By Sally Turkovich Wright
After the holidays, there is always a risk of boredom as the cold winter months settle in. All of the major seasonal shopping is done for a while and cabin fever can creep up on us. But fear not, shopaholics! All of the bargains at stores after the holidays will provide you with some shopping action to fight off those hum drums. While you never know where the best deals will pop up, knowing what kind of items to buy will give you a idea of what to keep your eyes open for when you read sales ads and emails. Here’s a list of the top 3 items to keep in mind when you hunt for post-holiday bargains.
Decorations for next year
Let’s face it. Tinsel, garland and faux-pine wreaths and trees don’t last forever. If your holiday decor could use a makeover, the most budget-friendly time to do the makeover is right after the holidays. Craft stores mark down seasonal ribbon, silk flowers and novelty decorations the minute Christmas is over. Big Box retailers like Target and Walmart will have great deals on the faux-pine items and table wear like seasonal china sets and tablecloths. Make sure to check multiple locations as well as multiple times, these sales can go from 50% to up to 90% the longer you wait.
Clothing gifts for friends and family for next year
Take advantage of mid-season clothing sales. Winter clothes always get marked down well before winter is over to make room for spring fashions. If it’s been a couple years since your sister got a new winter coat, odds are she’ll be ready for a new one next winter. Same with timeless clothing items like jeans, sweaters, socks, scarves and mittens. Carve out some space in the closet for these super early gift purchases to make them easy to find next year. Check out great places to find sweaters for under $100 for some ideas for local clothing stores that will have bargains.
Greeting cards, gift-wrap and calendars
Mailing out Christmas cards can get expensive. Not because of postage, necessarily, but because of the cost of buying the greeting cards! Stock up on next year’s cards now to make the signing, sealing and mailing more affordable. Same goes for gift wrap. Retailers have to get rid of holiday wrapping paper, bags and bows to make room for all of the Valentine’s Day garb, after all! Calendars, though they’re used all year long, are the ultimate seasonal item. Once Christmas is over, calendars are traditionally 50% off or more. One of my favorite places to pick up calendars, greeting cards and gift wrap is at Kards Unlimited on Walnut Street in Shadyside. This funky little shop is a fantastic place for items you wouldn’t find in your average Hallmark store. Save some room in you budget for hostess gifts and little stocking stuffers while you’re there too!
Sally Turkovich Wright lives in Pittsburgh with her husband, Jason, and German Shepherd, Zeus. By day she works as an eyewear stylist for an independent eye doctor. By night, she writes a twice-weekly column for Twoday Magazine. Catch up with her there at twodaymag.com.