When to Buy What: How to Find Bargains Year-Round

Close your eyes and picture this:

It’s the third Friday of November-1am, parking lot full of mini-vans and soccer-mom mobiles, bundled up shoppers shrouded in fleece are lined up at the locked doors of any major retailer in America- all determined to just save a few bucks. That’s right- it’s Black Friday. Quick open your eyes- it sounds more like a horror film doesn’t it?!

I get it- these days it is almost embarrassing to admit to paying full retail price for major purchases like home electronics or appliances. And why should you? There are TONS of ways to save all year long! From “members only” discount shopping sites like www.OneKingsLane.com (a personal fave) to discount retailers like www.Amazon.com or TJ Maxx, consumers today have so many ways to avoid paying full retail all without waiting in a parking lot in the middle of the night!

According to a few recent studies (Decide Inc, Wall Street Journal and Sales.com), consumers can actually be strategic all year long as they plan their purchases to get the most bang for their buck. Additional reports from AARP and LifeHacker give month-by-month buying bargains for everything from power tools to office equipment.

Something’s on sale every month- my kind of bargain shopping! Get out your calendars, check this out and make plans to do something FUN on Black Friday (like sleeping in!):

April – Vacuums & Cleaning Appliances- Get in before spring cleaning gets fully underway- prices will go up as demand does in the later spring.

May – Inventory of BBBQs and accessories, patio furniture and other items you use for outdoor living spaces is in as spring gets underway. Look for coupons and sales before the summer heat arrives. Prices go up once summer starts and you won’t find much discounting until after July 4 and inventories are low.

Many businesses start up after the tax return deadline, so expect to see some sales on office furniture you may need for your home office.

June – In anticipation of Father’s Day, plan to find discounts on tools and home improvement supplies.

July – Furniture retailers are starting to make deep cuts on items to make way for the year’s second batch of new models.

Discounts also become available on kitchen appliances – refrigerators, ranges and microwaves.

After July 4, barbecue equipment is discounted again, as is outdoor furniture.

August – There are always great sales on linens and storage containers and accessories during August as retailers know shoppers are preparing for Back to School and kids heading off to college.

September – Another final push for outdoor furniture, barbecues, lawn mowers, but expect limited inventory. Stores are also making way for new appliances – not refrigerators – by marking down older models.

October – Appliance sales continue, along with sales for what’s left of patio furniture and other outdoor goods. As shoppers are heading back indoors, look for bargain prices on cookware.

November – Holiday sales begin to offer some of the year’s best prices on televisions and other electronics.  Prices on appliances continue to plummet and tools are deeply discounted.

December – Sorry folks, there’s no avoiding it- Black Friday, Cyber Monday do offer some of the year’s best bargains on televisions and electronics.  Retailers know that toasters, blenders and other small appliances are great quick pick-up items for last-minute gift shoppers, they’re practically giving them away.  Home improvements, particularly painting, are often deeply discounted due to low demand.

January – New models of furniture are introduced and retailers need to move out the old to make room for the new. The styles rarely change that significantly from year to year, so shoppers can save big bucks by opting for last year’s models.  In prep for holiday visitors, homeowners often spend on new flooring, so once demand drops off in January, so do the prices.  January’s traditional “white sales” come with bargains on bedding and linens, though you can find these sales throughout the year. As Super Bowl approaches at the end of the month, keep your eyes open for savings on TVs, especially those with lots of features such as 3-D or Surround Sound.

February – No one’s thinking about A/C in February- exactly why you should buy it, service it or install it now. Prices are significantly discounted. Older model TVs are also on sale to make room for the new models.

March – Wedding season is coming- look for sales on China and flatware.  Another sign of spring? Sales on gardening tools.

So there you have it! No excuses for paying full price now!