Consider this: What day is farther away from Christmas — the day after, or six months out? Given how much of the year is devoted to amping up for just one holiday, you may feel a bit lost once Dec. 25 passes. But if you're not already totally shopped out, you should hold your horses on a few remaining big purchases.
Alessandra Malito, a reporter at MarketWatch, put together an excellent list of money-saving opportunities. It's a savvy combination of clearance sales and upcoming trends, and it can help you refrain from jumping the gun just because buying things is all anyone can talk about these days.
Immediately after Christmas: Stock up on decorations for next year, from electric logs to kitschy yard displays to classy wreaths. They might be picked over, but you might also dig up some treasure. It's also a good time to pick up things like pine-scented candles and other home decorations that are tied in with the Christmas spirit but not necessarily branded as such.
The week after Christmas: This is a great period to nab winter clothes. Sweaters, jackets, snow pants, heavy coats, all of it tends to go on sale as designers start (somewhat inexplicably, depending on your local climate) preparing for their spring lines.
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January: Go for the White Sales, which means bedding, towels, linens, pillows, and anything else that's soft and helps you nest in time for the real fun of winter. Anyone looking for athletic gear and exercise equipment, stores are totally ready to help you with those New Year's fitness resolutions.
February: You've skipped the Presidents Day sales, you've scrimped through the early-year discounts, all for one big-ticket item: diamonds. Valentine's Day means jewelers are going all out, whether it's for an engagement ring or, after all this saving, just something nice that you deserve for yourself.