Yeah, I know. It’s not even summer yet and I’m making Christmas puns. Heck, it’s not even Christmas in July yet! But if you know me, you know that I have already started Christmas shopping.
‘She must be crazy,’ I have heard in reference to myself more times than is healthy. But I ask you, is it crazier to spread the Christmas charge card bill out through the entire year or to loose your house to Chase Bank every December? Is it crazier to pay triple for a gift because you waited till December 24th to buy it and the only perfect thing you can find costs a mint or to buy that novelty T-shirt that’s perfect for your bestie while you are on vacation in Mexico in July for a buck?
So what’s the secret to great gifts at an amazing price? Well, I already spoilered the first tip- start early. It’s sad, but I start shopping for the next year’s Christmas at the day after Christmas sales. Yes, you heard me right. I start shopping for the next year’s Christmas before it’s even New Year’s. The day after Christmas sale is a great time to stock up on Christmas merchandise that Walmart and Target want out of their stores so they can start putting out the Valentine’s day merchandise as fast as possible. So the day after Christmas look to score: gift bags, tissue paper, greating cards, present name tags, bows, novelty ornaments, Jammies for families (if you are into the matching Christmas Jammie thing), Christmas t-shirts, Christmas story books or coloring books, baking supplies (nothing perishable that you plan to eat, I’m talking cupcake cups or red and green sprinkles, maybe Christmas themed cookie cutters) anywhere from 50 to 90 percent off.
So where do I find the actual gifts that I’m going to wrap in those 90 percent off gift bags? I have a variety of treasure troves that I frequent. My first stop is Amazon. Not always the cheapest, but I have an Amazon rewards visa card. I use it to purchase things like gas and groceries and I earn cash back in the form of Amazon rewards points which then go towards purchasing Christmas gifts. If I save enough points I have even managed to get stuff for free.
Next stop, Farm and Fleet. Yes, I am serious. Farm and Fleet has some of the BEST deals on kids toys when they unveil their Christmas wonderland isle right after Thanksgiving, but jump on it fast because those toys literally jump off the shelves.
The rest of the year I make frequent treasure hunting trips to the Walmart clearance isle. You literally have no idea what you will find there. I once scored a three dollar ninja turtle costume for my daughter. I also scooped up a bunch of Frozen themed flipamals for five dollars and some really nice Paw Patrol five minute storybooks for three dollars. I have also seen everything from duct tape to some nice quality blankets and comforters. My latest score was a Barbie dream house for forty dollars less than it was retailing for online. Shh… don’t tell!
TJ Maxx is another go to for bargain finds throughout the year. Again, frequency is key. Some days you will score a bunch of great stuff, other days you will leave empty handed. Overall a great place to score both kids gifts- hatchimals, play doh sets, board books, and other random stuff and gifts for adults too- Rae Dunn items, novelty coffee mugs, fancy coffee/tea, good quality clothes/cute jammies, perfumes, cologne, tech gifts.
Don’t forget the target dollar bin either folks! It’s a great place to score stocking stuffers for kids and adults. I’ve also found great little gifts for teachers like pencil and paper socks.
Hopefully all these insights will help keep the Grinch from delivering your December charge card bill! Don’t forget that you can use the same techniques for shopping for birthday gifts as well!