Yes, it’s your biggest dream and a worthy goal. Only buy the things you want and need when they are on sale and always get the best deal when you do it! If only, right? Well, you may not be able to guarantee it, but you can at least try. And that leads me to my mantra and it must always be yours too: Never, ever buy any appliance, furniture, or any other item if it’s not on sale!
That must be your number rule if you wanna be “a star in my show”. And guess what? Retailers know you understand that and so they will use every way they can think of to trick you!
You can score an even bigger and better success rate if and when you are prepared for the shopping experience. Yes, it will take some knowledge and a little effort. It is your money we’re talking about here, so it’s worth your while to try to save it!
Timing is always a big part of getting a great deal and there are seasons to it just like it says in the bible (“To everything there is a season”). If you know the calendar to buy on sale, you will spend less on important items and you’ll stretch your dollars much further. That will mean less debt and the less debt you have, the happier you’ll feel. Whether you shop locally or online, I’ve put together a handy guide for the best times of the year to buy everything right here.
When to Save Money on the “Big” Things
Believe it or not, you can save thousands of dollars when making large purchases at the right time of year. Winter is often the best time to buy “big” or anything really because weather often dictates what retailers will do. If you’re looking at buying your first home or car, the winter months provide the greatest opportunities because other than “the holidays” from Thanksgiving to Christmas, the stores are often pretty slow.
Cars and trucks: Car dealers must move vehicles out at the end of the year and so many car dealerships try to make their yearly quota goal then. The best time to buy a new vehicle is at the end of the year and even more specifically, the end of the month. In November and December, dealers are desperate to move inventory because newer models are rolling in and the older cars are now “costly inventory” and every day they are costing the dealer more and more. That’s when and why they offer deeper discounts and other incentives. The more you understand that, the more leverage you have when you buy.
Houses: In spring and summer, the price of houses goes up because there is more competition from buyers. Purchasing a home in winter can get you an amazing price. If possible, try to look for homes around Christmas time. There is much less competition in the market, and sellers may even feel more generous because of the “Christmas spirit”.
Saving money on these kinds of big things reduces the amount of debt you have because you are generally making these purchases with borrowed money (loans and mortgages). After saving more money, you can afford other important items that you need and that can make you very happy.
When to Shop for Home Accessories
The winter months are again an excellent time to brighten up the home with new décor and furniture. Take advantage of bad weather and even a big snowstorm and check out exciting décor ideas when that happens. Retailers almost always promote during or right after any kind of big storm because they are trying to make up for lost sales that they missed. It works for both parties, more sales are made and more bargains are had.
Linens and bedding: Give your bedroom a relaxing atmosphere with fresh linens and colorful bedding. In January and in July many retail stores offer a “white sale” on blankets, sheets, duvet covers, and complete bed sets, etc.
Mattresses: Few things are as important in life as a comfy mattress. Whether you want something firm or soft, President’s Day in February is the best time to buy. Great discounts make it easier to splurge on king size mattresses. Yes, they are promoted all year long, but February traditionally is the lowest pricing of the year!
Indoor furniture: Buying a new sofa is an easy way to completely reinvent your living room. Accent furniture has a huge impact on the way a bedroom, living room, or dining room feels. Retailers get new styles in February, so January is the best time of year to find discounts on indoor furniture. Find your favorite coffee tables, dining room tables, loveseats, sectionals, and beds for less. Out with last year’s styles and in with this year’s styles.
Outdoor furniture: If you want to buy new patio furniture, September begins the sales that ultimately ends as winter begins. Usually deals of up to 70% off on popular styles can be found. When searching for larger items, make sure you know if prices include delivery fees to your home so you are not surprised when it’s added onto the deal.
Appliances: Do you have your eye on a state-of-the-art stainless-steel refrigerator? Memorial Day sales or waiting until November gets you the best deals. If you’re willing to wait in store lines, Black Friday is an amazing time to buy any high-quality appliances. This includes refrigerators, washers, dryers, microwaves, dishwashers, and ranges/ovens. The pressure to sell items mounts because all of the “new” items for next year are on their way to the stores in January and February. That again means that they have to make room for them. The best times are when appliances are dominant in ads.
Things to Buy For the Kids
Seeing happy smiles is irresistible for moms and dads. As long as you plan ahead, you can buy things your kids love without hurting your wallet.
Toys: Manufacturers get pretty crazy during the Christmas season, flooding the market with tons of toys. After Christmas, toy prices drop dramatically, even up to 90% off their original prices! This is the best to time to pick up gifts for the next year. Having a stuffed animal to snuggle with makes little ones happy any time of year, but getting one at a ridiculously low price makes everyone smile!
Gaming systems: Are your kids (or teens) begging you to buy a new Xbox, Nintendo Switch, or PlayStation 4? With Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals, you may be able to make their wishes come true. Make sure to get up early, because Black Friday sale items disappear quickly.
Candy and chocolate: There’s no doubt that candy makes kids very happy. Candy goes on sale the day after Halloween (November 1st) and the best prices on chocolate pop up right after Valentine’s Day (February 15th). Count on at least half price the next day and every week they go lower until they are gone!
One of the bargain hot spots is your local drug store chain. They are very big into candy and holiday treats so after every holiday you will see the axe fall on prices.
Of course, kids aren’t the only ones to benefit from a steady supply of candy, chocolate, and video games. Adults can also take advantage of these sales and enjoy it, too.
How to Buy Tech and Not Kill Your Wallet
Lovers of modern tech can’t resist the latest gadgets, such as smartphones, tablets, and laptops. But when is the best time to buy?
TVs: Let’s face it, a new TV is one of the most important purchases you can make. One good shopping rule of thumb when it comes to any TV is this: Never buy any TV if it’s not on sale!
Nearly everyone loves to watch movies and TV shows, including families, couples, and college students. If you’re a major sports fan, you need the biggest TV possible to watch games with friends. Fortunately, you have several opportunities to scoop up the TV of your dreams. Black Friday in November and Cyber Week in December and right before the Super Bowl in February are very hot TV sale events.
Tablets, smartphones, and laptops: Black Friday and Cyber Monday provide great opportunities to pick up a new smartphone, laptop, or tablet. You will get huge discounts on older models for sure. Look to grab these gadgets for less and save more than at any other time of the year.
Software: Shopping online for software deals is a great way to save. Black Friday and Cyber Monday aren’t just for buying local. Retailers such as Amazon and Walmart often provide discounts on office software and video game titles online that are not in a retail store.
You’d be correct if you now see that virtually all types of electronics go on sale during the Black Friday weekend. This includes headphones, laptop accessories, wireless game-pads, and smart-TV streaming players. Search online for “stores near me” ahead of time to know exactly what items offer the biggest discounts and where to go first.
Clothing Deals on Fall and Winter Fashions
Great fashion is a top priority for many women and men. To dress the way you want all year long, it makes sense to save money and deals are a big part of that fun.
Winter clothing: Don’t forget to mark your calendar in January and February to go shopping for winter clothes sales. Leather boots and gloves, cardigans, knit sweaters, scarves, coats, and hats all go on sale as spring approaches.
Shoes: Look for discounts on all fall footwear near the end of December. January can be one of the best months to buy running shoes, just in time for any New Year’s resolutions to get rid of extra pounds.
Business suits: If you’re craving a wool suit, set aside some money for January sales. You can save a lot on your favorite fall suits. Although basics are basics, the styles are always slightly changed so that new is always in high demand and last year’s is at bargain pricing.
The day after Christmas is also a good time to shop for fashion items such as dresses and blouses. Go in the early afternoon to search through a good selection of returned gifts.
When to Gear Up for Spring and Summer Sports
Take advantage of cool temperatures to buy the sports equipment your family needs for summer fun, in winter. If you time it right, you can even grab snowboards and winter boots for less.
Sports gear: If your kids are going to be in Little League, buy baseball supplies ahead of time to save. Bats, gloves, cleats, and helmets usually go on sale in January. Winter is one of the best times of the year for sports lovers. If you love hockey, snowboarding, or skiing, wait until the end of February to grab good deals.
Exercise equipment: In January, the Christmas rush is over. Stores know this, and they also know that many Americans want to lose weight after going overboard during Christmas. That’s why the best time to buy exercise equipment is in January. You may save up to 70% on treadmills, exercise bikes, and gym sets.
Bikes: Mountain bikes usually go on sale in late fall and early winter. Take advantage of these months to get awesome models for you and your kids.
Planning Your Purchases
By now you may be saying, “Gary, most of these sales are in the winter, and it’s now July!” That means it is the perfect time to plan your purchases and start saving up. Write down what you need, figure out how many weeks or months until it goes on sale, and divide the estimated purchase price by the number of weeks or months to know how much you need to put away. By the time the sale comes, you’ll be ready to buy.
I have been around “retail” so long that I can actually remember when 4th of July was an extra special event. That was a day when the retail store would have extended early morning hours just to have a huge bathing suit promotion. Macy’s would open the store at 8 a.m. only for the women’s bathing suit department and ladies would line up at the front door for the merchandise at 50% off and more for usage right now!
It goes without saying that you may not have money to buy everything you want right away. Fortunately, sales are an annual deal. Identify the most important things you need to buy, plan ahead, and save up your money to purchase when they’re on sale. After that, plan for next year’s big purchase. Always buy on sale!
Are you ready to plan your savings when you shop to save? What bargains have you seen and purchased over the years and what are you looking for right now?