An important aspect of practicing stewardship at home is spending and saving money wisely. The Savvy Shopper’s Guide is a month by month manual to help you determine what time of the year is the best time to buy the things you need.
It’s your key to saving all year on everything from groceries and clothing to appliances and electronics and more. It’s intended to help you save the most money!
Savvy Shopper’s Guide Key to Savings All Year
The key to saving the most is knowing how retailers market their inventory. Understanding loss leaders and sales cycles, and knowing when to look for clearance, seasonal and closeout sales will help you know exactly when is the best time to buy.
Throughout the year, stores offer fairly regular sales on specific items, centered around special events, seasons and holidays. During these sales, stores will offer rock bottom prices certain items to get you in the store (think Super Bowl, spring cleaning, Earth Day, back to school, Black Friday etc.). These items are called “loss leaders.”
The stores don’t mind taking a loss on these items because they are hoping that once you are in the store, you will make other impulse purchases on full price items. You can save big on loss leaders IF you are disciplined not to give into impulses.
Grocery store prices are constantly fluctuating on what is called “sales cycles”. Each item has a particular pattern of pricing that it cycles through again and again on a 6-8 week basis. Creating a price list and monitoring these patterns will help you determine the lowest price point which also helps you to know when to stock up.
For example. I buy Musselman’s applesauce cups for my kids’ lunches. They are regularly around $2.28 for a six pack. However, over a sales cycle they will be priced at $2, $1.88 and then finally $1.67. Like clockwork. When they reach $1.67, I buy several packages so that I never get stuck paying $2.
Clearance and Seasonal Sales
Clearance and seasonal sales are another way to save big!
For example, I always purchase my Christmas wrapping supplies AFTER Christmas for the next year. I know that these items will be on clearance for as much as 90% off, so I wait until then to buy as much as I’ll need for the next year. I never pay full price for these things and I am able to buy much higher quality products for a steal.
Back to School is another seasonal time to save. When school supplies are at rock bottom prices in August, I buy extra according to what my budget will allow.
This way I have a year’s supply of mechanical pencils and notebook paper in the closet instead of having to buy more halfway through the year at a much higher price. And if you’re a Sharpie junkie like me, this is the perfect time to stock up on those as well!
November and December are great months to stock your pantry with baking supplies to see you through the rest of the year.
June, July and August are the months to stock up on condiments, charcoal and other picnic items.
January, February and March are great for finding cleaning supplies and storage containers at low prices since the focus is on purging, getting organized and spring cleaning.
Manufacturers also have designated times during the year when they market the new version of specific products. Right before the new comes in, retailers drastically mark down the old models. Knowing this information can save you quite a bit on big purchases like vacuum cleaners, law mowers, digital cameras, appliances, electronics and more!
Knowing your loss leaders and sales cycles, as well as what to look for on clearance, seasonal and closeout basis, will help you recognize the best buy price, which coupons to look for and when to use them, as well as what to stock up on for next year.
And this brings us back to the Savvy Shopper’s Guide. From January through December, this is your basic go-to list of monthly loss leaders, clearance items, seasonal items and closeouts to look for.
Click on a link below for an extensive list of the things you’ll find on sale during that month.
Want to take your household savings to the next level? Check out my Learn to Coupon series and find out how you don’t have to be an extreme couponer to save big!