Buy produce in season, while prices are at their lowest.
If you want to make your budget go further this year, buy stuff when it's cheap and plentiful. And by "stuff" I mean just about everything. It's January, and there are five categories of products that you can get a bargain on this month.
1. Produce in Season in January.
Yes, there are still growing seasons in some states, believe it or not. My backyard garden still has broccoli, which is one of the cheap and plentiful things to buy this month. Also you'll find that prices on carrots, cabbage, mushrooms, spinach, kale, swiss chard, sweet potatoes, turnips, and citrus like grapefruit, oranges, lemons, and tangerines are at their lowest.
Avocados too. Just in time for Super Bowl Guacamole on top of Thai Shrimp Nachos. I look for the best buys on fresh produce at Fiesta, my local Mexican Grocery Store, but every grocery store will have the items on this list for less right now. Save-A-Lot and Aldi will have a few of these items, and their prices are always rock-bottom.
Higher end items like kale and swish chard are available at stores like Central Market and Whole Foods. Since kale and citrus are hot ingredients in juicing these days, take advantage of the lower prices to start the year off with a juice cleanse. The Citrus Fest at Central Market runs thru this weekend.
If you stumble upon a great bargain on freezable items like carrots and broccoli, just chop the extra up into bite-size pieces and put it in a freezer bag in your freezer. Then, when everyone else is paying top dollar for those items out of season, you'll be shopping your freezer for nothing.
You should also consider steaming a bunch of sweet potatoes now while they're cheap, pureeing them, and freezing the puree into cubes (like in an ice cube tray). Use this puree all year long to add a nutritional boost to your spaghetti sauces and recipes like these Pizza Rice Balls. Your kids will never know they're eating a super food because they won't be able to taste it.
We're off to the hand ball courts, mom.
2. Sporting Goods are on sale in January
Right now, stores like Dick's and The Sports Authority have great sales. Fitness equipment is hot because everyone is busy starting their New Year's Resolution to get fit. Me? I don't think sweating is all that fun. But Luka does. We scored a deal on a t-ball batting helmet, and a big target net to throw balls into for practice. You can get $50 off a $250 purchase from Sports Authority with this coupon.
Don't forget to check stores like Kmart, Walmart.com, Target and Sears.com for sporting goods and fitness equipment deals. Soccer, baseball, and other warm weather sports have marked down their equipment right now because it's cold outside. Buy it when nobody else wants it and you'll be the winner.
Thank goodness for the Annual White Sale.
3. Bedding and Linens are on sale in January.
Even if you don't have a face paint addict at your house, your sheets may have seen better days nonetheless. In January, you'll find White Sales galore, a yearly sales event that started in the 1800's. Strategies for finding deals on sheets and linens are plentiful. Even upscale stores like Bloomingdale's have white sales and home decor sales right now!
Use those great Bed, Bath & Beyond coupons that you'll find in your Sunday and Wednesday papers to get a discount on top of any sale prices at that store. Use a printable coupon for a mall store to snag a deal. Look for clearanced items on end-aisles at Target. Department stores like Sears, Kmart, and JCPenney are a great source for linens. And I often find a deal on sheet sets, table cloths and curtains at my local Dillards Clearance Center (in Arlington, just west of Dallas) or Tuesday Morning.
Keep your eyes peeled on Daily Deal Sites like Groupon, RueLaLa and 1 Sale A Day for on-line deals on linens. See all the Daily Deal Sites here, so you make sure you're signed up for all of them.
Set up your new home office for less in January.
4. Furniture is on sale in January.
Furniture stores want to clear their floors for the new spring line, and you need to set up a new home office or redo your bedroom. Win win. You'll find furniture on sale everywhere, from Target for the utilitarian to Pier 1 for the unique. I myself just set up a home office, and found some great pieces at World Market. Signing up for the World Market Explorer free membership nets me World Market printable coupons and extra deals all year long, and notifications of wine tasting events too.
Use those Office Depot, Office Max, and Staples coupons on new home office furniture like desks, chairs, and cabinets. And check furniture stores like IKEA, RoomStore, and Haverty's for deals as well.
Enjoy some warm weather elsewhere.
5. Vacations are on sale in January.
You know you want to ditch this freezing weather and go somewhere warm. Many airlines and hotel companies like Choice Hotels want to help you do just that. Now is when they put together vacation packages with lots of extra plus-ups or lots of extra discounts, because it's not peak travel season. They've got rooms to fill, people. Vacation in January and you'll pay less than those idiots like me who travel in the summer.
In fact, thru Friday the 18th, you can get a deep discount on Great Wolf Lodge here. And local warm weather vacation destinations are also trying to bring people in. Look for deals at zoos and outdoor attractions. The Dallas Zoo has a big Zoo discount they're offering thru the end of February.
Don't forget, you can still most like find mark downs on these ten after-holiday sale items. Find that article here.
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Coupons procured by Savings.com