Shop Off-Season to Save Money

christmas merchI know we are all coming down from the recent shopping season, but despite all of the gifts that were purchased, there might still be things we actually need. So, how do you find these useful items without breaking your budget?

Shopping off-season is one of the tried and true methods for finding great deals on useful items.  It takes planning and the willingness to do a little stockpiling, but great deals can be found.  And that’s the whole goal, am I right?  So, I put together this guide to help you out the next time you go shopping for off-season itemsYou’re welcome.

Winter

After the new year begins, retailers are desperate to unload tons of merchandise from the previous holiday season. Winter fashions (even though they’re still in season) are reduced to rock bottom prices.   It makes for a great time to upgrade winter attire, especially since spring is still a ways away.

Grocery and discount retail stores are also working hard to rid their warehouses of holiday-themed merchandise and it’s not just Christmas lights and tree ornaments.  You can find useful items such as foods like nuts, chocolate, canned pumpkin and household items like “holiday scented” soap and candles. I’ve seen such items at my local Whole Foods and other stores for up to 75% off the retail price.

Post Valentine’s Day is also a wonderful time to collect high quality, delicious chocolate that will be going on clearance starting February 15th.  It’s also a good time for any post Valentine’s Day jewelry shopping.

Spring

Spring is a great time to shop at yard sales, estate sales, and thrift stores.  People are in the process of unloading their winter gear, especially clothing for children and adults.  Spring has always been an ideal time for spring cleaning, de-cluttering and moving as well, so people are eager to rid their homes of items they no longer want.  Thrift stores such as the Goodwill would have seen a large number of donations during the end of the previous year as people would have wanted to take advantage of collecting donation receipts for tax purposes.

If you’re in search of gifts for the upcoming mother’s and father’s days or graduation gifts, retailers are still in the process of getting rid of their Valentine’s Day inventory.  Therefore, it might be the perfect time for jewelry shopping if that’s your thing.  Also, thrift stores can be a great place to shop for jewelry.

Summer

Though it may be the last thing on your mind, summer is a good time to stock up on winter gear, especially winter sporting gear. Stores are desperate to get rid of their excess inventory to make way for summer items so you’ll find a lot of items on clearance.  It’s also a good time to find gently used items at thrift stores or garage sales since some may realize that they no longer want or need them.

Fall

I’ve found that during the months of September, October and November, stores are having their summer clearance sales.  Depending on which part of the country you’re living in, it could still be pretty warm.  I’ve purchased some of my best summer clothes during the months of fall and was still able to wear them until around November…or December.  Starting in September, retailers are making room for Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas inventory. “Back to School” items such as school supplies and children’s clothing will see another drop in price after the beginning of the school year to make room for the next shopping season.

With a little planning and research, you’ll be able to predict the sale and clearance patterns of your favorite retailers.  Also consider signing up for a cash back credit card in order to save even more.  With proper planning, you can save a bundle while keeping your family stocked up with things they need.

When do you like to shop off-season?  What is the best deal you’ve found?

 
About Holly

Holly Johnson is a wife, mother of two, and frugal lifestyle enthusiast. She is the co-founder of Club Thrifty and a staff writer at Get Rich Slowly, Frugal Travel Guy, and U.S. News and World Report's "My Money Blog." Holly has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Kiplinger Personal Finance, Fox Business, and Daily Finance.

Comments

  1. We totally shop off season. With a new house and more projects than money budgeted for them, off-season, opportunistic purchases, and cash discounts have saved us a pretty penny.
    Nick @ Step Away from the Mall recently posted..Plan your giving, too.My Profile

  2. The best off-season deals I got were complete luck. I got married in October and was going to honeymoon in the Caribbean. I had not really planned for honeymoon shopping until two weeks before I got married, but since October is not a popular time for swimsuits and resort ware I ended up getting a 3 new bathing suits, 2 sundresses and 3 cover ups for under $100. :-)
    Shannon @ Financially Blonde recently posted..Financial Fitness Series – Life InsuranceMy Profile

  3. I wish I did this more. Right now, all I do is raid the stores on November 1st to buy up all their discounted candy. :)
    Done by Forty recently posted..Girls Just Want to Raise FundsMy Profile

  4. This is the best way to save money!!!
    Buy things in the season where there is least demand, and in the long run you will save money. For instance, I live in a cold place in the winter, and I buy my winter coats and clothing during the summer. I saved over $50 on only one jacket. Unfortunately, we can’t do the same with food! :)
    David recently posted..The Three Pillars of the Economy: Inflation, GDP and UnemploymentMy Profile

  5. I am wearing a flannel shirt from a garage sale that I think I paid a dollar for, as I type this. You are correct that now is a great time to buy stuff that will soon be out of season.
    Bryce @ Save and Conquer recently posted..Tax Refund TheftMy Profile

  6. This is something I could really do better. I have a real hard time getting geared up to shop for items when I know the season is already passed or is a long way away. About the only area where I do this is in clothes shopping when everything goes on sale as stores get ready for the next season’s inventory.
    Brian @ Luke1428 recently posted..Planning to Ignore the Obamacare Mandate? Here’s What You Need to KnowMy Profile

  7. Great ideas here! I’ve never thought of applying the off-season tactic on shopping. Only been doing so on trips. Now this is a budgeting technique for keeps.
    Shane @ Financial Debauchery recently posted..What in the World Are Forex Trading Systems?My Profile

  8. I shop off season all the time. It’s the best time to buy things if you don’t need it right away. I’ve picked up a gazebo at the end of summer for $50. Retail price was $899. That was the greatest deal I ever found.
    Jen recently posted..Take Advantage of Coupons and FreebiesMy Profile

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