May You Shop & Save

You probably know that certain times of year bring big savings for shoppers. After Christmas you can pick up decorations and wrapping paper for a song. And the best time to buy new sheets and towels is during the January White Sales.

Spring brings it’s own bargains. May is a good month to check out your local thrift stores to see what’s on special. With people cleaning out their homes, some to make space and some to move in the summer, donations of used furniture and household appliances tend to spike. And spring-cleaning brings a fresh crop of clothes through which you can browse.

Want to buy your appliances new? They’re going to be on sale just about now. Retailers bring in new inventory in June, so May’s the perfect month to buy an older model for less. Ditto vacuum cleaners; if you’re in the market for a new one, this is a good time to look at the older models that have gone on sale.

Spring is also a good time to buy athletic apparel and shoes. Retailers like to help blow away the winter blahs by offering discounts to lure customers back outdoors. Since they’re likely shedding last year’s inventory to make space for the freshest of the season, this is a good time to get deep discounts.

New mattresses models arrive in the summer, so May’s the perfect month to pick up the previous year’s discounted model.

With barbeque season just around the corner watch for sales on ketchup, mustard and other condiments. And if you plan to replace your worn out pots and pans, this would be a good time to watch for a sale on the set you’ve been eyeing.

If you want to be able to take a cordless phone out with you are you’re flipping those burgers, May’s the month to go shopping. Consumer electronics often go on sale in the spring.

Speaking of phones, you might also want to take the opportunity in May to negotiate a better phone/TV deal since viewership tends to drop off dramatically during the summer. Now’s the time to negotiate a deal with your phone/cable/satellite provider.

Remember to shop around. While retailers used to be fairly consistent about when they marked stuff down, more consumer pressure means better deals all year round. Check prices online. Watch the sales flyers. Compare prices and save.

What’s your favourite online resource for comparison shopping and finding coupons or coupon codes?

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Gail Vaz-Oxlade

Gail Vaz-Oxlade wants YOU! Join MyMoneyMyChoices.com to get smarter about your money and help others get smarter about theirs. Isn’t it time we eliminated financial illiteracy? Come find me on Google+ and on Twitter.

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16 Responses to “May You Shop & Save”

  1. Canadian Coupons | Free Samples Canada (on Facebook) They post every deal on Facebook so it’s super easy to take 1 minute to click on the link that you’re interested in!

  2. I subscribe to my favourite retailer’s notifications via emails. These alert me to big sales events, etc. The regular major semi-annual ones are held at approximately the same time of year (spring and fall), and I write them into my calendar.

  3. avatar Karen M Says:
    May 10, 2013 at 8:46 am

    I appreciate that some of these websites may offer “deals” for savings, but I do not subscribe to any of them.

    Incessant advertisements, whether in flyers, online or “deal of the day” in stores are designed to create a need to purchase. If you have money problems and shopping tendencies while paying off debt, I think it’s better to remove yourself from the temptation.

    I would rather pay a few cents more and buy only what I need then be inundated with messages to purchase stuff I might not need.

  4. Well said, Karen!

  5. I have to agree with Karen somewhat. I do not shop just for the sake of shopping. If I need something, then I start comparison shopping and usually get a good sense of the regular “best” cost of the item, then I set up sales alerts with the stores that carry it so they let me know when it is on sale. That way I am only getting alerts for something that I need anyway and can get it at the absolute best price if I am buying new. I love Kijijji, FreeCycle, Value Village and flea markets for most everything I buy.

  6. avatar Carolyn Says:
    May 10, 2013 at 1:59 pm

    So with ya Karen!!

  7. If you know your plans for christmas well in advance, the best time to buy airline or travel is in August.

  8. I usually have a ‘No Flyers’ sign on my mailbox. But I take it down when I need to go shopping to look for sales.

  9. To clarify: I guess I’m not a shopper, lol! We live over 45mins. to the nearest shopping centre. If we have something we need, I go in when I’ve been notified of a “good” sale via email (ie: take an extra 40% off all clearance merchandise). It will be months between outings, and that’s with 2 teenage girls in our house. Flyers, ads, etc. don’t influence me in to buying, so the emails mainly get discarded, unless its a really good sale. I’m the customer retailers don’t like, because we ONLY buy the discounted merchandise needed. I also subscribe to restaurant emails, and will save coupons to pair with our trips because we usually end up buying food too. For our seasonal shopping trips, I find it a manageable expense. :)

  10. Redflagdeals.com is a decent Site to find out about sales. I usually go thru the flyers that arrive Friday just to see if anything we need that week is on sale. Also use the grocery flyers to plan our meals for the week. We try to sale shop for things we need whenever possible. There are many stores now that send out coupons based on your buying history if you use loyalty cards like airmiles for metro and optimum at shoppers.

  11. avatar Melaniesd Says:
    May 11, 2013 at 6:45 pm

    A friend recently introduced me to an app called Checkout 51. Its a free app where you can accumulate coupon amounts and then the can send you a cheque once our have $20. Gotta like free money and its easy. Each week different grocery items are on special, plus you get $1 when you spend $60 in one grocery trip. I earned/saved $3 this week on foods I was buying anyway.

  12. avatar Lindsey Says:
    May 12, 2013 at 1:52 pm

    I have noticed that it is easy to get much better deals on cleaning supplies, when you purchase them from Dollarama. The exact same name brand supplies are two or three times the price at the groceries store or big box stores.

  13. Also agree with Karen.

  14. avatar Suzanne Says:
    May 13, 2013 at 6:19 pm

    Got a great tip on saving for airline prices the other day from Reddit.

    Apparently the trick is; if you are shopping online for airline tickets, use your browser’s Incognito Mode. (I use Google Chrome, and if you hit ctrl-shift-N, it will open up a window that doesn’t show in your browser history or use cookies).

    If you do this, the airline ticketers cannot detect what area you are browsing from, and cannot set the prices based on the area you live in. And the longer you comparison shop with your regular browser, the higher the prices go, to make you think the seats are selling out. If you use your incognito mode, you can get the base prices.

    Also, apparently the best way to get a good hotel deal is to call the hotel directly rather than shopping online; the counter agent, if you are sweet to them, can cut you a great deal.

    Finally from this thread: when shopping for butter, just buy the cheapest brand. It is all the same product with different labels on it. Buy it on sale, throw several bricks in your freezer, and thaw as needed.

    This is the Reddit thread I am referring to, worth a read: http://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/1caomf/what_are_some_useful_secrets_from_your_job_that/

  15. avatar Stephanie H. Says:
    May 20, 2013 at 5:23 pm

    I am signed up for all the websites but I have my gmail set up to filter them into an “offers” folder. My rule is if there isn’t something I need at the store I can’t open the email. I just select and delete. Then when you do need to shop you have an email handy. Also check to see if the retailer has an app for a smartphone. For instance I have a JoAnn’s and Michaels. The beauty is you don’t have to worry about forgetting the coupons and they automatically update as they expire.

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