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Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Clearance shopping right after Christmas

I'm not a huge Christmas clearance shopper. But I do have a short list of items that I buy after Christmas.

Clearance Christmas/holiday items that I could use in the very near future

  • a specific holiday-themed gift that I was wanting to gift to a friend, in just a few days -- saved 75% by waiting until the 26th to make that purchase (Bath & Body Works's Christmas clearance sale)
  • eggnog (we still drink eggnog through New Years)
  • whipping cream
  • potted plant, for a hostess gift for New Years
Clearance Christmas items that are useful year round or later in the year

  • candles -- tapers and votives (I mostly look for white candles, but green votives also look nice, outdoors in summer)
  • candy wrapped in red, gold or silver foil for Valentine's Day, birthdays or anniversaries (I picked up some nice truffles, wrapped in red, for this year's Valentine's Day.)
  • candied fruitcake whole cherries, for baking (Valentine's and President's Day). In the past, I've used fruitcake mix, 2 years after purchase, stored in the refrigerator -- a long shelf-life.
  • candied fruitcake multi-colored mix -- I like this mix combined with raisins, in a bread that I make at Easter
  • gift wrap in solid colors or simple, non-specific-to-Christmas prints, like stripes, and ribbons/bows
Clearance Christmas items that I bought to save for next Christmas
  • candy for the stockings (my house is kept on the cool side, year round. I double bag the candy, and keep in a storage trunk, in a seldom-accessed closet. The candy (mostly chocolates, but also candy canes) looks and tastes fine, the next year.
  • gift wrap and gift bags for next year
  • an ornament to give as a gift next year


  1. Excellent list of items to buy after the holiday, Lili. I always buy wrapping paper for the next year as it is always so much cheaper. I just store it under my bed where it doesn't get in the way during the year.

    I hope you and your family had a wonderful holiday. :)

    1. Hi Belinda,
      I bought a lot of wrapping paper several years ago, at a Christmas clearance sale. And we are still using those rolls! We save the used pieces that are large and in still good shape, to reuse. I cut off the tape, and roll all of the used sheets up together and secure with a rubber band. We might not have to buy any more for a few more years!!!

      Under your bed sounds like the perfect place to store Christmas wrapping paper. I love that idea!

      Thank you, Belinda. yes, it has been a wonderful holiday for us. I hope your Christmas was lovely with your family. Wishing you the best in 2017!

    2. I'm so glad you had a wonderful holiday. :)

      I love the idea about reusing the big sheets. That is something we don't do, but such a great idea!

  2. Great ideas! Christmas cards are another thing that sometimes is put on sale after. I noticed the grocery store I used to buy discount cards from, however, is just storing them now, and putting them out the next year. :( Sara

    1. Hi Sara,
      Good addition to the list! My mother used to buy Christmas cards for the next year, the day after Christmas.

      Oh! Too bad about the store just putting them away and not marking them down. Especially so, as you don't have a lot of shopping choices nearby!

      Have a great day, Sara!

  3. We like Starbucks holiday blend coffee but we didn't find any pound packages but rather found the mug with a package in there but we didn't want to buy mugs. That was pretty much all we "needed". I bought a roll of parchment paper and a shower sponge (3) in Christmas red and few other things that were discounted. I had 3 rolls of wrapping paper and then put them back since we don't do a lot of presents and I have a bin full. I didn't think there was a lot of merchandise marked down this year. Either is was all sold or they had less in the first place. I also noticed that the line for returns was almost nothing (yet). Maybe that is yet to come.


    1. Hi Alice,
      I saw the Holiday blend at our grocery store Starbucks, yesterday, at 50% off. Last year, about a month after Christmas, the grocery store variety of Starbucks Christmas blend (sold in with other bags of coffee beans/grounds in the coffee aisle), was on clearance. It was only a few bags, but a good coffee at a very good price.

      I do think stores are marking down items before Christmas, more. It used to be that you had to wait until after Christmas to get a good sale on gifts. Now, a lot of stuff is on sale before Christmas. So, I agree, it doesn't seem like there is the quantity available for clearance.

      With the "returns" line, I wonder if because so many people give gift cards that there is less that isn't right/doesn't fit? Maybe that varies by store.

      Have a great day, Alice!

  4. I appreciate this list today and also yesterday's post. I also went to WalMart and got my gift wrap for the year and also some bubble bath in Disney Princess containers for half off. Good little gifts to put in a bag or purse for my little granddaughter princesses. I didn't realize BBandB has their Christmas stuff at 75% off? I'll go check it out today.

    1. Hi Ruthie,
      Oh, yeah, I've seen a lot of bath/spa items marked down after Christmas. The Disney bubble bath will be a great gift for your granddaughters!

      The B & BW sale is online, too. So if you can't find what you want in-store, check online, as well. But they sell out of the Christmas stuff fast. I had 2 very specific sizes/items I was looking for, and they had just a little left. I hope you can get what you're wanting!

      Have a wonderful day, Ruthie!

  5. Gotta love those sales. I think I need to pick up some white candlesticks! Maybe gift wrap, too.

    Last year (I think it was in January) I picked up a couple of fun "guy" gift items (tabletop basketball, DIY tabletop ping pong set) for a great price. They came in handy for Christmas this year. I like picking up gift items throughout the year--it saves me from experiencing the shopping "crunch"--I heartily dislike feeling pressured to find suitable gifts on a short time frame. This technique saves me from unnecessary stress AND saves me money.

    1. Hi Kris,
      Great idea about the Men's gifts. I'll check those, too. It's nice to have a guy-gift or two, on hand. I agree on having to shop on short notice. I like to have time to think it all over, before buying. By having a stash of a few gifts, I can go through those items, and see what is appropriate, and not have to get out to stores.

      While I bought clearance candles at Fred Meyer, yesterday, in previous years I've bought them on clearance at drug stores (Walgreen's, Rite Aid) and Kohl's. just a couple of ideas of where to check.

      Have a wonderful day, Kris!

  6. My list is almost identical to yours, Lili. One thing on our list yesterday was curling ribbon. We use that year round for gift packages. We couldn't find any at either Walmart, Fred Meyer or Hobby Lobby. Lots of pre-made bows, but no curling ribbon. So weird. Melissa

    1. Hi Melissa,
      That is strange, on the ribbon.

      You may want to check Target for curling ribbon, but not necessarily in the Christmas stuff. Several years ago I bought a large 350 yard spool of blue curling ribbon, for birthdays, like this:

      I still have quite a lot. Those little balls of curling ribbon only have about 50 feet (16 yards). But the big spools have between 350 and 500 yards. The little balls of 50 feet would have to be on clearance for 16 cents each, to cost as little per yard as the big spool in the link above ($3.50 for 350 yards). Just a suggestion.

      have a great day, Melissa!

    2. Cool! I just ordered 2 spools with free shipping. I used a gift card that's been in my wallet for a year. I almost never go to Target. So perfect! Melissa

  7. It is fun to get after Christmas clearance items. This year I have plenty of gift wrap and bags, 2 boxes of ribbon bought on clearance at Big Lots 5 years ago:) I may have enough ribbon for the rest of my life. I love pretty packages. I have 2 giant rolls of cellophane wrap, bought at the floral supply. I used to make up a lot of gift baskets when when I sold Mary Kay. I also
    have about 8 boxes of Christmas cards. I would like some candles and eggnog they don't seem to mark eggnog down at our grocery but here is hoping. If not it saves the calories :)Chocolate is also a welcome purchase. I just sort the red for Valentines day and green for St Patrick's day. Someone suggested this on a blog. Sorry do not remember which one.
    Have a great day.

    1. Hi Patti,
      I've done that with the red, green and silver Hershey's kisses. At Valentine's, they sell bags of silver, red and pink Kisses. So, my leftover Christmas ones, using just the red and silver, are not too far off. The green kisses are also good for Easter baskets/Easter egg hunts.

      I love pretty packages, too. It sounds like you are set for a very long time of gift wrap supplies!!

      The eggnog that I've seen in our stores is ultra-pasteurized, which means it keeps longer in the store (but not necessarily longer once you've opened it at home). So I think the stores don't need to mark it down, as much as they used to, as they sell it out before it can near expiry. But sometimes I luck out, especially right around Thanksgiving, with the flavored eggnog, like pumpkin-spice and vanilla. You can, however, make your own at home. Here's the recipe that I use:

      It's a cooked-egg version, and very good! The bonus is you can make just a small amount, if all you want is a couple of cups of eggnog.

      Have a great day, Patti!

  8. We've been finding some nice things at thrift stores recently, since donations usually ramp up end of the year. Although next month will probably be the better month to check, when all those items have finished sorting and pricing and are ready to be sold. Last year, I bought a lot of $20 Savers thrift store Christmas gift certificates that came with a bonus $5 coupon (off any purchase). That was a nice boost to purchasing power, and the pickings were very nice at that time of year too. This year I'm doing a similar deal at Sams Club with Amex Offers, buying gift cards for future use and getting a nice boost with that also. These days, I am building quite an arsenal of gift cards from doing promotions (especially fast food gift cards via SYWR which come in handy with the grandkids). So I had to come up with better record keeping of those cards and credits (like water bill credits for almost a year because of an airline miles promo earlier this year.) The savings do add up, and what is nice is the spending is not really spending until I buy something with the gift cards, so in my books I have only saved although I bought. These days, I try to focus on these types of "spending" instead of buying stuff to fulfill promotional offers. I think we don't really need anything, that's why, and now I'm pushing the can further buy storing future purchasing power with these gift cards. One day, I might give it all up and really not do any of the promotions because we don't need anything from the stores, or very little. I'm gearing my efforts in that direction, stock piling and the three R's.

    Have a wonderful week!!

    1. Hi YHF,
      That's a really good point, about thrift shops receiving a lot of stuff, end of year. I'll make sure to get out a few times in January, to check for needed items.
      I bought a gift card to Value Village for one daughter, that came with a $5 coupon, similar to your deal at Savers last year. This daughter needs some professional clothes, on a budget. The $5 bonus has to be used between now and the end of January, but overall a great deal. I saw several deals, in stores and online, to buy a gift card or product and get a bonus of a $5 gift card or coupon.

      Have a great day, YHF! Maybe you're looking after the grandkids sometime during their holiday break?

  9. Our three grandsons will be staying for about 3 days starting New Year's Day. I am looking forward because very soon they will not be coming over as often (extracurricular and other interests). Our daughter's family (two grandchildren on that side) are on vacation in California, so it has been a "very subdued" (nonexistent) holiday for us. This is our first holiday season at home in over 10 years, so we are a bit disoriented.


    1. That's right. You and your husband used to take time away from home every late fall-winter.
      Enjoy your time with your grandsons!


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