Chances are you have your own shopping rituals that you use to save money, such as never Christmas shopping in any month that ends in “ber,” or checking the clearance rack first. Some rituals are rooted in psychology, like never grocery shopping on an empty stomach, while others are advertising-driven, like Black Friday and late July back-to-school sales. If you’re serious about savings, however, you need to kick it up a level and base your purchases not on ritual, but on the time of year.
Things heat up with the start of the new year and the nearly 100-year-old tradition of “Winter White” sales on bedding products. The reason is simple: retailers have to clear out last year’s inventory to make room for the spring’s new lines. January is also a great time to take advantage of the fact that retailers work a season or more ahead when it comes the merchandise they put on the floor. That means even though January is less than a month into winter, clothes are heavily marked down so they can be cleared out.
January is also the month when television manufacturers introduce their latest and greatest innovations, which means what was hot a month ago in the run up to Christmas is not so any longer. That translates to deep discounts as manufacturers and retailers seek to move out last year’s models. Cool deals can also be had on warm weather luxuries, like hot tubs and pools. Depending on your region, you can buy now and have it installed in the spring, or installed now and ready to go as soon as the weather warms.
Some real March Madness deals can be had this month on Valentine’s leftovers. The idea of discounted jewelry and perfume may not be romantic, but by getting more bang for your buck now you can be ready in plenty of time for Mother’s Day. The furnace market can also become super hot in March, with many dealers making great deals as the winter repair season slows down, and before the spring replacement season heats up demand and prices.
April showers bring more than May flowers in the final full month of spring. Savings are popping up everywhere, starting with mattresses. Innerspring, memory foam, pillow tops and box springs are generally at the lowest prices of the year during May. And apparel is not the only thing retailers promote a season or more in advance; outdoor equipment works on the same schedule. That means that the grass will not be greener any other time of year as May for stores looking to clear out lawn mowers and tractors and make room for leaf blowers and snow throwers.
It may be time for chilling out in the hot tub you bought in January, but you can keep a bunch of cool cash in your pocket by replacing window air conditioners now, as the prices on these chill appliances are at the lowest they will be all year. Now is also when you will find the best prices and selection on back-to-school supplies, like backpacks.
Shopping for snowblowers in shorts may sound silly, but the largest inventories and biggest sales are in big box stores and specialty retailers in the heat of summer. These mammoth machines take up lots of space in warehouses and on sales floors that will soon be needed for Christmas merchandise, which is why the best deals on snowblowers are months before the first flake flies.
The end of summer is the best time of year to toss a steak or shrimp on your brand new gas grill. Closeouts and clearance sales abound on these iconic summer staples make September the best time of year for grilling savings. Gas grills aren’t the only boys of summer that you can get a deal on; lawn mowers and trimmers have to go, too. And your lawn isn’t the only green thing you can trim, as you can also cut some serious cash from your yard-care budget.
Every June bride will tell you that getting married is expensive, but if you’re looking to beat the post-Christmas rush of folks jump-starting their wedding plans, November is the best time to buy a wedding dress. The kids went back to school months ago and the winter is fast approaching, creating a perfect slump in sales for sneaker merchants. Sneakers, athletic shoes, kicks, whatever you call them–November is the best month of the year to stock up and save.
Photo credit: flickr, ©iStock.com/lucop, ©iStock.com/SolStock