How Buying “Off Season” Helps Save You Money

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The Holiday Gift Buzz

It’s no secret that our country has the impression that Holidays = Gifts. Valentines? Yup bring on the candy and flowers. Mother’s day? Bring on the candy and flowers and appliances. Father’s day? BBQ grills and game consoles. Let’s not forget Thanksgiving, Christmas, & New Year’s. Just buy everything at that point. If you are broke as a joke then you have definitely felt the pinch during the holidays and probably detested the whole idea of gift giving. Then when the holidays are over you also didn’t think of looking at the clearance aisle. What could you have possibly needed or wanted now that the magic of the holiday is gone? I will tell you.

 The Sale Cycle

After working in retail for so many years and as a merchandiser, I got to see the day after holiday sales. I also remember the “sale” cycle most major stores goes through. My favorite place to buy almost everything is target as I am familiar with their sales cycle. Actually to make it easier on you, you should just visit http://www.allthingstarget.com/. I even have them on my facebook group. I always take a peek maybe once a month before a major holiday or end of season sales that might be coming up.

A sale cycle is a schedule the store has to follow. Each store generally follow corporate guidelines but it’s usually up to the manager as well. Some managers at chains, grocery stores, and drug stores work differently depending on how fast they “push (sell)” products out the door. If a store is considered a slow traffic store, they may hold a longer after holiday sale just to keep their shelves filled. If a store is a busy traffic store, the sale cycle will be a shorter schedule and they may throw unsold products to make room faster.

Usually the sales cycle happens like this:

1st day to 5 days after holiday:50% off

6 days and beyond: 75% off

10 days after holiday: 90% off

Now my estimate isn’t accurate. That’s why I look at my favorite store’s facebook group who look for these sales, and follow them. Stores that I have shopped at day after holidays are Target, Walmart, Home Goods, Grocery stores & drug stores.

Things I Have Purchased

The trick to taking advantage of these sales is to buy what you need and buy things that are versatile for gift giving. Don’t worry there are tons of things that you need or want that eventually go on sale. Here is an example on some things I buy when  holidays/season are over.

Clothing

In general I will always look for classic style clothes for my family and will buy 1 yr ahead for my baby. I will always buy holiday clothing after the holiday is over at a deep discount. This way I can be ready in “style” for next year. I have purchased swimsuits in the beginning of fall at 70% off, winter coats/hoodie sweaters in February-March, and have purchased PJs for my sisters to save to give to them next year ( $50 PJ for $5 in their favorite brand will always be appreciated)

Food

Yup. My husband and I make it a point to go to target day after the holiday is over to see if a special seasonal chocolate goes on sale. Day after Halloween you can see me at Walmart stocking up on Halloween candy  (without holiday decor) to for stocking stuffers at Christmas time. Don’t forget the special flavors of candy,soups,snacks, etc companies come out each holiday. My pantry is filled with pumpkin flavored snacks and food I have purchased at 75% off ( this I purchased 7 days after Christmas). All of them are something my family enjoys. Just look for expiration dates and base your purchase off versatility.

Beauty & Skin Care

I don’t stock up on beauty products but I do stock up on skin care products. Last Christmas I was lucky enough to stock up on stocking stuffers of vicks vapor rub. I’m keeping them for myself and family. I also was able to stock up on some beautiful, sweet smelling hand cream (will use them as small gifts too). I also saw some cosmetics my sister likes which I bought for her Birthday this January. I purchased them when they are 70% off.

Household Items

I think a couple of years ago I blogged about scoring on a Weber charcoal grill for my husband. We purchased it near the end of summer and stocked up on charcoal at 80% off. I will also buy holiday/seasonal base towels, guest towels, table runners, etc. Even now websites like thinkgeek.com are having a major clearance. I have purchased decor for my son’s room at 50%-75% just for being patient.

Pets

Since my three cats are on a special diet I don’t save on their food but I do save on their toys and scratchers. I always  make sure to stock up on scratchers and toys at Target. Right now we have a pile of scratchers stored in garage. All purchased at 50% off and in cute holiday related shapes.

Patience & Being Prepared

Another reason why buying off season helps is overall the buzz you get from saving is nice. Come on you always have a smile on your face when you save money. Just remember to have patience, take inventory of what you need regularly, and be open to buying different brands. I take inventory regularly by making a note on my phone. It doesn’t take very long to do and I always have my phone with me. How I stop myself from buying at full price is always asking myself “Do we need this now or can I wait for it to go on sale?” Since I’m not particular about brands (except for skin and haircare) I’m always scouring the shelves for items I know I will use throughout the year.

 

 

 

 

 

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