Just when you thought the advertisements would die down and the sale signs would be packed away, it’s time for the after-Christmas clearance sales. While I’m pretty much shopped out (can you imagine?), there are a few things that I recommend doing now to save money in the coming year.
Colored Decorations & Paper Goods
If you can snag some red paper plates, cups, or napkins, you’ll be able to use them for Valentine’s Day. If they happen to be packaged with green ones, you can sort them out and save the green for St. Patrick’s Day. You might even be able to find other red decorations that could be used for Valentine’s Day. Think garland, tinsel, cello bags … anything that doesn’t scream Christmas.
It’s a Wrap
Now’s the time to stock up on wrapping paper, gift bags, and bows. We keep ours stashed away in a Rubbermaid tub. It’s so nice to be able to open the tub at Christmastime and find everything you need to wrap your gifts.
If you still have a little cash left after your Christmas shopping, you might want to snatch up some of the deals that are popping up. You could use them for birthday gifts throughout the year. For example, my grandma saw my Vera Bradley purse on Christmas Day and just loved it. Some of the Vera Bradley colors are on sale 40% off right now. So I may just have to get one for my grandma’s birthday… even though it’s in September. Emma’s birthday is just around the corner, so we’ll definitely be shopping the after-Christmas sales for some good deals on birthday gifts!
Swagbucks = Free Gifts
If you haven’t yet signed up with Swagbucks, now is the time! You can start earning Swagbucks now and earn some Amazon gift cards for next Christmas. If you’re already signed up, don’t forget to search with Swagbucks to boost your total. If you’re not familiar with Swagbucks, you can read more about it here.
Start a Christmas Fund
Now is also the time to start saving money for next Christmas. It could be a Christmas Club account at your local bank, or it could be an envelope that you stick $20 in as often as you can. If you start saving now, you’ll have money available when good deals pop up throughout the year. You’ll be surprised at how quickly $20 here and there can add up!
Plan for What You Missed This Year
Was there something you wanted to do this year but didn’t remember in time? That happened to me last year. I wanted to do a Jesse Tree with Emma, but I forgot about it until it was too late. Now would be a great time to buy the supplies that you need (if they’ll keep for a year) for next year’s projects. Stash them in a box and pull them out at the end of November. You’ll have your projects ready to go and won’t have that oh-I-wish-I-would-have feeling.
Is there anything else you do this time of year to get ready for next year?