How to Save Money at After Christmas Sales

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save money buying on clearance at after Christmas sales

How to Save on After Christmas Sales

Since Christmas is almost here, I thought I’d share some ways you can use after Christmas sales to save money and help make next Christmas and occasions throughout the year financially easier.

After Christmas sales can be a great way to save money on things you would buy anyway, without paying full price. As you see the things that are on sale, try to predict which of those things you are likely to need during the next year.

Don’t limit your thinking to Christmas! Consider how you may use after Christmas items for other occasions in the coming year. Be creative!

Don’t go crazy and buy everything they have just because it is marked down. If you buy 20 of something you don’t need and eventually just get rid of it, you didn’t really save by getting it on clearance.

If you want to get some great deals but you also want a lot of selection, you’ll want to show up in the store pretty early on December 26th. You can get deeper discounts if you wait several days or a week for the stores to mark items all the way down to 75% off. The down side of waiting is that the item you want may be gone if you wait too long. If you really have to have it, you probably want to get it sooner rather than wait.

If there’s something that you want at Wal-Mart, you will definitely want to get there the first thing on December 26th because Wal-Mart attracts the die hard after-Christmas shoppers who buy like hungry locusts. 😉

You can often find good buys at grocery and drug stores a week or two after Christmas because there’s not as much demand for after Christmas items in those stores. Here are some of the things to consider as you visit after Christmas sales:

  • Buy new Christmas decorations for next year. This seems obvious to some of us, but if you’ve never thought about it, you can usually get lights, lawn decorations, indoor decorations and other holiday-specific items for 50-75% off right after Christmas. We like to add to our display every year and it is much less expensive to buy after Christmas this year rather than before Christmas next year. Even our Christmas tree was a “50% off after Christmas” buy. (Don’t try this with live trees! They don’t keep well! ;-))
  • Buy “Baby’s First Christmas” items (pajamas, bibs, ornaments, etc.) for those friends and relatives expecting babies in the next year.
  • Purchase holiday craft items. Christmas ribbons, needlework, and other craft supplies are often marked down to 75% off. Get started on those projects and get them done early. Don’t forget to get enough red ribbon and craft supplies for Valentine’s day.
  • Buy your red Valentine’s Day and green St. Patrick’s Day candy on clearance after Christmas. You can also freeze Christmas chocolate for year-round baking.
  • Christmas isn’t just red and green anymore. You can get every color under the rainbow now. If you are decorating a room or having a special party, like an anniversary party, you can purchase your supplies for 75% off. I’ve also purchased things like specialty lights for my son who collects anything that will light up.
  • Purchase gifts for next Christmas, birthdays, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and teachers’ gifts. You can often find wonderful gift bath sets that make great gifts for teachers at 50% off. There are also bath sets for kids, make up sets for girls and cologne and perfume for men and women that you can give for any occasion. I purchase several extra girls and boys gifts sets for the kids to take to birthday parties. I buy hubby’s cologne for the year (again, as a gift set) and give it to him on Father’s Day. My sister in law liked a particular large red candle that I happened to notice was on sale after Christmas. I purchased it for $2 instead of the $10 regular price.
  • If you have a wedding coming up, look for decorations with your wedding colors after Christmas. You can also get tablecloths and napkins for your household on clearance after Christmas. You can buy these at up to 75% off and use them every day.
  • Look for wrapping paper for other occasions. Stores have colored and white tissue paper and wrapping paper that isn’t necessarily just for Christmas. You can also buy Christmas paper for next to nothing after Christmas and save it for next Christmas or use it white side out for other holidays.
  • I buy the pre-packaged gingerbread kits that are now available for my kids. For $2 each, it is much easier to have the house already baked and rolled out. I save them for the kids to decorate next year. (Of course we don’t eat them.)

I buy about 3/4 of my gift items for the year the days and weeks after Christmas. By doing this, I save hundreds of dollars on gifts over the year.

photo by: shirworld


  1. says

    Such a great article, and my family does the same as you and buys the majority of gifts for the year after Christmas.
    We had to laugh though when you called the die hards of Walmart hungry locusts! We seen it in person!

  2. Mari says

    Some great ideas! I always say to myself that I will do exactly this after Christmas – buy next year’s gifts in the sales! I’ve never actually remembered to do it….this year however I did start buying my presents a little earlier, and I was all set up for Christmas quite a few weeks ago. This year I will definitely make the effort to buy gifts in the sales and keep my eyes open…… :)

    • Joanne says

      Mari – I know this is off topic, but you have the most perfect eyebrows. I just had to comment. I wish I had your eyebrows!

  3. Heather Kimbell says

    I also stock up on Christmas decorations, wrapping, ornaments etc. but I put them in a large box wrapped in Christmas paper and make a pretty tag that says “Do Not Open Until Your First Christmas as Husband and Wife” and give these as wedding gifts. The Christmas paper often gets funny looks but the newlyweds often say it was one of their favorite gifts.

  4. Ashley says

    That’s a great idea Heather! I remember my first Christmas as a newlywed was quite pathetic. I bought a package of tiny candycanes and spread them all over the tree to give ooph to our one decoration. :) Your idea would have made our holiday feel much more festive.

  5. Dineen says

    It always amazes me how quickly some things are marked down. Gingerbread kits? Kids are still home from school (or taking break from homeschooling) for at least another week. Putting the kit together is a perfect winter activity to use up old candy and cookies. It’s not particularly Christmas, but some how became associated with it.

  6. Patty says

    One of our favorite wedding gifts, was a box full of little wooden Christmas tree ornaments. They were so beautiful and were such a blessing our first Christmas. It saved us having to go and buy all these ornaments the first year. Then, I shopped the after Christmas sales and bought to add to our tree the following year. Coming from someone that received them as a wedding gift, every year when we are decorating our tree, we are reminded what this couple gave us. Merry CHRISTmas everyone.

  7. says

    A great way to get quality clothing at a fraction of the price!

    One frugal thing that I came up with a while ago was a way to get good quality clothing for very little money. One day, I walked into a quality dry cleaner just off of Danforth Avenue, in Toronto. I had this sudden inspiration and proceeded to ask the man working the counter the following question:

    “Would you by any chance happen to have clothes that have been hanging here all cleaned up that you would like to get rid of?” His eyes lit up like a free game. “Do I ever!!” He held out his hands making invisible measurements of my body. “Waist & length for trousers, sweaters…” He then went out back and a minute later came out with brand named quality clothing. He had beautiful llama sweaters from Bolivia, named brand attire, custom-made clothing, etc. I picked out a number of items. “How much?” I asked. “Just pay the cleaning ticket and get it out of here!!”He seemed anxious to make room in his shop.

    Remember, people die, go to prison, move away, forget about their cleaning. After about a year, the drycleaner just wants it gone. Many will donate it to charity goodwill shops. But others are waiting for you to come in and pay the ticket and take it all away. A great way to get quality clothing at a fraction of the price!

  8. says

    Years ago when I was single living in Toronto I did the same thing. Had great clothes on a nearly minuscule budget.
    Wish I could do it here but small towns do not run the same way as big cities. or even small cities.

  9. Carol Murray says

    Hello. I am making inquiries re. the Candy Lane Theme Set. Do you sell these? I am a retail store and would like more information asap. Kind Regards Carol Murray.

    • says

      No we don’t Carol. This was just a picture similar to how I decorate my home sometimes but I just do it using things I can find for almost nothing like I paint cardboard carpet tubes and make them into giant candy canes. Sorry I couldn’t give you more info on these exact sets.

  10. dawn adair myers says

    im going to start early this year and wait for january when the christmas is on sale cause your right about it saves money and i did take your advise and went to an estate sale and bought christmas gifts and a antique store and bought the rest for christmas the funny thing was that i got gifts for 2 dollars and less so i spent around 25 dollars for the family but im going to adopt this of going to the after christmas sales my self to save money through the year

  11. Colette says

    These are great tips! I like to add a Hallmark ornament or two every year, and I wait til after Christmas to get them at least 50% off. Especially with the year on them. 2 or 3 years down the road, do you even remember that it wasn’t on the tree that exact year? NO. Over the 11 years I have been married, our skimpy tree has grown to be filled with fabulous ornaments! I also like to go to local craft fairs and find ornaments too. I love the wedding gift idea too, and the dry cleaner tip. This site is wonderful!!!!

  12. Nadine says

    Something I started doing with Christmas ornaments when I first had children, was to give them a special ornament every year, which was bought after Christmas and saved. They now have so many that they can definitely decorate their own tree with ornaments that are part of their family history. This is great to do at garage sales, or second-hand stores during the year,too.

  13. Judy says

    Thanks for the ideas on using red and green, for later in the year on Valentines and St Patricks. Just picked up tissue paper and ribbons, half off at Walgreens. Same for a new christmas tree, as our old one was ready to donate, saved half off on the tree too.

  14. Mary Hull says

    Just wanted to say how much I enjoy your site . I wait each week for your emails then grab a cuppa and read through all the wonderful advice and hints . I think this site is wonderful and wished I had found it years earlier when I was working . Boy did I waste money and now I am retired and have to count the pennies. You give such sound advice . It is so needed in a world full of consumerism and waste. Thank you for this site . Loving greetings to all , all the way from Australia. Have a merry Christmas and a blessed 2014 . Mary

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