7 Things You Need to Know About Post-Holiday Shopping

Alden Wicker

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.

RELATED: Department Store Workers Share How You Can Save

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.

  • maesays

    At one job I had, the second workday after the New Year we brought in any unused or left over portions of gift cards with amounts written on them in sharpie marker and had a trading day. It was always fun and more times than not everyone got cards they were more interested in than they had. And some people paid for the ones they wanted to use as future gifts. The same can be done with unwanted or unusual gifts.

    • Bobbih

       I think that’s a great idea! The unwanted/unusual gift is White elephant!