Saving Money after the Holidays

The presents have been opened and your family had a wonderful holiday. Those second, third and fourth helpings, along with the pumpkin- and pecan pie chasers, have all settled – for the most part. Who in their right mind would want to think about going shopping now? Frugal shoppers know that right now is the perfect time to begin shopping for next Christmas. After-holiday sales are the best way to save money and stock up on the following season's holiday supplies.

On December 26th, people flock to department stores to grab discounts that can save as much as 75 percent off the retail price of many leftover items. This is a wonderful opportunity to stock up on boxes of cards, wrapping and tissue paper, holiday bags, and a myriad of ornaments and decorations. In addition, department stores typically offer sales on clothing and other apparel as well.

If you're on a holiday budget, there's no better time to buy gifts for next year than on the day after Christmas. If you arrive early in the morning, you can start at the top floor of the store and work your way down. In addition, for the next week or so after the holiday, most of the sales will continue to be ongoing. So if you decide to frequent the stores during the middle of the week (which is the best time), it's likely that you'll be able to complete your shopping list for Christmas 2009 – or at least put a very hefty dent in it.

Of course, there will be some that say it's way too early to consider next year's Holiday season. Actually, it's the perfect time. Just use the Christmas list you've made for 2008 with a few tweaks. You can also buy several of the same gifts in case you need additional presents next year. Besides, shopping after the holiday is typically more enjoyable than shopping on Black Friday.

But, you don't have to limit yourself to only department stores. Drug stores also have terrific sales; card stores and smaller stores in your area will also be seeking to unload leftover merchandise after Christmas. For example, for cards and wrapping paper and ornaments, visit your local drug store. You'll probably find prices slashed on these items and you can stock up not only for next year, but for the next several years. Additionally, you may also find that dollar-type stores offering two- or three-for-one sales.

Don't forget that Internet merchants will have sales, too. Check out your favorite online stores and take advantage of the savings they're offering. Also, if you're a coupon-cutter, go to your coupon sites and see what other merchandise is being offered on discount.

Finally, why not make a stop at the toy store? The items you didn't buy on your children's Christmas list may certainly be worth their discounted price after the holidays end. Take advantage of this time to save a great deal of money and be the first one on your block whose 2009 Christmas shopping is complete!

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