This post is almost reaching the point of becoming outdated, but I promised I would publish it this week and I didn’t share these tips last year, so I’m going to keep my word 🙂 . Even still, there are a good number of stores that still have clearance items out for sale, so this may help a some of you!
Earlier this month, I went out and picked up a few clearance items of my own. I’m shopping small this year. VERY SMALL. I purchased 16 items for a total of $14.12 (before tax) and a savings of $55.26. I believe I have a photo of my receipt from 2014 floating around here somewhere. I’ll do a longer strategy post next year and recap that haul. (Stay tuned).
My local Wal-Mart had their items marked down to 75 percent off on the day I visited so they may be at 80 or even 90 percent off to get that final push before clearing the holiday inventory. Here’s a copy of my receipt!
There are three simple rules I follow when it comes to holiday clearance shopping. No matter what the holiday is, the rules remain consistent.
Christmas is a bit more flexible because there tends to be a larger selection and these items often stick around on the shelves a bit longer than do Easter or Valentines’s Day items (I do more Christmas decorating than any other holiday, so I won’t have many tips for those. Sorry!).
1. Be Strategic!
Now Is the Time to Plan Your 2017 Theme
Do you keep the same theme each year?
Did you decorate in red and gold this year, but you’re looking to do blue and white next year?
Do you have your eye on a burlap motif?
Now is the time to redo your design for the LOW!
Go find the pieces that fit your desired theme while they’re marked down. If you can be intentional now, you’ll save yourself lots of time (and money) come next year!
Know What Stores You Need to Visit
Are you a Wal-Mart Shopper?
Do you prefer Michael’s or Big Lots or some other retailer?
Some stores keep their sales items on the floor longer than others. Don’t be timid. Ask a floor manager when they plan to move their inventory. If they aren’t out on the floor, they may be in the back.
Seriously, stop an associate and ASK. My mom always said, “You have not because you ask not. If they say no, or refuse to help you– you’ll be no worse off than you were before you asked.”
That’s BIBLE and it’s REAL WISDOM. Don’t miss out on something you desire when it would have taken you a few seconds to ask. I’ve carried that with me throughout life– from asking questions in class to asking for help when I needed it. I have to ask. If they say “No,” at least I can walk away knowing that I asked! (Thanks Ma! :-*)
Don’t Forget to USE COUPONS!!
I feel like this should go without saying, but you CAN use coupons on clearance items. For brand items (and store items), if there is a coupon that applies (e.g. 50 cents off of the price of a glade candle or a coupon for $1.00 off a Target (store brand) towel, etc.), be sure to use it — with the understanding that the store may amend their coupon policy to restrict any potential “cash back” on clearance items.
2. Make A List in Advance
Were there things you wished you had this holiday season:
These are things you can score major savings on this year if you make a list in advance!
I stocked up on these exact items in 2014 and have yet to purchase any cookie boxes or wrapping paper (other than clearance items I pick up by choice).
I don’t step foot into a store until AFTER the Christmas rush is over and that is the way I like it!
3. Be Willing to Wait
Let’s be honest– there are some things you need more than others– and there are other things that you can score an even bigger savings on if you’re willing to wait.
Case in point– wrapping paper: I saved big on wrapping paper by waiting until the sales were at 90% off. I am STILL using this wrapping paper I collected in 2014. I may pick up a couple of rolls here and there, but my supply has remained stocked from that one purchase. Most of these ran me about 25 to 50 cents.
However, there’s a catch to this, if you’re doing a theme using a hard to find color– like purple in my case — you may want to get your wrapping paper when it hits the 50% off sale.
You have to use your best judgement here. Also, if you don’t have a place to store this paper (we have a sizeable attic), don’t purchase what you can’t store. It’s just not practical. Friends don’t let friends become hoarders. 🙂
That’s pretty much it for my Christmas Clearance Tips. As you can see, most of it comes down to strategy. I try to plan in advance and then I execute. I also avoid impulse purchases. I go with a plan in mind and if the items don’t meet that plan– they stay in the store.
Of the 16 items I purchased during the trip with the featured receipt, I was most excited about the burlap pieces I found. This year, I decorated our kitchen with a burlap banner I received to review.
I had a small, girlfriends’ get-together and put it up to make the kitchen area look a bit more festive.
When I found these table runners and the coordinated bow, I thought they would be great to take the theme to the next level. And at 75% off. I mean, REALLY. That’s a steal!
Were you able to find any good deals this holiday season? Would you add any tips to this list? Please let me know in the comments!