It’s hard to believe after last week’s winter blast that retailers everywhere will soon be scrambling to clear the racks of every last coat, glove, snowsuit and scarf in their inventories. Yet, when the calendar hits March, the closeout sales arrive regardless of how much cold, snow and ice remain in the forecast.
I know, this time of year the last thing you want to think about is next winter. But trust me, if you or anyone in your family needs winter wear, you won’t find better bargains than right now.
Here are some items to look for in the next couple weeks, some obvious, some may surprise you.
Coats. No surprise here. We’ve all seen the circular racks full of random winter coats looking for a good home. Look for kids’ sizes on the large end. Go big here; better to have them grow into it than be stuck with one too small. Also look for a different weight coat than the one you have now. With coats marked down between 40 to 70 percent, it’s a cheap way to fill a hole in your coat collection. http://www1.macys.com/cms/slp/2/Winter-Coats
Boots. If you’ve got kids, here’s another opportunity to gear them up for next year at half the price or less. Really, any boot made for winter is going to have a deep discount, but we ladies have to be selective. Many of ours aren’t.
OK, now for some real-dollar stretchers you may not have thought of:
Business Suits. If these are required in your work wardrobe, this is a great time to add one to the collection. Stores always close them out at the end of winter, even those that can be worn year round. Hint: avoid heavy tweed or wool for maximum flexibility.
Separates. You might find better prices on separate blazer-style jackets and skirts or dress pants than for a complete suit. Like the suits, look for pieces that aren’t too heavy so you can wear them all year.
Shell Sweaters: Look for closeout prices on sleeveless or short-sleeve, shell-style sweaters designed to be worn under suit jackets. Dark, solid colors may be all you find, but they’re more flexible than the pastels and bright shades coming in for spring.
Closed-Toe Shoes: Once spring hits, it can be a challenge to find good deals on shoes that aren't open-toe or sandal-style. Watch your favorite shoe store for their winter clearance and shop for a pair or two of closed-toe pumps with moderate heels.
And one more tip: while it may be a great time to score deals on these items, be careful out there. With all the extreme markdowns everywhere, it’s easy to “save” yourself right into the poor house. The same rules still apply--only spend what your budget allows. Don’t turn a great savings opportunity into a spending binge. http://www.wikihow.com/Avoid-Spending-Too-Much-Money-on-Your-Wardrobe
Stick to versatile items you really need, score some deals, and smile knowing you’re already prepared before next year’s snow flies. Almost makes you look forward to next winter. Almost.
Kat's Money Corner is posted on Dollars & Sense every Tuesday. Kat Hnatyshyn, when not blogging or caring for her little one, is a manager with CommunityAmerica Credit Union. For more financial chatter, click http://twitter.com/savinmavens.