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Best After Christmas Shopping Tips

By December 26, 2011 No Comments

December 26 is the third biggest shopping day of the year. As I prepare my shopping list, and check it twice for after-Christmas shopping, I thought I’d share some tips I’m considering before I head out the door. And include the shopping results.

1. Get Organized
Make a list of the stores you will shop at, times they open, and the order you will shop at each. For example, here is how I will be shopping:

MONDAY, Dec. 26 (expect 50 – 75% off depending on store.)
Store 1 – 6 a.m. Smith’s grocery store (12/26 Wasn’t the best deals at 50% off, but did get Christmas M&M’s and Christmas headbands to hide away.)
Store 2 – 6:30 a.m. Harmon’s grocery store (12/26 They had begun to markdown Christmas decor at about 70% off. Had a large supply. Grabbed some gift wrap, but didn’t see what I wanted.)
Store 3 – 7 a.m. Target (12/26 Arrived about 7:10 to a crowd in the Christmas decoration section with markdowns at 50% off. Was wondering why everyone was going crazy at only 50% off. Grabbed a few items, but felt prices should come down more, though selection will be worse.)
Store 4 – 8 a.m. Kohl’s (12/26 Christmas decor had already been picked over, but was 70% off. Didn’t buy anything, so drove to Marshall’s.)
Store 5 – 9 a.m. Marshall’s (12/26 This was the BEST place to shop! They took an additional 50% off the Christmas clearance prices on Christmas items!)
  17 Christmas gift bags retail $57.00 paid $5.20
  Christmas Santa retail $78.00,  paid $8.00
  Sequined Christmas runner retail $30.00,  paid $4.00
  Talking bear and book retail $30.00,  paid $4.00
  Read-Along Christmas DVD retail $8.99,  paid $1.75
  Santa soap dispenser retail $14.00,  paid $1.75
  Christmas wreath w/pine cones retail $32.00, paid $3.50
  Wooden sleigh w/lights retail $28.00, paid $3.00
  Christmas gift ideas book retail $24.95, paid $1.00
  Total Retail $302.94, paid $32.20

Wednesday, Dec. 28 (75% off)
Monday, Jan. 2 (90% off)

2. Don’t do returns today!
You will be standing in long lines if you do. Save that task for another evening later this week.

3. Have a list of who you will be shopping for
Birthday gifts – January, February, March
Decorations – Christmas next year, red/heart items for Valentine’s and 4th of July, green for St. Patrick’s day
Christmas gift wrap, cards, ribbon
Emergency items – candles, gadgets like flashlights or multi-tools, LED headlamps
Next year’s Christmas sweater or outfit, Christmas jewelry or hair items
Shop for Toys in July unless deeply discounted or Christmas themed

4. Store these gifts in one location
If you want to find them again, store them together. Grab a clearance red or green tote to hide them in. I keep a running gift spreadsheet.

Articles you may want to read:
“Stockpiling for the Holidays”
TotallyTarget deals
List of Typical Items on sale After-Christmas
“How to Make the Most of After-Christmas Sales” at FrugalLiving.about.com
6 Things to Buy After Christmas