I know what you’re thinking.
You’ve distributed all the gifts. You’ve dragged the tree to the curb. Your family has finally returned to the corners of the globe from whence they came.
You’ve eaten your last serving of microwaved stuffing and thrown out the last bit of hardened fruit cake.
You’ve been back at work for a few days, the kids are back in school and you’re already getting comfortable writing “2017” on your… checks? (In your diary?)
Christmas is the last thing you want to think about right now.
But it’s the perfect time to think about Christmas — for just a moment longer.
Get the Best Deals on Holiday Decor With After-Christmas Sales
Retail stores are sick of Christmas, too.
They’ve been drowning in holiday preparations and shopping for the past two or three months — and they’re ready to move on.
They’re practically giving away holiday trappings this time of year to clear the shelves.
For example, Target’s holiday clearance hits up to 90% off after each holiday throughout the year.
Here are some of the best after-Christmas sales we’ve seen in the past:
Walmart offered 50-75% off both online and in-store holiday items.
Bed, Bath & Beyond offered up to 50% off in stores.
Walgreens, CVS and Rite-Aid are all run clearance sales up to 75% off holiday decor and candy after each holiday season.
You can even find discounted winter gear at Cabela’s and Gander Mountain — we’ve seen up to 85% off!
Check your favorite stores for the best deals this year!
But, clearance sales can be finicky.
You’ll usually only see these after-Christmas deals in-store, and prices and availability of items will vary wildly at different locations. That’s because these sales live up to their name: Their job is to clear the shelves.
But if you keep an eye out, you’ll find some killer deals.
What to Buy on Clearance During Post-Christmas Sales
This time of year presents the lowest demand for holiday decor. We literally can’t be further away from needing it again.
Plus, retail stores have been stocking up for high demand over the past two months, so you get great prices on holiday decorations in January!
Any Christmas-themed item you can think of is bound to be steeply discounted if it’s still in stock.
- candy and other treats
- gift sets — those pre-packaged combos like lotion and body wash, or shaving cream and razors
- candles — especially scents like pine cones, cinnamon or anything else that makes you want to curl up next to a fire
- wrapping paper, tissue paper and gift bags
- Christmas decorations
- pretty much anything shaped like Santa or reindeer, or packaged in red, green, silver and gold
Don’t wait until you need these items to prepare for the next holiday season!
Demand spikes for holiday decor as the holiday shopping season begins, so they won’t be discounted on Black Friday.
Check the Grocery Store
Find stockpiles of popular holiday ingredients at grocery stores, too.
Some of the better items may have already disappeared — like whole turkeys or hams, and pies from the bakery — but you can still find discounts on overstocked canned and dry goods.
Take this opportunity to stock up on canned fruits and vegetables — like green beans, pineapple rings and cherries. You’ll also see boxes of stuffing mix and baking mixes at discounted prices.
You may not want to keep these straight through until next December. But some creativity can help you create affordable meals year-round from discounted holiday-inspired ingredients.
Other Discounted Items to Buy in January
In addition to after-Christmas sales, this is a good time of year for deals on anything that helps us make the transition into the new year.
Retailers typically discount fitness equipment this month to support New Year’s Resolutions to get in shape.
Depending on where you live, winter might just be getting started!
Even if you don’t like stocking up on seasonal clothes a year ahead, you still have time to buy a new coat, boots, cozy sweaters and fleece-lined leggings for this season. They tend to be most discounted in January and March.
Traditional white sales at department stores encouraged shoppers to stop in after the holiday shopping frenzy.
In the mid-1900s, these sales supported consumers’ desire to change holiday colored sheets, towels and other linens for lighter, cleaner-looking whites.
Now, you’ll find sales not just on linens, but other bedding, too.
Ring in the new year with a whole new attitude just by changing out an old comforter and some throw pillows!
Discounted gift cards are abundant this time of year!
We all receive one or two gift cards we don’t really want each holiday season. Savvy sellers have figured out how to put them to use — by selling them to those of us who want them.
While you’re bound to find deals on gift cards throughout the year, common sense dictates this post-holiday period will yield some of the best prices.
Your Turn: Do you shop after-Christmas sales in January? Where do you find the best deals?
Dana Sitar (@danasitar) is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She’s written for Huffington Post, Entrepreneur.com, Writer’s Digest and more, attempting humor wherever it’s allowed (and sometimes where it’s not).