We don't need the usual Christmas lovelies, like lights or gift wrap. I've managed to stockpile that long ago. Nowadays, it's the fancy stuff like Godiva chocolates and the extra cute Christmas cards I found this year.
At this time of year we're usually loaded down with homemade treats from the neighbors so I freeze the chocolates until we come up against a dreary day when only the best chocolate will do.
Sadly, stores have gotten savvy to bargain hounds like me. Inventory is computer-controlled now. They know what stock will move and what won't and they buy accordingly. There's always a margin for error which is why there are still some items leftover after Christmas, but it's not like the old days.
I feel sorry for younger shoppers today. They'll never know the thrill of overstock.
If I can give you one tip for buying after Christmas sales, shop for items that are not tied directly to Christmas.
• Cloth napkins trimmed with silver thread will serve long past the holidays. Whereas, snowman-themed napkins are a once a year item.
• Holiday dishware: Last year I bought several place settings of gold rimmed dishes for 75% off. (I waited for the very end of the clearance.) They're great for big gatherings when paper plates won't do.
• Gift wrap in solid colors can be used year round.
• Holiday candles can be used for any festive occasion.
• Christmas-themed, quality dog toys (don't bother with the cheap stuff) is good for any occasion. Dogs don't care if they're chewing on Santa's leg. It's all good.
Speaking of dog gifts, please avoid any rawhide made in China. Too many dogs have died from Chinese products. Because of their size, little dogs are even more susceptible to any toxins. If you can't verify where it was made, don't chance it.
• Don't forget the necessary extras like tissue paper, tape, and baking tins. If they're in the Christmas aisle, chances are they're also marked down.
• As you glance at the pre-packaged Christmas gifts, stock up on things that won't expire. Pajamas, bed throws, slippers, and neck massagers almost invariably get marked down. Now's the time to get them for next year's gifts. Note: If you buy anything with a cord, be sure to check that it works before you put it away.
Did you get anything good for Christmas this year? We don't buy gifts for each other anymore, though somehow Greg managed to get a few toys for himself. Men!