Do you know what to buy–and what not to buy–during the month of August?
If you have been couponing for a while, you have already noticed that particular items seem to be a better deal at certain times of the year. This is because retailers are competing for your dollars. They know what potential customers are looking for throughout the year, and in order to woo you into their place of business, they will offer you the best deals on your greatest needs. For example, what are you most interested in purchasing right now? Back to school items, of course, because your children are getting ready to go back to class.
What is a Sales Cycle?
The rotation of featured sale prices is called a sales cycle, and it’s important to know about because it will save you money. Three to four times a year, nearly every grocery item will go on sale at its rock-bottom price. Saving the most money means that you will make your purchases when that item is at its lowest price, and you will buy enough of that item to last you until the next time it goes on sale at its lowest price. For example, when I find toothpaste on sale for $1, I usually have a coupon to pair with that sale, making it free. I will stock up on toothpaste so that I have enough to last my family until the next time it goes on sale (in about three months).
What is on sale in August?
There are certain items, however, that only go on sale in August. These sales won’t cycle around again until next August. It’s important to plan your budget so that your purchasing dollars are ready to stock up on these items—buying enough to last you over the next twelve months. Here are the items you’ll see smiling and winking at you this month:
Back to School Supplies
- Computers (both new and refurbished—look for Free Shipping when ordering online, and if you’re shopping in store, don’t forget your student ID card for an even better discount.)
- Craft supplies (crayons, colored pencils, folders, scissors, notebooks and papers, markers, pencils, paint)
- School uniform components
- White Sales – Bed Linens and Towels (for those college-bound students setting up housekeeping in the dorm)
- Dorm furniture – bean bag chairs, futon-like couches, and stackable storage
- Home Organization (bookshelves, organizational units, storage boxes)
Summer Clearance Items
- Bathing Suits and Beach Gear
- Summer Clothing – end of August, early September for best deals
- BBQ and Patio Equipment (including charcoal and lighter fluid, etc.)
- Sunscreen & Insect Repellent
- Swing sets and Outdoor Play Equipment for the Kiddos
- Summer and Seasonal Toys (many big box stores do a BIG clearance at the end of August to clear shelves for new Christmas products)
Seasonal Food & Grocery
- Breakfast foods (Cold cereal, fresh and condensed juices, frozen waffles)
- Cold lunch items for lunch boxes (juice boxes, fruit cups, snack size chips/crackers, peanut butter)
- Fresh Fish (Wild Sockeye Salmon late July, early August)
- Fresh Produce (blueberries, bell peppers, squash, zucchini, cucumber, corn, tomatoes, watermelons, cantaloupe)
*Print out my Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables Chart to put on your refrigerator.
Knowing that I’m going to get the rock-bottom price on a big ticket item like a computer or a lawnmower can really stoke my patience as I “make do” until I know my dollars have the most purchasing power. It also helps me to know that it’s really okay to stock up on those school supplies, because if we run out in January, we will be paying many times over what we would pay if we stock ahead now. Make the sales cycles work for you, and you’ll save big!
Do you have any tips or sales you look forward to in August? Share them in the comments below.