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Friday, September 30, 2011

How to save money year-round for holidays...

Over the last few years, money has become tighter and tighter, so I've had to get really creative to stretch what we have.  One thing I have gotten especially good at is finding deals for holidays.

My first tip - go to your favorite store the morning after a holiday.  Be there when they open if you can so you get the best selection! Most stores mark everything 50% off the day after!  Last year the kids and I were at Target & Walmart the morning after Halloween, and we made out like bandits!  I bought both kids costumes for this year ~ K will be a flapper and D will be a magician.  I got both costumes for the price of one!  I also got a crazy lightup tee-shirt for D on clearance, as well as cupcake liners, tableware, decorative items, and so much more.  We are set for this years Halloween party! 

Same idea for Christmas, Easter, Valentine's Day, etc!  We were on vacation last year in Florida the day after Christmas, but yes, I did go to Target and Walmart!  I would have been so mad at myself this November when I'd have to pay full price for Christmas stuff. So we went, we shopped, and we drove back to Atlanta with a big boxful of decorations, wrapping paper, candles, hand towels, Christmas cards and more.  Oh, and don't forget to check the baking section - the holiday sprinkles and cupcake liners, etc are usually on sale too! 

Just a few of the things I got for  1/2 price at Walmart, Target & CVS after Christmas in Florida last year!

One more after Christmas tip ~ You can buy Christmas candy like M&M's or jelly beans & gumdrops.  Save them in your pantry or fridge to use the red ones for Valentine's day treats and the green ones for St. Patricks Day!

If your Walmart recently brought fabric back in ~ check the fabric department the day after holidays - you can get holiday prints 1/2 off! I buy fabric for table runners, gift bags, etc.  Easy way to decorate frugally!

Check daily deal sites like Groupon, Half Off Depot. etc for deals at holiday attractions, restaurants and more.  I've already seen Haunted House Deals locally!

In Atlanta, the newspaper usually has a coupon on Thanksgiving Day for the Christmas light display at Lake Lanier that is good for 1/2 off the admission fee for Thanksgiving night.  That's a great deal!  Check local newspapers, or call local attractions to find out if they offer any specials, previews, etc.

Participate in local rewards programs: I'm in one for a local radio station that gives me points by email once a week to use in various contests - last year I won a gift certificate that paid for a nice gift for each of our kids at a local store.  The rewards program for a local tv station gives code words that I enter on their website.  Because of that program, we won 4 tickets to see Peter Pan when it was here in the Spring, plus we got to get a behind the scenes meet & greet with some of the actors, see the stage, see some of the puppets and props, etc - it was a total treat for us! 

Use Michael's & Hobby Lobby coupons for seasonal decor, gifts, and more.  Most every week there is a 40% off coupon in the paper or online - use it on something for your home or buy a gift for someone on your list and hide it away til Christmas! I try to do this all year long so I'll have several gifts for the kids by the time Christmas rolls around. Also check here for after-holiday clearance...In my Fall decor boxes that just came from the attic, I had some beautiful berry garlands that I got after Halloween last year for 70% off - I think they were $2 each!  I can afford to buy more pretty things when they are highly discounted! 

I like to check the dollar store before a big holiday: around the beginning of September for Halloween items,  beginning of January for Valentines, etc.  They tend to sell out of the cute stuff early.  (especially paper goods - if you need napkins and plates, cups and tableclothes)  And don't forget Goodwill and thrift stores...mine has a whole aisle of holiday decor all year round! I've gotten some cute Christmas & Halloween items there.

Use pharmacy deals to decorate for the holidays. I love when Target has their $10 gift card promo going on because I'll transfer one of my DH's prescriptions to Target, then get a $10 gift card for filling it there. I'm gonna have to fill it anyway, might as well get paid for it, right?!   I have gotten some really cute spring and fall merchandise using those cards! Kroger does this as well - but they will give you a $25 credit on your Kroger Plus card.  They always have an aisle or two of decor and gift items for every holiday, so spend it well!

Kohl's Cash is great for decorating your home for the holidays too!  I love to buy clothes for the kids there(during special sales you spend $50, get $10 Kohl's cash back) and save my Kohl's cash for a little spree!  My favorite thing to get with Kohl's cash is their birthday candles (the ones in a glass jar with sprinkles on top) for my friends and family.  Recently I've also started buying fun decor there too. Last month I used my Kohl's cash for a harvest candle and a box of faux acorns (vase filler) for my Fall decorating.  I don't like to spend "real money" decorating my house,  but I don't mind spending store rewards or gift cards! 

I hope these ideas will help you with some of the upcoming holiday sales (or after sales, I should say!)

Here are some pics to show what I've gotten over the last two years after Halloween...(actually just some of it, I've already started decorating, so alot has been put out!)   I'll shop the day after again this year to add to my stash - need to start working on some outdoor decorations next!

Looks messy, but this bin has stretchy mice, a black wreath form, funky scarecrow,napkins, plates, serving bowls, votive holders, platters, a cheesecloth "curtain" for my french door in the family room, and spider webs with creepy crawlies.  Plus David's magician costume-in-a-bag!

This has more decorative items - dollar store Ghost Motel & Witches Way signs, 1/2 price shirt, black light lamp, hair glitter, bat cookie cutter, tree, candles, and labels for jars/drinks. The cute little vintage bucket on the back right side (checked interior, vintage label on front) was 1/2 off at World Market! I printed out the subway art last year and put in a dollar store frame...

and a few more - 1/2 off cupcake liners & picks, 1/2 off scarecrow & snow globe (w/ scarecrow) from CVS last year, 1/2 off fabrics from Walmart, wooden black cat with ribbon was $1.91 at Goodwill, the skulls were 1/2 off from Michals, and the bronze pumpkin was a white one from the dollar store I painted. Plus white tulle for making ghosties! (use 40% off coupon at HobLob to get it so cheap!)

So I need to fluff the leaves more, I know - but this cute Welcome Friends birdhouse was $3.50 at CVS after Thanksgiving.  The bird is from the dollar store.   The hurricane is one of my Goodwill creations - a vase glued to a glass candlestick holder - filled with large balls from a fancy-schmancy bag of potpourri I got at Michael's with a 40% off coupon....

Love this look - the hurricane is from Pier 1 ~  I believe it was $9.99 & I had a $10 gift certificate from their Facebook page.  The acorns (bottom) were $12 from Kohl's - FREE w/ Kohl's Cash.  The smaller balls on top are from the same bag of potpourri mentioned above.  The candle was $9.99 at Kohls, but free with my Kohl's cash! It has a twine tie with a metal pumpkin charm on the front.  The garland is the one I got for 70% off at Michael's.  I just love all these elements together - the textures, the scent (the candle is Harvest Spice fragrance - yummm!) they work so well together.

You can really get some great things for cheap (or free!) just by shopping after the holidays for the next year, and utilizing sales, coupons & store rewards.

What is your favorite place to shop for holiday decor?

Hooking up with these hops this weekend:
little love weekend blog hop


  1. Great tips and cute ideas!

    New follower!

  2. Hi! I am your newest follower via GFC. Found you on a blog hop. You have an awesome site. I hope to see you soon at Indiana Coupon

    Thanks, Erin

  3. hi aimee!! :) thank you so much for stopping by! following you on gfc! i'm loving your sweet blog! i am BIG on saving, as well as target and kohl's *love their kohl's cash too*
    fall is such a beautiful season...i adore everything about it! looking forward to reading your blog! happy october and have a wonderful weekend!

  4. I know the feeling. That is how I got started in blogging by entering contests to win things for everyone for Christmas. It is so hard now! Stopping by from the blog hop and now a new follower of your blog thru GFC, Facebook and RSS Reader. I would love a follow back when you get the chance. Thanks so much and have a great day! Also, I am having my first giveaway of Eclipse Spa Products so I hope you come by and enter! Good Luck!


  5. Really great tips. New twitter follower from the Alexa hop. Hope you'll pop on over to my blog as well.


  6. You give some awesome tips!
    I love it when I actually have some cash to spend the day after a holiday.
    Last year I was able to get bags and bags of candy for .25 and .50 each after Halloween. Some of the candy went into Christmas stockings, but all of the suckers and other candy that would keep will be used at our trunk or treat at church. Each year we have more and more kids that come through and every year we run out of candy.
    I'm still working my way through the Monday Alexa blog hop.


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