10 Ways to Save Money (Shopping Holiday Clearance)
Jamie here! I’ve been helping my brother learn how to save money lately, as he makes a fresh start in a new home with few belongings. He needs a good deal on LOTS of items – from kids’ toys, new photo albums, furniture, food and everything in between. Right now, we’re working on using the Holiday clearance aisle to get him set for the kids upcoming birthdays.
Since I was at it already, it seemed a good time as any to start a new frugal series! Here are 10 Ways to Save Money by shopping Holiday Clearance. Check in each evening for a new “Pro Tip” and we’d love for you to pin the ones you find helpful!
Pro Tip #1:
Pick up the most non-Christmasy wrapping paper and gift bags you can find to use for year-round giftwrap. The neon & silver stripes, and pink polka-dot paper is going to be great for girls’ birthday gifts. The blue bags with polks dots will be great for boy everyday gift giving. Adding a non-Christmasy tissue paper to the bag will help set it apart from the holidays even more.
Pro Tip #2:
Drugstores don’t normally stock lots of toys, and so they don’t have room to keep them on the shelves after Christmas is over. They’ll mark down regular toys, no holiday packaging whatsoever, as low as 90% OFF!
One of the BIGGEST ways to save money during holiday clearance time is to stock your gift closet with toys. My four boys are often invited to birthdays at the last minute – and with me tight on time and money. After Christmas I search the clearance aisle specifically for several boy-friendly toys I can stow in the gift closet for enough birthdays to last me the year. This year I found a maze ball for $2.50 and a Keyboard for $12.50 at CVS (75% OFF) , and an origami and spirograph set for $3 at Staples. (75% OFF)
Pro Tip #3:
What about all that Christmas candy on clearance? I’ve found that “nice” candy like Godiva Chocolates, Lindt Truffles, Russel Stover boxes of chocolates and Toblerone bars make good gifty items. Most of these aren’t in holiday packaging – so they’ll work for Valentine’s Day, Teacher Appreciation, and scores of other special occasions.
My favorite candy to stock up on is red & green M&M’s. I separate it at home into ziploc bags – the red is great for decorating Valentine Cupcakes and the green works perfectly for St. Patrick’s Day treats! Candy goes on clearance at drugstores at the same time as the rest of the Christmas items – but at some stores like Target, candy gets reduced more slowly than other items.
* If you’re shopping the candy section with plans to use them for next Christmas’ stocking stuffers – make sure to check the expiration dates. Only a few kinds will be good through next Christmas (Think Pez dispensers, gum, and some other hard candies)
Pro Tip #4:
Here’s another area where we benefit from the stores having no room for certain items – this time with electronics. Grocery stores and drugstores have to mark down electronics to make way for Valentine’s Day merchandise. This year we’ve already seen 75% OFF deals at Rite-Aid on Televisions, Touchscreen tablets and Slimbook computers marked down to $37.50 (reg $150)! These were “big ticket” items brought in as Black Friday doorbusters, and still hanging around.
Other items to keep an eye out for are heaters. I spotted these heaters for 50% OFF at the grocery this afternoon in the seasonal aisle. Need a digital photo frame or a new bluetooth speaker? Grab those for a song at most drugstores as well! Electronics might not be something that pops into your head when you are hunting for clearance – and you may not spot them in the clearance aisle at all. Drugstores often keep them behind the photo counter, or the main checkout area.
Pro Tip #5:
Use the clearance aisle to buy Valentine Gifts and Easter Basket fillers for the kids – but this works especially well for girls. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Travel games
- Book Lights, small gadgets
- Cosmetic sets
- Manicure sets
- Fuzzy slippers
- Cute socks (these above even have hearts on them!)
- Fragrance or Lotion sets
**The holiday lotion sets will likely be Christmas-themed (i.e. Cranberry Frost or some such nonsense) – but usually Vanilla is an easy-to-find scent as well 🙂
Pro Tip #6:
Everything in the Holiday Clearance aisle doesn’t HAVE to be a gift you save for another time – lots of items are just plain practical! I like to pick up everyday household items like extension cords, flashlights, dog toys and tablecloths in the clearance aisle at deep discounts. In years past I found regular old cookie sheets at Walmart on clearance after Christmas. Look out for plastic tableware and paper plates – even seasonal print paper towels will go on clearance eventually!
Pro Tip #7:
Get next year’s Christmas Sweaters NOW! I usually buy a new sweater for my husband and my brother for Christmas gifts – and the boys to wear for Christmas Mass. If possible, I’ll shop places like Kohl’s, JC Penney, Target, etc after Christmas when they’re marking sweaters down as low as 70 – 90% Off. Last year at Kohl’s I got my brother a great sweater for $4.90 – reg $49.99!
Here are a couple examples we found online:
- Target: Xhilaration Open Cardigan $7.86 after using 10% OFF code EXTRA10 (Reg $24.99)
- Kohl’s: Croft & Barrow Solid Mockneck Sweater – $18 (Reg $45)
- American Eagle: Combed Cotton Mockneck Sweater – $15 after extra 50% OFF Clearance when added to cart (Reg $54)
**Use online promotions like Kohl’s Cash or Target Coupon Codes to save even MORE on sweater markdowns!
Pro Tip #8:
Storage totes are a great item to stock up on after Christmas! If you don’t mind some red & green bins in your garage’s color scheme – you will be able to snag bins and boxes for around half off. The great thing is – these are among the last things to hit the clearance aisle. So if you’re a little late join us, these are deals you can still get through mid-January. For ideas of where to pick up these Storage deals – I would suggest Kmart, Home Depot, Target, and more.
Pro Tip #9:
While there’s nothing actually “Christmasy” about pj’s, slippers or warm bedding – sure enough, those things hit the clearance rack right after Christmas, too! This is a fantastic time to buy next year’s Christmas Eve pajamas and slippers.
Slippers and PJ’s are one of those things you don’t really need to know someone’s exact size on (you can guesstimate it pretty well) so it’s pretty safe to buy ahead. American Eagle Shimmery Bow Slippers are just $12.50 this time of year – reg $40 .
Robe & PJ sets are especially good buys right now. Walmart has these Kids Robe sets for $8 that include a fleece robe and 2-PC Character Pajamas.
Another hot item that you can buy NOW to save big bucks is flannel or fleece sheet sets. Kohl’s Queen size flannel sheets are $39.99 (Reg $129.99) Use code TIZTHESEAZN for an extra 15 % OFF as well 🙂 *Exp 1/14/15
Pro Tip #10:
Check out our OTHER holiday clearance posts! We go into better detail regarding Target clearance, or coupons, or drugstore clearance in some of these other articles:
Print out this Christmas Clearance Watch List so you can stay focused while shopping
See what kind of Christmas Clearance Coupons to Print before you leave
Get Target Christmas Clearance Tips, specifically
Check out more tips about How to Save Money in these articles!