Best before and after Christmas purchases

Black Friday, Cyber ​​Monday and Travel Tuesday are all past this year, but the holiday shopping season rolls on. There are still deals to be had, money to be saved, and smart buying decisions left for you to make.

Now that the days of massive, hyped sales have passed, it pays to be knowledgeable in your shopping and know which categories are best for me before and after Christmas.

before Christmas
Whether you’re finishing up your holiday gift shopping or just bargaining for yourself, there are still plenty of great purchases on the table before Christmas.

Fingerlings may be in short supply, but many other popular toys are still readily available. See sales on everything from Lego kits to dolls. This is when big retailers like Toys “R” Us offer their lowest prices of the year. Just keep in mind that some of these deals are online-only, so be sure to compare Internet prices to those you’ll find in retail stores.

Electronics (with care!)
Buy that laptop and TV. Just make sure you get all the features you need. Retailers are notorious for getting rid of cheap old models this time of year. January is the Consumer Electronics Show. That’s when the latest and greatest are announced.

Everyone from big-box home improvement stores to online retailers is offering lucrative tool deals in December. Keep an eye out for toolset sales, where you can find discounts on a bunch of useful items packaged together.

Also look for deals that offer free power tools or batteries with the purchase of certain toolkits. It’s not just about power tools. You can also find cuts on hand tools and accessories like drill-bit sets.

gift card
Gift cards can be a bargain in the days leading up to Christmas. While a certain percentage off the price can be an enticing deal, also look for retailers that offer a free, small gift card with the purchase of one with a larger amount.

You can give the older one as a gift and keep a bonus card for your shopping needs. Plus, the gift card is still a perfect last-minute gift.

There’s a lot of competition for your celebratory champagne dollars leading up to New Year’s Eve, so expect plenty of specials on the bubble before Christmas.

This is a great time to stock up for a special Christmas toast, for mimosas on Christmas Day, or for your year-end party.

wait until after christmas
Get your shopping game plan in place so that you can manage your post-Christmas sales efficiently. There are four categories of items to look for here:

Christmas decoration
You’re looking at some new strings of lights, a projector that scatters snowflakes throughout your house, and a new artificial tree. If you don’t mind storing your treasures, you can find some great deals on your 2018 Christmas decorations when you have the patience to wait for the sale after December 25.

See deep discounts on everything from festive knickknacks to entertaining inflatables for the front yard.

holiday gear

This goes hand in hand with those fabulous and festive Christmas decorations you’re about to pick up from the post-holiday sale. Load up on Christmas cards, wrapping paper, and other small items that will come in handy for 2018.

You can even get packages of tape at a discount… and it’s something you can use all year round.

winter coat
It may still be cold outside, but retailers are already looking forward to bringing their spring line. They’ll be eager to get the cold weather gear out of their stores during the post-Christmas sale. This can be a perfect time to pick up a comfy new winter coat, but also look for practical items like gloves, baselayers and hats to go on sale.

exercise equipment
Don’t rush after the treadmill or stationary bike on the day right after Christmas, but hold on a little longer after the New Year’s sale on exercise gear.

Retailers know that many people will commit to getting fit after January 1, so look for deals on all the equipment you need to meet your health-related resolutions for 2018.

Sneaky scams pop up around the holidays
That email may not be genuine, counterfeit items try to fool buyers, and your data could be at risk.

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