The Best Time to Buy Stuff

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Have you noticed that certain things are just priced better at certain times of the year?  Seasonal sales and end of year inventories have led me to create a quarterly cheat sheet for shopping.  Now I can keep in mind the big purchases we may have to make and can look up the best months to start shopping.  This makes it much easier to tackle large purchases and I don’t feel like I lost out on easy savings. 

Here is my current annual shopping calendar broken down into quarters.

January, February, and March

I stock up on all of our Christmas decorations during the first week of January.  It’s the best time to replenish your supply of wrapping paper, bows, and ornaments.  The end of January and the beginning of February is also a great time to get an HDTV if you’ve been wanting one since they go on sale before the Superbowl.  Winter gear also gets cheaper in February and March since warmer weather starts peaking its head out and the stores have to deplete their winter inventory.

April, May, and June

I’ve noticed that digital cameras seem to go on sale in April, right after Spring Break and before Summer Vacation.  The end of April and most of May seems to be great for stocking up on my picnic supplies and outdoor furniture thanks to the return of outdoor cooking.  Right around June, tools also go on sale thanks to dads and grads – gift sales for Father’s Day and recent college graduates.

July, August, and September

July is when I first start seeing multiple furniture sales, probably for the college kids going off to school.  I also notice that gym memberships go on sale in an effort to meet mid-year quotas.  August is when I can jump on computer deals during back to school sales if my laptop is giving me any problems.  It’s also when air conditioners finally start coming down in price since the 100 degree weather starts dissipating.  When the first cool weather shows up in September, the stores start lowering their prices on bicycles and plants.  If you do take advantage of fall potted plant specials, make sure to bring them into the garage at least throughout the winter so they don’t freeze and die before you can find them a permanent home.

October, November, and December

October is usually when outdoor grills and last year’s models of appliances go on sale.  The beginning of November is a great time to stock up on Halloween leftovers and the end of November is all about sales on electronics during Black Friday and Cyber Monday.  It’s also surprisingly a great time to get a good deal on a wedding dress.  That’s when I found my beauty for $125 at David’s Bridal.  Finally, December is a great month to get great deals on gifts for the whole year.  Plus, if you want a great deal on a new car, the salesmen are willing to haggle.

By keeping the seasonal deals in mind, we have been able to save hundreds on the items we were buying anyway.

What seasonal or monthly deals have you noticed?  Any suggestions for me?

{ 8 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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8 Responses to “The Best Time to Buy Stuff”

  1. cvargo says:

    I have purchased 3 vehicles and the way that i do it is alot of research… and when january rolls around i wait for a day that has been snowing and go in around 4 or 5 pm. The day has been real SLOW for the dealership and they will do anything to get a sale. This last time they took 4K off the price gave me an extra 1500 for my trade in and 4 years of free oil changes. Buying a car January is by far the best time! Another great thing is in september most grocery stores around here do case lot sales you get canned items for way cheap.

  2. @cvargo – I like your car buying strategy. The slowest period of the year is always the best way to feed those starving car salespeople. The end of the month is also a good time to shop for cars, year-round. There’s always a few salespeople that MUST sell a few more cars to save their job, and we consumers can use this to drive a hard bargain.

  3. Shirley says:

    Crystal, while you are refurbishing your Christmas wrap be sure to look for striped or solid color (no holiday figures) wrap there too. That will have you set up for gift wrap for nearly any occasion.

  4. Mirinda says:

    I have found black Friday to be the best time to buy ‘whites’ or bedding, towels etc. They will often be 60%+ off. Also small kitchen appliances are often ridiculously low priced that day.

  5. Bryant says:

    The best time to buy a BBQ is just before the 4th of July! Always price compare those dedicated “BBQ/patio stores” with Home Depot and Lowe’s. I got a great deal a few years back. And don’t opt for the fee for them to put it together. If you are over the age of 18, and own a screwdriver, you can save that money and get yourself a nice grilling set!

  6. Mark says:

    I have a comment about buying a car. The best thing I ever done was negotiate through email. That paired with a lot of research will get you a deal that you’ll love. You can say good-bye to all of their pressure tactics and spend the less time in the showroom. Hope this helps and happy hunting.

  7. skylog says:

    i always make sure to buy all my christmas cards in the weeks following christmas. i have quite a few extended family members, and we usaully just send each other cards, so i try to find nice ones. they are quite a bit more expensive than the “standard” cards that i would normally purchase, but with the deals the are available after the season, it makes them very affordable.

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