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The Best Time to Buy Stuff

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 [3] 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 [4], 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?