Planning your shopping according to the season makes sense, because seasonal items may be marked down and cost you less. What should you look for as winter comes to an end and spring is just around the corner? Here’s our checklist of some money-saving purchases that may keep more cash in your pocket all year round.
1. Buy a new car. This is, buy a new model of last year’s car. If a car is in your future, now may be the time to buy a 2012 model. Many dealerships still have brand new 2012 models on the lot, and they know they have to move this inventory to make room for the 2013 models that are arriving every day. You may not find the exact color you want, but you might save enough money to make you forget all about the color.
Shop around, and use the Internet to find the best deals on last year’s models. As a new car, they will still have the full manufacturer’s warranty, and even that new-car smell we all love.
2. If you live in the mountainous regions of Nevada where it snows, buy new snow tires in late winter or early spring. Tire retailers need to sell their existing stock, and many will drop prices – sometimes significantly – as the warmer months of spring approach. Look for specials – free mounting, free tire rotation for the life of the tires, and other specials that can save you even more money.
3. Sheets, linens and whites traditionally go on sale during late winter, with white sales announced almost daily in the local newspaper. Again, shop around. Use the Internet to conduct some price comparisons to save even more.
4. Winter sports gear often goes on sale in late winter and early spring: skis, hockey equipment and snowboards. Wait for the big sales to roll around, but be prepared by tucking away a little money each week. As soon as the local ski store announces its annual blowout sale, you’ll be ready to buy winter fun for next year for less money.
5. Winter clothes are often discounted heavily during February and March, so if you’ve been thinking about a new coat, new ski jacket or some fleece-lined gloves, keep your eyes open for winter clothes on sale at steep discounts. Smart consumers know they can still get some use from these clothing purchases this winter and have new, warm outerwear when winter rolls around next season. Shop discount stores that often carry well-known brands for less.
6. Woodstoves and wood pellets are often discounted during late winter as retailers move out the old inventory and move in the summer items. You can save a lot of money, even if you don’t use your new heat source until the cold months next fall and winter.
7. Plants, bulbs, shrubs and other gardening supplies are often heavily discounted before planting season – especially when you buy through catalogs. These mail order retailers need to increase cash flow after the slow months of winter, so these items are often discounted to generate more revenue for the business.
And even though you purchase plantings now, most online retailers won’t ship the items until it’s time to plant, so you save money, and you get your items in a few months when it’s time to grab the garden spade. Whether you live in the Nevada desert, in the mountains or somewhere in between, buy your garden materials today and save.
8. Buy a house. With the holidays behind us, real estate agents are back in business after the slowest season of the year. Houses don’t sell as well during the holiday season as they do during other times of the year, so if you’ve been planning to buy a home, late winter is a great time to start conducting drive-bys and walk-throughs. Another benefit? Buy a new home in February or March and your family will be settled in before the new school year starts – something your kids will appreciate.
9. School supplies are often discounted during late winter. School supplies from notebooks to lunchboxes are often heavily discounted during February, March and April. Tuck away these school necessities until next September. As an added bonus, you won’t have to fight the crowds of shoppers who’ll jam the stores in August.
10. Holiday gift items are discounted now that the holidays have come and gone. In fact, buy your holiday gifts throughout the year, purchasing winter items in the summer and summer items during the winter months. When you buy off-season and spread your holiday shopping across 12 months, you not only save on your purchases, you may avoid a big credit card bill after the holidays.
Check out the close-out tables at your favorite supermarket or department store for wrapping paper, stocking stuffers and other goodies at a good price. Yes, stores still have these items and they have to sell them – even at below-cost prices, so you may be able to save a bundle.
You may not use what you buy for a few months, but you’ll save more money today – and saving money on the things you buy is always a good deal, not matter what time of year it is.
The information provided is presented for general informational purposes only and does not constitute tax, legal or business advice.
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