Ask the Readers: What's Your Best Post-Holiday Purchase? (Chance to win $10!)

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Comment #11 90% off Christmas items Submitted by K on December 22, 2009

I wait it out....and then tend to stumble on the 90% off stuff. My husband needled me to buy more wrapping paper last year....we now have enough for the next 3 decades! UGH!  This year however, I must admit, I will be on the lookout for one of those cheesy Santa hats....and possibly an antler headband. LOL. I might even add bells! LOL!!! post-season purchase..a tree, reg. $49.99 for $3.99. for grab bag exchange, but was better than mine, so I kept it. #WBAsk 5 days ago from web


Do you shop the after-holiday sales?  You might want to consider it, since retailers like Target have a rather aggressive markdown schedule (and who couldn't use 90% off wrapping paper for next year?)  One of my most thrifty post-season sale purchases involves the annual holiday Christmas ornaments and the snow globes -- I would never pay $30 for a musical snowglobe commemorating 2009, but $5, I can swing.

What are you best after-holiday purchase stories?  Do you love shopping after the season?  When do you head out?  If you don't, why not?

Share your thoughts here in our comment thread or on Twitter, and you'll be entered to win one of two $10 Amazon giveaways. It's just enough to snag some of those post-holiday markdown deals. Dozens of readers have already won. You could be next!

Win a $10 Amazon Gift Certificate

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At the end of the drawing, we'll update this post to include (and link to) all of your helpful responses.

Giveaway Rules:

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Guest's picture

I never hit the after Christmas sales to stock up on wrapping paper and such. I know I probably should since you can score great deals but, after the holiday, I'm just relieved it's over and plan on worrying about next Christmas next November and December. I will, however, go shopping with any gift cards I've received if I want/need something for myself. But my birthday is in mid-January, so I usually wait until after that.

Guest's picture

one year i bought a 3 foot tall mint green tinsel christmas tree from urban outfitters for $5. it's awesome and i've used it for many many years since.

Guest's picture

I haven't hit the after Christmas sales in a long time, but when I did, I would wait until a couple days after Christmas to avoid the crazy returns.

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One year I got a $20 emergency car kit for myself for $5 (at Target) because it was one of those Holiday Packaged Gifts that really can't be sold any other time of the year (red box with snowflakes on it). There was a lot of other "easy holiday gifts" on that same shelf that would have worked well for a gift later on in the year (if you could find a new box to put it in) that was easily 75% or more off. And because it wasn't the normal things people stock up on in the early morning hours on the day after Christmas (like wrapping and decorations) there was plenty of selection at noon. Plus, I needed an emergency car kit, so it was perfect!

Guest's picture

I always buy Christmas Cards at half off or more for the next year. It works out great for me and the stores don't have to store the items, either.

Guest's picture

What I love most about the after Christmas sales is the I can stock up at Walmart on items such as bubble bath sets for $3 or less and huge makeup kits for less than $5 that have enough makeup to last for the next year. Second cheese and sausage sets and other festive food is marked down and me and my fiance can always find frugal ways to use them in meals. Lastly I stock up on marked down "stocking stuffer items" that I can use as good behavior prizes for when my daughter has received green lights at school for the week.


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I shop after the holiday's to get the best discounts possible. I left a msg. on twitter.

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My best deal is at target when they have holiday packaged plain white dishclothes and bar mop towels for 75% off or more, as well as anything that is holiday wrapped or colored but the item is useful far past the season, such as silicon muffin or brownie pans. Also, I decorate my house for Halloween, not Xmas, so the deals on outdoor extension cords are great too!

Guest's picture

I enjoy the rush of the post-Christmas sales, especially buying for next year's Christmas. Last year I bought cards at ridiculous prices. I won't be able to do that this year because paying next month's rent is a stretch.

Guest's picture

I'm looking forward to hitting Target on New Years' Eve sporting a gift card and expiring coupons to maximize those sales!

Guest's picture

I wait it out....and then tend to stumble on the 90% off stuff. My husband needled me to buy more wrapping paper last year....we now have enough for the next 3 decades! UGH!

This year however, I must admit, I will be on the lookout for one of those cheesy Santa hats....and possibly an antler headband. LOL. I might even add bells! LOL!!!

Guest's picture

I usually don't go - by the end of the season I'm so sick of shopping, I just can't do it anymore!

Guest's picture

I love to check out the clearance! I usually end up @ Target and buy wrapping paper, boxes and Christmas cards. Maybe a decoration/ornament or 2! I have also been buying the clearance Christmas shirts for my daughter big enough for the next far it has worked out great the past 2 years :)

Guest's picture

I wait until the first Sunday in January (when a lot of people are busy watching football on TV!) and stock up on holiday- themed tins to for the coming year's cookie and candy giveaways.

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Last year I bought a serving platter from a dept store that was priced at $60 or $80 but marked down to $10 and then there was an additional 15% off that. It also had a sticker on the front for a $10 Amex gift card rebate. I ended up making money on the platter, score!

Guest's picture

back when i was a poor college student a friend and i went to the after christmas sale and was able to talk the dept manager into selling us all the spray snow he had at a $1.50 a case. he had about 20 cases. then in june we put one of our profs cars in a "snowbank"

Guest's picture

My yearly splurge takes place after Christmas. I love chocolate, specifically Godiva, but at $36+ a pound it is not something I usually get...until the after Christmas sales. A lot of boxes have Christmas decorations on them or paper for the holidays and after Christmas these items are usually marked down 50% or more. It still costs more than a Hershey's bar, but that's my yearly after holiday purchase and one that I savor.

Also, I usually pick up cards & wrapping paper when it hits 75% off or more.

Guest's picture

Every year we buy a new Christmas ornament to remember that year, but we buy during the after Christmas sales and save at least half price.

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I buy Christmas paper, cards, and any special ornaments that I like. Too bad Christmas stamps don't go on sale...

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I always stock up on wrapping paper post-holiday, especially if it's just solid green or another pattern that can be used throughout the year.

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I look for gifts that I can give during the following year. I get a big coffee, bundle up, and go wandering in the stores. I always find great stuff for 75% or more off. I also pick up cards and wrapping paper too!

Guest's picture

I don't zoom in on the paper, cards, etc. anymore; however, I do look for clothing for me and my family for the remainder of the winter. the kids like electronics and gifts cards for Christmas, so after Christmas is a great, great time to buy practical items at the dept. stores for next to nothing. Everyone needs pants, undies, shirts, I stack my coupons and go out about 2 days after the rush and see what I can find. I always end up with about 75 percent off of retail and, while the items are picked over, I find what I need.

Guest's picture

If I'm low on wrapping paper or bows, I'll pick some up. But I always pick up an ornament or two for my son. Growing up, my Granny would always give the grandkids a new ornament each year for Christmas. She'd mark our name and the year on the bottom/back. When we moved out of the house, each of us had enough ornaments (along with those given to us by aunts and our mom) to decorate our own trees. So during the clearance sales, I'll let my son choose which he'd like. We mark it like Granny did and pack it up for next year. It's pretty cool watching him decorate the tree with his own ornaments each year.

Guest's picture

Like Teresa @5, I always purchase holiday greeting cards for next year. Very good, high quality design cards which I would not buy otherwise (too pricey) are 50 to 75% marked down after the season.

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Used to hit the after holiday sales to stock up on wrapping paper and cards, but now I just try to enjoy the end of the craziness!

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I love to buy clothes after Christmas. There is so much winter left to wear them and the deals are so good. I also like name brand candles in the Christmas scents, which are often half price. These are small enough to store and use the next year or fun to use right away. I tend to buy my candy one holiday ahead. I might make Christmas cookies out of halloween M&M's. Valentine's day is easy because you can get red candy after Christmas, again for half price.

Guest's picture

Other than Christmas wrapping paper, I also buy my husband's birthday present then, since his birthday is in January.

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Lori Older

I ALWAYS shop after Christmas to find the best deals for the next year. This is how I've decorated my tree for years! There's a little craft shop in my hometown that has not so little prices, so I always wait until after Christmas. She always has tons of ornaments left all marked down by at least 50%! Nothing burns me up more than paying full price and then going back to find the item marked down. And it is the absolute best time of the year to get lights and cards! The only thing is, if you are looking for something that sells quickly you have to get in the stores right away or they will be gone and everything will be picked over. This year I've decided to start doing a different color scheme for each year. I found an article in a magazine that has some great ideas so I will take that with me to the stores to try and find as many things as possible. Every year I will just build on that!

Oh, and I not only do this for Christmas, but all the holidays!

Guest's picture

Just about every year, I have nieces and nephews to shop for that I sometimes don't get to see on Christmas, but are here locally. Rahter than mailing their gifts, this is my devious little plan.

I wait till after Christmas, then immediately go shopping for that year's "must have" thing. Obviously, this year it would be the Zhu Zhu pet.

Pick those up, make the trek to see them all sometime after Christmas, make them the happiest kids on Earth cuz they got the latest toy, and saved myself a bundle.

Tickle Me Elmo was the example from a year previous.

Guest's picture

I think Christmas is a commercial celebration... I do not buy things because of its season... However, I do appreciatte the offers, and sometimes I take them... Most of the time in shops that sell soaps and those kind of articles, which can be used all year round...

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DOnna Wasneski

I stock up with a great supply of skin salt scrubs, vitamin E oil etc in Santa jars at 90% off

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A $400 leather coat for $100!!!!! I wear that thing everywhere.

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I buy all kinds of things during the post holiday clearance sales!

I have an incredibly legnthy gift list - I fill a load of it during this time - I keep a written list so I don't have to remember any of it and pack it away - cuts down on the rest of my year's shopping.

I buy toys to give as birthday gifts
Housewares for Christmas presents for grownups
Candy and such too [I just gave away two boxes of Godiva with a beautiful Christmas ribbon and ornament tied on - they were still perfect - I know because we opened one last week ourselves LOL]
Holiday decorations - lawn things and house things, ornaments too

Guest's picture

..So I make sure that I have all the wrapping paper I need (since I only use gold and white to match my tree) and lots of Christmas cards too.

My favorite item to buy is definitely CHOCOLATE! You can get great chocolate at an unbelievable price just because it is wrapped in holiday colors. I'm okay with eating it in red or green for a few months...tastes just as good!

Guest's picture

Yes, I usually do go shopping the weekend after Christmas because most years I/my family have out-of-town guests who need to be entertained...well, unfortunately living in NJ w/close proximity to NYC = shopping. I would prefer to stay out of the malls altogether but everyone else seems to want to shop. Anyway, these past few yrs I've discovered the joys of buying heavily discounted Christmasy-themed cosmetics and lotions that are perfectly and usable albeit outdated packaging. Also, Christmasy packaged teas and cocoa mixes are my vice.

Guest's picture

I used to go crazy stocking up on wrapping paper - and as a result, we haven't had to buy any in years and probably won't for a few more years :) But the smartest buy was the gift boxes. I got a whole bunch at WM the morning after Christmas one year and now we reuse and reuse and reuse. Perfect!

Guest's picture

We love shopping after Christmas. We typically pick up any Christmas lights then since they are almost reasonable in price at that point. We also get gift wrap then for the next year. My favorite purchases have been the gifts wrapped up in holiday wrap that end up clearanced as a result of the packaging. Years ago I bought a great tie rack that way for 75% off - it finally died this year and I am hoping to find a repeat deal at Target this year.

Guest's picture

I hate going out and shopping so for the most part I buy online. That said I rarely purchase items after Christmas because I am so busy with other things like work to go out buying more stuff.

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I don't buy because buying something I don't need because it is on sale doesn't save me money.

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I'm opting to stock up on gift wrap and accessories and also some baby items for upcoming showers and baby arrivals. Electronics are always nice too but only if the deals are sweet enough.

Guest's picture

Last year, I needed a new suit jacket for work and was browsing through Banana Republic after Christmas. I found a perfect jacket that had started at $150 and was marked down a lot. After adding in my $10 birthday gift from them, I finally bought the jacket for $17!

Guest's picture

Since the boys are still at home we've made a tradition, (like Andrienne), of getting a new ornament or two for them each year. Tuesday Morning and Pier One are my favorite places, but there have been nice glass ones at Dollar Tree and our local thrift store too. This year we combined one son's stash with a few of the family's to decorate the tree. Lovely.

I buy gift wrap that can be used for other occassions, like last year's red polka dot (birthdays) and gold metalic (weddings).

This year we started using reusable cloth gift bags for the immediate family. I plan to keep my eyes open for appropriate fabric in the discount bins after Christmas and make up a bunch more.

Guest's picture

I never buy wrapping paper or holiday cards before the holiday, only the day(s) after at deeply discounted prices. Dec 26 shopping is a great holiday tradition-- it's the only way we have all of the Christmas decorations that we have-- I'd never pay full-price for seasonal items!

Guest's picture

One year I was loooking for reduced Christmas cards and instead found rowafter row of sympathy cards on sale for 50 cents each. I bought several dozen---the frightening thing is how few I have left!

Guest's picture

I used to pick up wrapping paper, gift tags, baking sets, and gifts, but found that through the year they either got misplaced, ruined, or the gifts didn't fit the occasions needed. I am still throwing out special cocoa mixes I forgot to make, and even at 90% off, it is money in the garbage. I might buy sheets this year, since the holiday theme works all winter.

Guest's picture

After the holidays is the best time to pick up kids clothes

Guest's picture

The best post-holiday purchase I got was on New Year's day. Most people are home sleeping off a party, so it's a great time to go shopping.

A major department store had 50% off clearance items, including winter apparel. I saw a beautiful pair of leather gloves, lined with cashmere, with a fur cuff. Normally I don't treat myself to items like this. The gloves were $70, marked down for clearance at $35, and I got them for $17.50! I still have them five years later! Happy New Year!!

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Guest Suzy1

I do of course always check out the various marked down Christmas items, wrapping paper, baking items, cosmetics etc.

One year after we had hosted Chritmas get together for 25 or so family members I decided to check out a local crystal outlet store. My hodge podge of glassware was a sad sight!

I ended up finding crystal stemware for $1.99 per glass! Needless to say I bought wine, water and other glasses. I have used these at least twice a year for over ten years. And at less than $2.00 each if one does break it's not such a big deal.

Guest's picture

more than 10 years ago, my BF & I went to the day-after Christmas sales and I found a brand new artificial Christmas tree for something like $10. I knew I'd be moving to the big city within the next little while and living in small apartments. So, grabbed this deal for a 7 ft by 2 ft Christmas tree. I still have that tree more than 10 years later. The box has some wear & tear, but the tree itself is still in perfect condition and has been put up 9 out of the last 10 years. (A huge trip before Thanksgiving wiped me out of energy to decorate for Christmas this year)

Guest's picture

I ALWAYS ship the after Christmas sales. I shop for clearance toys to use for birthdays and other gifts during the year plus for next Christmas. I also shop for gift wrap and decorations. I love to buy baby's first Christmas ornaments and stockings to use for shower gifts, etc.

Guest's picture

Holiday scented candles from Yankee Candle... put them away and "suprise" yourself next year when you unpack your Christmas decorations :)

Guest's picture

Two years ago I splurge on several rolls of wrapping. I usually buy whatever is cheapest, but the sale encouraged me to buy the paper I really liked. This year I may hit the sales to buy reusable bags and boxes, a better eco-option.

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L. Michelle

Target, in the past, has had 50% off holiday items beginning the day after Christmas. I still have tons of gift wrap, candy, bows, etc. But, I do find some usable items such as tissues or paper towel with holiday prints that are half off. I've also snagged Soft Soap body wash too 50% off. One other tip, prior to Christmas, Kohls has its holiday dishes, towels, ornaments, and frames 70 - 75% off (right now). My mom had a 30% off card (if you use your Kohl's card and don't have a coupon you can get one at the register for 15, 20, or 30% off). Then, you also receive $10 Kohl's cash for every $50 spent. So, I purchased Christmas themed gifts for next year (my child's teachers, friends, etc.) at 70 - 75% off, used the 30%, and spent $65, so I got $10 in Kohl's cash. I won't list everything I got, but it was a LOT including candles, dishes, coaster, bowls, towels, and four cute throw pillows!

Guest's picture

I love buying Christmas cards at a big discount, I save some & use other to make homemade postcards. I also love discounted wrapping paper, I make pretty envelopes out of them.

following on twitter @pelletposy

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Anything non-specific to Christmas -- I get really sweet deals on things like crimson fabric or jewelry boxes that were packaged to be sold as gifts (and go on clearance as such) but are perfect to use!

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Ely V

I bought my queen sized double pillow top mattress with 3 pillows for $400!!!

Guest's picture

I don't go shopping at the after Christmas sales. First, I hate the crowds. Second, I feel there is pressure to grab and buy before the person next to you gets "it". I think I would make too many impulse purchases that I just don't need, or will purchase too much of something. Third, I shop at yardsales and auctions year round and find great Christmas stuff for dimes not dollars. For me the thrill is in the hunt!

Guest's picture

My family always gets together to celebrate the holiday's around New Year's Day -- so I do most all of my holiday shopping for extended family after the 25th and get to take advantage of the bargains.

Saves me lots of money every year!

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I only shop for the clothes deals after the can get really good bargains.

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My family has done well with the Target post-Christmas holiday toy mark down. It's not as good as it used to be, but it's still possible get to some Lego sets and other cool, classic toys (for kids of all ages) at lower than normal prices.

In the early 2000's, my mom hit the jackpot getting two big Lego train sets (including the track, engine and two cars) and the (then) big Millennium Falcon sets for 75% off. I got one of the trains and the Falcon. This year, my oldest nephew was finally deemed old enough to get the other train. We put it together this morning and he LOVES it.

Guest's picture

Post Christmas shopping is so much fun. Last year I snagged great bargains at Ulta, Kohls, Hallmark and TJMaxx but the best of the best was at Target. If you're lucky, you can get "seasonal" merchandise for really really cheap. Last year I went crazy buying plain white gift boxes, tissue paper, wrapping paper and bags of bows at 90% off.

Guest's picture

I always hit the 75% off Target toy sale. It Rocks! I do nearly my whole year of children's birthday and holiday shopping at that time and just store it in a gift closet. Last year I got $300 air hockey tables for $23 and foosball tables for $15. It was amazing. I also picked up Disney barbie princess set, with all six barbies that were originally $60 for $15.
The Disney store is always good for bargains, as well. I've picked up $120 princess dresses for $20.

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Velvet Hubler

I just bought a nice cookie sheet from amazon for $6.66 and at target a got a bunch of batteries for 50 cents a pack

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Julie R.

Bought wrapping paper and cards for next year at 75% off.

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Guest's picture

I've also snagged Soft Soap body wash too 50% off. One other tip, prior to Christmas, Kohls has its holiday dishes