As the holiday season fades, Christmas items hang around in slightly sad yet endearing ways. Grandma eagerly snatches holiday wrapping to save for next year. The neighbors simply refuse to take down their inflatable snowman. And post-holiday discounts materialize on store shelves. Fifty weeks from today, you will thank yourself for taking advantage. Shopping at one store the weekend after New Year's, we scored about 70 percent off a selection of holiday items.
|Christmas towels||$8.99||$2.99||67 percent|
|Red velvet bow||99 cents||29 cents||71 percent|
|Set of 200 lights||$14.99||$3.74||75 percent|
|Bag of 20 ornaments||$5.99||$1.79||70 percent|
|Box of Christmas cards||$5.99||$1.79||70 percent|
Such discounts are the norm this time of year. Here's a look at Christmas items in six categories that are marked down at a range of retailers.
Food.Nuts, chocolate, cereal, cookies, popcorn, coffee, tea, icing, sprinkles, and many other foods get special packaging for the holidays. Look for these items on clearance. Cap'n Crunch's Christmas Crunch will taste just as good on an average weekday morning as it would have on Christmas morning.
Tableware.Linens, candleholders, dinner sets, serving dishes -- these are Christmas items that can be used year after year and become holiday traditions. Crate and Barrel is offering hot cocoa mugs for $1.50 and $25 off a snowflake platter.
Trees.Are you considering going artificial after vacuuming up needles all season? Home improvement stores are advertising at least 50 percent off some pre-lit trees. A 7.5-foot Wesley Pine with clear lights would ordinarily run $164 at Home Depot, but the retailer has cut the price to $41.
Decorations.Indoor and outdoor decorations hold their value quite well -- consumers can use the same fixtures year in, year out. If you feel the need to add to your tableau, or perhaps a Snoopy inflatable has lost its cuteness for kids now grown, this is the time to look for new decorations. Lowe's, for example, is offering up to 75 percent off a limited selection. A sparkly indoor/outdoor wreath with LED lights, originally priced at $52, can be had for $13.
Cards and Wrapping.As long the holidays are bound up with commercialism, you'll need greeting cards, wrapping paper, ribbon, bows, and bags. You can confidently purchase these now, while they're on deep sale, knowing they will be used next year. Try a store with less foot traffic than your usual Target or Walmart to find more variety in the remaining stock. Seek out generic prints and solid colors that will work for other occasions, such as red for Valentine's Day.
Lights.This Christmas item needs replacing every few years, so it's a good one to pick up at a discount. At Home Depot, a set of 100 EcoSmart warm white LED lights with a regular price of $26.38 is going for $6.60. The store offers up to 75 percent off other indoor and outdoor light sets, both clear and multi-colored, as well as accessories such as hanging kits and replacement bulbs.
Regardless what holidays you observe, use this strategy to save on any consumer products that accompany the celebration. That includes New Year's: Just days into 2014, calendars have been relegated to clearance bins at local stationery stores and large retailers. Barnes & Noble is offering 50 percent discounts on hundreds of organization products. Whether you prefer wall or box calendars, weekly or monthly planners, Ansel Adams or the Far Side, you can start the year off with savings.