by Julie Snyder
With Christmas tomorrow, the "After Christmas" sales begin. And you thought Black Friday rocked for bargains!
Known for being prime exchange time, the week after Christmas picks up steam with great deals on practically everything -- from toys to clothing, electronics to outdoor gear!
Which loot is a good buy? What should you pass by? Our after-Christmas sales guide you can nab the best deals in store and online!
Trees and trimmings: If your tree has seen its last season or you're looking to give you house a new look next year, check for savings right after Christmas. Trees, ornaments and lights may be discounted as much as 75 percent.
Holiday decorations: Stores are bringing out their Valentine's Day décor so the Christmas stuff has to go. That's good news for you. You'll find platters, plates and party supplies at celebration prices.
Festively boxed foods and gift sets: Look past the packaging on nuts, chocolate and treats. That holiday packaging is a great selling point up to Christmas, but not after. They'll get marked down quickly. Snag a few and enjoy cheap snacks throughout the year.
Frugal mom's tip: Coupons for baking supplies, candy and other holiday foods clutter newspaper inserts in the weeks before Christmas, but you can save them for later. Wait until things go on clearance, and then use those coupons for even greater savings.
Every store clears out their winter merchandise in the days ahead, so you should be able to clean up with discounts, especially on hats, scarves, boots, jackets and wool socks. If you shop for non-trendy staples, they can last your for a winter or three.
Depending how desperate the store is to get rid of their surplus merchandise, you might find a good, if not great, deal on these items. These leftovers are usually the first to go, especially in an after-Christmas sale, so get to the store early the day after Christmas for the best chance of grabbing one of these products.
• Heavy coats and other winter wear will be on bigger discount closer to spring so hold out if you can.
• In the market for a digital camera or MP3 player? You'll get this year's highest tech for a good price in late summer and early fall.
• You'll get the best prices on jewelry in April, July and August; those months have no gift-giving holidays.
Every January, the Consumer Electronics show is held in Las Vegas. All the consumer electronics manufacturers from around the World unveil their products for the coming year. These products hit the shelves in February.
To make room and beat out the competition, retailers need to clear out the currents products on the shelves and in the warehouse. These products carry labels like "price drop," "instant discount," "instant rebate" or "special price."
Uncle Eddie and your parents have similar tastes. They both got your child a Discovery Kids Digital Camera. It's a great gift, but you just need one. At the customer service desk, you find 12 other parents coming in to exchange the same gift. The stores would rather devote space to higher profit margin items and you're the one who can benefit. Check the boxes for accessories and manuals. If the box is open ask to see that the product works.
Most display models sit on the floor between three and six months, but could be there as long as 12 months. TVs and cameras get a lot of wear and tear. DVDs and blu-ray discs may only be on during a demonstration. You might get a good deal and you might get a well-used product.
Do you make a lot of your own gifts? Then, use those after Christmas sales to stock up on ribbon, fabric and craft supplies. You can use red craft supplies for Valentine's Day and the Fourth of July and green on St. Patrick's Day.
Have you considered delaying your family's Christmas celebration to save money? If so, how well did it work?
Photo courtesy of iStockphoto.