Is summer hitting your budget harder this year? Then I have some good news: it’s easier than ever to save a few bucks when you shop online. Over 80 percent of consumers use coupons regularly, in person and online. But when is the best time to shop to pinpoint those elusive stack-able discounts and unbelievable steals?
If you think of couponing as your grandma’s favorite Sunday sport, think again. Coupons have gone digital and you can find summer-saving digital discounts everywhere: online, in your email and even on your phone.
JANUARY – MARCH
1. Workout Gear & Winter Coats
Everyone’s looking to get in shape for upcoming warm weather – and that everyone includes retailers. While they’re shipping out their winter coat selection to make way for Spring, you can score big on a coat to keep you warm through the remaining winter months.
It’s also a great time to search for that pricey exercise bike and workout gear, because with New Years’ Resolutions in full swing, January is the biggest month for workout clothing and equipment.
2. Bath & Bedding
When you put away your holiday decorations, you’re not the only one who looks around sadly at the newly-empty house and decides to buy new towels. The beginning of every new year is the opportunity for a fresh start in your home, and retailers regularly run “home refresh” sales on bath and bed linens, lamps, and more.
3. TVs Discounts
The Superbowl happens like clockwork every year in early February, meaning that the week prior to the big game day is a huge season for TV purchases. Score your newest flat-screen at prime-time pricing at the end of January. You may not get the cutting-edge (the newer models come out later in the Spring) but you’ll still find deep discounts that are priced to sell.
4. Chocolate, Treats & Jewelry
Valentine’s Day means all the candy hearts and chocolate-dipped strawberries your heart desires. It also means you’ll find great sales on jewelry, both before and after the romantic holiday. Don’t say we didn’t tell you in advance.
APRIL – JUNE
1. Tax Service Discounts
As the tax deadline approaches (and even earlier in the year for you responsible types), search around to find the best prices on discount tax accounting services. Boring, but necessary.
2. Home Cleaning Supplies & Appliances
Spring cleaning, anyone? Time to dust off from the holidays and winter hibernation and make way for carefree summer days. Cleaning supplies and large household appliances are in popular demand during these months and also make for appealing Memorial Day sales.
3. Spring Dresses & Thrifting
When Easter is around the corner, you’ll find great deals and discounts for picture-perfect Sunday dresses and formalwear for the whole family. And because everyone else has been spring cleaning just like you, it’s a great time to hit your local thrift store.
4. Grills & Tools
Father’s Day and the prelude to summer makes June a great time to look for steals on your outdoor appliances and power tools in preparation for summertime grilling and project season. Grab these deals before demand (and prices) soar.
JULY – SEPTEMBER
1. Prime Day Sales
Amazon’s Prime Day sales tend to fall in mid-July (rumor has it, July 15th is the day this year, but keep your eyes peeled). This sale bonanza offers some spectacular prices on tech, clothing and other equipment for the entire family.
2. Tax Free Weekends
Every year just before school starts, most states host a tax-free shopping weekend to make it easier for families to pick up those new fall clothes, footwear and school supplies, without paying a cent of sales-tax. The dates and details vary from state to state, so check your local area and plan your back-to-school splurges accordingly.
3. Holiday Travel
Looking for a new way to cool off from the heat? Start making travel plans for when the cooler weather hits. Whether you’re planning some family-filled holidays or a tropical getaway, summer is the best time to find great deals and discounts on your end-of-year-excursions.
4. School Supplies
Pencils, pens, notebooks, binders, backpacks – oh, the joy of a fresh school year! Even though you’re probably reluctant to say goodbye to summer, you can be on the lookout for school supplies sales as early as July. Notebooks as cheap as $0.14 each? Happy back-to-school, indeed.
OCTOBER – DECEMBER
1. Outdoor Gear & Plants
Is it time to upgrade your outdoor gear? Once summer officially winds down, you’ll find deals on beach and camping necessities like coolers, lounge chairs, tents, patio furniture and more. You’ll also find great markdowns on outdoor and indoor plants as the growing season comes to a close. If you’ve got a green thumb, take advantage.
Next-year models are usually released near the end of summer, which makes fall and winter a great time to haggle down the price on your favorite 2019 car. Car lots are clearing out the new to make way for the new(er), so if you’re in the market, there’s never been a better time. Leases, too, will be cheaper during these months, because it’s when the banks re-estimate the car value.
3. Toys and Games
You’ve seen Jingle All the Way, right? (Put that cookie down!) Don’t be the guy who waits until the week – or day – before Christmas to find the perfect toys for your kids. Toy stores, and increasingly, online retailers, start putting toys on sale weeks before Thanksgiving these days. So you can get your holiday shopping out of the way before the holidays even hit.
When holidays abound, so does the bubbly – but this is the best time of the year to stock up on your favorite French varietals. The wine market is unique in that when demand rises, prices actually fall as retailers compete with one another to get into your glass. Check out local deals, discounts and stock your wine cellar accordingly.