When to Buy Things To Save The Most Money

An effective and simple saving strategy is to buy items in the off–season – when they are at their cheapest. For example, the price of air conditioners is the highest in the spring when the snow melts and it starts to get warmer. Prices start to come down in the fall as temperatures across the country start to drop.

Which season (and month) you buy an item can have a big impact on the price you pay for an item. Some things are significantly cheaper at certain times of the year. Below is a monthly breakdown of which months are best for buying certain items.

January

  • Christmas stuff (decorations, candles, ornaments, Christmas trees) can be marked down by up to 75% immediately after Christmas and leading into January.
  • TVs and home theatre systems. The two weeks leading up to Super Bowl have good deals and new stock comes in January through March.
  • Gift cards. Many people who received gift cards they don't want will post them on online classifieds sites to get rid of them at a discount.
  • Bedding, linens and swimwear.
  • Broadway show tickets. January is the slowest time of the year for Broadway shows, so the best deals can often be found then.
  • Video games. New games are released in the late fall for the Christmas shopping season, and tend to go on sale once Christmas ends.
  • Organizing supplies. Many people make new years resolutions related to getting organized. Plastic storage containers, label makers and other organizing supplies go on sale in January.
  • Cold and flu remedies – the peak of the flu season is in January and medicines, vitamins and pain relievers sometimes go on sale.
  • Gym memberships – promotions begin to cater to the new years resolution crowd.
  • Boats. Many boat shows occur in January and usually promotions (discounts) are offered.
  • Fitness gear. The new years resolutions start to kick in and people start trying to get in shape.
  • Hot foods and beverages – soup, chili, hot chocolate and anything else to keep you warm.
  • Other food – bananas, grapefruit, cabbage, carrots, squash.

February

  • Winter clothing – as stores start to bring in their spring lineups, the winter clothing starts to become discounted.
  • Winter household items like snow salt, snow shovels, snow plows – as the weather warms up people will be buying them less and less.
  • TVs. The new models usually come out in the spring so older models are sometimes discounted.
  • Jewelry, perfume and cologne – on sale to attract people shopping for Valentine's Day.
  • Roses and chocolates – on sale immediately after Valentine's Day.
  • Outdoor winter sporting items – skis, snowboards, etc – all discounted to get rid of them for the end of season.
  • Snacks and junk food – chips, salsa, chicken wings and pop go on sale to coincide with the Super Bowl.
  • Other food – cucumbers, mushrooms, lettuce, onions, potatoes.

March

  • Winter tires. After the winter season many people stop buying winter tires and stores need to clear out the inventory they still have.
  • Cleaning supplies – household glass cleaners, floor scrubbers and cleaning wipes go on sale for those looking to get a head start on spring cleaning.
  • Luggage – as people start to make summer travel plans, travel luggage tends to lowest priced in March/May/July.
  • Golf equipment. New models arrive for the golf season and whatever remains is cleared out.
  • Frozen food. Usually on sale to coincide with National Frozen Food Month.
  • Other food – oranges, peppers, pineapple, rhubarb.

April

  • Spring cleaning items like Rubbermaid containers, plastic drawers and other items for organizing the house.
  • Cruises start to go on sale in April before the start of the summer cruise season.
  • Rainwear – rain jackets, boots and umbrellas to coincide with the start of spring rain.
  • Runners. As people start to head outside with the warmer weather, running shoes typically go on sale.
  • Easter decorations are typically discounted immediately after the Easter holidays.
  • Lawn mowers. As people start to head into their yards and begin spring cleaning, lawn mower promotions are offered.
  • Paint and wallpaper – as the weather warms up people start to renovate their homes and prices tend to drop.
  • Snowmobiles. As people start to think summer, prices tend to go down.
  • Food – cabbage, carrots, cucumber, lettuce, onions.

May

  • Bed mattresses. We shopped around for ours and found the best deals were in April/May – the new models were being introduced in the summer and the older models were discounted.
  • Refrigerators. We also saved big on a refrigerator by purchasing an older model in May right before the new models were introduced.
  • Patio furniture – as people start to head outdoors, the remaining older model patio furniture gets discounted.
  • BBQ items – BBQs, plastic dishes/cutlery and cups go on sale as people start to stock up for the summer BBQ season.
  • Vacuum cleaners – prices tend to drop to coincide with spring cleaning.
  • Food – grapefruit, grapes, kiwi, lemons.

June

  • Home renovation materials, tools and household items – all geared towards Father's Day.
  • Gym memberships. As people head outside to workout and take advantage of warmer weather, gyms tend to discount their prices to attract new users.
  • Dishware – to coincide with wedding season.
  • Tools – to coincide with Father's Day.
  • Sunscreen and insect repellant – as people start to head outdoors, promotions for these items tend to start.
  • BBQ food – hotdogs, ground beef and condiments go on sale as people start to host summer BBQs.
  • Other food - cantaloupe, cherries, asparagus, strawberries, beans, broccoli, tomatoes

July

  • School supplies. As parents start to think about making lists for back to school, the stores start attracting early–bird shoppers with sales.
  • Video games. Most gamers are outside enjoying the warmer weather, and since sales are slow discounts are common.
  • Craft supplies – to keep kids occupied while they are on summer vacation, retailers tend to drop their prices.
  • Household fans – for those who don't have air conditioners, fans can be bought cheaply as the weather gets hotter.

August

  • Summer clothing. Stores need to make room for their fall lineups.
  • School supplies. Bigger crowds and more sales.
  • Kid's clothing. Lots of promotions to coincide with back to school shopping.
  • Trees & plants. Stores need to discount any remaining items to make room for the winter merchandise.
  • Household items for post–secondary students moving to go back to school – kitchenware, household supplies and anything a student would need to furnish an apartment.
  • Food – apricots, blueberries, mangoes, papayas, peaches, pears, raspberries, watermelon, corn, cucumber, beets, squash, sweet potatoes.

September

  • Golf equipment. As people start to pack up their bags for the year any remaining items are usually discounted.
  • Swimsuits. As swimming season ends, stores start to discount remaining inventory.
  • Cell phones – back to school student plans and increased competition.
  • Bicycles – most people start to store their bikes for the fall and winter, and stores are eager to clear out remaining inventory.
  • BBQs and patio sets – the remaining stock is typically sold at a discount.
  • Air conditioners and fans. As it starts to get cooler, stores will discount the remaining models.
  • Christmas airline tickets. Prices tend to go up from September onwards, as people start to think about holiday travel plans.
  • Wedding supplies – the peak time for weddings is the summer. After that ends, prices tend to go down.
  • All–inclusive tropical getaways. The prices for the new winter travel season are out and they generally increase in price. We saved about $400 by booking early (in September).
  • Food – apples, blueberries, grapes, lemons, lettuce, mushrooms, onions, peppers, spinach.

October

  • Outdoor/camping gear, lawn equipment, BBQs and patio furniture. At the end of labor day people head back to work and have less time to spend outdoors. Stores will want to clear out any inventory they still have.
  • Back to school clothing – the rush has ended and the inventory is discounted.
  • Houses. When sellers planning on moving by the summer didn't get any offers, prices usually start to fall.
  • Summer tires. As soon as the summer driving season ends (end of Labour Day) people start to store their summer gear and prepare for winter.
  • Nuts – farmers harvest their nuts in the fall and people use nuts to make pies for Thanksgiving.

November

  • Tools, kitchen sets and utensils – sales are given to attract Christmas shoppers.
  • Appliances – the best deals are usually available in October/November.
  • Halloween candy is typically 50% off at the beginning of the month (and sells out fast).
  • Electronics. Sales relate to Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
  • Cell phones – carriers really compete hard on cell phones and plan pricing to entice Christmas shoppers and price cuts usually start mid-November.
  • New vehicles. As the new year's vehicles are introduced, you can save big by purchasing an older (new) model. We bought our vehicle in late November/early December and managed to save $1,500 simply because the dealer wanted to clear out the current models and make room for the new models.
  • Food – Oranges, tangerines, beets, pumpkins, squash.

December

  • Platters and snacks for Christmas gatherings.
  • Tools – to coincide with Christmas shopping.
  • Toys – toys go on sale to coincide with Christmas shoppers looking for a deal.
  • Champagne and alcohol for Christmas parties.
  • GPS navigators – prices are lowest in December to coincide with Christmas shopping.
  • ATVs. You can save big if you're willing to buy early and store an ATV before the snow starts to disappear.
  • Turkey, foil and plastic wrap – prices go down to coincide with Christmas and holiday dinners.
  • Baking ingredients – ingredients used for Christmas baking include flour, eggs, baking powder and sugar.

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Comments

Tiffany Anne
Tiffany Anne's picture

In my place, shopping stalls for clothes, appliances, sports ornaments, books, toys, and stuffs are almost more than a 10% discount every december or sometimes earlier in the ber months for clearance sale. I think clearance sales saves us moneys also. :)

June 10, 2014 @ 6:36 am
debt debs's picture

Great list! We're not in the spending mode right now since we are aggressively paying off debt, but I think I'll save this for reference for family members.

June 10, 2014 @ 8:01 am
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

I think I will be checking back to this list now and again myself as a reminder of what I should be looking for.

June 10, 2014 @ 10:44 am
Sherri
Sherri's picture

Sorry stephen. but the cost of baking supplies go up in December! though one would guess otherwise. ..

June 10, 2014 @ 9:48 am
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

I didn't write the article, but I just checked an old flyer from the beginning of December on SmartCanucks for Superstore and both flour and sugar were on the front page with big discounts. It's only one simple test, but it seems that baking supplies do at least sometimes go on sale in December. I also saw another article that listed baking supplies as something that is cheap in December.

What makes you think this isn't the case?

June 10, 2014 @ 10:42 am
CanadianCorner's picture

Seasonal buying is a great way to save money. Bought a new mattress in May and was able to score a sizable discount off last year's model.

June 26, 2014 @ 6:04 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

I totally agree. I'm planning to do a lot more seasonal buying in the near future.

June 27, 2014 @ 9:18 am
John @ Wild AboutFinance's picture

Great list! We're not in the investing method right now since we are strongly spending off debt, but I think I'll preserve this for referrals for close relatives.

June 29, 2014 @ 11:12 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

Appreciate you sharing it around John!

June 30, 2014 @ 9:38 pm
Joel
Joel's picture

One slight correction I'd like to suggest. Boats are "discounted" in January, but if you're reasonably good at haggling, you'll get the same deal in May/June.

Actually, the cheapest to buy is mid-July to late august, dealers are dying to offload non-current models, so they aren't stuck with it until next year. I bought a 14' Tracker welded aluminum deep-V, 9.9 Mercury outboard, and solid trailer, all new, for under $5900 a few years ago, taxes and freight included. Caveat:I purchased it mid-July, meaning I missed about half the "summer" fishing season...

July 10, 2014 @ 2:56 pm
Stephen Weyman
Stephen Weyman's picture

Missing half the summer would be great if you're upgrading though because you could still make due until then. Thanks Joel!

July 10, 2014 @ 3:48 pm

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