THERE is barely time to digest Christmas lunch before we are heading out to find bargains galore at the Boxing Day sales.
There was a time when these sales were confined to December 26 but they now tend to stretch into the first week of January and this year stores like David Jones and Myer started their sales on Christmas Day through their online facilities.
The Boxing Day sales are generally a rush and crush with people making use of holiday money and vouchers to get the best deals around.
The Retailers Association is expecting almost $15 billion in post-Christmas sales and suggests there will be savings to be had no matter what you are in the market for as prices that were discounted so heavily for Christmas anyway take a further drop.
Provided you are cashed up, big-ticket items are really affordable during this period with top brands available at a fraction of their usual price. T
he Good Guys have a Samsung 101cm full HD LED LCD television for $597 with a 3D surround sound system with Bluetooth for $444.
Harvey Norman has discounts of chest freezers (from $289) and is offering free delivery on some of their larger appliances.
Furniture and bedding stores are also coming to the party with franchises like Snooze offering discounts as well as bundle prices.
At Snooze, customers with an auto club membership to NRMA, RACQ, RACV or RAA receive a further 15% discount.
At Super Amart where you can buy furniture on 60 months interest free terms, there are huge discounts on bedroom packages with bedside tables thrown in for free and a clearance in outdoor furniture with savings up to $400.
If you are looking to jazz up your outdoor entertainment area Kmart has a two-person swing for $79 while Aldi has a pop up gazebo ($69.99), a cool bar ($49.99) and reclining sun loungers for $49.99.
Personal computers, games consoles and technological gadgets as a whole usually see huge price cuts at this time.
You can get a Toshiba P840 Touch Notebook from Dick Smith for $899 and there are also a variety of options if your budget is under $500.
Dick Smith's sale started online from Christmas Eve. Target has a Wii-U 32GB premium console bundle for $429, a saving of $70 while the 250GB X-Box 360 console with Halo 4 value bundle is $100 cheaper at $379.
Myer has Sony Readers from $169, iPad accessories from $39.95 and a very good range of digital cameras from $89.
For dads looking to spend vouchers, Supercheap Auto have up to 50% off on most items until New Year's Day including petrol pressure washers ($249), Calibre spanner and sockets sets and a deluxe gazebo ($119).
Bunnings has a variety of power tools from $49.98, tool boxes from $29.95 and barbecue accessories from $9.95.
Camping and fishing enthusiasts are not forgotten either.
BCF's catalogue features four crab pots for $55, up to 20% off lures and huge discounts on fishing apparel.
They also have 40% off some of their tents and you can save $30 on quality luxury camping chairs.
Anaconda has camp tables from $24.95, a Waeco CDF35 fridge freezer for $549.99 - a saving of $200, and a hybrid kayak which at $499 is $400 cheaper than usual.
This is a good time too if you are looking to freshen up your linen and towel cupboard.
Most stores of this persuasion are having stock clearances and good quality products can be had at more affordable prices.
Pillow Talk's microfibre quilts are $29 irrespective of size with sheets and quilt cover sets starting at $35.
They also have up to 50% off bathroom essentials as well as 40% off selected table linen.
Target has 50% off their Grandeur Classic towel range as well as 50% off 1000 thread count sheets.
Clothing, shoes and accessories are always good buys now with all the big-brand stores joining the race.
Quiksilver has 40-50% off selected items from December 26 as does Sportscraft, Collette by Collette Hayman, Katies, Portmans and Sportsgirl.
Oddly enough now is an excellent time to replenish Christmas cards and decorations, which are discounted by as much as 80% as shops try to clear the shelves.
Particularly good value are ornaments to place around the home, those little train sets that run around the tree and even the trees themselves.
It is also a good time to stock up your present cupboard especially with toys on sale.
If you have kids at school you will know that birthday invites come thick and fast and having a few items tucked away now will save you a bundle of cash later on.
How to grab a bargain
- Have a list and know your budget - it will take the stress out of the experience and will separate the wants from the needs.
- Arrive at the shops as early as possible because stocks may sell out.
- Wear comfortable shoes, clothes and carry some water. Choose an outfit that is easy to get on and off to help matters in the change room.
- Take a bigger bag, which you can use for smaller items, leaving your hands free.
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