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July is the time to buy… (2012 update)

Our patio table

Certain times of the year are the best times to buy various things based on sales and availability. Here is your tip sheet for this month:

Bottled water: With summer picnics and barbecues, stores often drop the price of bottled water. If you prefer bottled water, now is the time to stock up. However, you can save even more money if you buy a filter for your tap or refrigerator and use your own bottles!

Butter and other dairy products: Production is up during this time, so prices are down. Freeze butter or margarine to use later.

Certain fruits: July is a good time to buy apricots, blackberries, blueberries, cantaloupe, cherries, honeydew melons, limes, nectarines, oranges, peaches, pineapples, plums, strawberries, and watermelons.

Certain vegetables: July is a good time to buy corn, cucumbers, lettuce, and radishes.

Computers: Back-to-school sales often offer the lowest prices of the year. You can sometimes get freebies like printers, too.

Furniture: Retailers are trying to make room for new models which will arrive in August.

Home Décor: With this being wedding season, retailers want to capitalize on the consumers looking for wedding gifts. These sales also help boost traffic in stores to help sell other items they have on display. With students leaving for college next month, you can also find deals on bedding, organizational items, small appliances, etc. (There will be deals on this in August, too.)

House paint: More people paint in the summer months, so stores sometimes lower prices and hope you’ll buy other regular-priced things, too. July is also a good month to entice those people who don’t want to paint in the heat!

Jewelry: July (along with January, March, April, August, and September) are non-gift giving months. Retailers are more likely to offer sales during these months to help promote business.

Outdoor furniture and yard décor: Stores are changing over to the next season’s merchandise and want to get rid of their summer barbecue goods that were great for the 4th of July.

Sandals: Mid- to late-July is when you will see the best discounts on footwear. Sales can even be found on popular brands. Retailers want to make room for their fall items.

School Supplies: Even if you don’t have children in school, some office supplies (which are also used by students) are sold at cheap prices during this time. See my post “School Supply Shopping Strategy” for tips.

Swimsuits: Stores want to get rid of their inventory, so the prices go way down. The prices will get even lower in August.

Suits: Any last remnants of Spring fashions will be on sale. Look for styles that are classic and timeless.

Tools: July is one of the best months (matched only by November and December) to buy tools, especially tool sets, accessories, and tool storage units.

If you plan to shop online, check out my “Online shopping tips.”

Sources:

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Coupon websites – updated!

my coupon organizers

As I have mentioned before, one great way to save money on a regular basis is to use coupons. I am not a super couponer, but I do save a lot per month by pairing coupons with sales (and Keeping a price list) and I have found a few ways to make my couponing more efficient.

VARIOUS SOURCES FOR COUPONS:

1) Cut those from my Sunday paper and mailed circulars.

2) Print coupons from various online sites.

3) Join the (postal) mailing list for stores that I like and frequent often. Sometimes just by making a purchase from a website, they will add you to their mailing list. For example, I get coupons from Target, Children’s Place and Gymboree in the mail.

4) Use coupon codes and go through rebate sites when shopping at online retailers. My favorite site for online codes is Retail Me Not. Before making an online purchase, I also check my email to see if I have gotten any online offers from stores I like.

See my related posts:

To make computer coupon printing easy and as quick as possible, I have bookmarked my favorite coupon sites in my Mozilla browser. Then I can just go from one site to the next to print coupons each week.

BEST COUPON WEBSITES:

Coupons.com

SmartSource

Redplum

Mambo Sprouts - coupons for natural and organic brands.

Freeflys - offers links to free samples as well.

Target - Scroll down to the bottom menu and select Coupons.

Box Tops For Education – Sign up for a Box Tops account and then you will have access to their coupons.

All You Magazine – Only print the exclusive coupons, the rest are duplicates from Coupons.com. Also check out their free samples section.

Whole Foods Market - You can also pick up their in-store booklet with more coupons. These often differ from what is online.

Recyclebank – Participate in activities to earn points good for redeeming on coupons and other offers.

Seventh Generation – You can earn points for completing various activities on their website. These points can be redeemed for various offers from Seventh Generation. See my post “Get rewarded for shopping – Part 2″ and “Get rewarded for shopping – updated!”

Valpak – Type in your zip code to see what offers are available in your city.

Kosher on a Budget – This blogger posts special coupon offers (like from manufacturer’s websites) on a regular basis as well as weekly pair ups with sales from Target, CVS, and Walgreens. Occasionally she will also feature Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods deals.

Firestone Complete Auto Care - Tons of great coupons on products and services at Firestone.

St. Louis Town Planner - This website offers great local coupons for services, products, entertainment, and more. The calendars are mailed to households before the new year. The coupons may vary from website to calendar.

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