Today officially marks the 1st day of July! That means we are more than half way to Christmas and right now is the best time to start Christmas Shopping!
Okay take a moment to let that sink in. Yes I said it, Christmas Shopping in July! Now you are probably thinking I am crazy but in reality I am not (at least on most days), I am just what you call a Smart Shopper.
For several years now I have started my Christmas shopping by no later than July. By doing so, I have saved my family hundreds if not, thousands of dollars just by shopping sooner. So how exactly do I do this? You see I simply do it by watching for store clearance. Around this time of year stores are doing another massive clearance sale. Many are getting rid of summer items such as outdoor supplies and even home decor. Clothing is also on sale such as pajamas, pants, and long sleeves all which are what most people shop for around Christmas time because of the colder weather. So by shopping clearance I can save a ton on items I know I would normally purchase later. And guess what? People have no idea you purchased those items on clearance and they have no idea those cute Angry Birds Pajamas were from last year’s inventory!
So how can you have Christmas Shopping done (or mostly done) in July?
It’s simple really just visit your favorite stores and scope out the clearance. In other words, Bargain Shop! Also be sure to check online stores because they usually clearance out the inventory on their sites as well. In fact, Walmart.com is proof of this. They are doing a massive clearance sale right now. But in case you need a little more help here is 5 tips to shopping now and saving:
- Search for the most anticipated gifts of 2013. Often times it’s a new game console which the new Xbox One and PlayStation 4 will be released this holiday season and check for pre-order bonuses. Although you will pay close to full price you can lock in a price by pre-ordering it now and very often retailers will be offering a freebie for pre-ordering your system. In other cases by knowing what you want to get ahead of time you can keep your eye out for the next 5 months for the best deal rather than just a few weeks before Christmas and almost every time you won’t need to end up paying full price.
- Check end cap isles often. So in case you have had a hard time finding clearance at your local grocery or drugstore I wanted to tell you that clearance is often placed at the end caps of isles. Not the end cap that is facing main walkways but instead near the back of the store on the end caps facing the less traveled walkways. Don’t ask why that is, but it’s true. Next time you are at Smith’s or Target go to the back of the store and check end caps you will find tons of clearance there. Remember since these are smaller shelves they will probably be packed and you will need to really dig to find those awesome deals.
- Thrift Shops are calling your name NOW! So it’s no secret that Thrift Shops save you money and help the world by reducing waste. But what many people don’t think about is that the summer months are the perfect time to head shopping at the Thrift Stores. Why? Because warm weather makes people want to clean their house, organize, and just rid of items they no longer need. A lot of people who also do regular Yard Sales end up taking whatever is left to a thrift store or donation center just to get rid of it and you wouldn’t believe the things people give away. For example, my grandmother recently found a Brand New (real) Coach Purse and it was priced at $0.75! Another time she found a real Rolex Men’s Watch priced at $0.50 and it was appraised at several hundreds of dollars! So you just got to really look through items and anything you can clean up and make look nice would make a great gift!
- If you can’t use it maybe someone else can. Okay so you hear about Stockpiling items you and your family will actually use and that is right. Don’t get something you won’t use because it will take up unnecessary space in your home. However, if you know someone who can use it and it’s a great Stock up Price get it. If you want a chance to be creative then the holidays is the perfect time to do so. You could make really cute, inexpensive Gift Baskets by obtaining items that cost you close to nothing from now until Christmas. Just keep these items in a separate area and use them later! Just be sure to watch expiration dates if it’s food items.
- Set a budget now. The holidays bring joy and let me say it, DEBT! It’s because people are in stress mode with trying to enjoy the holidays and get shopping done which means their spending isn’t closely watched and before you know it, the credit card you worked hard to pay off all year is maxed out again. So set a budget today. Decide how many people you are going to buy for and what the limit for each person is. So when you find an awesome deal you grab it, factor it into your budget and you won’t overspend.
I hope by now you all have learned some useful tips about Christmas in July: Bargain Shopping Edition. Again, these tips are meant to help you save money in the long run and perhaps even make the holidays more enjoyable.