The first year Brock & I were married we set a budget for our Christmas decorations. $50 on a live tree, and $50 for decorations. However, once I hit the stores I saw how expensive basic decorations were, and the $50 was easily spent on just a couple of sets of lights and a few boxes of baubles. Of course, that year I loved our first festive home together, but I learned a valuable lesson of when to shop to get the most for our money.
(My bedroom Christmas ’09)
My passion for holiday decorations is now a hobby and a bit of an obsession. My dream is to have a variety of colours at my finger tips, for whatever ‘look’ tickles my fancy each year. Five Christmases later, I have 12 Rubbermaids full of festive decor, that I got for an average of 80 percent off retail price.
My Christmas decoration rules of thumb are:
Buy one or two special decorations when the season begins at full price (some stores do early bird sales)–these items are usually purchased from boutiques–to help enjoy the beginning of feeling festive!
One to three days after Christmas is when the 50% off sales start. Here I purchase the few items that I loved when they were full price, but not enough to pay full price!
Three to seven days after Christmas is generally when the sales go to 75% off. Here I stock up on items like Christmas cards, wrapping paper, candles, and small seasonal gifts for next year. There should still be a good amount of stock to choose from, even if your absolute favorites have gone my now.
Nine days to several months later is when you can find the 90% off sales. Here I stock up on the bulk items such as baubles, lights, and garlands. At this stage in the sale the items may not be your favorite, but an important thing to consider is how you can rearrange items to look better. For example, if there’s a pack of balls with colors that don’t look attractive together, look at the individual balls, and break up the ugly and organize them into monochromatic color schemes when you get home. 90% off sales can take a while to get to in some stores. Generally, Target is within a week. K-mart within 2 weeks, and higher-end stores like Pottery Barn can be a month or two. It’s also a good idea to call ahead before going to look for the sale, as well going to shop in the morning. FYI: some Targets just went to 90% today, so keep your eyes peeled; the others will follow in a day or two.
Some of my best holiday clearance shopping deals include:
Rosanna 12 days of Christmas appetizer plates, originally priced at $100. I paid $20.
Pottery Barn silver pine cone garland, originally $100. I paid $9.