10 Dates To Remember That Will Save You Money

by Guest Contributor · 12 comments

Many people wish that prices would be low all year long, but not me. When prices fluctuate, there’s more incentives for retailers to discount prices to below what’s possible otherwise, so it benefits those who take the time to research. Today’s article is from a guest author, who wants to share with us 10 dates that you should know if you want to save some money.

Last spring, I bought a lot of lawn equipment and I paid top retail price.  I wasn’t really thinking about it, because I needed it to keep my lawn manicured, and in Florida, one week is the difference between a nice looking yard and a jungle.  Then in the fall, I noticed that the prices of lawn mowers, edgers, and hand tools were all on sale.  The demand for lawn equipment is much lower in the fall than it is in the spring, so retailers are looking to unload inventory to make room for new models next year.

J.D. Roth at Get Rich Slowly provided a great resource article that we should all print out and reference throughout the year about the best time period to buy just about everything.  However, there are some specific dates you can circle on your calendar that will help you save money throughout the year.

  • February 14th: Skip it, and you’ll save a lot of money.  Ladies, before you take my head off, hear me out.  If you want to go out and celebrate love on Valentine’s Day, just do it a few days before or after the actual date.  On the actual day, Valentine’s Day has ridiculously overpriced flowers and restaurants love to pin you down to an all-inclusive 4 course meal for a flat price.  If you want to celebrate, there’s no need to do it on the 14th.
  • March 1st: Retailers will be getting rid of winter clothing, so buy a new winter coat or boots during this time.
  • May 31st: This is Memorial Day in 2010, and it’s usually the first weekend where you can pick up some great deals from retailers.
  • June 15th: If you’re a Mac/iPod/iPhone lover, then mark this date down.  It’s not when Apple will announce new stuff, but it seems like they always announce a new product or updates to existing products in the summer.  You’ll be able to save on the previous model if you time it right.
  • July 4th: Retailers are already starting to unload their outdoors stuff to make way for the fall.
  • August 1st: This is the beginning of back-to-school season, and you can pick up some great deals on laptops and other consumer electronics.
  • September 6th: This is Labor Day in 2010, and this is also the time you should start looking to make travel arrangements if you didn’t do any traveling over the summer.  You can find the cheapest airline, hotel, and cruise rates during the fall.  Just remember, if you vacation in the Southeast or the Caribbean the early fall is peak hurricane season.  You may want to consider travel insurance if you purchase during this time.
  • November 1st: If you’re in the market for a new house, start looking in November and December.  Demand from buyers is low in the winter months, so you’ll be able to negotiate with sellers more during these months.  You may not be able to get a lot of money reduced on the selling price, but you can negotiate more on closing costs and extras.
  • November 26th: This is Black Friday.  If you want to save money and hassle, shop online.  Wake up early and stay in your pajamas.  I got a great deal in store on a 32″ TV this past Black Friday, but it wasn’t worth it.  I almost got thrown out of the way by someone trying to grab it.  Not fun at 6 in the morning.
  • December 26th: While everyone is in the return line to return Christmas gifts, snag up discounted Christmas decorations.

Saving money is a way of life, and you must outsmart our retail culture if you want to save money.  Break the cycle, and stop buying things when the world tells you to.  If you know you’ll be making a large purchase this year, map out a strategy.  Do research on the best time to buy it.  If you repeat this process throughout your life, you’ll save thousands of dollars of money and have extra money to invest, build wealth, and give back to others.

This is a guest post by Erik Folgate of the personal finance blog, Money Crashers. The mission of Money Crashers is to develop a community of people who make financially sound decisions and to guide people in their journey to becoming financially independent, sound, and secure. Money Crashers is currently hosting its 2010 New Year Giveaway Bash with over $7,900 in total prizes, $2,395 in cash, 2 Amazon Kindles, the whole line of iPods, and $1,055 in gift cards.

Money Saving Tip: An incredibly effective way to save more is to reduce your monthly Internet and TV costs. Click here for the current Verizon FiOS promotion codes and promos to see if you can save more money every month from now on.

{ read the comments below or add one }

  • Becci says:

    I worked retail for the last 4 years and the date they set for winter clearance is a little wrong. By March 1st most of winter clothing and boots are already clearanced out or gone. Most will starting setting spring clothing just after Christmas, start watching the middle to the end of January for winter coats, mittens, and boots to be clearanced.

  • Mekhong Kurt says:

    Nice article. I already knew about most — but not all. I imagine people in other countries have comparable opportunities. (I’m American, but have lived in Asia most of the last 25 years, for instance.)

    I have a friend who goes far beyond what the article recommends for the after-Christmas period: she buys all her Christmas (and birthday) presents for the following year during that period, when all the great sales are in full swing. Of course, she also picks up cards and decorations as well.

    For certain items to give as gifts there is another possibility: outlets such as Salvation Army stores. I picked up a nice, serviceable (if nothing fancy) full set of dinnerware for four that was in perfect condition — not a single chip, stain, etc. That was years ago and I’ve forgotten what I paid, but even as a rather poor college student, I was able to afford it easily. The next time my Mom came over for a meal, she was initially shocked and angry that I had wasted money on a NEW getting of dishes, my point being even an old kitchen hound like her had no idea the dishes weren’t brand, spanking new.

    This is my first time to run across this site, and I’m bookmarking it — good blog.

  • Khaleef @ KNS Financial says:

    Wow, I’ve gotten a few more great ideas just from the comments.

  • Cd Phi says:

    Wow . this is a pretty specific list of dates. One thing that I did notice this past Christmas was that there were many people in the return lines…I went to my local hardware store and picked up some good christmas decorations for next year. It’s all about planning ahead…

  • Wenchypoo says:

    As far as buying a house goes, you have more time than you think–people with kids who are moving need to get them back in school after Labor Day, so you really have from Labor Day until about St. Patty’s Day to go house-hunting for bargains. The “high season” for house hunting is in the spring and summer, all the way up to labor Day, and this is when you can expect to pay high prices.

    Just like shopping for cars in the rain and snow (the lousiest time for YOU, but best for cars), shopping for houses in the rain and snow will play in your favor.

    I myself just snagged a great “Labor Day” house play this last fall–spanked the owner and his bank for $40k on a house. The owner was a corporate transfer (HAD to go), and her kids needed to be in school at the new place, so push came to shove and she took my offer. A week later, the bank approved it, and off we went through the closing jungle.

  • Ryan @ Planting Dollars says:

    Creative post idea. I would never have thought of the Apple one and think the most valuable one you mentioned is Nov 1st with the housing market. Back in Wisconsin where I’m originally from housing sales move about as fast as glaciers in the winter, especially around Christmas, so it’s the best time to find motivated sellers.

  • Zach says:

    One thing I have always done and did this last “Black Friday” is buy what I need in the days or perhaps week before hand. Then I just hang on to the items and receipt and go back in and get the prices adjusted to the huge sales. This of course takes planning and timing, because you don’t want the return policy to expire as well it requires more than one trip to a store. However, for myself I have found it much easier to get the items I want, and to get the correct sizes in clothing, without too much of the hassle from the crowds of people. I much rather enjoy getting a cup of coffee and people watching on Black Friday 🙂

    PS I reckon this could be applied to some of the other dates mentioned above as well.

  • Ken says:

    I wan’t aware of several of these…cool.

  • SimplyForties says:

    There are lots of ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day that don’t include dinner out, flowers and chocolates. The choice isn’t whether to celebrate it or “skip” it; the choice is how you celebrate it. Be creative.

  • Sandy says:

    Interesting list. I will definitely be coming back every once in a while to refresh my memory.

    I would also add that Feb is a great time to think about Macs, because it’s right after the MacWorld where they announce new stuff too.

  • Robert says:

    Surprise your loved one with a nice little treat on February 10 and see how romantic it makes everything..

  • Khaleef @ KNS Financial says:

    This is a great article and something I will definitely point everyone to.

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