Friday, February 3, 2012

Taking Advantage of Winter Savings

Even though prices on everything are going up, there are still ways to protect yourself against a painful drain on your wallet. By taking advantage of winter clearance and current sales you can create a buffer between you and those escalating prices.

The first step is to get a basic idea of what you are shopping for. Do you want to restock your pantry? Are you looking for end-of-season fashion bargains? What about your gift closet? Take five minutes to get an idea of what you need. Now is not the time to go off track, causing yourself to spend a fortune.

Next, quickly look through your coupons or discount codes. There's no need to make this an all day event; just get a good idea of what you have that you can use to increase your savings even more. Obviously, if you can purchase something for next to nothing, be my guest. Just don't work yourself into a tizzy.  Currently, one of our local stores is going out of business. Thankfully, they are allowing coupons. Here is my chance to stock up on some basic pantry items. Though the shelves were nearly empty, I still managed to get a few things including cereal, vitamins, coffee and canned goods. Here is where you don't want to go overboard. I'm not knocking her choices, but the lady that bought an entire cart full of chunky soup had me worried.

If it's clothing you're interested in, now is the time to get your winter gear ready for next year. For adults that won't likely change sizes, restocking gloves, winter socks or clothing in classic styles will be beneficial. Many stores are filling the shelves with summer wear and are desperate to get rid of the winter stock. Expect clearance sales of 75 percent off---or more. If you're looking for bargains for your youngster, try picking items that have a little 'give' if the sizing is a little too big or small. Things like pajama pants, scarves, socks, etc. will do the trick. Just remember to stock up on what you feel comfortable with.

Also remember to think outside the box. I won't be baking a turkey this week, but the clearance bag of cornbread stuffing can be crushed into  more flavorful breadcrumbs than my usual blend. Holiday candies are a good buy, also. We could care less about what color the wrapper on the mini chocolate bars are. But if you do, just open the bags and separate out what you need. Red and silver wrapped candies are perfect of Fourth of July. Eat the pink wrapped ones now. Or chop those little candy bars into toppings for sundaes and cupcakes.

If you're looking for household items, remember, just because it's holiday clearance items doesn't mean it's Christmas themed stuff. Snowflake covered flannel sheets would work all winter.

Now is a great time to build a little buffer between you and the economy. Use promotions and end of season clearance items to wisely get a jump start on next winter's needs.

 I guarantee you will not regret an attempt to get ahead and cut down on the stress of trying to meet your needs in advance.

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