January is a great month for picking up savings! If you set aside a little money in your budget each year for post-Christmas, post-holiday, first of the year clearance and sales, you can stretch your dollar nicely.
- The weeks leading up to Superbowl Sunday are full of great grocery sales and coupons. In fact, one of the first weekends in January, there are usually lots of extra coupons—often 6 different inserts. Combine the coupons with sales (using this system) and a little knowledge and you can make a big dent in your grocery budget for at least a few months.
- One year, I bought a year’s worth of shredded cheese—Kraft brand—for less than $1 per pound and then froze it. It was a beautiful thing for a family of 9 who really like cheese!
Much of the stuff on sale for Superbowl snacks is heavily processed, pre-made stuff (like soda, chips, Crescent rolls, crackers, etc), but you will also find good deals on things like sour cream and meats.
- With Christmas and New Year’s clearance and inventory time in many stores, you can pick up great deals on
- Holiday decorations and candy (for Christmas, New Year’s, Valentines and sometimes more)
- Red candles, candies wrapped in red, and papergoods work well for Valentines. The silver foil ones work nicely for New Year’s (especially if you picked up clearance black tablecloths after Halloween!), green are perfect for St. Patrick’s Day. If you are chopping candy to add to baking, the wrapper color doesn’t matter. If you’re adding M&M’s to trail mix for hiking or just for teens to munch, your grateful snackers won’t care about the color.
- I usually pick up a clearance box of chocolates for Valentine’s Day. It’s still well within the freshness date.
- If you make gingerbread houses, this is the time to pick up a stash of candy to spark next year’s spark: gumdrops, M&M’s, candy canes, etc.
- Stocking stuffers, 12 Days of Christmas gifts, and party favors
- Gifts and decorations for yourself and others
- Just remember to keep a list of what you have and where you have hidden it!
- If you find nice infant Santa costumes or Baby’s First Christmas stockings, they can make fun baby gifts.
- A box of holiday decorations you’ve collected throughout the year—or just Christmas decorations—can be a great gift for newlyweds. (See the upcoming post on a year-round wreath for a twist on this idea.)
- Next year’s Christmas cards and/or stationery. Also, colored envelopes for other events.
- In 2014, after Christmas I picked up bunches of holiday pump hand soap (Softsoap brand) on clearance for .24. Peppermint scent was fine for January and a vanilla scent was great for the rest of the year. At that same clearance sale, there were a bunch of photo/DVD storage boxes for less than $1 each, so I picked up a bunch for organizing the kids’ mementos and our DVD’s. Yep, they are all green.
- One year, there were a bunch of holiday printed Ziploc freezer bags on deep discount. Who care about the design when you’re freezer do-ahead dinners or other items for yourself?
- It’s a great time to pick up candles for romantic or fun evenings (or just magical reading by candlelight with the kids!) as well as for emergency prep situations.
- If you have a wedding to host this year (or suspect that you might), snatch up ribbon and candles–grab white if you don’t know what the color will be. You can always add color with tulle or paper. Some of my favorite wedding decorating ideas and supplies are from Christmas!
- Traditional January sales are on fitness items, organization items, linens, winter clothings, some furniture. You may find an influx of inventory coming into Goodwill and other Thrift stores.
What have been some of your best after-Christmas and early January finds?