Financial Resource Center

Money Management

Shop and Save for Every Season

by Carrie Anton / September 28th, 2021

If you think Black Friday, Cyber Monday, or the day after Christmas are the only times to score great deals, think again. Inventory changes and product upgrades can make each month a sale season. If you want to save, you just need to know when to buy.

Change of Season

Shopping late in the season is the best way to score great deals, especially on apparel. For instance, the fall is a great time for stocking up on spring and summer items, like shorts, sandals, and swimsuits, since they are on clearance.

End-of-season shopping may mean big deals, but don't let deep discounts lead to poor purchase decisions. After all, if you don't use what you buy, you end up wasting money instead of saving it.

  • Stick to the basics: Avoid anything trendy. By next summer, that trendy item may have lost its appeal. Go for basics like underwear, jeans, athletic shoes, socks, and solid tees.
  • Consider size:  If you’re buying for a child, beware of growth spurts. The same goes for dieters. Avoid buying clothes in a specific size if you're planning to pitch some extra pounds.
  • Know before you go: It's easy to be seduced by sales, so review what you already have before heading for the clearance rack.

Discount dates

 “Doorbuster” days exist to help kick holiday shopping into high gear, but there are other special days where you can find discounts.

  • Super Bowl:  After Christmas, shopping tends to hit a lull, so retailers lure winter buyers with TV sales just in time for the big game.
  • Valentine's Day: In the spirit of celebrating couples, look for BOGO, or buy-one-get-one, sales on smartphones, shoes, and tablets. If you don't have a sweetheart, find a friend to share the savings.
  • Mother's Day: Mother's Day and early spring, especially when the air is still chilly, is a great time to find deals at greenhouses. As the temperatures rise, plant prices follow. September is a good time to buy low-maintenance perennials, such as hostas.
  • Graduation: In addition to gadget, grads love gift cards. Check out and for gift card offers at cheaper prices than the amount on the card. January is another peak time at these sites.
  • Father's Day: Shop after Father's Day for sales on tools, grills, polo shirts, and ties.
  • Fourth of July: Many people start buying outdoor items in late spring. However, if you wait until after the 4th, you'll find better bargains on outdoor furniture and play structures.
  • Back to school: College students setting up dorms and campus apartments mean stores stock up on living essentials, like cookware and bedding. Once students are all moved in, you can make the most of store leftovers.

In addition to holidays, each month can offer a best time to buy certain items. For example, October is the best time to buy toys before prices go up for the upcoming holiday season. March and April are the best months to purchase anything wedding or travel-related, and the summer months are great for buying patio sets and tools.

Regardless of the calendar day, you'll save more when you shop smart. The year is packed with discount days, and the cycles are pretty reliable.

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