If you’re a savvy shopper, you’ll know that the short time after a holiday is the best time to stock up and save big on seasonal items.
But for after-Christmas sales, the savings and range of items on deep discount are a much bigger deal, since retailers want to get rid of additional Christmas inventory before the year's end. You could end up saving up to 85% on after-Christmas merchandise!
Here are 7 items that are the best deal during post-Christmas sales
1. Wrapping paper
Wrapping paper is a great item to buy after Christmas, given that you'll most likely be needing it anyway once the holidays roll around again next year. Just don't wait too long — once sales start, inventory begins to dwindle, but prices also keep dropping. If you want to get the best price on wrapping, now is the time!
2. Holiday greeting cards
Christmas or holiday greeting cards are other great items to buy during after Christmas sales. But, like wrapping paper, as the sales start inventory shrinks quickly — so get them while you can!
3. Gift sets
Gift sets are also on sale right now — anything from lotion and toiletries to pet gift sets. You could stock up on these for many events throughout the year, so long as they are not Christmas themed: birthdays, graduations, weddings, or baby showers. But, for the Christmas themed sets, simply store them in the closet for next year.
4. Holiday decor & candles
Holiday decor is a steal after Christmas. If you've been wanting to get a new tree or change up your holiday theme, now is the time. But hurry — inventory won't last long as sales push out remaining Christmas items. Hobby Lobby, Michaels, Target, Home Depot, Lowe's and Walmart are great places to look for after-Christmas deals.
For holiday-scented candles — choose the ones with natural ingredients and a cotton wick — those will last just fine through next year, so long as the lid is tightly secured!
Cold weather clothing is going to be a great deal after Christmas, with retailers slashing prices to get rid of excess inventory. Be on the lookout for deals on clothes for men, women and kids at J.C. Penney, Nordstrom Rack and other big retail stores.
Read more: 6 ways to spend less on clothes
6. Toys and games
Toys are a great deal at the end of the year as stores try to clear out Christmas merchandise. In addition to stocking up gifts for your kids or relatives, it might also be a great time to get toys for a charity toy drive.
Auto dealers tend to offer their best prices on new cars toward the end of the year to make room for next year's inventory. They may also offer special incentives to get you in the door! Forbes Magazine found that New Year's Eve saw the biggest discount on cars with an average discount of 8.8% in 2013. But, you may also want to buy used to save even more money. Clark says that buying a two year old used car gives you the most value for your money, depending on the type of vehicle you want to purchase.
Whether you are in the market for a new or used car, check out the articles below for more car buying tips:
- The #1 mistake new car buyers make
- 10 cars that will almost certainly last 200,000 miles
- 12 best cars to buy for 2017
- New ranking: The most reliable car brands
Before you decide to buy, check out these "Clark Smart" steps for buying a new car.
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What not to buy
Although there are items that are great to buy right after Christmas, there are items that you should shy away from, or at least wait a months or so for the price to drop.
If you want to get the absolute best deal on a TV, wait until January right before the Super Bowl. Bankrate says this is especially true for high end TVs. Be on the lookout for electronics stores to reveal their very best TV deals from mid to late January.
Read more: What you need to know before buying a TV
Though there are some good deals that pop up during December, January can be a great time to buy electronics, as stores need to make room for the latest and greatest new tech.
New model laptops are revealed in January, which means you'll be able to get a great deal on older models — even ones that came out just this year!
3. Fitness equipment
January is prime time for getting fit — and it's the best time for the best prices on fitness equipment and fitness programs. This is when everyone is in hot pursuit of the perfect body as a New Year's resolution, and retailers lower prices to entice buyers to try their products.
Other tips to get the best deals
Saving money on items you'll use isn't just about finding a good sale. Use these guidelines to avoid overspending and to help you save the most!
- Always, always price-check. Use Google Shopping or a price checker like this one to make sure what you're buying is the best deal.
- Use technology to find coupons & deals. Honey is a great browser extension that finds coupons for you while you're at checkout! Also, these apps can help you find the best deal.
- Stay within budget. Avoid the temptation to overspend — find great deals within your budget, and stick to it. Creating a list can help. And if you need help creating a budget, check out these tips.
- Don't buy it just because it's a great deal. Millions of dollars a year are spent on items we rarely, if ever, use. Avoid buying something just because it's a great deal — buy it because you really need it or want it and it's a great deal.