With the holiday behind us, many stores are working to clear their shelves of Christmas merchandise. Most of this consists of junk food, wrapping paper, and seasonal décor. However there are some items that have good year round and/or actual nutritional value. And I've occasionally gotten a jump on next year's shopping by making use of post-holiday markdowns. So here's a couple tips for making the most of post-holiday deals.Look for practical items.
To me the best post-Christmas buys are things that are practical but marked down for superficial reasons like coloring. For example, socks with candy cane stripes will keep your feet just as warm and comfortable as a plain white pair. Cereal has the same nutritional value despite the picture of Santa on the box. Pretzels taste like pretzels even when shaped like little trees.Be Realistic.
It's easy to get caught up in the discount excitement, but remember your purchase checklist
and consider if you really want or need those marked down items. Only buy things with a specific use in mind. If you already have 20 rolls of wrapping paper, work your way through the current stock before buying more.Check Expiration Dates.
Some candies have a much longer shelf life than others. Always check dates, so you can be more realistic as to whether you'll use the product you are considering in a timely manner.Wait 3-4 days.
If you happen to need to go shopping on the 26th, nothing wrong with checking the clearance rack while you're there. But the first couple days after Christmas, you'll see more 30%-50% off signs. Wait a few days and those signs start changing to 50%-75% off. Granted at this point, merchandise options will be thinner, but there's usually still a fair amount left. Particularly if you are just looking for extra bows and candy canes, patience is a virtue.Remember Storage Restrictions.
If you have ample space to store it, post-Christmas is the best time to restock things like wrapping paper or stocking stuffers (gloves and ornaments for example), but saving a dollar or two may not be worth it if the items are just going to be in the way for the rest of the year. When you store items mark them clearly or put them in a place you will remember to check. No point buying stuff if you'll forget you have it.
(Which reminds me, I still need to give my mother something I'd forgotten I bought for her.) >_>
I'll fess up to having bought some French vanilla marshmallows and gourmet lollipops for my nephew. Nothing wrong with the occasional treat as long as it isn't your main diet. I also picked up a couple bread mixes which were marked down 50% due to being "holiday flavors" like pumpkin and cranberry. Both had dates good through 2015, and while still a bit on the treat side, are at least treats with some nutritional value.