Hark, what is that I hear? Why, it’s the sweet (relative) silence of a sleepy weekday at the Freehold Mall. These weeks following the big gift-giving holidays are notoriously dead as everyone rests and lets their wallet recover. But if your dedication outpaces the pack, or you’re simply going stir-crazy cooped up in the house and need an outing, I have a few suggestions to maximize your savings right now.
Last week I told you this was the perfect time to buy winter coats, and where to get the hottest styles. Well, that logic still holds: this is the time when retailers want to clean house and get rid of all the winter goods, lest they get stuck with them come the warm weather. The upshot for you is the chance to buy whatever winter items you’ve lusted over at a cut-rate price and with plenty of time to use them still this season.
If the big purchases like coats are out of your range of cost or desire, consider spicing things up with a few new winter accessories. Scarves can transition through to the spring, and gloves and hats never go out of style (at least until those ice caps melt). Find cute styles at Accessorize for up to 70 percent off, or the always-affordable Old Navy and its parent company, Gap, for more evergreen items.
Another great item to buy at this time is boots. Personally, I hate spending exorbitant amounts of money on shoes – it never seems proportional to their size or impact on an outfit – and have therefore bought all my good boots and "nice" shoes (not $10 ballet flats) at the end of the season, like now. Unlike heels or flats, stores are going to have a hard time unloading knee-high boots by March or April, so look for big percentages off at specialty stores like Aldo, Spring, Bakers, and Steve Madden.
In the spirit of steering away from the mall’s increasing emphasis on apparel, let me point out some other great seasonal products: scents. Strange but true, some scents are "winter-specific." Basically, anything approximating the aroma of gingerbread, evergreen trees, or "North Pole," whatever that may smell like. Some could be bizarre and best left on the clearance shelf, but many are just pleasant, spicy or heady scents with time-sensitive names that let you get them at a discount. Check Yankee Candle or Bath & Body Works for collections on their way out.
If immediate use is less a factor than overall savings for you, you probably don’t need to be told that right after a holiday is the best possible time to shop for that holiday (in a financial sense). Hit up Hallmark to sift through what’s left of cards, wrapping paper, and decorations at a fraction of the cost.
Finally, for a discount you can enjoy all year, I urge you to make haste to the calendar kiosk. Calendars usually seem like a throwaway gift that you’ll neglect to open until it’s already August, until you start scribbling your work schedule on your hand like a fourth-grader and realize you just might need one! Even this late in the game, you’re bound to find something kitschy you don’t mind staring at, and they’re all 50 percent off only 6 percent of the way through the year.
You really can’t argue with that math, so head on over and shop smart for these and more post-holiday deals!