Christmas Clearance Watch List – Ideas and Tips

Tomorrow is the day after Christmas and that means lots of us are gearing up for After-Christmas Clearance Sales!  I ran into CVS last night to take the workers some fudge (they’re sweeties) and I had to PULL myself away from a table already full of 75% OFF Christmas Lights.  It’s so hard!

Some of my favorite places to hit up for Christmas Clearance are Rite-Aid (because they’ll actually go down to 90% OFF) and Walmart – because there is such a huge array of things considered “Holiday Items” that are marked down – like fragrance sets, massagers, & baking sheets even!

Last year, some of my favorite finds were: a big keyboard for $3.75, a 2-Pack of nerf dart guns for $5, Bendaroos for $1.25 and cookie sheets, tins, cupcake liners, sprinkles, and more for next years’ baking at 75% OFF.

Here are some things to keep an eye out for….

Stocking Stuffers for next year:

  • Slipper Socks, Slippers
  • Activity Books, Small Toys
  • Some Candy (Check the expiration date)
  • Holiday packaged lotions & potions

Gifts (for next year, Valentine’s Day, or birthdays!):

  • Toys *Drugstores have limited space, so theirs will go REALLY low until they’re gone.
  • Gifty Appliances
  • Robes, Pampering Sets
  • Fragrance Sets
  • Craft Projects
  • Gifty Bath Sets/Kid’s Bath Sets
  • Babies 1st Christmas Stuff (for shower gifts next year)
  • Makeup or Hair Barette/Bow Sets

Practical Supplies (That happen to look Christmasy):

  • Cookie/Cupcake pans *Walmart had them for $3.75!
  • Paper Cups, Plates, Napkins (Use red for Valentines Day & Green for St. Patrick’s Day)
  • Vinyl/Plastic Tablecloths (for play-doh mats, rainy-day art projects, etc…)
  • Tape, Scissors, Pencils, Schools Supplies
  • Cute wicker baskets with holiday liners (take out the liners for cheap storage baskets!)
  • Blankets
  • Personal Hygiene Sets (Even better deals can be had with coupons too!)
  • Candles/Air-Fresheners
  • Red/Green Loofahs
  • Underwear/Kids Pajamas
  • Men’s Electric Shavers

And of course, Christmas Decor/Supplies for next year:

  • Lights, Garland, etc…
  • Christmas Cards, Wrapping Paper  (Plain silver/gold can be used for weddings)
  • Special *pricier* ornaments for next year
  • Ribbons, Bows, Fun Little Boxes

Food:

  • Sprinkles, Cupcake Liners
  • Deluxe Nuts Sets
  • Christmas Candy
  • Refrigerated Holiday Cookies
  • Christmas Oreos, Ritz, etc….

I want to encourage you, as everything in town slowly makes its way to the 75% OFF mark, to shop creatively & with a giving heart!  This is a GREAT opportunity to get small items for the Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes, or larger ones for the Angel Tree, Toys for Tots, etc…

A few fun & easy Christmas crafts!

The shopping is winding down, and thoughts tend toward hearth and home 2 days before Christmas.  Wrapping presents, snuggling on the couch with popcorn and Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, and of course, Christmas crafts.  Here are some cute ideas of things to do with the kids (or just a friend) that are fairly easy and won’t cost you much if anything:

1. )  Graham Cracker Gingerbread House:

This one is fairly self-explanatory, you build a house using graham crackers, (or any cookies you might have) and glue it together with frosting.  Decorate with all that candy your kid brought home from their class part and VOILA!  An edible masterpiece!   If you need a little direction – check HERE.

 

2. ) Paper Snowflakes & “Virtual” Paper Snowflakes

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This one’s a classic, but not often done well.  Here’s a site that tells you the right way to fold those triangles to cut out great snowflakes!  And for those wanting an even easier snowflake project, check out this Make-A-Flake website – it’s pretty cool for the kiddos!
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3. ) Home-Made Wrapping Paper


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My kids have drawn each other’s names out of a hat, and later today we’ll be going to the Dollar Tree to let them pick out a couple little items for each other (Yes, we ARE that classy).

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One way to keep them busy and make some fun is to do home-made wrapping paper together.  You can also make fun gift tags – see a how-to HERE.

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I like the potato-stamped paper (or cut out sponge-stamps) the best. But just coloring/painting on a brown grocery bag, newspaper, or regular paper works fine too!

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How to Make “Reindeer Food”

I took the kiddos to a Christmas party tonight at a friend’s house, and as they stumbled out the door with sugar-hangovers, she handed each a bag of “Reindeer Food”.  I’d never heard of such a thing, but if you humor your kids with the Santa-Claus story like I do, then I thought you might want to know it too!

Ingredients:
Raw Oatmeal (Cause reindeer LOOOVE them some oats….)
Glitter or sprinkles (To sparkle in the moonlight and guide them to your home)

Toss some out on the lawn on Christmas Eve, to give those poor over-worked reindeer something to munch on while Santa’s doing his chimney business.
If you’re having a Christmas Eve Party, and want to give little ziploc bags out to the children, here’s a short poem you can staple to them:

“Make a wish and close your eyes tight, then sprinkle on your lawn at night.
As Santa’s reindeer fly and roam. This food will guide them to your home.”

Last-Minute Gift Basket Ideas!

Did you suddenly realize you forgot someone on your Christmas list?  Well – being a couponer certainly has it’s perks – one of which is that we usually have a closet full of random objects we picked up for free/cheap.  This lends itself very well to creating a last-minute “Gift Basket” for someone.

Toss in some lotion, bath supplies and a loofah and you have a “Pampering” basket.  Put a candle, a mug, and some cocoa packets together for a “Cozy Winter” basket.   You get the picture!  I thought we could all tell what we’ve used to make frugal gift baskets – and help each other out.  Just leave a comment below with your ideas or suggestions – and we’ll team up to create an UBER-LIST!  Then next Christmas we can dust if off and add to it!

*NOTE: You can also go read this AWESOME Gift basket ideas list on AFullCup (You may need to register to see it)

Amazon: 99 Essential Christmas Classics $1.99!

My husband was on the computer this morning, eating his cereal, when he saw this deal and thought I should share it on the blog today:

Amazon has 99 Essential Christmas MP3′s for just $1.99!

It has “O Come O Come Emmanuel” on it – which is one of my favorite, even though it’s more of an Advent song.  Our laptop is uploading them all as we speak – we’re really going to get in the Christmas spirit this week!