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5 Things Worth Waiting to Buy After the Holidays

After Christmas sale

This post is from regular contributor, Kyle James. If you missed his recent post about the Amazon drones, you have to read it. Guaranteed to make you laugh out loud.

Every time I sit down to watch the local news there is a story about last-minute gift ideas, or tips on buying gifts for your pets, or even worse, a story about what to say to your boss when he/she gives you a gift you don’t like. Are there actually people who don’t know how to act in such a situation? Apparently.

But anyways, my point is that news outlets only want to talk about finishing off your Christmas shopping when in reality they are totally missing the boat on a chance to talk about real money saving opportunities. In case you weren’t aware, perhaps the single best time to save money shopping is right after Christmas extending all the way through the middle of January. To maximize your savings, here are five items to consider this year.

1. Furniture for the Home

Historically, big furniture manufacturers release new product lines in early February. Because of this, many furniture stores will try really hard to clear out old inventory come January 1st to make room for the new models. What do I mean by “try really hard”? They’ll start slashing prices and offering some pretty attractive sales. If you’re in the market for a new couch or dining room set, don’t rush into anything right now, wait a couple weeks and then look for the deals.

2. Christmas Decorations and Wrapping Paper

I have fond memories of hitting the department stores right after Christmas with my Mom, who was quite frugal, to stock up on reams of wrapping paper, bows, and assorted holiday decorations. I loved it because she always let my sister and I pick out a decoration or ornament for the following year. Looking back on it, it’s pretty clear that she only did it because the stuff was practically free. It is not uncommon to find wrapping paper marked at 75% off and Christmas decorations typically start at 50% off and get better from there. December 26th is the day to start a stockpile so you’re not stuck buying at full price come next Christmas.

3. Clothing Retailers

Clothing stores are notorious for offering some excellent after-Christmas sales. Last year, several popular apparel stores on Rather-Be-Shopping.com had a 40% or 50% off coupon code starting on December 26th. They included GAP, Ann Taylor, Banana Republic, Old Navy, American Eagle, and Lands’ End. Typically, these coupon codes can be added to their after-Christmas sale so you’re potentially looking at savings hovering around 70% off. My wife and will use these sales and coupons to stock up on clothing for our 3 kids. We’ll typically buy clothing that will fit them next fall and winter and just store them until then. The money you can save makes it totally worth the hassle of figuring out what size to buy.

4. Electronics, especially HDTV’s

Every January in Las Vegas is the big Consumer Electronics Show where companies unveil their newest and greatest (and expensive) models for 2014. With these new models on the way to stores shortly thereafter, consumer electronics retailers start to markdown their 2013 versions in order to quickly get rid of them. It is simply a case of out with the old, in with the new. Use this to your advantage by buying in mid to late January and save a lot of money by purchasing a 2013 model. Throw in the Super Bowl weekend sales that big-box retailers offer every year and you’ll likely save more money than if you had ventured out on Black Friday morning.

5. Fitness Equipment

Did you get as plump as a stuffed turkey over the past month? I know I have packed on a few pounds the past few weeks. So many good eats and so little will-power. If you’re looking for a deal on fitness equipment or gear to help you lose some of those pounds wait a little bit longer. Come January many sporting goods stores will offer sales to entice those with the New Year’s resolution of shedding some pounds and getting healthier. Better yet, wait until February or March and snag a used deal from folks who had the best New Year’s intentions. This is usually when they start to unload the treadmill or elliptical machine that has been gathering dust and acting more like a spot to hang clothes rather than a machine to help you get into shape. No joke! I did this exact thing a couple years ago and scored a great deal on Craigslist for a treadmill that was barely used.


Image: Freedigitalphotos.net/Vuono

About Kim Parr

Kim Parr is a private practice optometrist, freelance writer, and personal financial blogger. You can follow her journey to 20/20 financial vision at Eyes on the Dollar.


  1. I must pick the fitness equipment, after the holidays surely I will gain extra pounds. I really want to buy treadmill I’ve been searching on the internet about the prices of treadmills.

  2. I actually am waiting to buy a second TV (if we do end up buying one) until closer to the Super Bowl, mainly because I’ve heard you say in the past and again in this post that it’s cheaper around that time versus the Holiday season. I also always buy Christmas decorations, wrapping paper, and other holiday-related supplies after the actual Holiday. I’ve been doing this for a few years now and must have saved hundreds already.

  3. I always buy gift wrap, bows and ribbon after the holidays. That way I am stocked for the following year. I love knowing that gift wrap is one last thing that I have to worry about buying.

  4. Great stuff as usual, Kyle. Years ago, I bought knockoffs of those Dept. 56 ceramic Christmas village houses off of the clearance rack the day after Christmas. My cost? 75 cents each. I smile every time I set up my little village at Christmas time, knowing I technically got them for free, knowing that not only did I get a stellar deal at $10.50 for 14 of the little buildings, but I paid for them with a gift card from Christmas. 🙂

  5. Great tips, especially about the decorations and wrapping paper! Another thing I’ve done in the past- I LOVE Yankee Candles but they are crazy expensive. In the past I’ve gone to Yankee Candle after Christmas and picked up some of their Christmas-themed candles for cheap (since they reduce the prices by half within a few weeks after the holidays in order to get rid of them). Then I save them for the following year! Being stored for a year does not seem to change or harm them at all (although obviously they can’t get too warm!)

  6. I didn’t realize furniture was much cheaper in January. I need a new futon so might be worth the wait. As always Kyle great shopping list.

  7. Great tips Kyle! My Mom was the same way while I was growing up in that we went out every year on the 26th to score on some deals. We’ve done a bit of that ourselves in the past and it always saves us a chunk of money. I didn’t know about the furniture thing either, we’re looking to replace two couches so may look into doing that. 🙂

  8. I’ll be January is a good time to sell your unwanted/unsused fitness equipment as well. As a buyer I can imagine you’d get some good deals on ebay and Craigslist because other people are thinking the same thing. I actually shop for clothes after Christmas too. Great deals!

  9. Truth be told, I think anything is good to buy after the holidays. Even though there are sales out there, you can often times find regular prices after the holidays that are lower than sale prices during the holidays. One more big category is cars. Right after the holidays, new models come out. You can get last year’s model very very cheap after the holidays!

  10. “a story about what to say to your boss when he/she gives you a gift you don’t like.” Really? Does that happen to people? You say, “Thank you so much for this thoughtful gift” and change the subject to “What are you doing for the holidays?”. I need to buy a few more gifts for family who are out of town. I’ll have to check around some of those links to see what I can find.

  11. Wait a minute KK…..I thought you hucked the fruit cake at their crotch and ran out of the room?

  12. I am glad you put electronics in there Kyle. That is so true. When I used to sell them and went to the show, I would talk to manufacturers and dealers. They would give me huge discounts on the old TVs in order to give me space to pull in new ones. You can really score awesome deals after CES.

  13. My wife hasn’t gotten some really great deals for holiday decorations and wrapping paper after the holidays…I think the stores really need to get rid of their inventory.

  14. I’m so glad my family doesn’t celebrate Christmas till January anyway. I have some shopping to do after the 25th.

  15. I read article this morning that talked about how clothing retailers were hurting this season. Apparently we’re buying everything but clothes. So it will definitely be interesting to see what sales they have afterwards and I might just take advantage of a few. 🙂

  16. I think I bought enough clearance wrapping paper and boxes last year to last me another few years. Oops! But one of the most beautiful ornaments on my tree is a Waterford crystal ornament I snagged at Macy’s at 75% off a few years ago after Christmas. I love it so much, I’m going to try and get another one this year 🙂

  17. Nice tip about furniture. I always struggle with furniture because I had buying something that looks or feels cheap, but I’m always shocked at the price tag on higher quality stuff. A lot of times I end up going cheaper and regret it.

  18. We always buy our wrapping paper after the holidays and just stuff it away until the next year. The rest of the stuff we’re not in the market for. At least not this year!

  19. Oh yeah, fitness equipment will be for pennies on the dollar on craigslist come February or March! I need a treadmill! =)

  20. I definitely plan on buying “last year’s” fashions when all of the winter clothes are being marked down. It’s not like a care what year my clothes designs are from. You might have to wait 8 months to wear something, but it definitely helps keep money in the account!

  21. I’ve been surprised this year just how many “affluent” people I know who have openly stated they’re going to be stocking up on Christmas cards, wrapping paper and decorations after Christmas. Normally it’s just me and my girlfriend who try to “play it smart” but it seems – for whatever reason – that more and more people are catching on to the incredible possible savings.

    • We just got some LED lights for 75% off for next year. The selection wasn’t great, but you can’t beat the price!

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