Stocking stuffers are something that i need a lot of money for every year.
Items like small games, books, toys and trinkets have little value the rest of the year for retailers. They will unload them and you can pick them up for pennies on the dollar.
Once again, it goes without saying that candy should be avoided. Even hard candies are a risk to store for a year. Plus, they might just end up in your belly instead.
This can be taken two ways.
First, you can by holiday themed clothing for a steal. The thing about holiday clothing is that it never changes. Think about your basic holiday themes over the years and they are generally the same. Reds, greens, Christmas trees, candy canes, etc. Year after year, it is generally the same, so you can feel safe buying it and putting it in storage.
Second, you can save by buying cold weather clothing in general after Christmas. Retailers will be getting ready to sell their spring clothes and you can pick up all of the left over winter gear.
If shopping for kids in either category, be very careful about sizes. Try to be good about guessing their size next year but do realize that big growth spurts can happen. It therefore might not be wise to shop for teens and pre-teens.
Yes really, food.
There are a lot of holiday foods that can be used year round but rarely are.
Turkeys, for example. They are sold for pennies on the pound this time of year. Stores often use them as a loss leader and you can pick them up for as little as 39 cents a pound in my area. Given that they already come frozen and store well, if you have a deep freezer, they make a smart purchase.
Another food that comes to mind is canned pumpkin. Retailers sell a ton of it during the holiday but, if they order wrong, they will end up with pallets of it when all is said and done. Buy it for just pennies and use it in a variety of recipes. Tip, it makes a very healthy and nutritious food for your dog.
Besides holiday items, stores all over the place have great food sales during the holiday season. This makes it a great time to stock your pantry or freezer with the items that will keep well.
Part of being smart with money is knowing when to spend it. It would be easy to take this time of year to let your wallet cool off, but spending just 200 dollars now, might end up saving you 800 dollars next year. Thoughtful planning can go a long way to making your future budget work for you.