Where are the deals and the best places to shop after the holiday season? Can you find bargains in retail and online stores? What is a good deal? The new year has arrived and it is time to focus on savings. Although you need household items throughout the year, you can rack up serious savings if you make yourself a smart shopper.
In this article, you will learn how to become a better shopper
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As Serena Williams says "I love going shopping." Do you carry this mentality? While we preach never to overspend and to stick to your monthly budget, knowing when to shop and what to purchase can save you a lot of money. To save money, you need to be educated.
Discover When to Shop
When it comes to televisions, most families are purchasing TVs on Black Friday. They see the bargains in newspaper ads, social media marketing, and billboards. While you can save money on Black Friday, you will need a strong commitment to move through the crowds with the hopes of getting to a store in time to take advantage of the bargain.
I found the courage after my family's big Thanksgiving meal to see what deals stores had to offer as many opened after 6 pm. While I am not a Black Friday shopper, I was visiting and didn't want to be the negative guy not wanting to go. We went to Target and as we parked, we saw approximately a hundred eager shoppers waiting for that precious moment when the doors are unlocked by the staff.
Have you been shopping on Thanksgiving Day? To my surprise, the crowds were not racing in the door and trampling on those who fell. Everyone was polite and calmly walked in. This is not what I had in mind but we may have been lucky.
The first item we noticed were TVs on sale and those immediately got swept up by spouses hoping to surprise their significant other for Christmas. While I wasn't shopping for TVs, it got me thinking, "Is today the best day to buy a TV?" If you can't get a Black Friday deal, then the answer to you is no. The best time to buy a TV is actually in February after the Super Bowl. To find the right size of TV for your home, please sure to read this article from dealnews.com.
Knowing when items go on sale puts the advantage on your side. In our previous example of purchasing a TV, had you not bought one on that day, you most likely would have overpaid during the holiday season instead of waiting for 60 days.
When purchasing items, it is helpful to know which months are best to buy things because it can save you a lot of money. If you need help to know what to buy and when, be sure to read this article by NerdWallet.com, "What to Buy Every Month".
What Items to Buy this Month
#1 Bedding & Towels
January is here and the snow is moving in (unless you live further north then it already found a home). For this winter month, you can find great deals on bedding and towels.
The three places to best shop for bedding in January, in my opinion, are Amazon, Target, and Walmart. Amazon launched its "Basics" brand and for less than $18, you can get Microfiber Sheet Set in a variety of colors.
Do you prefer a higher thread count? If so, Amazon will have these in stock but Target offers a collection line from Magnolia and other vendors. If you are looking for a lower-grade quality for a guest bed, then Walmart has a wide selection.
Similar to bedding, you can rack up big savings on bath towels from these stores. With spring around the corner, it can be a terrific way to buy today at significant savings versus waiting until spring when you'll be forced to pay full price.
#2 Winter Clothing
Spring will be here before you know and with long winters, right now is time to buy winter clothing. With Christmas and New Years out of the way, stores are eager to entice shoppers to visit their stores by offering large discounts.
Another reason retailers post sales in January is because their inventory needs to be rotated for the new Spring/Summer line being delivered. Stores with large amounts of inventory are not good financially!
Every business sets quarterly targets to reach. With the quarter coming to a close and if sales are down, they are pressured to move inventory, thereby, you win!
Another reason to shop at the stores mentioned earlier is FREE SHIPPING!
#3 Christmas Decor
As you are taking down the decorations, lights, and throwing away boxes left over from the opened presents, the last thing you want to think of is buying more Christmas Decor! I am right there with you. This year I broke that rule.
I heard about Target having large discounts from its Christmas inventory up to 70% OFF. Thinking ahead for next year, I stumbled in and found some amazing deals.
In the photo, I purchased a two-pack of metal houses stocking holders sets. Sometimes you have to step outside your comfort zone. The retail price is $15.00 each so $30.00 total but with 70% off, I paid only $9 for both two-packs.
While you may not be able to find these deals on their website, it could pay (no pun intended) for you to visit your local Target.
It can be difficult for you to consider traveling at this point after taking several vacation days for the holidays. But hear me out. Spring break is around the corner and CheapAir.com conducted a study to determine when is the best time to buy airline tickets. According to their study, purchasing an airline ticket six to eleven months in advance will get you first choice most likely, but you are likely to overpay by $50.
Reserving your airline ticket between the window of three-weeks to four-months is the sweet spot and you are most likely to get the best price.
WARNING: Waiting two-to-three weeks out will lead you to shell out significantly more than any other time frame except the week of your travel.
When it comes to hotels, you can save anywhere from 40-60% off the full booking price. With an online booking service from Hotels.com, you can easily explore the best rates by browsing through their Popular
Deals based on cities so you can lock in the best rates.
#5 Electronics & Tech
While you should avoid some electronics such as TVs and computers until February, other electronics from games to other tech devices can be found cheaply online.
A great starting point for you is to browse on Amazon and review Today's Deals. You can quickly scan all tech deals and then compare prices to other retailers to ensure you are getting the best price.
Note: I recommend you download iBotta before you shop anywhere online because you will most likely receive a small commission back from using their app versus shopping directly on the store's web page or app. Clicking the link will give you $10 as a Bonus!
#6 Fitness Equipment
This shouldn't be a surprise to you but with everyone's resolutions to get healthier and work out more, you will find discounts on fitness equipment and gym memberships.
Once again, Amazon is a terrific place to shop online if you are looking for at-home gym products from yoga to massagers. I work out regularly but use plyometrics and am a big supporter of resistance bands. If you are interested, I purchased mine from Amazon and have tried several brands (actual picture of my set), these are by far my favorite. I am approaching forty and having past injuries with the military and constant field abuse, my joints can't handle the stress and pressure from weight-lifting and I've found resistance band training to be an amazing way to stay fit while building muscle.
#7 National Parks
Once again, knowing when to take advantage of deals can benefit you greatly. Do you love the outdoors as much as me? If so, on January 21st, you can receive FREE admission to any National Park Service. You may be required to pay for parking so be sure to check the park's website ahead of time as cash may be required. I've visited several parks where they didn't have access to accept a debit card. (Really? Yes!)
Click to learn about other Free Entrance Days at National Parks.
For the month of January, you can find amazing deals and bargains. By knowing what to buy and when to buy it, your budget can see its savings drastically improve. So plan ahead and plan smartly and your finances will thank you.
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Nick | Dollar Otter