Winter coats, corduroys, and knee-high boots. Probably not what comes to mind when you think about spring shopping, huh? Think again. This is the best time of year to take advantage of those end-of-season sales. Stores are selling winter clothes on the cheap, and this is a great time to start stocking up on holiday gifts and get some new clothes for next year.
Hit up your local department store to find pieces with slashed prices, or fill your online shopping cart. This week, you have permission to go on a shopping spree, if it fits into your budget. Use the following tips to make sure you save money when shopping those discount racks.
Be sure to watch bloggers and discount sites like RetailMeNot.com http://www.retailmenot.com/for ongoing sales. Let them do the digging so you don’t have to! On some sites you can even request email or text alerts for sales. If it’s a specific piece you need, like a suit or a formal dress, click around online for upcoming or ongoing sales. With so many incentives for free shipping and promo codes, be sure to check out the store’s website first. You might get brand new winter coats for $10 or less.
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Special shopping services, such as Amazon Prime, http://www.amazon.com/Amazon-Prime-One-Year-Membership/dp/B00DBYBNEE
can be a great resource for deals. By paying for a membership, you can cut down on time and energy spent at the store while still getting great prices. Just be sure to check them against the store websites to make sure you’re getting rock-bottom prices.
Whether you’re after a few specific articles of clothing for a special occasion or you’re just looking to spruce up your wardrobe, it’s important to set a budget before you start shopping. By planning ahead, you not only get a head start on sales, you also have time to decide (or change your mind about) what you’re after.
If you’re just looking for a style update, pick one or two of your favorite trends instead of trying to include them all. For example, sneakers are a hot trend this year. If that’s something you have to have, be sure to pick out a pair that can function with several different outfits. The same goes for on-trend accessories – be picky and you’ll save money.
It’s important to keep some kind of record or spreadsheet of when you’re scoring the best deals. This way, you remove the guesswork for the upcoming year. If you remember that, say, Labor Day and Easter sales were the best times to buy and from what retailers, you can repeat in the future, especially if you have little ones growing out of clothes annually.
‘Tis The Season
While the holidays may be the furthest thing from your mind right now, you can (and should) get a head start on gifts when prices are this good. For growing children, you’ll need to plan ahead and size up – you’re always better off going one or two sizes larger since they can always wear it a bit later. The prices for winter accessories like hats, scarves and gloves are always drastically reduced in the spring. You can find great deals on winter sports equipment, like ski goggles, at this time of year, too.
When you hit the stores, whether they’re virtual or brick-and-mortar, remember: trust your instincts but don’t tempt your wallet. Secondly, always search for promo codes before you check out online. Lastly, be prepared to spend a certain amount and stick to your budget.
Kat's Money Corner is posted on Dollars & Sense every Tuesday. Kat Hnatyshyn, when not blogging or caring for her little ones, is a manager with CommunityAmerica Credit Union. For more financial chatter, click http://twitter.com/savinmavens.