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.