Ladies grab your purses. Fellas grab your wallets. It’s time to hit the stores and get your Easter shopping done.
That’s right, I said Easter shopping.
No, I’m not crazy. I know that Easter has already passed. But, I’m not talking about Easter 2011. I’m talking about shopping for Easter 2012.
The only thing that beats a pre-holiday sale is a post-holiday one.
Many stores offer enormous discounts on Easter-themed merchandise in the days following the holiday. Sales are also held after other major commercial holidays, such as Valentine’s Day, Halloween and Christmas.
Typically, discounts start the day after the holiday at a mark-down of 50 percent or less. Discounts increase as the days go by, though stock diminishes at a very rapid rate. Most of the holiday items are gone within a week, and whatever’s left is discounted up to 75-90 percent.
Obviously, it isn’t advisable to buy any perishable items (such as candy) a year in advance. There are, however, some good uses for the discounted foodstuffs. The folks at your office probably wouldn’t mind a couple bags of pastel-foiled peanut butter cups in the breakroom. And, around Christmas, it never hurts to have a few packages of festive cookies waiting for the unexpected guests who never fail to appear.
Discounts on candy and other treats are pretty sweet, but most bargain shoppers are looking for other types of deals. Reduced wrapping paper, cards, decorations, toys and other gifts are the sale items of choice.
It’s easy to understand why. Wrapping paper and cards end up in the garbage. Decorations are kept in storage for most of the year. Who wants to spend a mint on things that have only limited use?
Clearance toys and gifts have their own unique appeal. Many of them can be used, or given as presents, any time of the year.
Body lotion, soap and perfume sets come to mind—as do mittens, scarves and winter hats. The tea services, pot-holders, manicure sets and gardening tools you find on holiday clearance shelves are good year-round. The list goes on and on.
Right now, I’m drinking out of a coffee mug I bought the day after Valentine’s Day. It’s red, with hearts scribbled here and there. It’s pretty and girly and holds a ton of coffee. I love it.
When I bought it at Kmart for around $2, it came with a little stuffed animal inside.
If you’re lucky, you can also find clothes suitable for general use.
One post-Halloween sale, I bought my husband, Matt, a pair of skull-and-crossbones boxer shorts for $1 at Walmart. He’s a rocker and skull-and-crossbones is a pretty rockin’ theme. Plus, if anyone ever said anything about the shorts, I’d be more concerned with how they saw his underpants than with what they said about the gothic theme.
I know I’m not the only one who digs post-holiday sales. After any major holiday, I shop alongside swarms of other bargain hunters at stores like Walmart, Kmart, Target, Giant Eagle, Rite Aid and Walgreens.
Shoppers, speak up! Where do you go for the best post-holiday deals? Care to share an example of a bargain you’ve found? Know of any other ways to save money and gain time during the holidays?