Tuesday, October 21, 2008

After Holiday Sales - How To Make Them Work

This post was featured in the Festival of Frugality #149 as an Editor's Pick this week!

I am a big fan of shopping for clearance items after a holiday.

Every year I host a huge Halloween party to celebrate the birthdays of two of my daughters that have birthdays near Halloween. We do an elaborate Haunted House, so I am always on the lookout for cool new Halloween novelties. After Halloween, I can usually find a bunch for 90% off!

This is terrific. But there is another step that I seem to forget every year - and that is to check out what you bought last year before you purchase anything new this year!

This bit me twice so far this year.

First, I let my five year old get a costume that she fell in love with at CVS last week. It was on sale for 25% off, and I had $7 in extra bucks, so I went ahead and purchased the costume (for $11 before using the xtra bucks). What I had not remembered was that I had purchased her a costume (actually 2 costumes!) on clearance after Halloween last year! Of course I could return the unused costume to CVS but my daughter is already really in love with it. (She does like the other costumes, but prefers this one.) So - I'm going to let her keep it. I'm sure all of these costumes will fit her again next year (and hopefully I'll remember before purchasing another one next year!).

Second, I purchased a Halloween pinata on sale at Target and later found one that I had also purchased on clearance after Halloween last year. I returned the new pinata to Target, but lesson learned.

I hope to remember this lesson at Christmas time - and check to see what I have (probably bought on clearance last year) before purchasing anything new!