While buying produce in season will save you big bucks, the opposite is true for all other holiday and seasonal products. Part of frugal living is shopping against the current. If you want to score the greatest savings, you'll have to use some self-restraint and wait until post season to buy. Now is the time to indulge in a shopping spree...for next summer.
If you aren't sure if what you're buying will likely go on sale, think about when you would most want to purchase. Add three or four months to that and you'll be in your shopping sweet spot. Yes, you run the risk of out-of-stock dilemmas, but you'll have many more options to choose from. As the summer products are winding down, consider buying these things now rather than next spring when you'll really need it:
1. Patio Furniture
Unless they have already, Christmas clutter will soon start creeping into the outdoor furniture and gardening areas. This is an excellent sign that the wicker set you had your eye on several months ago will be hugely discounted. Take a look at Pier 1 Imports and, PatioFurniture.com, and especially your local consignment stores for current deals.
2. Outdoor Grills
Just as with patio furniture, this year's models need to move fast. Who says you can't grill in the fall anyway? Get between 15-40% off on outdoor cooking systems when you buy during September or October. Before you purchase, consider your family's needs, cooking time, maintenance costs, etc. Don't forget about closeout stores like Big Lots--many leftover summer items, including grills, are shipped to this final destination for rock bottom prices.
3. Bathing Suits
Ladies, we know what type of suit hides as many curves as possible. Sure, styles change, but basic cuts don't. In an industry where you pay more for less fabric, we owe it to feminine solidarity--buy now to get the lowest price possible. If you delay swimsuit shopping for your winter cruise or next summer, expect to pay four times as much for it. Gap and Victoria's Secret are running several 40-60% off swimwear deals.
4. Children's Clothing
This is a tricky one. Just how big will Junior be next year? While I'm not a huge fan of buying children's clothing far in advance, even if you over or under shoot on a couple of items, buying now will reap enormous savings in the future. Stick to knit shorts and shirts/tank tops that stretch and ask other moms with slightly older children how much height and girth their kids gained over a year. While you can get great savings online, the best deals for summer closeouts are in brick and mortar stores. You'll especially want to get next year's beachwear now.
5. Lawn Mowers and Garden Supplies
The big gardening push is over, which is good news for your pocket book. You'll still need to keep things up until the spring and you definitely won't want to splurge on big-ticket outdoor products then. If you've been planning to get a new mower or weed eater, this is the best time to do it. Check out Target and Walmart to get basement bargains on smaller outdoor gardening products before they run out.