Smart shopping 101

smart shopping 101

NEW YORK — The savvy shopper knows there is no reason to pay full price if you don’t have to.

Timing is everything when bargain hunting, and with a little patience, most people can find deep discounts on items that might have broken the bank just a few weeks prior.

Shopping with coupons often requires clipping the coupon and then trying to match it up with a discounted price being offered by the store to maximize your savings. All of this has to be done prior to the coupon’s expiration date.

Many veteran bargain hunters prefer to shop seasonally, instead. This means waiting until stores put items on clearance or run large sales. Knowing the best times to buy certain products can save consumers hundreds or even thousands of dollars over the course of a year.

The following is a list of items and the seasons during which those types of items are most likely to be sold at a discount.

Appliances

The new models for most appliances arrive in the autumn. Therefore, most retailers are looking to clear out older inventory over the winter. Between October and January, expect to find deep discounts on major appliances.

If shoppers can wait to replace an older unit, they will be rewarded with very good prices.

Carpet and Flooring

Prior to the holiday season, many homeowners are busy making home improvements so their home is welcoming and pristine for visiting guests. After the holidays end, however, such DIY projects often get placed on the back burner. To boost activity, home improvement stores usually cut prices on carpet and flooring during the month of January.

Furniture

Although furniture is usually updated in stores biannually, many furniture retailers also run sales close to major holidays. Independence Day and the rest of July is a popular time for sales.

Boats

Although there are those who argue that the best deals are had at area boat shows, others recommend visiting dealerships between January and March to get last year’s models as boat retailers are making room for new inventory.

Garden tools

Although many homeowners still may be cleaning up from winter storms and shoveling snow, those who want to get ready for spring can go shopping for garden tools in March.

Electronics

Economists urge American and Canadian consumers to purchase major electronics in the spring, notably April. This is when the Japanese fiscal year ends, and many Japanese companies coincide the release of new models at this time of year. Therefore, older models might be slashed in price.

Those interested in a computer may want to wait until August, when stores cut prices to coincide with back-to-school season.

Shoppers interested in televisions should do their shopping in January, when products are discounted prior to the Super Bowl.

Automobiles

Consumers interested in purchasing previously owned cars can shop in April. For those who are waiting to purchase a new vehicle, October is the best time to buy because this is when dealerships receive new inventory and are looking to clear out last year’s models.

Summer seasonal products

Lawnmowers, air conditioners, patio furniture and pool equipment typically go on sale around September and October. Stores are switching over to their fall merchandise and are looking to clear out any remnants of summertime, even if the weather is still quite warm.

Some stores do this as early as August, when they are already getting ready to make room for Halloween and Christmas displays.

Swimsuits

Swimsuits go on sale in August to make room for fall accessories. Although some people will argue there is never a good time to go bathing suit shopping, if a good price is a requirement, then August is the time to do so.

Weddings

It is well-known that the summer months are peak times for weddings — and expensive prices. Budget-conscious couples can consider a November wedding, where costs may be much less and vendors not in much demand.

Try to have the wedding prior to the holiday season, when catering halls start booking rooms for Christmas parties.

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