'I just love being ill-prepared and paying top dollar for everything,' said no one. Ever. And yet, it happens time and again, doesn't it? Admit it. Suddenly you need something right this instant and remember there was a great deal on it.....two weeks ago. So what do you do? Probably grumble and you just hand over your wallet to the cashier and sadly say, 'Here. Just take every last dime.'
It's probably one of the biggest indicators to why our budgets are always a miserable failure. We don't think ahead and we don't prepare like we ought to. If only we could do a better job, we would feel more in control of our money and much more prepared and organized.
That's all about to change and it starts with the Thanksgiving sales. It isn't hard; it's actually a very easy thing to do. Let's walk through the steps.
Buy it now, use it later. Much of the food items that goes on sale now is not limited to Thanksgiving use only. I stock up on some things this time of year because they are a much better price than usual and also because they will come in handy regardless of whether it's Turkey Day or not. Some of what I stock up on includes chicken broth, dressing/stuffing mix (makes excellent bread crumbs and a fantastic dish called Peach Glazed Stuffed Pork Chops. Oh joy!), canned green beans, baking goods like flour, sugar, cookie/brownie/cake mixes, ginger ale, fancy crackers, cream cheese, you get the idea. Buy a few more than you normally do and you've got the start of a well stocked pantry. If you're a turkey lover and you have the space, get an extra one for later this winter. To change things up a bit, just don't serve it with the same trimmings. Try Turkey Tetrazinni, grilled turkey breast with roasted vegetables, sub sandwiches, soups, stews or maybe an artisan salad. The list is endless and you get the idea. If space is limited, try a smaller turkey. Cornish hens, sausage and chicken are also great for stocking up.
There's more to it than food. Not all sales right now are about the food. Manufacturers know that once the feast is over, you've got to store your leftovers or send them home with your guests. Look for great deals on storage containers, zip bags, aluminum foil/plastic wrap, disposable plates and cups. There's also great deals on paper towels and dishwasher soap.
Don't forget to look beyond the season. The days following Thanksgiving will see a dramatic price drop in what is considered 'seasonal' merchandise but you need to think beyond that. Cream, gold and red items can be used any time. I purchase candles and household fragrance items in vanilla, berry and apple to use year round. Wrap a thin ribbon of burlap and a sprig of fir around that vanilla candle and voila! Merry Christmas to you! I just learned the value of having a lighter in the house. Our power went out and because I never replaced the old one, there was no way to light a candle. For about four hours, I growled inside at myself, but I did make up for it by using a coupon and finding a great sale on them (next to the cinnamon candles!) to purchase two.
Take advantage of the Thanksgiving sales (and clearance) to help take care of your future self. Using the same principles, do the same thing after Christmas and New Years Day.
You have an excellent opportunity to stock up on some basic supplies without breaking the bank, but you need to proceed with caution. Never buy more than you can reasonably use or share and never buy more than you can reasonably store. Use some practical sense because you will never need 145 cans of green beans and nobody would want them stored under the tv anyway. Remember to store things in a logical fashion, too. I guarantee if you hide your croutons in the back of your closet on some dark shelf, you will never find them when you need them.