When temps drop, discounts rise
End-of-summer savings that are worth spending time seeking out
August 27, 2013 by Heidi Alger
Some of the best things in life are free in the summer—catching fireflies, playing in the sprinkler, hitting the park…naps! And some of the best things on the shelves in the summer are on sale, now. So I’m taking the opportunity to push a cart through my favorite discount stores, filling it with a smart stash of stuff that will carry me through the next few seasons for just a few cents on the dollar.
But before you walk through the automatic doors, the best advice I can give you is to tune in to the shelves and signage when you’re doing your weekly shopping. These aren’t the kinds of sales you’ll find in your Sunday circular. Once you see the discounts drop from 25% to 50%, you’re going to have to keep coming back for more. Have friends that frequent the same store? Make a pact to send someone in everyday to put the APB out to the rest of you where you’re at in the discount game. Friends don’t let friends do a lot of things. Especially pay full price.
Here’s the game plan in my inner circle—I guess that puts you in it—and what we’re looking for:
The Great Outdoors
Sunblock, bug spray, sunglasses
SPF knows no season, which means sunblock will serve you well year-round. Stock up while there are more options—and decent discounts—on sprays, lotions and face sticks. Bugs will always bug you, which means that now is the time to get products like Off and Cutter on the cheap for camping trips, late nights in the backyard and the first buggy nights of NEXT summer. And I can never, ever have too many pairs of sunglasses. So I snap those up on sale. At the rate the kids and I leave them behind/lose/break them, well, having a few spare on hand is priceless.
Paper or Plastic
Plates, napkins, cups & silverware, water bottles, pitchers
You gotta eat, right? Give yourself and your family a few extra nights off of doing dishes and loading [or unloading] the dishwasher when you buy up summer-patterned plates, cups and silverware. Water bottles are another great buy—my kids bring one to school every day, and every month it seems like one is left behind. Having a few extras on hand makes it easier for me to let it go when they let it go. And those summer-style plastic pitchers? They’re great for serving to the masses when an impromptu lemonade stand is set up!
Wear it well [into next season]
No matter what climate you are living in, adding a few short-sleeved shirts to the mix is a must when you pull them from the clearance rack. You can layer them under sweaters in the winter or mow the lawn in them in the summer [I prefer to watch someone else mow the lawn, but in a t-shirt]. Check your kids’ sizes and buy up in tees AND shorts for next summer break. And tank tops? Perfect for workouts and pairing with pajama pants.
Color your winter
Nothing brightens a blah winter day like a bright summer color. Take advantage of end of summer’s splash of sunny shades on sale! Eye shadow, nail polish and all kinds of makeup miscellaney make for fun face time!
Pay [less] to Play
Yard games, water guns, pool toys
Grabbing up games and gear from the lazy, crazy days of summer that will get play year ‘round on the cheap is a great plan, too. When you want your family unplugged and outside you will have no shortage of game [no, that’s not a misprint ;)]. From water guns and balloons, to yard games like bocce and lawn darts to pool noodles and fun sprinklers to run through [yes, even you!] you’ll be glad you have all kinds of fresh air fun on reserve for pennies on the dollar.
So when the summer sun shines on the sales, snatch them up! Fill your cart and your closets at home—just do one better than me, remember where you put everything!