This time of year, I get giddy looking at all of the gift sets on the shelves at places like Walmart and Target. The prices look kind of ridiculous in November, but if you have a little patience, you can save BIG on these items and it will benefit you All. Year. Long. Here’s how to save money all year long by shopping after Christmas sales!
After Christmas, and I mean RIGHT after Christmas – like December 26th, these sets go on sale to usually 50% off.
My husband and I run to Walmart and load up a whole cart with the things we know we’ll absolutely use.
For us, this includes shaving kits, shampoo and conditioner gift sets, some make-up sets, and some edible items.
After this, you kind of have to gamble a little bit.
In just a few days, these items will drop to 75% off.
Now is when you grab the stuff that you’ll almost definitely use.
By now, I’ve already purchased all of the shampoo, conditioner, and hairspray that I’ll use for the whole year.
However, if I can stock up on even more at 75% off, I absolutely go for it.
Here are some of the items that I think are worth stocking up on after the holidays.
Now, I know you don’t want your house to smell like pine in the spring, but there are usually some items on sale that you can get away with burning all year.
Apple scents and other fruity candles that are given a wintery name usually go on clearance, but if you don’t look at the label, you’d never associate the scent with winter time.
We usually buy the big jar candles, but if tarts and votives are on sale, we go for those too.
Votives are a really great deal because they don’t typically give off enough scent to be distinguishable, so I pick them up because they’re just a great cheap candle to put in my little votive holders all year.
For the last two years, I’ve picked up enough shampoo and conditioner in holiday gift sets on clearance that I haven’t had to purchase them at all for the rest of the year.
The key is not to be very picky with brands.
For example, two years ago, I stocked up on boxes and boxes of Tresemme. Last year, there were NO Tresemme gift sets, so I had to settle for Garnier. I know Tresemme is cheap, but I LOVE it!
I swear one bottle of shampoo could last my husband a whole year, but shaving accessories are always in high demand.
We stocked up on razor and shaving cream gift sets last year and he’s just now about to run out. Perfect timing!
Another great thing to stock up on – and this one might be the best savings because places like Walmart don’t carry the same brands all year – perfume and cologne!
Gift sets for perfume and cologne typically come with two bottles of perfume and a scented lotion or pouch.
Around Christmas, Walmart even carries Coach and other high end brands in perfume and cologne gift sets.
This is also a good thing to stock up on for birthdays throughout the year and even next year’s Christmas gifts.
Edible – Hot Sauce, Candy, etc.
My husband is a huge fan of hot sauce and I have a big sweet tooth.
Luckily for both of us, there are all kinds of hot sauce gift sets and Christmas candy on clearance right after the holidays.
These items are typically not very expensive at any time of year, so you can get a real steal on these after the holidays.
These are obviously not items that you should put up for next holiday season, but if you can use them or give them away in the next few months, I think it’s really worth your while to stock up.
I’ve read about some people who freeze the candy and make it last throughout the whole year.
I haven’t given this a shot yet, but we have trouble keeping chocolate in the house anyway thanks to my sweet tooth, so maybe some of you can try the freezing method and let me know how it works for you!
This is the BIG one!
I’ve met people at the store after Christmas snagging up specialty toys the retailer doesn’t want to carry all year long – but they don’t even have kids.
This perplexed me so I dug a little further.
They’ll turn around and sell these toys in Facebook groups to turn a profit.
While I don’t care to hoard a bunch of toys to make a few extra bucks, I do have 3 kids and they have birthdays scattered throughout the year.
There are usually some toys that end up on clearance that we would love to have, but Santa knew they would be deeply discounted right after Christmas.
Obviously, these are great to stock up on for birthdays throughout the year and for next Christmas.
In my experience though, a lot of the extra toys that don’t sell during Christmas time are shipped back to the manufacturer.
The toys you’ll score the day after Christmas are usually off-brands – like Walmart’s Spark brand toys.
Large displays of Melissa and Doug and Fisher Price usually disappear right after Christmas.
This is unfortunately also the case with storage totes and wreath and bulb storage.
Christmas Cards and Gift Wrap
Finally, stock up on Christmas cards and wrapping paper!
Wrapping paper is the biggest rip off, no pun intended. It is literally just torn apart and thrown away. I can’t bring myself to pay full price for wrapping paper knowing its intended purpose. Gift bags and gift tags also go on clearance, so absolutely stock up!
Sometimes, there are Disney wrapping paper rolls or other characters that can double as birthday party wrapping paper. If you think you or someone you know can use it, especially when it goes to 75% off, absolutely stock up! We always buy a few rolls and make sure to stock up on bags and tissue paper as well.
A word of caution though: If you have your eye on name brand wrapping paper or bags, don’t wait and hope to get them on 75% off. Mossy Oak, Disney, and Pixar wrapping items fly off the shelves after the holidays. Plain snowflake wrapping paper and bows are what you’ll typically find the best deals on right after the holidays.
This year, my husband and I are planning on buying a pre-lit Christmas tree as well. They’re SO expensive before the holidays, but they go on clearance just like everything else right after Christmas. Have your eye on one of those big blow up lawn ornaments? The day after Christmas is the day to go see if it’s still there. These plus lights, ornaments, garland, and other Christmas décor are all 50% off. You can buy to your heart’s content and not feel guilty about over-spending.
Now, a word of caution. I know I’m really excited about these great deals, but remember – IT’S ONLY A GREAT DEAL IF IT ACTUALLY SAVES YOU MONEY! Don’t buy huge amounts of things you won’t use only to turn around and have to throw them away later. Also, make sure you’re organized enough to remember what you purchased this year. Otherwise, you may end up purchasing duplicates next year and the savings are completely lost. I know because I’ve made this mistake myself!
Customized Ornaments and Gifts
If your mall is anything like ours, around the holidays you’ll notice little kiosks in the middle that sell customized ornaments, glass figurines, and specialty food items. These also go on clearance right after Christmas. My husband and I like to stock up on these glass figurines and save them for next year’s Christmas gifts! Also, if you can think of any Christmas ornaments that you’d like to have for next year’s tree, now is the time to buy them. For example, we’re expecting, so now is the time to buy next year’s “Baby’s First Christmas” ornament and have it personalized.
Do you use candles throughout the year or have a loved one who can’t eat a meal unless it’s doused in hot sauce? If so, you’d be crazy to not stock up when these products are so cheap! With just a little thought and planning, the days and weeks right after Christmas can be the best time to save on items you’ll use all year long!
What secrets do you have that help you save all year? What items are worth it to you to stock up on for your family? Let me know in the comments!