January is a great month to pick up Christmas clearance items but there are lots of other great products that get marked down to bargain basement prices too. Cold weather outerwear and clothes can get slashed by up to 75 to 80% off as can toys, accessories, specialty boxed food items, blankets, and more. I like to buy items that I can use throughout the year to gift others for birthdays, hostess gifts, holidays, and even for Christmas next year. Because I don’t really “need” any of these right this second, I can really wait for that big markdown and won’t buy anything unless it’s at least 70% off. Some call it being cheap, I like to think of it as being super thrifty. If I can pick up an awesome something that normally would cost $100, and be able to get it for $20…well, I can pay less for better gifts. Seriously, a lot of times I can find really good quality items at more upscale shops when they are on clearance that are cheaper than lesser-quality but similar items at the big discount stores.
TAMMY’S TIP OF THE DAY:
When I do a big clearance shop for the year, which I usually do in January and July (end of season time,) I keep my “blinders” on to all the tempting full-priced or “just regular sale” items in the front of the store and head to the very back of the store or to the end caps, which is where you will usually find the clearance items. On these trips, I normally buy nothing unless it is marked down by at least 70% and I have a specific person in mind to give it to. If I don’t stay true to my list and rules, I’ll end up with a bunch of stuff that was on sale that I didn’t need or will gift to someone else. “Stuff” that’s just going to gather dust, no matter how cheap it is, isn’t a good buy.
MAKE YOUR LIST –
Before clearance shopping, make yourself a detailed list. I like to write down any holiday I buy gifts for and who I’m buying them for (like Valentine’s Day and our grandsons,) along with sizes. I also have a birthday list, Christmas list, and a list of possible hostess gifts I might need for the year. Another category on my list always is table settings and take-home gifts for guests. It sounds like a lot of lists but it’s just one big one that I keep in my purse and mark-off as I find gifts. If I see something I love at a great price, I scan my list for someone who’d love it or put it back down…ok, sometimes I do keep it for myself! And you can usually still find some green and red décor for other holidays like Valentine’s Day or St. Patrick’s Day that don’t look too much like Christmas.
On this particular shopping excursion I bought from Gordmans, DSW and Soma. (I also found some great deals earlier in the month at Target, Walmart, Macy’s, and Express.)
I found these young men’s shirts at Gordmans. They would be perfect for a birthday or Christmas gift or to spruce up a wardrobe. I paid a total for all four, of $22.40 which I think is a great deal, especially since the Hurley and Counter Intelligence (striped,) typically cost $20 to $24 for just one.
Most of the men in my life (that I buy presents for,) like to sleep in pajama pants/lounging pants and since you can find them in heavy or light-weight fabric right now, you can wear them year-round. All of the stores I have visited in the last couple of weeks have had these marked down so make sure you don’t pay too much and get that really low price. I saw a lot of these with cartoon characters, different logos, etc., which you could make fit a certain holiday. For example; lots of bottoms with chili peppers and/or tabasco containers on them. You could use these for a Valentine present with some funny saying like, “You’re hot,” You’re My HOT Sauce,” or something corny like that.
Before Christmas I saw these exact pj bottoms at the mall for $40 and I thought, “WHO would pay that?” Got these at Gordmans for $5.60.
I went a bit shoe-crazy at DSW recently. The first shopping trip was all about me I admit but then I went back, loaded with my “list,” and was able to pick up some spectacular shoes for some people who won’t be named (and I’m obviously not going to show any pictures!) But think about being able to buy a pair of really cool Steve Madden or BCBG shoes that would normally cost $100 and getting them for $20! A really affordable but fabulous gift. And things like tights make for fun stocking stuffers or birthday gifts, as do purses, wallets, scarves, and jewelry; which you can find this time of year at so-low prices.
A FEW DSW BUYS –
Jessica Simpson and Via Spiga fashion tights, which typically sell for about $15, on clearance for $2.59 and this fabulous bag, which happens to be Certified Vegan and PETA friendly, was only $3.99!
This robe, from Soma, is so warm and luxurious feeling! Perfect gift for yourself, mom, grandma, daughter, sister, or friend. Normally sells for $80 but on clearance for $22. Add a pair of slippers for less than $10 and you have a super-wow gift!
I swear, I never pay full price for cold-weather outerwear when I know it’s going to go on sale at the end of the season. Most people aren’t going to go up or down a size when it comes to hats, gloves (unless they are growing kids,) and scarves so you can buy for next year without worrying if it will fit. This Heat Tek Stretch Beanie is perfect for anyone who lives in cold-weather climates since it keeps you warm with a specially engineered fabric designed to retain body heat. Full price was $16 but I paid $6.40 (which didn’t quite fit my 70% off rule, but I had someone in mind for this and wanted it.)
If you have young children in your life these The Corps action figures would make for a fun Valentine gift cause a Valentine’s Day gift doesn’t have to be all about hearts you know. It would also make for a perfect birthday, Christmas or “just-because” present. And since these were marked down to only $2.89 (at Gordmans,) they would make perfect take-home goodies for a birthday party, especially if it was a military-themed party.
And for $5.60 each, I picked up these larger guys which I’ll probably give to our grandsons…just because grandmas can do that. And at these prices, it’s easy to do so.
Since this coffee/cup set definitely is “holiday gift,” you’d want to use this as a December hostess gift or present for a coffee lover. I bought the coffee for myself and will use the cups as containers for Christmas goodies I make and give away. Perfect at a $3.74 clearance price at Gordmans.
The next four items are things I bought as summer hostess gifts. I worry about buying food items sometimes, especially if you can’t find an expiration date, as to how long they will last. I was able to turn the bottle of barbecue sauce around and see that it was good until 2017 so that was good. I’ll probably go back to Gordmans and pick up some more straws featured below for our own summer get-togethers.
Tropical Cocktail Mixers (Just Add Rum.) They also had mixers for vodka and other liquors. Just add a shot of liquor to each bottle and you’re set! ($2.80)
Not only would this Berry Blooms coffee make a nice gift for a host/coffee lover/yourself; but with its pink package and pretty flowers, you could turn it into a cute Valentine’s Day gift for a friend or coworker. $2.80
Ok, so I totally overpaid for this barbecues sauce if you compare price per ounce for a “packaged set” versus a big bottle of the same sauce you can buy at Walmart. But if you’re looking for a cute gift that’s nicely packaged, you might opt for the more expensive packaged set. You can pick up Stubb’s Barbecue Sauce at Walmart for $2.84 (18 ounce bottle.) I saw this box-set of 3 at some upscale stores during the holidays for $25! Seriously? Gordmans was selling this for $16.99, which I still wouldn’t pay but now have them on clearance for $4.24 (each bottle is 5 ounces.)
And I just think these are fun for a summer cook-out or barbecue. Perfect hostess gift or to use yourself. You get a set of 6 BPA free acrylic reusable straws with various fun sayings. On clearance at Gordmans for $2.80.
You have to be careful when buying clothing items for future occasions if someone has a tendency to change sizes a lot or they are in a growing spurt. Especially since you can’t gift something a year from now and expect to be able to return it if something doesn’t fit. You also want to skip buying really trendy items that might look dated in a few months. But if you’re looking to add to your family’s wardrobe for next to nothing, and we still have cold months ahead, now is a good time to stock up. Most everyone I buy for stays pretty much the same size from year to year, except for when they’re pregnant, so I do buy ahead of time when I find good deals. Or if you find a really good deal, splurge on yourself without feeling bad since you got such a great deal!
Love this Lily Rose dress I found at Kohl’s. Originally $48 but at 80% off, it only cost $9.60. I did have someone in mind when I bought this but after trying it on, well, guess my blinders aren’t on as much as they should be! Lots and lots of clothes on sale at Kohl’s for 70 to 80% off original prices.
So as you do your normal weekly/monthly shopping, make sure you check out the store clearance items. Just think, if you found some fabulous items at 80% off, you could pick up $400 worth of gifts for only $80 and have a lot of your shopping done. Or do some serious restocking of your own closets. And chances are you won’t find all of these particular items because once the clearance items are gone, they’re gone. But hopefully, this might trigger some ideas for you.