Everyone knows that stocking up on wrapping paper, bows, and ornaments after Christmas for use the next year can save a lot of money; however, have you thought about buying clearance items after other holidays? I began doing this after my daughter started pre-school. Because her birthday falls in early March, I soon realized that many Valentine’s Day clearance items could be re-purposed for her birthday party treat bags. I could find everything from cellophane bags to wrapped candies at rock bottom prices.
It is true. An item that is $10 before a holiday can be $2.50 the day after. This realization made me eager to find other ways to take advantage of these tremendous savings. Here are a few ways I save money throughout the year.
1. Candy Extravaganza
After Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Easter, and Halloween I stock up on candy. For example, I found Lindt Lindor Truffles in large heart shaped boxes after Valentine’s Day for only $1.50 per package. Because they are individually wrapped, and because they don’t expire until the end of 2011, I bought and froze several boxes. I plan to re-package the candy in cute candy dishes for gifts. You may not realize it, but chocolate candies freeze well for several months. Because of this, I buy and freeze Halloween candy for use in Christmas stockings as well.
2. Crazy for Candles
Each holiday offers a plethora of candles. This is especially true for Christmas and Mother’s Day. After these holidays, I purchase several to use as birthday gifts. Contrary to what you may think, retailers offer candles other than holly berry or pine at Christmas. After New Year’s I was able to purchase vanilla scent Yankee candles for $2.50.
3. Luxurious Lotions
Another popular item at Christmas and Mother’s Day is lotion. I hit my local Walgreen’s for deals on these after the holidays. Think gift sets. Sure the set might be packaged in holiday specific wrappings, but when taken apart, the components can be re-purposed for birthday gifts. These lotions are great to have on hand for hostess gifts and for teacher gifts. Similar to chocolate, lotions have a lengthy shelf life. No worries about them “spoiling.”
4. Plush Pets
Many holidays revolve around plush pets. These bunnies, chicks, lambs are so cute that sometimes I buy them for birthday presents or to use as “toppers” on baby shower gifts. If you find a cute animal on clearance, see if you can remove any holiday specific items – such as a red, white, and blue ribbon for the 4th of July – and add a neutral ribbon.
5. Wonderful Wrappings
Each holiday offers wrapping paper and bows. When these items end up in the clearance bin, buy them for wrapping birthday presents. For example, I have a friend who relishes her Irish heritage. I often snap up St. Patrick’s Day decorative paper to use for her special day.