7 things to buy for Christmas in July
I know. It’s hard to get pumped about Christmas when it’s 99 degrees outside. Santa’s wearing his bermuda shorts, and Rudolph’s nose is red from a sunburn and not from guiding a sleigh through the frozen tundra.
But, if you’re thinking about Christmas in July, then you’re thinking like a strategic shopper. We strategic shoppers have come to regard July as Black Friday, The Prequel. If you know what to look for, you can score quite a few bargains this summer. Check stuff off your family’s Christmas list early. Really early. Like, sit-relaxed-by-the-pool-with-an-umbrella-drink-and-a-smug-smile early.
Seven Things to Buy for Christmas in July
1. Kid’s Clothing. When you look around retailers right now, what do you see? Fall. They’ve already started giving prominent display space to jackets, coats, and the like. So look on the clearance racks for shorts, tanks, and t-shirts. At our house, shorts and a t-shirt qualifies as pajamas year-round, so now is when I put together a few “Christmas Pajamas” in my kids’ favorite colors, characters, or styles from the July clearance racks.
Deal: Children’s Place coupon for 20% off your entire order. Expires 9/9/2013.
2. Uniforms. If your kids wear school uniforms like mine do, look for khaki and navy shorts and polo shirts and stock up when you find them on the clearance rack. I’ve got uniforms for the next few years stored away, and I got them all for just a couple dollars per item by buying them off-season. When buying clothing this way for your kids, remember to get items at least one size bigger than they are now.
Deal: Sears coupon for $10 off Dockers schoolwear orders over $75. Expires 9/21/2013.
3. Women’s Wardrobe Staples. Here in Texas, the weather is so mild in the winter that many women’s warm weather fashion items can be worn year-round and simply be layered up for winter. T-shirts and tanks are a wardrobe necessity in any season, and now is the time to buy them. When I find a brand or style that I love for just a couple bucks, I’ll get a few of the same t-shirt or tank, and save ‘em for future use.
Deal: LOFT coupon for an extra 40% off your sale purchase. Expires 7/28/2013.
4. Vacation Clothing and Accessories. Think about where you might be headed on spring break next year when you’re picking up swimsuits, beach towels, and sandals for less. Grab rash guard shirts, water shoes, pool toys and inflatables for next summer now, for a fraction of the cost they’ll be next spring when everyone else is thinking about them.
Wrapping up a Spring Break Box under the Christmas tree gets kids excited about an upcoming vacation and impending warm weather, when there’s snow on the ground. And beach toys can double as bath tub toys for little ones…perfect as stocking stuffers.
Deal: Aeropostale coupon for 20% off swimwear products. Expires 7/31/2013.
5. Jewelry. Nothing says Christmas like those commercials on tv where the mom opens a gift box containing a piece of jewelry that the dad picked out, while the kids smile with approval. Did you know that July is the slowest month for jewelry sales? Take advantage of retailer’s desire to pick up a sale, any sale, and you’ll see discounts on jewelry now that you won’t see in December.
Deal: Jewelmint coupon for 70% off your first purchase, plus free shipping. Limited time offer.
6. Grills and Patio Furniture. Provided you have somewhere to hide it until Christmas, now is the time to get dad a new reason to spend time outdoors. Big box home improvement stores will be clearing out items like lawnmowers, patio furniture, grills, and lawn care equipment starting in July to make way for fall home improvement. Now’s the time to get dad the grill or lawnmower he’s always wanted.
Deal: Char-Broil coupon for 20% off Quantum Infrared 3-burner grill. Limited time offer.
7. School Supplies. You’ll find mountains of school supply sales…from grocery stores to office supply stores. Take advantage of the penny and five-cent sales to replenish your child’s school supplies as Christmas gifts.
I keep a door hanger organizer — meant for shoes — stocked full of colored pencils, markers, paints, and other school supplies I’ve gotten for next to nothing during the summer. A lot of these items are art supplies, which are always well-received as stocking stuffers or wrapped as a big box of art supplies under the Christmas tree.
Deal: Office Depot printable coupon for 20% off one qualifying item. Expires 7/27/2013.
One final pro-tip for strategic shopping for Christmas in July? Buying gifts six months ahead of time and stashing them away for Christmas makes you a genius. Just don’t forget where you’ve hidden your treasures. Like I have done. More than once.
Lea Ann Stundins is a creative consultant, shopping strategist, and blogger at Mommy’s Wish List. You’ll find her not only telling people how not to pay for things, but cursing at Photoshop in her glamorous dining room office. Lea Ann is on twitter @mommyswishlist.