In real estate the key is location, location, location. For retail stores the key is timing, timing, timing. The retail cycles for stores haven’t changed much in the past 40 years!
They have discovered what works. Or they have sufficiently trained us to buy linens and organization stuff in January.
If we want to save money, we need to Identify key shopping/sales times.
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Everybody knows about Black Friday deals, right? But there are other specific key times to shop for the best deals. I have divided them into categories to make it easier to follow. And I have a bonus time at the end of the article. So make sure you check that out!
Check with your local grocer often or make friends with one of the managers to find out when they do their markdowns. By going on the day they mark things down in the produce, meat, and dairy departments, you can get items for less while they still have a little life in them.
I have noticed that our local Target puts high value coupons on their meats on Tuesdays and Wednesdays and I have found some great bargains by shopping on these days. I found this schedule for weekly markdowns at Target:
Keep in mind that you may need to shop later in the day or the next morning for the items you are looking for in order to get the deals before they are all gone. Also, once you know an item has been put on the clearance rack, you know what day to go back to see if it is marked down even more (if you are waiting for the rock bottom price).
Some major big box stores have markdowns on seasonal items almost monthly. By watching your local store closely, you can figure out when they usually do their markdowns on clearance items. Shop these stores at those times and you can save yourself some serious cash.
I have noticed Amazon runs their book deals – 3 for 2 – every few months or quarterly. They run it at the same time Target runs the same deal. I always keep my eye out for homeschooling books I can purchase through these deals.
Twice a year Target also runs a huge toy clearance. It is typically in January and July. Stock up on Christmas and birthday gifts during these months if you have storage space.
Knowing what time of year retailers are clearing out their inventory to make room for more stock will help you to get some savings off of major ticket items. Stores have typical months of the year where you can find specific items on sale. Here is an abbreviated list:
- January: linens, small home appliances, holiday/fall seasonal, workout items, baby supplies/items
- February: jewelry, perfume, small gift items
- March: spring fashions, luggage, gardening supplies
- April: bridal gowns, paint, garden supplies
- May: home maintenance items (for spring cleaning), small gift items
- June: fishing and camping gear, building materials
- July: school supplies, school clothing (some states have a tax holiday for these items), sports equipment, baby supplies/items, toys
- August: summer clothing, school supplies, lawn and garden items
- September: outdoor items (grills, gardening supplies, furniture)
- October: cars, appliances, toys
- November: blankets and quilts, heating devices
- December: Fall clothing, gifts, seasonal items
By knowing these key times to shop, you can cut down your bills by quite a bit.
Another Key Shopping Time
About once a month, Ralph’s (Kroger Brand) grocery runs a promotion for 4x points on gas purchases. If your Ralph’s has a gas station attached to it, you can save some big bucks on gas at this time. Simply shop at Ralph’s for your groceries during that time. Or you can use that time to stock up on gift cards to other local retailers and restaurants. If you have a cashback credit card which offers money back at grocery stores, you can save even more on those retailers’ gift cards.
We used this strategy a couple of years ago when we needed to purchase carpet for our bedrooms. We slowly stocked up on Home Depot gift cards at Ralph’s during the 4x promotion. When we had the gift cards we needed, we made sure to purchase our carpet when Home Depot was having a sale. We saved on gas, on groceries, and on carpet!