Sales.  Some people love them.  Some people hate them.  I’m one of those that’s all about the love—the love of saving a buck or two here and there.  I shop on Black Friday.  I fight the crowds on December 26th.  I gravitate towards clearance racks, have been known to clip coupons, and always Google “shipping code” before buying anything online.  I rarely pay full price for “wants,” and only begrudgingly hand over my dollars for those “needs.”
Because of my sales shopping philosophy, January is a great month to browse.  Browse online.  Browse the mall.  Browse Target, especially those end caps.  Stores liquidate their seasonal inventory to make room for spring.  Amazingly, despite the possible snow days ahead, stores are thinking of warm, sunny afternoons with umbrella drinks and freshly grilled hamburgers.  While it’s hard for me to make that leap while I’m still stowing away scarves and mittens, I will see their 50% off, and raise them another 30%–making a total of 80% off in some cases.  When the kids were babies, toddlers, and pre-schoolers, I would buy their clothes a year in advance, taking advantage of that 80% reduction on winter clothes now for winter clothes the next year.  It was awesome—especially in stores like Old Navy where one can stumble upon an “extra 50% off clearance sale.”  Those were (and still are) goldmines. I’ve paid $5 for a wool winter pea coat, .97 (yes, 97 cents!) for a corduroy skirt, and $4 for a complete sweat suit. Those are just a taste of the steals I’ve found, and I’ve walked out of many stores double-fisting shopping bags more times than I can remember.  Now that the kids are a little older, it’s a more difficult to judge their sizes a year in advance, and next to impossible to judge their taste more than a month in advance, so therefore, the job of clothing them for mere pennies has become increasingly more difficult.  But, despite their fickle sizes and tastes, I still have faith in the January Good Deal, and browse in search of that thrilling less expensive purchase. In addition to general liquidation sales, there are specific items to search in January.  All home decorations, linens, electronics, and furniture are discounted, and there are usually other incentives to accompany the sale—no interest credit options, cash back bonuses, or other “limited time offers.”  This is the time to look around the house and decide if there are any simple ways to update, decorate, or accentuate.
There is one drawback to shopping in January—most bank accounts are lean due to all the Christmas shopping in December.  This fact hinders most from taking advantage of every deal, but that does not mean we can’t grab a few here and there.  And, just because Christmas falls in December doesn’t mean all the shopping has to occur then.  I have given many Christmas presents bought the day after Christmas the year before (at 75% off!)  My husband might roll his eyes when I brag about my purchase and then complain about where to store said purchase, but I’ve saved money even by spending money!  Who can argue with that?

One final note—the Big City isn’t the only place to find a steal of a deal in January.  Our local merchants are following that same inventory liquidation philosophy, and you might just find an irresistible treasure right here on our small town streets.  All you need to do is take a look around.