In January, my thoughts turn to getting my house back in order. Literally, by getting the decorations and gifts out of the living room, and figuratively, by once again having meals that contain vegetables and dealing with that looming credit card bill. More shopping is the last thing on my mind.
Is it worth even looking at stores, or should we hibernate until spring? Here are a few deals that make it worth braving the cold, or at least booting up the computer for a stroll around the Internet.
Let’s start with the most obvious shopping deal category. The last thing you want to do after recovering from Christmas festivities is go shopping for more of the stuff you just stashed in the garage or storage locker, but it’s truly the best time of the year to save money on ornaments, wrapping paper and even artificial Christmas trees.
Post-New Year’s Day sales at Walmart put dollar stores to shame, with gift bags and wrapping paper all 75 per cent off. Bonus tip: if you can find solid colour items in silver, gold or red, you can use them all year for birthdays and weddings.
The higher end stores want to unload their holiday items too. Consider picking up beautiful ornaments for 50 per cent off or more, as well as seasonal tablecloths and accessories.
While it’s hard to spend more when you’re already dreading your post-holiday credit card bill, you’ll be happy you did when you’ve got a new stash of holiday treasures to open next Christmas.
By February we’re weary of the winter clothes we’ve been wearing since October, but good luck if you go to the mall to find something new; by then stores are filled with new spring merchandise that you can’t wear yet.
January, when the malls are almost deserted, is a great time to scour the sale racks if you’re patient, (or Amazon if you’re back at your desk at work).
Retail chains are sending increasingly urgent emails to lure us in. Silver Jeans is offering an extra 40 per cent off sale prices if you buy three items and 15 per cent for first-time shoppers. The Gap, where you should never pay full price, is now boasting 75 per cent off (excuse me, I’ll be back in a few minutes).
Build a Gift Box
If you have kids on the birthday party circuit, you’ve probably made a mad dash into Walmart to pick up a gift on the way to a party — as if spending two hours with screaming children hopped up on sugar at an indoor gym isn’t already enough to ruin your day.
Instead, go to Walmart or Winners now when it’s relatively peaceful and stock up on the toys they’re unloading in the post-Santa season. Winners carries classic dolls and Melissa and Doug wood toys, and their suggested ages are fairly accurate so you can plan ahead if you have little ones to buy for during the year or even next Christmas.
Walmart.ca has clearance prices on games, Barbies, art supplies and toys that make great last-minute gifts. If you’ve ever caught yourself almost giving a used Play-Doh kit (oops), this tip is for you.
Humans are predictable creatures; after consuming our body weight in turkey and Turtles in December, we suddenly discover fitness in January.
Whether you’re a New Year’s Resolutionist or a diehard fitness buff, January is a great time to buy workout equipment.
Costco members receive emails pushing
clothing racks indoor bikes and treadmills, and online gym equipment websites such as fitnessdepot.ca aim to pique your interest while you’re still full of tryptophan.
January is traditionally the best time to buy linens, a holdover from the first white sale in 1878 in Wanamaker’s department store in Philadelphia, according to PBS.
Does the rule still work today, long after sheets became available in all colours and patterns, not just white? Yes. Deals are available year round, but January is still a good time to shop for linens. The Linen Chest chain has some deeply discounted sheet sets, with a sales of up to 80 per cent and an extra 25 per cent off. The Bay is also offering discounts of up to 70 per cent.
Does Amazon, with 300,000,000 million customers and over $100 billion in annual sales in 2015, offer post-holiday deals?
They’re totally unpredictable explains Savings Guru David Ribovski, who runs a Facebook site offering links to deals on Amazon and other sites for housewares, groceries, toys and more to his more than 330,000 followers.
“There is no specific category that is priced well at any time during the year,” he explained in an email exchange. It’s “100 percent random.”
Yahoo Finance Canada readers, do you know of any great January sales? Share in the comments below!