A Calendar Of Saving Money

We consider ourselves to be smart shoppers – faithfully perusing store flyers, comparison shopping and checking prices online, downloading coupons and watching for deep discounts.  Canadian retailers are getting on board with Black Friday sales like they have in the US, but Boxing Day is still the busiest day for bargain-hunting shoppers in Canada.

Related: What I learned from working retail

Many items are also reduced at certain times each year.  If you have the storage for out-of-season goods and don’t mind that your new purchase is “so last year!” you can find deals all year round.  While you can’t wait for months to buy a major appliance if yours completely breaks down, you can wait for a better deal if you think your fridge is old, ugly or losing efficiency.  When considering a significant purchase, see if you can wait until the item is officially “out of season”.  If you plan ahead you can save substantially.

I love saving money almost as much as I love lists, so I’ll start off the year by combining both.  Here’s a month-by-month guide to the best bargains.  It all starts with knowing when to shop.

Calendar of Saving Money

January

  • Anything Christmas related and/or with special holiday packaging can be marked down by up to 90% especially food items, chocolates and candles.
  • Linens.  Stores hold “white sales” to encourage shoppers to stock up on towels and bedding.
  • Furniture.  New styles arrive in stores in February.
  • TVs – especially big screen TVs.  The two weeks leading up to Super Bowl have good deals and new stock comes in January through March.
  • Computers and other consumer electronics.
  • Winter clothes.  Spring fashions hit the sores in February.
  • Workout and sports gear and clothing.  Sad but true, the average North American gains 7 – 10 lbs between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day.  There are great sales for those New Year’s resolutions.
  • Carpeting and flooring.

February

  • Jewelry
  • Fragrance and toiletries.
  • Furniture and house wares.
  • Spring and summer cruises.

March

April

  • Tires.  People are thinking of road trips.
  • Cookware and china are popular graduation and wedding gifts.
  • Vacuum cleaners and cleaning supplies.  Spring-cleaning anyone?
  • Wallpaper and paint.  Walls look grungy after all that spring-cleaning.

May

  • Mattresses and box springs (through the summer).  Stores often get special offers from manufacturers.
  • Refrigerators.  New models hit the stores in summer, which means last year’s models have to go.  Start with the clearance price, and then negotiate from there.  Most stores will be willing to haggle.

June

  • Tableware – china and flatware.  These are popular wedding gifts for the most popular month for weddings.
  • Wedding dress.  If you’re not too picky, what didn’t get sold previously is highly discounted before new merchandise comes in.
  • Tools.  Aimed at Father’s Day.

July

  • Furniture.  New arrivals come in August.
  • Electronics.
  • Craft supplies.

August

  • Bathing suits and summer clothing.  Stores must clear out inventory for incoming fall and winter fashions.
  • Linens.  University students are shopping for their dorm room.

September

  • Lawnmowers and BBQ’s.  These take up too much space on the sales floor.
  • Trees, shrubs and bulbs.  Stores are eager to clear these out to make room for holiday merchandise.
  • Stoves.  New models come in winter.
  • School supplies.  Also, backpacks, calculators and laptops.
  • Canned goods.  Stock up for winter.
  • Houses.  Home sellers who didn’t find a buyer in the spring and summer and want to move before Christmas may now listen to your ridiculously low offer.

October

  • Outdoor and camping gear.
  • Patio furniture.
  • Snow tires.  Canadians know all about winter driving.
  • Cars – new and used.  The best time to buy a car is late in the month.
  • Jeans.  The back-to-school rush is over and excess inventory has to go.
  • Wedding supplies.  Wedding season is over so it’s easier to negotiate prices on wedding and reception locations, DJ, flowers, and catering.

November

  • Tools.  Timed for Christmas giving.
  • Turkeys and baking supplies.
  • Baking and roasting pans
  • Electronics.  These are the top items of Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales – especially Apple products.
  • Wedding supplies.

December

  • Winter clothes.
  • Party foods and treats.
  • Food serving and storage pieces (from crystal to plastic).
  • Popular holiday related gift items – perfume, ties, sweaters, jewelry, wallets, cookware, small kitchen appliances and tools.
  • Champagne.  Buy early in the month on sale or gift with purchase.

13 Responses to A Calendar Of Saving Money

  1. Any tips for buying driveway/sidewalk salt? After the ice storm, salt is sold out in most stores like Home Depot here in TO. Looking for online alternatives or substitute suggestions that save $ …

    • Boomer says:

      @CanadianDaniel: I have a lot of sympathy for those of you who have suffered through the recent ice storm. The damage looks intensive, not to mention those without power in frigid temperatures. I hope the situation resolves soon.

      As to your question, we use a salt free product called EcoTraction which is pet friendly and environmentally safe (yes, I’m one of those people). My husband says you can get traction with cat litter (the non-clumping kind), sand and even birdseed. Pickling salt is available in large bags at the supermarket. Perhaps a mixture?

      In Wisconsin they are using cheese brine on the icy roads. They claim Provalone and mozzarella are the best :)

  2. Michael says:

    Hmmm we somehow managed to get deals in completely different months. We bought a car in December for $2k off because they had to clear out last years models. We got camping gear for 30% off in September because Labor Day had ended and not many ppl were camping. We buy our winter clothes in March when they go on sale. We got 25% off our mattress and box spring as they were all on sale then. We bought our tires (winters) on sale in June because I assume no one wanted to buy them then. Big screen TVs are lowest price on Boxing Day and Black Friday (when we got ours for 20% off). And finally we bought our house for a small discount in December because sales are typically lowest then and the seller really needed to get out. We buy whenever things are on sale because like most we LOVE a good deal

    • Boomer says:

      @Michael: Your area must be on a different sale schedule than mine.

      We got a fantastic deal on our car in October. New models are arriving at the dealerships a lot sooner than previously, sometimes by the end of summer. I wouldn’t wait till March to buy winter clothing – I wouldn’t find anything in my size. Sales on outdoor items probably are more dependent on the weather in different areas – this is just general.

      I mentioned the best deals are usually found on Boxing Day and Black Friday, but unless I desperately wanted something in particular, I would rather avoid those crowds.

      I’m with you in that I also love a good deal.

  3. Michael says:

    @CanadianDaniel your best bet is to buy before it gets cold. Selection is best then. Prices are best after the snow starts to melt in March but selection is not as good. After a snow storm is the worst time to buy because selection is not great and prices are still high

  4. Robert says:

    This is a wonderful list and I will stash it somewhere for future use.

    Having worked in the auto business for a while, I know December is the very best time for new cars and trucks – everyone is going nuts to make the sales year look good and the insiders all wait until that month to buy.

    Bicycles are great all fall, as well as new motorcycles.

    • Don says:

      My neighbour sells cars, and he was telling me that the absolute best deals are end of December. Not only are they trying to make their month-end targets, but they are trying to make their year-end, and all this during a slow month.

      • Robert says:

        Of course, this leads me to wonder if January might be best for used cars, but I have no knowledge of that timing.

      • Boomer says:

        @Don: OK I stand corrected. I won’t argue with a care salesman. :)

        • Don says:

          I’m not sure who sells cares, but I wouldn’t argue with them either. ;)

          I know that October has traditionally been the best as that was usually when the new models came out. When I bought my first car 20 years ago that was when I found the best deal. Conversely, the worst time to buy was the spring, as that’s when everyone wanted to buy a new car.

          Although, I won’t be looking for a car for the next few years, I may just do some digging around next year. It would be interesting to see if October or December month end is the best.

          One thing is for sure, I’m not going to get a Lexus, even if it does have a bow on it. ;)

      • Echo says:

        I read that as well and when I was at the Hyundai dealership yesterday I noticed it was dead and the sales people did not have any sense of urgency when someone did eventually walk onto the lot (most looked like they were ready for a NYE drink). I asked one of them about this day being the best to buy a car and he seemed oblivious that it was the end of the month, let alone the end of the year.

  5. BetCrooks says:

    Prices on storage containers seem to be good in January as well as Dec. I think it’s often a NY resolution to get more organized.

    Personally, I find it’s better to donate and throw stuff out than to buy more storage boxes, though. : )

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