The holidays are almost over, and you know what that means – more leftovers than you can shake a stick at and after-Christmas sales. For anyone on a budget, after-Christmas sales are a perfect opportunity to get all the gifts that Santa forgot to bring, often at 50 to 70% off. Unlike Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales which “mark” the beginning of holiday shopping and are meant to kick off sales, the bargains that come after “Old St. Nick” are meant to clear out the old and ring in the new, so prices get marked down especially low. However, not all bargains are made equally, and when your budget is tight and every penny counts.
Use these tips to spend as little as possible while maximizing your loot!
1. GO LUXE
Have you ever heard the saying that when buying a gift you should always buy someone the better version than he or she would buy for him or herself? During the holidays, this premise is clear. Everything seems to be spun in cashmere – from sweaters and scarves to blankets and glove linings – and priced at half off! Use this to your advantage. Buy the nicer version of the item you would normally buy. With all the sales, it will only cost a little more and still way less than you would have paid full price.
After-Christmas sales are a great time to buy basics, especially for work. Stores are trying to clear out darker colors to make way for spring pastels and fun brights. They also tend to cut the number of suits and professional clothes to make way for all the sundresses and other warm weather wear. As such, this time of year is a great time to buy darker suits, basic cardigans and sweaters, and cold weather gear.
3. GO BIG
If money is really tight, use it where you will get the most bang. This is a good time to buy big ticket items, if that is what you really need, but it also a good time to go shopping at bigger stores. You may love the sweaters at Banana Republic but your dollar will go a little further if you go to a department store because department stores are more geared towards pushing holiday sales and they will have more inventory to clear before the new year.
4. MAKE OUT YOUR LIST
A bargain is only a bargain if you really needed it. Otherwise, it is just money you spent unnecessarily. That said, there may very well be things you do actually need. Maybe you got your first real job or a promotion lately, or just spilled eggnog on that cardigan you wear all the time. whatever the case may be, make a list of what you need and (try to) stick to it.
5. CHECK ONLINE
Many stores have started offering after-Christmas deals early – sometimes starting on Christmas itself. If there is something you really want. Check online to get an idea how the price will drop or to grab something likely to sell out..
6. GO IN PERSON
Stores want to entice shoppers to come in to their shops in the hopes that you will see something you just “have to have” and spend more than you intended – so use that to your advantage. Plan to go in person to fetch your deals. You can check online to get an idea of the savings you could find, but there will likely be many unpublished deals in-store.
7. CHECK THE NEWSPAPER
Because stores want you to visit their physical locations, you won’t find nearly the number of deals online as you will in your local newspaper. You will find significantly better coupons than online. Be sure to buy the Sunday edition that precedes Christmas as well as the one for the day after Christmas.
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