Buying Items “Off Season”

I absolutely love a bargain!  Don’t you?  The thrill of knowing that you paid only a fraction for an item is euphoric! … and addicting, I might add.

Recently while perusing at Goodwill, I found several boxes of Hallmark Christmas cards for $1.99-$2.99.  Very few are thinking about Christmas in July, but I have learned the best deals are found when stores are trying to get rid of stock.

We live in Florida, but if one was shopping for a winter coat, it’s best to look for one in the spring or early summer when no one wants to think about cold weather any longer!

It’s back-to-school season around here and I am waiting for everyone to do their shopping and for the stores to begin marking things down to near clearance prices.  That’s when I will stock up on spiral notebooks for the year.  My youngest is a senior this year and he needs very few supplies, fortunately.  In the past, I have purchased spiral notebooks for as little as $.10 each.  We’ll see how low I will find them this year.

A couple years ago we needed an outdoor table and chair set for our balcony but the prices were more than we wanted to pay.  So, we waited.  Then it came time for Home Depot to mark down their summer items and we got a $1,000 set for $500!  That was worth the wait!

We’ve done this over and over again in our twenty-two years of marriage.  We make every effort to be wise in our spending and will gladly buy second hand when feasible.  Spiral notebooks are one of those items that are difficult to buy second hand and even if you found them in mint condition, our local thrift store would likely charge more than the price I can get them on sale.  So, you just have to be savvy.  I try to keep a running list of items I know we’ll be needing in the short term, so when I’m out and about, I can look for those things.

I recently bought some long sleeve shirts, which is somewhat strange on a day that was about 97 degrees!  But, I know I will need them in a couple months when we take a trip.

Quite paradoxically, a few weeks ago I ordered a new bathing suit and a scarf.  Ha!  I needed to purchase an additional item to avoid the shipping cost, so I found the scarf at a deep discount.  Again, I wouldn’t wear the scarf at home, but when traveling, it will come in handy!

Saving money is all about planning.  When we wait until the last minute, most of the time we will wind up paying more than we should.

This is where a budget comes into play.  I love this Dave Ramsey quote:

“A budget is telling your money where to go,

instead of wondering where it went!”

Love it!

So, I challenge you to begin thinking about your shopping needs for the next few months and keep a running list.  Then, brainstorm… “Where can I find this item at a reduced price?”  “When is the best time to purchase said item?”

Timing is everything.  And shopping “Off season” is a great way to save a lot of money.


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