Surely you're not shopped-out yet? (And stop calling me Shirley.) Christmas may be five days away, but then it's time for post-holiday sales. Hopefully, you've left a bit of room in your budget for the price bonanzas that are just around the corner.
Post-Christmas is the time when merchants try to lure you in with sale prices of up to 75-percent off. Combine these clearance prices with coupons and shopping is even more tempting than on Black Friday. The question is: What items should you buy at this time of year?
Coupon Sherpa offers eight tips to making the most out of these post-Christmas sales.
1. Christmas 2011 Supplies
Prices plummet on holiday-specific merchandise the day after Christmas. Stock up on cards and craft items while replacing worn-out ornaments, Christmas wreaths, light strings, etc.
2. Spring Fashions
Buried in between the heavy sweaters and tights are a few light-weight fashion items suited to Spring 2011. Hot trends to look for include:
3. Ageless Clothing Styles
A classic white shirt never goes out of style but low-slung jeans are out the door. Look through styles by Liz Claiborne, Ralph Lauren and other designers who rarely age, then shop bargain racks for similar pieces.
4. Valentine's Day Supplies
Reds predominate on sale tables and racks after Christmas, so pick up your Valentine's Day craft supplies, decorations and gifts while you can. You might also grab some chocolates to freeze for gifts come Valentine's Day. (You might also look for green decorations to use for St. Patrick's Day.)
5. Party Decorations
If you're planning a wedding, anniversary party or other major celebration in 2011, take advantage of post-New Year's Eve sales. Silver and gold decorations predominate, but you might also find good deals in your chosen color scheme. Don't forget the dollar stores.
6. Gifts for Next Christmas
Friends think I'm insane because I begin shopping for next year at post-Christmas sales. While it's not really possible to buy specific gifts, since tastes, wants and your gift-recipient list may change, I can find generic gifts that can be slotted in for general gift giving. Christmas ornaments and cookbooks with pretty photos are my favorite plunder.
7. Gift Wrap
Gift bags and other wrapping supplies can be picked up cheaply and stored for next year. Some generic styles -- single-color foils or gift bags, for example -- can be used throughout the year.
Merchants try to off-load last year's electronics after Christmas. This can be rather sticky as you may find yourself longing for an upgrade within a few months. If you're not the type who has to have the latest computer or smartphone, this may be your time to buy. Keep an eye out for greatly-reduced floor models but make sure all the parts and the manual are included.