My ideal shopping is done with a hot cup of coffee in one hand as I sit bundled up with a computer on my lap and packages arriving at my door. If I could buy all my groceries that way, I would! 😉 However, there are just a few exceptions to my ideal and those usually involve the word “clearance” and getting amazing deals on food.
I know that what we all have on our minds right now is preparing for Thanksgiving and buying Christmas and holiday presents. So, allow me to shed a little happy light on your frenzied preparations. I encourage you to think about both what you’d want to get at clearance prices for Thanksgiving next year, like decorations, decorative paper plates and napkins, baking cups and what you could use the day after Thanksgiving!
While I enjoy getting ahead of the game by getting clearance items for the following year, I get much more excited about clearance items I could use once Thanksgiving has come and gone. Especially if that item is food.
We rarely think about food as a clearance item. However, several years ago a manager in the meat section of my local grocery store told me that they considered ham and turkey to be holiday items, just like all those Thanksgiving decorations. So when those decorations get marked down 40% or 50%, so does the turkey and so does the ham.
I realize that those words may not be music to the ears of people who endure eating turkey one day a year. But for the rest of us who love turkey (especially all the fun meals you can make with all the leftovers), this whole thing is pretty exciting! 🙂
Turkey can be stored in a deep freezer for up to one year. For the last couple of years, I have bought as many as I could fit in our freezer. The turkey in my freezer now is one I bought after Christmas. It’s an organic turkey I got for $0.49/lb. It will be this year’s Thanksgiving turkey. Then, on the morning after Thanksgiving, I’ll head over to my grocery store to pick up several to stuff in my freezer for this next year. One of those will be our Christmas turkey and the rest we’ll eat throughout the year. When thrifty means yummy, you know you’ve done something right!
This has been a public service announcement. You’re welcome. 😉
Do you ever buy turkey the day after Thanksgiving?
Christmas is my absolute favorite holiday; and, after Christmas sales are my absolute favorite sales! For me, post-Christmas sales are not just a time for me to buy extra stuff at a discount. No, it’s a time to stock up on things I need or will need next year at 50-75% off.
Here are some of the things I buy on the day after Christmas:
1. Wrapping paper. Have you noticed how much wrapping paper costs?! When you think about how quickly it is torn up and discarded, it seems like a shame to ever spend any significant amount of money on paper…even though the thick, fancy, shiny paper is so nice! I can’t remember the last time I bought wrapping paper at full price. I buy it after Christmas and just hang on to it. It’s easy enough to store. I usually just put it in my closet and pull it out when it’s time to wrap all the presents.
2. Christmas Cards. If you use boxed Christmas/holiday cards, this is the best time to buy them. I used to get in line at a local Hallmark store and choose from a fabulous selection of cards at 75% off. Sometimes ribbon and tissue paper is on sale too.
3. Christmas Decor. I usually evaluate what I felt like I’d like to add or noticed that I needed to replace on our tree or other Christmas decorations around the house. So, I have often bought indoor and outdoor ornaments, lights, stockings, paper goods and other Christmas decorations are all cheaper than they will ever be after Christmas.
4. Paper Goods. Two years ago, I bought a package of Christmas decorated paper plates that I thought would come in handy the following year. I ended up using them for the Christmas cookies we gave out to our neighbors. They were the perfect size and adorable. I have also bought baking cups decorated for Christmas at 50% off to use for the muffins we make around here all year round. My family doesn’t mind the green and red; they actually like it 🙂
What do you shop for after Christmas?
I realize that the title of this post could trigger whatever the modern-day version of “duh” (I realize that dates me). However, I’m not sure if it’s merely the discovery aspect of an unadvertised deal or if unadvertised deals are somehow inherently better deals. Whichever they may be, they are of my favorite kinds of deals to score. And, there’s a corollary to this principle. This applies to all stores, even the ones you may consider “pricey!”
Stores like Walgreens and Target usually have clearance items marked with red tags and placed at the ends of the aisles. However, once in a while, clearance items are left on the shelves. At my local grocery store recently, I found some organic whole bean coffee, which normally sells for $12, marked as clearance for $4. At first I thought that maybe it was old and something was wrong with it. So, I only bought one as a test. It was just fine. So, I went back and stocked up. The price is back up again. I’m sure they were just clearing out stock. It was good timing for us, good pricing for us…and delicious!
I’ve heard some people say that they won’t shop at Whole Foods because it’s just too expensive. I wouldn’t tell anyone to go to any store that’s out of their way to browse aisles and shelves for deals. However, if it is a relatively easy stop for you, it would be worth it. I happened to be browsing the aisles at Whole Foods last week and found the Garden of Life probiotic that we give our children that I normally order online for about $18 (the best price I’ve found anywhere) for $16.99. So, saving a dollar is nice but nothing to write home about. It just so happens that the Whole Foods website has a $5 off coupon for any Garden of Life probiotic. Yep! What they normally sell for$24.99 and what I normally buy for $18, I bought for $11.99 last night. Now, that’s a deal!
What’s the best unadvertised deal you discovered recently?
There are so many tips to help us save money through couponing and discount shopping. However, I have found that one of the most important and least talked about principle of saving money is waiting! Waiting for the best deal.
Whenever you can simply wait for the best deals and stock up, whether or not you have a coupon, you will save money in the long run.
I need to give a few disclaimers at this point. Of course, if you are out of diapers or toilet paper and simple cannot wait for the best deal, you do what you have to do. And, if you simply do not have the cash on hand to stock up when the deal does become available, then you buy what you can. However, if you are able to wait for the best deal and then stock up when it becomes available, it’s amazing how much money you can save.
Here are just a few of the items that I usually wait for:
The best deals I get are unadvertised sales and clearance deals. I have a 3 year old and a one year old. If I can get a great deal on diapers, it doesn’t matter how much I have on stock already because there is no doubt that I will eventually need more. Sometimes Amazon has amazing deals on diapers and wipes. So, I take advantage of those deals when I can.
Because of the plumbing system where we live, we have to buy Scott toilet paper. So, I am always on the lookout for Scott coupons and sales. I never pay full price!
Our family eats only organic or all-natural meats. They are very expensive. So, we wait for them to get discounted at half price and stock up what we can. That way there is no hurry to buy and we never pay full price for our quality meats.
What are your wait-to-stock up on items?