Kat’s Money Corner: Stock up for (next) summer

08/13/2014 10:20 AM

08/13/2014 10:30 AM

My family and I are fortunate to have a pool in our back yard. It’s one of our favorite places to spend time with our family and friends during the summer months. Like anything, the pool doesn’t come without its fair share of upkeep.

To keep a good balance (and not just a PH balance), my husband and I are always looking for outdoor or poolside deals at the end of the summer. We’ve learned to take advantage of end-of-season sales and pick up the items we’ll need next year. Here are some more ideas for other great end of-summer acquisitions.

Cover Up and Save

Everything from clothing to décor tends to go on sale in late July and August, as retailers work to clear space for new fall inventory. In fact, many stores have summer ‘white sales’ on linens over Labor Day. One of our favorite things to stock up on are beach towels. At full price, these towels can run $20 each. Instead, I’ve gotten into the habit of waiting for summer’s end and picking them up on clearance for as low as$5 a piece. They’re easy to pack up and store through the winter and a nice reminder of how much we saved when we pull them out new-to-us the following year. http://andreadekker.com/how-to-store-extra-linen/

Swim suits are another great end-of-summer purchase, especially if you have a particular brand or style you favor. A smart saving tip for two-piece ladies swimwear is mix-and-match styles. Choose a color and buy a variety of styles (halter, bandeau, boy shorts, etc.) when the suits go on sale. It’s like having 3 or 4 different swimsuits for the cost of one, and is added motivation to stay in shape over the winter and spring so they fit next year! For little ones, you can make an educated guess on what size they’ll need next year and buy now. http://www.lovelyish.com/2010/06/16/6-tips-for-mixing-and-matching-your-bathing-suits/

Next Summer’s Yard

We’ve found that August is also a great time to look for items that will add to our outdoor décor. New chairs, umbrellas, loungers, pool inflatables and toys are always deeply discounted at the end of the summer. At my house, we just store the new stuff until the following year (and marvel at how much money we saved!). When it’s time to fill up the pool again, we don’t have to rush out for supplies in the event of an impromptu pool party. http://www.storeassured.com/ten-items-to-store-this-fall

Grills, lawnmowers and yard maintenance tools like clippers or sprinklers are also on sale at the end of the summer and are worth more than a second glance if you’re looking to add to your current inventory. Buy now and assemble later. If you’re updating, you can use the months between to sell or recycle your old stuff.

Sunny Thoughts

Another good idea for getting the most bang for your buck on summer fun items like wading pools, water guns or slip-n-slides is to create a roster of presents. Next year’s birthdays, stockings and Easter baskets are easy to fill with these seasonal items. A fun year-round idea is to create a ‘first beach trip’ bag for a baby shower or put together a honeymoon basket filled with sunscreen, his and hers flip-flops and towels for a wedding gift.

As always, even discount shopping should be in your budget. If it makes sense for your finances, think ahead, stock up and not only can you get great deals at the end of the summer, you can experience a little sunshine all year long…and a brighter financial outlook all the way to next summer!

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.

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