Monday, November 2, 2009

Using After Halloween Sales Wisely

As holidays approach, Sisters and Brothers, you've seen them: Sales.  Yet you know as does your Chocolate Priestess that these are likely not honest sales, the prices still high.  How do we know this?  We remember the post-holidays sales of the past.  I know several of you have all ready run out yesterday to search for post-Halloween booty in the form of candy, decorations, and costumes you can save for next year or use now.  Let me share what I some experiences with you about my own excursions into after holiday sales.

The temptation is there to rush to the store the first thing in the morning.  That temptations turns to action for many people and what you find may indeed be greater selection but also greater competition.  I hate that feeling myself, it is unnecessary stress because no matter what I may find at this post holiday sales, they are a want not a need I am fulfilling.  I don't need more candy and I know it is unlikely to survive very well for a full year or I'll simply forget I bought it and end up eating more.  I don't need more decorations, I simply want them to add a bit more to the house, perhaps unconsciously to compete with our neighbors whose entire front yard, side yards and roof was a bewitched graveyard this year.  I don't need the stress of trying to work my way through aisles of other bargain shoppers, stress is no bargain.

Instead this year I went in the evening after dinner the day after Halloween. I hadn't even planned to go but my household ran out of bread so I thought I might check out what was left over figuring there would not be much since I saw news reports saying that Halloween sales had gone strong in our area.  It was after 7pm and half of everything our local Kroger had was still there at half price now.

I and the White Chocolate Acolyte got some candy but we had to be careful because mixed in with the sales candy was full priced candy.  Tip #1: Check the prices don't assume a sign you see applies to everything.  I don't like to think the stores mix up products on purpose, in this case it looked like someone had bought some candy from the candy aisle then saw this cheaper candy so just dumped the other in the displays.  Tip #2: Don't mix up products of different prices.  Have some care for shoppers who will come after you and returns you decide you do not want to their original display and shelving.

I got the these pictured three candies at 79¢ a bag, less than half price, for three reasons.  First everyone in the household likes these but we didn't get these to give out on Halloween because they weren't packed in an assorted variety and we find our trick or treaters like choices.  Second these were  good price but not an overwhelming quantity, they can easily be stored.  Finally each of these I could immediately see using in cookies, brownies, cakes, things of that nature and not simply eating straight, they can be used for other events I will bake for.

Whenever I got to my local grocery I always check out sale displays, especially the deep discounts sections for discontinued or day-old items in the bakery.  Last week I looked at all of the Halloween cookies that Kroger was selling but found the prices quite high.  When we went to check for rolls and bread for the upcoming week at the day-old display, I found these to your right.  Same cookies, all of them crispy varieties so they don't spoil fast, and all half price or less.  I don't acre of they have pumpkins or spider webs or ghosts on them and I doubt my family or friends will care that much. Not everything in the bakery was a good sale price, the moister items such as decorated cakes and brownies weren't marked down at all. When they are, consider Tip#3: Unless you plan to eat it soon or refrigerate or store in an airtight container, don't buy moister clearance bakery items, they can go bad or dry out.

Beyond the candies and baked goods, there are always sales on decorations and costumes as well.  I have two final tips related to these after holiday markdowns.  Tip #4: Think about what you have in terms of decorations and only buy something you really think you'll use.  I got two little signs that have nothing specific to do with Halloween but instead with winter, currently one is gracing my front door and another blesses our entryway.  I didn't have anything non-specific holiday but autumnal so these were a nice addition for under $4 total.  Tip #5: Buy either costume parts or things you KNOW you'll still be able to wear.  This is especially important if you are considering children's costumes since they will grow.  Adults if you watch what you eat, your stress level, and exercise may not change body shape so much.  Extra masks, creepy gloves, funny hats, all of these should still fit someone next year or the year after.

My final post-holiday sales tip applies to any sales or shopping ahead.  #6: Remember where you stored what you bought.  I have this little list I keep on the computer of Christmas gifts I've been buying for a few months now.  I really need to do the same for birthday presents and other holidays.  We keep our holiday decorations and supplies in big boxes and I check these out before I buy anything new.  Since I started doing this more consistently I've saved money and time.

So if you haven't gone out and done your post holiday bargain shopping, consider doing it today to tomorrow or simply the next time you need to run out for groceries.  Please, let me know what you find, where you did, and how good of a bargain it truly was.

Sisters and Brothers, may you too take the time to slowly appreciate what the Divine and human ingenuity have offered you in chocolate.


ValleyWriter said...

Great tips - especially the one about keeping a list of things you've already bought. I hate finding my pre-buys the day *after* the holiday!

TheChocolatePriestess said...

Thank you, ValleyWriter.

I'm not perfect on the list keeping yet but I work on it and it helps a lot. As does have central locations where we keep pre-bought items for holidays or birthdays or other gift giving events.

home staging in Toronto said...

Hi. Interesting reading. I always try to be effective when buying some stuff but sometimes it's hard when you're attracted with some special offer which is actually not so special at all. Thanks for sharing these tips, I think they can be very helpful for many people.

Take care,

TheChocolatePriestess said...

Thank you for reading and commenting, Ella. It be very tempting indeed. What if what you wanted sells out?

For me keeping a budget and keeping lists has helped curb a lot of that drive to get it when I see it.

I also keep track of our standard purchases and I've been known to make public comments at the store itself when I see milk has gone up 20¢ since the summer but they sign claims it is the lowest price of the year... oh yeah?

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