Get the Most Bang For Your Buck
Ever noticed that mattresses are marked down at the same time every year? Well, so are power tools and cookware. Here's a month by month guide to great deals.
When it comes to shopping for home goods, the key to getting the most bang for your buck is simple -- plan ahead. So, to help our Homesessive readers do just that, we spoke with the experts at Consumer Reports to find out the best times of the year to find great deals on particular items for your home.
"We compile our list by speaking with our testers, who know their products manufacturing cycles, and our own in house market research division, which can also track pricing," says Amanda Walker, senior project editor at Consumer Reports. They also speak with industry groups like the Consumer Electronics Association and the National Home Furnishing Association to find out why some things go on sale when they do.
Sales are often triggered by manufacturing or seasonal cycles. For example, indoor furniture tends to go on sale some time after the furniture shows in High Point, North Carolina, which take place two times a year in April and October. "When you see snow blowers on sale in August and September," she says. "It's a good bet that stores are trying to cut rates on older inventory."
Keep in mind that none of these tips are set in stone. "Over the years we've seen a trend of items going on sale at the same time each year, but that can change at any time," explains Walker. "Most of this depends on the retailers' inventories; if one store manages to sell their entire grill inventory one year, there will be no sale."
But just because there's no sale, doesn't mean you can't get a great deal. "Three words for you: negotiate, negotiate, negotiate," says Walker. "In-store shoppers should go when retailers are less busy, like the early morning or late in the day on weekdays, so salespeople won't be in as big a rush. Ask for a better price, but always be polite. If they won't budge, ask to speak with a manager who is authorized to negotiate."
Are you ready to get your shop on?
Winter (January - March)
Early in the year is the time for White Sales: unbeatable sales on sheets, pillows and other linens, with price cuts as high as 50 percent. Also look for cheap electronics left over from the holiday rush and even "open box" reductions on high-tech gifts that were opened and then returned.
Spring (April - June)
Tax season brings specials on home office furniture and supplies, like computers. Another great use for that tax refund? Home improvement and lawn-maintenance items. Then, once Mother's and Father's Day roll around, you'll see specials on home appliances and guy-friendly items, like lawn mowers.
Summer (July - September)
In preparation for the nation's biggest furniture trade show (the High Point Market), mid-summer is a great time to scope out major clearance sales from high-end furniture and accessories dealers. (Also look for "public" shopping days at local design centers and showrooms that usually cater to design professionals.)
Fall (October - December)
The much anticipated holiday season will bring sales and promotions on dining rooms and dinettes around late October and early November. Once we get into December, though, sales drop off since retailers know the public is already pre-disposed to spending during this time. Keep scrolling through for a month by month breakdown!
As we say goodbye to the holidays, you may not be surprised to learn that chocolate prices (specifically holiday chocolates) tend to drop. Though many of us satisfied our sweet tooth during the month of December, if you still have the urge--now's the time to buy!
With President's day this month, you're sure to find big sales that weekend on furniture and other household items. Need a new couch? Hold off until February for the best prices!
This year in March will be the 30th annual National March Frozen Food Month so you may not be shocked to hear prices will go down on these items this month. If you're a basketball fan, why not throw a March Madness party catered completely with frozen food?
April is not the most popular month for vacations and cruises so you'll be sure to find reasonable prices if you're looking to take a trip. So take out that suitcase and grab your sunglasses, you deserve a break!
For whatever the reason, research shows that in recent years May is a good month to find a worthwhile mattress deal. If the springs in your mattress aren't what they used to be, now's the time to buy a new one.
In June, the summer heat usually isn't at its strongest and paint is usually on sale. After all, who wants to paint their interior or exterior during the later summer months when the heat increases?
Certain fruits and vegetables, including berries, watermelon, tomatoes and green beans, are best to buy this season. July is when many of these types of produce are most fresh.
With September only a month away, back to school sales are at their peak! Get an early start on preparing for the school year ahead... and save money while you're at it!
Since Labor Day falls in September, many stores participate in "White Sales" meaning linens, towels and other similar household supplies are often on sale during this month.
Towards the end of the year, beginning in October, car sales are at an all-time high. Car dealerships often market their sales around holidays such as Columbus Day, so be on the look out!
Holiday season is right around the corner, so deals on electronics are in full swing. For the best deal, hold off until Black Friday when the best sales occur.
December is one of the best months to find good deals on toys because of Christmas. However, if you can wait until two weeks into the month the deals will only get better.