This Is the Best Time to Buy These 43 Cheap Finds Throughout the Year
When’s the best time to buy a car, airline tickets, appliances, a TV, furniture, a mattress, a laptop, and more? Here’s a month-by-month guide to smarter spending.
January: Best time to buy a computer, holiday goods
• Other people’s unused gift cards: Consumers with unwanted gift cards hit sites like CardCash.com, GiftCards.com, and even eBay after Christmas to sell them at discounted prices. Find out how else you can get paid for your gift cards and other clutter.
• Wrapping paper: Stores slash prices on gift wrap, holiday cards, and Christmas decorations in the weeks following the busy shopping season. Buy now; they’ll keep till next year. Once they’re shredded, try out these genius uses for leftover wrapping paper.
• Bed linens: Retailers offer deep discounts on sheets, towels, and blankets in January. “White sales” actually date back to 1878, when a Philadelphia department store held a “White Sale” on linens to help keep linen makers in business during a slow period. Just watch out for these things to know when you’re buying new sheets.
• Computer: Starting in January, keep an eye on PC prices; companies offer discounts on older models to prepare for the upcoming release of the newest systems. Find out what tech products you should (and shouldn’t) buy refurbished.
February: Best time to buy furniture, washer and dryer, wedding items
• Wedding: Once you’ve finished these must-do’s for newly engaged couples, it’s time to start planning the wedding. Tying the knot in this off-season month means taking full advantage of discounted prices on reception venues, catering, and photography. Plan around the Presidential holidays, though, and beware of nasty weather. Check out these other tips on saving money during President’s Day sales.
• Air conditioner: During cold weather months, many appliance stores offer units at cheap prices—if you can find them. Once you have your hands on one, these AC hacks will keep your home cooler for less money.
• Furniture: New inventory hits showrooms in February, so retailers often offer deals around now. Politely negotiate on good-condition floor models, and you can often pay much less than cost. Just make sure you know how to spot poor quality furniture before you strike a deal.
• Washer and dryer: New models arrive in winter, meaning you’ll spot deals on last year’s appliances. Don’t be afraid to haggle.
March: Best time to buy luggage, a camera, golf clubs
• Frozen foods: March is National Frozen Foods Month, a large-scale marketing campaign that encourages grocers to offer price-cuts and coupons all month long. Stick with these frozen dinners that are actually healthy.
• Luggage: Retailers such as Walmart, Macy’s, and Sears discount luggage before travel-heavy spring and summer. Learn how to spot good quality luggage before heading to the store.
• Boats: It’s the tail end of boat-show season.
• Golf clubs: The season tees off in early spring, meaning last year’s irons are on sale. (But find out why golf clubs are one item you might be better off buying used.)
• Digital camera: Consumer Reports advises snapping up a digital camera in March and April—sales are best. Memorize these 10 tricks for looking better in photos and get snapping!
April: Best time to buy vacuums, clothing
• A cruise: Plan a getaway that’s months ahead of time to snag a deal, or book at LastMinuteCruises.com for spur-of-the-moment discounts. Learn these secrets cruise lines won’t tell you before you plan your trip.
• Vacuum cleaners: Most new models come out in June, so retailers discount old vacuums now—just in time to plan it into your perfect spring cleaning schedule. Plus, you can use it for these cool new uses for a vacuum.
• Thrift stores: People clearing out closets means a larger, fresher selection. Use these secrets to find hidden gems when thrift shopping.
• Winter clothing: Spring collections hit stores, and cold-weather clothes are often dramatically marked down for clearance. Learn how to pick a coat that gives you the biggest bang for your buck.
May: Best time to buy appliances, a gym membership
• Spring clothing: Memorial Day sales include discounted clothing and home goods at department stores, apparel retailers, and big-box stores. Before getting drawn in by low price tags, learn how to spot well-made clothing.
• Gym memberships: Whether New Year’s resolutions are history, or outside exercise is possible, gyms offer discounts to bring in more bodies. Don’t miss these other 9 ways to save on a gym membership.
• Cookware and dishes: Kitchen items make popular gift choices during graduation and wedding season, and stores often run sales. (Grad not into cooking? Check out these other graduation gift ideas.)
• Refrigerators: Spring is refrigerator season! Last year’s appliances will be discounted to clear the showroom.
June: Best time to buy a laptop, vacation tickets
• Lingerie: Apparel retailers such as Victoria’s Secret and BareNecessities.com turn over inventory this month, and hold storewide sales. Before you add to your cart, read up on these common bra mistakes.
• Laptops: Back-to-school laptop sales actually start as early as June, often bundling the computers with a printer or a gift card. Make your new computer last with these tricks to make your laptop battery last longer.
• Caribbean vacation: With the beginning of the Caribbean hurricane season, you’ll see steep discounts on vacation packages and cruises. Book one of these best beaches for families to make everyone happy.
• Tools: You can score plenty of good deals—right before Father’s Day. For a gift you can’t wrap, try these fun Father’s Day activities.
July: Best time to buy jewelry, ice cream
• Summer apparel: In the middle of the season you’ll start to see prices start to drop. Make sure they last until next year and beyond with these tips for taking care of summer clothes.
• Picnic supplies: Once the 4th of July has passed, pick up discounted picnic and party supplies, then read up on these tips for the perfect beach picnic.
• Ice cream: July is National Ice Cream Month; scoop up coupons from both local stores and online deal sites. Oh, but there’s a scientific reason you’ll want to stick with low fat ice cream (besides cutting calories).
• Jewelry: With no major holidays in July and August, jewelers offer lower prices to lure in customers.
August: Best time to buy office supplies, grills
• Grills: You’ll see huge deals, especially on big outdoor grills. It’s not too late for cookouts! Use this crazy grilling hack to make the juiciest burgers ever.
• Office supplies: Retailers roll out the discounts on backpacks, notebooks, and dorm supplies for back to school. Make these other swaps to save even more on back-to-school shopping.
• Bathing suits: Stores might have had sales around the 4th of July, and most of the selection is picked over. But if you see your size and can find the best swimsuit for your body type, the price will be right. Just don’t make these swimsuit shopping mistakes at the store.
September: Best time to buy a car, airline tickets, a mattress, a bike
• Patio furniture: Major sales on outdoor furniture, which needs to be cleared out—often for Christmas items, as that season gets pushed up earlier each year.
• Cars: Car dealers promote deals on current vehicles to make room for the newest ones. Here’s what you need to know before buying a car online.
• Bikes: New bicycle models come out at the end of the summer riding season, so check out discounts on last year’s bikes. Don’t miss these other frugal tips for saving money.
• Airline tickets: Book your holiday flights now for the best chance on finding low prices. Just wait until the day of the week you can get the cheapest plane tickets (no, it’s not Tuesday).
• A mattress: Is your mattress showing signs it needs to be replaced? Many mattress companies boast big Labor Day sales, though if you miss out, similar sales run around President’s Day and Memorial Day.
October: Best time to buy toys, jeans
• Jeans: Denim left over from back-to-school sales get discounted for a short time before holiday shopping begins. Find out how to make even cheap pairs of jeans look expensive.
• Outdoor goods: Score deals on lawnmowers, gardening tools, and even camping supplies. Don’t miss these other ways to save money on gardening.
• Toys: Toy stores sometimes offer sales ahead of the holiday season. Learn more of the best and worst things to buy in October.
November: Best time to buy a TV, small appliances, candy
• Candy: Grocery stores discount Halloween-themed candy in November, and it still tastes just as sweet. Don’t miss these mind-blowing facts about Halloween candy.
• Gadgets: Black Friday and Cyber Monday (which might extend the entire week) are prime opportunities to score very inexpensive TVs, small appliances, and more. Just don’t make these Black Friday shopping mistakes when you’re out with the crowds.
• Free turkey: Some grocery stores give away Thanksgiving-ready turkeys when customers spend a certain amount. Keep an eye on your weekly circulars, then learn how to buy the perfect turkey.
December: Best time to buy Champagne, athletic gear
• Champagne: Competition actually drives prices down during the holiday season, not up. The peak month of December is the best time to spend on bubbly. Is champagne your drink of choice? Find out what your favorite alcoholic drink says about you.
• (Lousy) NFL merchandise: If your team isn’t even close to the Super Bowl, gear will be discounted. Better luck next year. When the big game rolls around, watch out for these awesome sales during Super Bowl weekend.
• Athletic apparel and equipment: Stores slash prices in the weeks before January 1, when they can cash in on New Year’s resolutions. Look out for the most flattering fitness clothes.
• Wedding dress: Look for bargain prices on gowns during the wedding off-season; most couples are focused on holiday shopping and not wedding planning. Before you start, read up on how to find the most flattering wedding gown.