Rachael Rachael, a mom of two daughters, is a freelance editor and writer who enjoys gardening and dreams of keeping chickens in her suburban St. Louis backyard. In her spare time, she helps to edit her husband’s science fiction books. Read more of Rachael's work at www.rachaelsjohnston.com or contact her by emailing rachael@mumblingmommy.com.

Minutes after a holiday ends (and sometimes before it is even over!) stores are trying to move their overstock of holiday items with clearance sales. I regularly hear consumers grumble about how quickly new merchandise moves in once one holiday is over, but I personally celebrate the opportunity to score some big bargains on these holiday items!

Here are just a few holiday items I try to purchase each year:

My Top Holiday Items

Halloween Costumes: Last year my husband and I bought infant Halloween costumes for under $5 each. I was pregnant at the time and knew I was having a boy. We had to guess on the size, but both costumes worked out perfectly. This may not work as children get older and have specific costume requests, but I am hoping this will save a few dollars for a couple more years. We have also saved considerable money by purchasing adult costumes on clearance.

I do love a homemade costume, but I have found that unless I am able to use items I already own, the cost of supplies for a do-it-yourself costume can far exceed my bargain holiday clearance costumes.

Ziploc Bags/Reynolds Wrap/Paper Plates: I was not aware of the deals to be found on regular-use kitchen items until last year, and this has become my favorite clearance shopping tip. My husband is the bargain shopper in the family, and we were both excited when he came home with aluminum foil and Ziploc bags that he got for 25 cents each at Target, simply because they had holiday designs on the packaging! Paper products are also a great find, whether they have specific holiday designs or plain snowflake wrappers. They are wonderfully practical bargains!

Wrapping Paper and Gift Bags: Several stores seem to have an abundance of holiday wrapping paper, bows and gift tags, and I cannot recall the last time I paid full price for any of those items. At the end of the season an $8 roll of wrapping paper may cost 50 cents, and typically there is still a nice assortment to choose from. I have always had a difficult time spending significant money on something that will just be thrown away, but at the same time I tend to go all out with my gift wrapping. That makes clearance shopping a must for me.

It’s also good to know your local stores and their sales timelines. For example, Target and Joann Fabrics offer high percentage markdowns immediately after the holiday ends. Other stores reduce items at a slower pace. I am sure this largely depends on the amount of merchandise the store receives and how quickly they need the old product to move.

So start a year ahead and make the day after Halloween and the day after Christmas your own Black Fridays. It’s much quieter then, too!

What is the best holiday clearance item you have found?

Category: Saving Money

Tags: clearance