This time of year is a bargain hunters dream.
It started with the pre-Christmas sales that everyone has going on. All the stores are in competition for your valuable dollars. These pre- and post-Christmas sales really help you stay within your holiday budget.
Once the holiday is over, the stores will put all their holiday-themed items on sale. This is your opportunity to pick up non-perishable things that you know you will need for next year.
Cards, wrapping paper and decorations are a great bargain right now. Shopping for the next year’s holiday makes sense.
This applies to all holidays where you have a bunch of themed articles.
Keep in mind that you do not want to stock up so much that your home has no room left. No one needs to have an avalanche of stuff falling on them every time they open a closet or cupboard door. Also, if you have too many things stored for the next holiday, chances are you will not be able to find what you are looking for without a major hassle.
This just gives you an excuse to say forget it and go buy even more if you cannot find your Christmas or Valentine’s Day cards when you want them.
These same rules of saving apply to all sorts of seasonal things. Practical items like shovel and snow blowers start going on sale in January. Fun, non-practical things such as toboggans, ski and skates will start to be reduced in price, too. Stores check their inventory on seasonal items and would rather sell them at a reduced price to get rid of them.
If not they have to pay staff to box them up, ship them back or find space to store them until next year.
By that time they want to bring in the latest lines from designers, not trying to sell last year stock.
The Internet sites that have sprung up are a wonderful place to shop for bargains.
Most stores have their own sites, and then there are the sites like Kijiji, Craig’s list and eBay. Anything and everything you can possible think of can be found up for sale or give away.
The months following Christmas see a huge increase in the amount of items that are up for sale. Some people may not agree with re-gifting or selling gifts that are not needed by the person who got them, but I feel it is a good idea.
It makes more sense to sell the items and get what you really want or just some cash to help pay for your holiday bills than placing the unwanted item in a garage or down in the basement to gather dust and take up space.
Then a couple of years later when you are cleaning out the garage or basement to make room for even more stuff these old gifts just get gathered up and tossed in the trash.
Sandra Nolan is a freelance writer from Rocky Mountain House. Her column appears every other week in LIFE. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.