after-holiday shopping tips

21 December 2010

Here are some tips for hitting after Christmas sales. We were in the middle of moving last year, so I didn’t post much about it, but I may be able to give better heads up this year.

*try to think ahead. Make a list now of things you were wishing you had as you were decking the halls this year: timers for lights, extension cords, miniature light sets, lighted trees for your front porch, address labels, how many Christmas cards, a storage bag for your tree, wreaths, bows, etc. so you know what to be on the lookout for and you will kiss yourself next year when you don’t have to go buy it at full price!
* Lowes begins their holiday clearance early…like now. My store is 40% off all holiday right now, and may go 50% right before Christmas. They have always gone 75% the day after Christmas. We got an awesome artificial tree at 6 a.m. the day after Christmas in 2007. It is my favorite store to hit early on December 26.
*If there is something you really want, buy it when it first starts going on clearance, save the receipt and if it is still around when it gets more deeply discounted, you can buy another, and then return it right away with your first receipt. Then you won’t be kicking yourself for not getting it if they are snatched up right away.
* Target goes 50% off the day after Christmas, then 75% off right about a week after that, and then around 6-8 days after that it goes to 90% if there is anything left.  Every store is different. You can call every morning and ask to be connected with seasonal or find a teenage worker who doesn’t care and see what he can tell you about what the markdown schedule might be that week. :) Let’s be honest, there isn’t anything I really *need* in terms of holiday decor, but I like to see what I can do with items left at 75-90% off.
These trees were left at Target 2 years ago at 90% off. They were sad and chipped, no wonder they were left.
december 2010 078 1

So, I bought a total of 3 of them: 2 for the real trees I will use, and a little tree to be used “for parts” to fix the larger ones. I just keep it on hand if the others lose some more chips.december 2010 081 1
Good as new! november 2010 038 1* I have also discovered that if there are a bunch of mismatched, ugly stocking holders left, you can usually unscrew the ornament on them and you could glue a dollar store frame to make your own personalized holders, or just use the hook part.
Last year, they had a bunch of containers of ornament hooks for 25 cents at Target. I’m not in need of ornament hooks, but the containers were perfect to hold honey butter to give to our neighbors with easy homemade bread. I may use the extras for some for a spice organization project in my kitchen…we’ll see. Try to think of how things could be re-purposed.
october 2010 002 1 We just put the bread and honey butter in big brown lunch sacks, tied them with a ribbon, and gave them with clearance Christmas cards from last year:
october 2010 017 1
You can also stock up on wrapping paper! We’ve given this to neighbors, like this idea from UCreate.
wrapping paper Super easy, no baking involved. I bought a bunch of cute paper at 40 cents a roll and we gave them to our neighbors the next year for painless holiday cheer. We attached a similar message ^
I hope this gets your wheels turning for your after holiday shopping…you can see a few more ideas here.
Do you have a favorite store you stalk for after-Christmas clearance? What are your best tips?


  1. Great tips! I love what you did with that chipped christmas tree!

  2. Great tips, Melissa! I love to shop Target after Christmas. I always buy one of their plastic ornament organizing boxes on clearance, and that means less work putting away ornaments that year. ;) They have some fabulous sales, and I love to see what I can get for 90% off.

  3. I usually hit Target for the after Christmas sale, but I am going to try Lowe's this year! I really would love some garland for the front of the house!

  4. Great tips! I am going to be traveling this year and won't be able to get right out like usual. So knowing some stores mark down ahead is great! Thanks for the info =)

  5. If you have an Elder Beerman, Bon Ton or whatever the other names for the store goes by...their holiday stuff is already marked down to 60% off. Framed Holiday Prints are marked down really low.

  6. I'm looking forward to Target's Christmas clearance! They are so great at marking their seasonal merchandise way down! Thanks for the tip about Lowe's. I'll have to check them out too!

  7. Love your tips!! Especially the wrapping paper gift idea...lovely : )

    Gemma x

  8. Just making plans w/a friend to go after Christmas shopping....great tips. Thanks so much. Loved the gift ideas for next year too! Karen

  9. Wonderful ideas, as always!! Love the gift-wrap-as-a-gift idea!

  10. Melissa,
    I want to thank you for all your great shopping tips this season! A few months ago, after reading your post, I signed up for that free Amazon Mom's membership (so easy) and have received all of my gifts with free two day shipping! In fact, I just ordered two items tonight which will be here by Thursday. I can't believe how great that has been. (I tried to order something from another store with 2 day shipping and they were going to charge me $55. Yikes. Not gonna happen).
    I also ordered the doll bed from Walmart that your sister-in-law suggested (it had great reviews). I searched the Internet and couldn't find a price below $30. I got mine for $15 with free shipping.
    Anyway, it has been so fun to get such great deals and I have thought fondly of you each time I have placed and received an order.
    Merry Christmas to you and your lovely family!
    Liz in Colorado

  11. Such great idea. I will have to think out of the box when it comes to Christmas clearance this year. Those little tins can be used for so many different things!

  12. You make such a good point about thinking about re-purposing those clearance items that are just a steal. I must admit that I staked out Pier One yesterday in anticipation of their Christmas markdown sale...

  13. Thank you Melissa! I used to avoid the stores like crazy the day after but now I think it's fun. Our Gymboree pulls out tons of boxes out of the back and the clothes are all a few dollars or less...I get the little boys all set for the year for CHEAP.
    Have a great Christmas!

  14. I usually get my Christmas cards during the after sales and pack them away. I can sit down for a break while decorating start addressing them.

  15. I love the way you think!! :)
    Thanks for sharing!

  16. Great tips, Melissa! I love how you re-purposed the ornament hanger tins. I also love going to the Dollar Tree for after-Christmas 50% off sales! Merry Christmas!

  17. You really inspire me with your great ideas! Thanks so much for sharing. Merry Christmas!


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