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We’ve Got the Best Tips for Shopping the After-Christmas Clearance Sales

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More Clearance

Hobby Lobby Christmas Clearance 90% off sign

Get ready for Christmas clearance shopping! 🤗

Oh how we love this sweet, little word: CLEARANCE! 😍 With the holidays upon us, that means the after-Christmas clearance sales are coming – and we couldn’t be more excited!

One of the best times to stock up on holiday decor, non-food gifts, paper items, ornaments, and more for next year is after Christmas when items typically go on sale 50-90% off! This is a great time to score deep discounts on all-things-Christmas so you can avoid paying retail prices next year.

christmas tree 50% off clearance at Target

Usually, retailers like Target, Walmart, Michaels, Hobby Lobby, and other popular stores start marking down their holiday inventory 50% off on December 26th in order to make room for New Year’s, Super Bowl, and Valentine’s Day items. Then, a few days before New Year’s Day (around December 29th-31st), many stores will mark down their Christmas clearance items 70-75% off.

Then, after the New Year, things get REALLY exciting…

90% off remaining Christmas clearance sign at Hobby Lobby

After the New Year is usually when you’ll start seeing up to 90% off Christmas clearance at stores like Walgreens, CVS, Michaels, Lowe’s, The Home Depot, Target, AND Hobby Lobby!

While you can’t beat paying only 10% for next year’s holiday items, the selection of items may be picked over. But stock up if you can!

Here are 10 Christmas clearance items to watch for:

1. Gift wrap.

Gift Wrap Candy Stripe and Christmas Countdown 4-Pack

Grab these items while you can! Look for wrapping paper, gift bags, tissue paper, gift tags, ribbon, and bows on the cheap and stock up for next year (and boxed greeting cards, too)!

Also, consider buying colors or prints that can be used for other holidays throughout the year (i.e. silver/gold for anniversaries, red for Valentine’s Day, purple/blue for birthday parties, etc).

2. Paper products & storage.

tips after-christmas clearance sales & deals – Christmas clearance plates and napkins

Stock up on holiday paper plates, cups, napkins, facial tissue, paper towels, cutlery, etc. when they hit rock bottom prices and store them away for next season. You’ll be able to throw next year’s holiday party on the cheap, which will take a little stress off when that time rolls around again.

Also, be sure to watch for discounts on holiday items like Ziploc storage bags & containers, holiday-colored plastic wrap, baking cups, foil pans with lids, and other kitchen essentials you can use all year long!

3. Kitchen & bath items.

kohls christmas dish towels hostess anyone gift guide

Another thing to be on the lookout for is holiday kitchen towels, potholders, dishes, storage tins, serving trays, kitchen rugs, bath towels, soap dispensers, and other fun items that would also make great gifts and hold up nicely until next year! I love having fresh, new hand towels to hang up in my kitchen or bathroom every year that I’ve forgotten about—and they make great gifts, too!

hand soap christmas gifts

Also be sure to price check any holiday household items (like dish soap, hand soap, etc) if they’re not marked down as they may ring up with holiday clearance pricing!

Hip Tip: Check out Lina’s easy “We Wash You a Merry Christmas” DIY gift!

4. Holiday decor.

Merry Christmas throw pillow in hand in Kohl's

This is the perfect time to stock up on boxes of lights, ornaments, stockings, tree skirts, throw pillows, and loads of other festive home decor on the cheap. If you’ve been waiting for a deal on a new Christmas tree or an inflatable for the front yard, now is the time to snag one at a huge discount!

5. Gift sets.

12 Cocoas of Christmas

Still need a belated holiday gift this year? If so, you may want to snatch up a discounted gift basket filled with food, hot beverage mixes, K-Cups, or candies. Otherwise, steer clear of pre-packaged gift baskets that have food/candy items in them as the items likely won’t be edible this time next year.

However, if you don’t care about the gift packaging and are able to score a sweet deal on one, it may be worth breaking apart the gift basket and eating the items separately before they expire.

frozen gift set

It’s best to look for non-food gift sets, such as body wash duos, beauty sets, cute mugs, stationery sets, ornaments, games, etc. that you can use all year long OR that you can save to use for gifts next year (think teachers, neighbors, co-workers, friends, and family members!).

6. Seasonal food items.

Love drinking Peppermint Mocha coffee year-round? Have kiddos who love any type of cookie in their school lunches? Be sure to look for discounted food items and snacks in seasonal flavors that you or your kiddos wouldn’t mind eating soon OR for upcoming parties or events (i.e. Super Bowl).

My kiddos can’t get enough of those frosted sugar cookies from the bakery, so I’ll definitely be watching for those to be marked down!

Dunkin' Donuts ground coffee

You can also often find flavored coffee and coffee creamers, refrigerated or packaged holiday cookies, various candies, flavored snacks, meat and cheese sets, etc. that will be marked down. But they often go fast, so you’ll want to be quick! Just remember to grab foods that you’ll be able to freeze or eat soon to minimize your chances of having to throw expired food out.

7. Clothing pieces & accessories.

woman wearing ugly chirstmas sweater with arms crossed

Don’t skip the clothing aisles! If you find any clearance on ugly Christmas sweaters, shirts, socks, pajamas, or other apparel items that would be fun to wear to your next company Christmas party, be sure to grab those while you can. You can always tuck them away in the attic and you’ll have a surprise when you get out the holiday items when next year rolls around!

These clothing items always make fun stocking stuffers and White Elephant gifts, too!

8. Pet toys & treats.

Dog Toy at PetSmart

If your dog is like mine, he/she likely won’t care if they’re chewing on a candy-cane-shaped bone in June or playing with a Santa-shaped squeaker toy in February. 😂 Look for clearance deals for your pet and stock up on treats if you think your pet will enjoy the items before they expire.

9. Books & advent calendars.

elf on the shelf

Books and coloring books are always a great gift idea, especially if you have kiddos who participate in book exchanges at school. If you see any reading material on sale (especially the popular Elf on the Shelf set), grab them and store them away for next year.

Also, non-food Advent Calendars are a great item to be on the lookout for!

10. Stocking stuffers.

Hand holding two ULTA lip balm stocking stuffers

While you won’t want to purchase candy now to fill next year’s stockings, you can fill up your cart with discounted holiday pencils, plush toys, mugs, beauty products, mini candles, travel games, crafts or activities, and more! Check out some stocking stuffer ideas here!

Dress up your favorite appetizers with this festive holiday hack!

Join The Discussion

Comments 58

  1. Sue

    My Michaels usually starts 50% before Christmas. You go afterwards and most of it is gone already.

    • Carrie

      I was at a Michaels yesterday and Christmas was 60% off.

  2. Crystal

    Target seems to be speeding up their markdown process the past year or two. They went 90% off last year on New Years Eve. I will say, however, that based on the half empty shelves at my stores already- I’m not very hopeful that much will be left by then.

    • Sherri

      I was so sad to see the shelves were almost bare already the week before Christmas. I killed it last year and filled bags for kiddos for pennies!

  3. Michelle

    Hobby Lobby is already 66% off and pickin’s are slim (western suburb of Denver.)

  4. Jervine87

    My Target is already at 30% off clearance for Christmas

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Oh cool. I’ll have to check my Target soon. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Jackie

    The problem with target is that now they take the things out and only leave a few things for mark down. The great, actually amazing deals that I used to get 5 years ago is a thing of the past. Now when they mark them to 70 or 90% even 50% off you can tell that they moved stuff to the back (storage). When they mark them to 30% there is still a ton of stuff but once they go to 50% you can tell that 3/4 of the stuff has disappeared or moved to the back 🤷‍♀️. I know it’s not sold out because I can be there when it’s 30% and the next day when it’s 50% (no signs yet on display) I see the employees moving stuff to the back.

    • Marie

      Target sells these items in bulk, along with returns, to resellers now. They auction box lots. You’ll see these items pop up on eBay.

      • Jackie

        Totally not nice. Usually when I go there to find these deals I end up buying other things also (regular price) because come on, who goes to takes and doesn’t come out with a cart full of stuff? Now I don’t do that anymore and I know I’m not the only one. They should keep these deals out for their costumers not for some resale/auctioneer people. Just saying 😒

      • Jessica P.

        I cannot speak for All Target stores, but the one I work for does not do this practice. I assumed most stores operated like mine (in CO). Merchandise follows a markdown schedule of 30,50,70 (only seasonal really goes 90) if it does not sell at 70 (or it’s lowest markdown) after a certain period of time the system salvages it. At my stores that means we scan it out of our system, box it up on a designated pallet and several times a week Goodwill collects these pallets and pay some cost per pound (I’m only a team member so I don’t know this exact detail, but I do price changes in the men’s/apparel areas). Our local Goodwill then marks it up, I’m sure, and resells it. Our store also donates food items to a local food bank several times a week. In most of our opinions Salvage is not a great thing and we’d never heard something out back to this end, I believe the store loses money this way. There are things people sometimes just don’t want (the amount of plastic eggs and grass after Easter is ridiculous!)

    • Sara

      This is 100% not true for the Target I’m a supervisor at. Why in the world would we want to keep extra stuff in our backrooms when we could be selling them? There’s actually a system in place to purge all items going clearance from the backroom to the sales floor before the items even hit clearance. We have already purged everything Christmas to the sales floor. Perhaps what you have seen being pushed to the back is salvage items, those which have reached a certain date in the system to no longer be sold. It’s not like the system can hang on to every item until it sells. After a certain time, items are salvaged and then sold to resellers, and those time frames are different depending on if the items are ticketed clearance or PLU, such as seasonal markdowns. We don’t just hoard stuff in the back for ourselves and resellers.

    • SB

      Yes I now understand that. In walgreens when squishmallows were only9.99 I rushed in to see only 2-3 were left with no choice. And when the deal was gone, 10-15 nos. came out to the shelf. I wondered why not during the sale time(??!!!)

      • Chloe

        Can you get a rain check when the sale item is out of stock?

    • Jessica P.

      I can tell you honestly as someone who works at Target we never move clearance to the backroom! The only time this isn’t true was when they were setting Halloween and hand to box up backpacks to make room for it. Sometimes it is then a matter of waiting for a team member to find room to remerchandise the items, which happened the next day or so. Honestly the backroom was already seeing tons of Valentine’s weeks before Christmas and no manager would accept Christmas or clearance in general sitting in the backroom. In fact at my store all the managers were purging ALL the Christmas out in an attempt to sell through it. There are times clearance gets missed being put out (not properly located in the backroom or enough team members to put it out) yet no store in their right mind removes 30% clearance as it goes further to place in the backroom for ANY reason!

    • Mamia

      Truth. Went to one yesterday (dec26) and they had a lot of clearance items. Went to a second and they were all taking things off the shelves into the back. I saw them take it to the back. Was clean and clear.

    • Brenda Allen Mcguire

      Target and Walmart are now selling their entire warehouse of holiday left overs to a company called Dirt Cheap. It is an amazing store to shop at but all sales are final and everything is included (from Walmart and Target, including all returned and broken items. ) That is why there aren’t many items left after 50% off.
      There are a multitude of Dirt Cheap stores in several states

      • eadybakegirl

        Brenda they sell in pallets to different warehouses depending on the state. Many of the people that purchase or bid on pallets resale at flea markets, online or at small stores.

  6. nita

    The retailers are finally getting smarter and realizing that shoppers are savvy and aren’t buying decorations etc. before Christmas at full price anymore, when they know they’ll get it at high mark downs after Christmas, so now they’re marking down before Christmas to get those shoppers in and leaving less for the after Christmas sales, because they’re essentially losing money then.

  7. Eisha M Conrad

    I bought nearly $1,000 worth of Target Christmas clearance last year at 90% off……would have retailed close to $10,000…I’m still slightly regretting my purchases (lol). However!!! I got an 8ft, pre-lit tree for $16!! And about 20 (no joke) pairs of pjs for my nieces, nephews, and godchildren. All in sizes that they will grow into- they’ll be set for years! Each set was between $0.99 and $2.00!!! I got allll the ornaments I wanted for a color scheme for my new tree (black and white) PLUS extra sets of different colors in case I changed my mind. I also got an entire wrapping paper box (the one Target displays their rolls in) full of wrapping paper- each roll around $1.00 or less!! I have soooo much wrapping paper that I’ve invited family over to pick some from mine for free!! Also a giant box of various gift bags, wine bags, and bows/ribbons. Honestly it’s obnoxious how much I got. My Target even let me get the Honest Co. holiday patterned diapers for 90% off!!

    • hip2jen

      Where is this Target! Lucky you!

    • Brenda

      diapers at 90%! Who cares what print they have on them!!! Good for you!

    • Sylvia

      Good for you that’s the way to do it

    • Devendra

      Honestly you should not be shelf clearing.

      That is senseless over-consumption on your part and you should leave some for others.

      • Lisa Poore

        And that’s why when other’s want to save money, they can’t. But I will say, “greed when trying to one up other’s can also make someone broke.” We have a person in out town filling her whole car with everything, and the next year she shows pictures on facebook with her tree in the background, that you can only see the very top of it. I can’t imagine how that make some unfortunate ones feel. And being an avid couponer before, I never would clear off shelves myself, but liked to get a good deal on things I need. I now can’t even do that. It’s so sad that I finally gave up. I know that this is an awesome website, but a little too commercialized lately. But I think these things need to be said. Thank you!

        • Luciana

          You’re right, that’s an over-consumption mentality. You should tell the stores about this person and maybe they can do something about it.

          TBH most of the people who shelf clear and *buy buy buy* are also obese; over-shopping is linked to over-eating.

          Shop sales, be frugal, but leave some for other shoppers. We need to be ethical couponers.

          • eadybakegirl

            Really Luciana, get up early next time and hit the sales. Don’t understand why people feel entitled for other people to leave them things behind. Not mad at the person who is saving and hustling.

          • Stephani

            You never know why a person might be “clearing” the shelves. I am a teacher and help my students and their families at Christmas time who need it so I am that lady who is looking for awesome deals, clearance and is filling up multiple carts and I could care less what other people think. The stores have never told me that I can’t purchase carts full of deals. That is my choice if I am spending the money. They are happy to see it gone. Just for future reference, please don’t judge someone unless you know the situation.

          • loisgardner

            There’s always 1 person in every Facebook group that gets to the stores mid week and complains the shelves are cleared, that gets to 90% off clearance events the next day complaining its all gone so 1 person MUST HAVE cleared the shelves, LOL! There’s 2 types of clearance/couponer shoppers, the type that get there early to get the deal,and if they missed it, they understand they aren’t going to get every deal, and there is always the next time and next deal. Or, the type that got their late, didn’t go at all because they justify by it saying its probably all gone, or just too lazy to hunt, meanwhile judge others purchases based on what they THINK someone else’s needs are.Those people usually just scroll through social media and talk badly about the people that scored out of pure jealousy.

        • Stephanie

          You never know why a person might be “clearing” the shelves. I am a teacher and help my students and their families at Christmas time who need it so I am that lady who is looking for awesome deals, clearance and is filling up multiple carts and I could care less what other people think. The stores have never told me that I can’t purchase carts full of deals. That is my choice if I am spending the money. They are happy to see it gone. Just for future reference, please don’t judge someone unless you know the situation.

  8. JC

    I really want to buy a pre-lit tree this year. Ours is too small (like 4 ft only). I hope I will get a good one.

    • Liz G.

      Check Lowe’s now for 50-60% off their beautiful pre-lit 6 foot trees. They start making them down now before the holiday and we nabbed ours before it sold out. It looks like a $200 tree and we paid $70. It’s the best artificial tree we have bought, love it.

    • shop4mybabies

      i got a 7 foot fatty at walmart last night for 44.00 pre lit with colored lights, white lights were cheaper

    • leah

      I don’t know if you live where there is a Belk -but they had some beautiful ones that were already 70% off instore yesterday.

  9. Angela

    Does anyone know about Gordman’s?

  10. chantelrebecca1

    This post says to avoid buying candy but that is something I love to nab. I will get things like Kisses which come wrapped in green, silver and red. I sort the colors out into green for St. Patrick’s Day, silver for Easter, regular eating or New Year’s Eve and Red for Valentine’s Day. You can’t do this with candy that has pictures of Santa, etc on it or shaped candy like bells and Christmas trees but just about anything else works! I also like to get things like sparkling juice. It lasts for a long time and can be used for any special occasion or just a treat.

    • Suzanne H

      Shhh…don’t tell everyone! I do this too! 🙂

    • animity

      hehehe…me too!

    • Sue

      That’s cute. I love it. : ). I don’t even bother as long as it’s in date i’m happy. But, I love that you do that………Thanks for the idea……..i might do that too……………..

  11. lk

    Last year I got some huge bags of candy for a little over $3 at Sams. I also found lots of good stuff at Pier 1 and am using that for gifts now.

  12. Lexy

    I love shopping the Walgreens after Christmas clearance and their is so many Walgreens in every corner

  13. Kate

    The best thing to do with Hobby Lobby is buy stuff a few days before Christmas, then take the items in sometime within two weeks for a price adjustment when it has been marked down to 80 or 90 percent off! The selection is still pretty good before Christmas. I have gotten so many cute decorations, as well things like wrapping paper and tissue paper and bows, for so cheap this way!

    • Mamamia

      Is that even legal??!? Ugh my conscience would eat me alive if i did that!

      • shop4mybabies

        I’m with you, not something I find moral even if it is legal

        • Connie

          Unfortunately, it’s the way of this world these days! SMH

    • C

      I’m surprised they even allow that… I don’t agree with doing that- pretty unethical

  14. Lexy

    WHEN DOES Dollar Tree mark down their items?

    • Jennifer (Hip Sidekick)

      They should start marking them down now!

  15. Lexy

    Looking forward to going to Walmart for after Christmas sale?

  16. Sue

    That’s cute. I love it. : ). I don’t even bother as long as it’s in date i’m happy. But, I love that you do that………Thanks for the idea……..i might do that too……………..

  17. Robin

    Kirklands was at 75% yesterday.

  18. Jodi

    I just went to Walmart and found awesome deals. Spray snow for .98, normally $4.98. We’re doing a buffalo plaid/ski lodge theme theme for my son’s bar mitzvah, and I got a deal on ribbon too.

    • Jodi

      One more thing….Hanukkah is still ongoing, which does impact some of the sales. Just a thought.

  19. Rita

    I’m a crafter and LOVE shopping the after-Christmas sales at Hobby Lobby, AC Moore and Joann Fabrics. Yesterday, I scored anywhere between 60-80% off at HL, 50-75% at ACM, and a whopping 70%+an additional 20% at Joann’s! I’m definitely set for wired ribbon for all of my wreaths! Lots of ribbon in colors that can be used year-round. You just have to be patient and maybe check out stores that you would normally overlook to find the Bargain of the Day!

    • Jennifer (Hip Sidekick)

      As a crafter, you got some awesome deals! They will be great to have on hand in 2020! Thanks, Rita!

  20. loisgardner

    Does anyone know how low Michael’s drops to? I cant remember if 80 or 90% was the lowest and when that happened last year.

    • Jennifer (Hip Sidekick)

      Last year we saw it drop to 80% off, loisgardner!

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