No matter what time of the year, there is probably a sale brewing somewhere. Knowing when to buy what item may be a challenge, but it is a part of smart shopping. Whether you are interested in buying new sheets, a television or clothing, there is a time that each item is at its lowest price. Here is a purchase calendar to help you plan your shopping.
January is the best time of the year to buy bed linens. Since the late 1800s, merchants have had “white sales” to sell towels, linens and sheets. But it is also a good time to pick up leftover holiday goods such as ornaments and wrapping paper, fitness equipment, televisions and computers.
February rolls in with sales on furniture, washers and dryers, and continued sales on televisions. At this time of year, new inventory will soon be arriving in the furniture and the washers/dryers department, so prices are marked down on the older inventory. If you are planning a wedding, this is a great time to get married. February is a good time for weddings since there is far less competition for venues and services this time of year. How about a Valentine’s Day wedding? Very romantic and you’ll never forget your anniversary.
March is National Frozen Foods Month, so stock up now. Luggage is available at a great price and preseason prices on grills are also good. Be sure to check out sporting goods, such as boats and golf clubs.
April is a great time to plan a cruise or to purchase a vacuum cleaner or winter clothing for next year.
In May, focus on the kitchen. Small appliances are a great price and refrigerators will be discounted to make room for the new models. Dishes and cookware are also on sale for wedding gifts. Spring clothing will go on sale toward the end of May and leftover spring-cleaning items will also be at good prices.
June is the best time to buy a laptop computer and tools that are on sale for Father’s Day. Lingerie is also discounted. The beginning of the hurricane season means steep discounts on Caribbean vacations.
July brings sales on personal electronics, summer apparel and jewelry. It is also ice cream month, so look for sales on ice cream.
August means back-to-school sales and good prices on office supplies. Toward the end of summer you’ll find discounts on grills, summer clothing and bathing suits.
In September, start looking for that new car. Dealers are interested in clearing their lots for the new models. The same strategy works for bicycles: they are discounted in advance of the new models. If you are planning a holiday trip, now is the best time to book your trip. Labor Day also brings on mattress sales.
In October, look for discounts on all those jeans that didn’t sell during back-to-school shopping. Outdoor goods such as lawnmowers, gardening tools and camping supplies are marked down to make room for holiday merchandise. Toys are often at good prices ahead of the holiday season, so search now for Christmas gifts.
November is a great time to pick up leftover Halloween candy. On Black Friday and Cyber Monday watch for sales on home appliances (particularly televisions), small appliances and gaming systems.
December is a full-on shopping month. Did you know this is the best time to buy athletic apparel and equipment? In January, everyone will be making resolutions and prices will go up. If your favorite football team is losing, its merchandise just might be discounted, and even if they start winning next season, you’ll still be a fan. With the year’s end, it is a great time to make a deal on that vehicle you’ve been wanting. Chances are, though, that the selection on last year’s models may be slim.
We all have to buy consumer goods. Knowing when to get the best price can save you money.
Roxie Rodgers Dinstel is associate director of the Cooperative Extension Service, a part of the University of Alaska Fairbanks, working in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Questions or column requests can be e-mailed to her at email@example.com or by calling (907)474-7201.