Sure, Black Friday deals were good. But what about the next enticing round of sales?
You know, the ones that start the day after tomorrow, when a new round of price cutting starts as stores try to offload excess holiday inventory and make room for spring items.
But is it really worth heading to the mall, especially when you’ve probably already stretched your December budget to the breaking point?
We asked money-saving consumer expert Andrea Woroch for her advice on navigating those post-holiday sales. She told us what to buy, what to pass on–and, more importantly, how to outsmart stores to keep your spending in check.
1. Make a List
“It’s just like holiday shopping,” Woroch says. “Bring a list, so you can avoid impulse purchases.” This is especially important now since you probably already spent a lot of money in December on gifts, charity and travel.
2. Swap Those Gift Cards
Did you get any not-so-awesome gift cards for the holidays? Luckily, December 26th is Gift Card Exchange Day, when you can swap unwanted cards for cash using this website.
And even if you don’t have a gift card to turn in, you can still snag deeply discounted ones. “After Christmas, you’re going to have a lot of gift cards available through sites like Gift Card Granny or Cardpool,” Woroch says. You can find cards for up to an 87% discount that you can use at retailers, restaurants and even hotels.
3. Shop Department Stores
If you want to find steep discounts, the clearance section of department stores is your destination, where “you can find quality, brand-name merchandise, instead of generic brands offered at big-box stores,” Woroch says. And places like Kohl’s and Macy’s will offer coupons to bring down the prices even more.
4. Eye That Winter Merchandise
Retailers are trying to clear out sweaters, boots and coats before spring goods come in, so they’ll drop prices even further. If you could still use a puffy jacket or a cashmere sweater, now’s the time to get it. Just avoid high-end merchandise. You won’t find discounts on items like Apple electronics, North Face jackets and other luxury brands. These discounts would have come before the holidays.