I have a confession to make. I’m that mom you all love to hate who has her holiday (mostly) done before the temperature drops enough for pumpkin spice lattes. Yup! I’m a summer holiday shopper and I’m here to tell you that if you’re not looking for deals now then you’re seriously missing out.
I was never like this until I had kids. I was definitely one of those last-minute shoppers that you’d have to elbow out of the way on Christmas Eve as I tried to figure out how to make a gift set out of fuchsia wool scarf and onion jam. The thing is, I was too busy and always broke so holiday shopping felt like one of those things that I simply couldn’t deal with until it was the last possible minute.
Then, a few years ago, I took my infant out to window shop and meet my mom for lunch when I noticed signs for Christmas in July. I thought it was funny but then I couldn’t believe the deals I was seeing. Seriously, toys were marked down by as much as 75% off and when I did the math, I realized that the deals that I was looking at as I sweat my way through a hot afternoon were way better than the deals that I freeze my ass for while standing in long lines on Black Friday.
Summer is the absolute best time to buy winter clothes and gear, toys, electronics, and kitchen appliances. The main reason is that retailers want to clear their stock before the big push for the holiday season, which starts to slowly pop up in early September. Sales flyers will start showing up in mailboxes with on the hottest and latest trending stuff. And that means that all of last year’s stuff needs to go.
My year-round strategy to save money actually starts the day after Christmas. December 26th is the best time to buy decorations, cards, and gift-wrapping supplies. I stock up and save a ton of money and then the following holiday season comes, I’m ready to mail out my cards and I’ve already got all the cutest bows and ribbons to dress up the festive wrapping papers and gift boxes I scored the year before.
During the year, I look for off-season deals and pick up a gift here and there so that by the time the holidays roll around, I’ve already got my stocking stuffers and little gifts for everyone from teachers to the mailman all wrapped and ready to go.
And in the summer, when I do the bulk of my shopping, I keep my eyes peeled for winter boots and jackets, and fun outside gear like new bindings for my kid’s snowboard. Even if these kinds of things aren’t advertised, I will call around to different shops around town and ask if they have winter stuff on sale or discounted.
Other ways to save on money that I love include taking advantage of school supply sales at places like Target where you can get boxes of crayons for under a dollar. My kids love art supplies and this is one way to buy those in bulk without paying full price.
The holidays are so much fun and I do love shopping during the height of the shopping season – who doesn’t? But by being smart throughout the year, I am saving a huge amount of money while also making sure that I am ready to enjoy the holiday season without feeling overwhelmed.