Marlene is a frugal homesteader. Retired and living on a limited income makes saving money a valuable strategy for a comfortable lifestyle.
Be Frugal: Look for Items on Sale Before Buying
My husband and I are building our retirement home, which is estimated to be completed during the first week of July 2018, and there are a few household items we need to purchase upon moving into the home. Since we are retired, we must be frugal with our finances. In order to know when we are getting a good buy on an item, we did a little research for the Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of each item.
We made a list of the household items we would need to purchase (see the table titled “Know Your Prices Before Buying”). After researching the price of items, we made a commitment to purchase items only when they were sold at a discount. Throughout the year, there are specific times when certain items are offered at a discount, generally at least 30% off.
Buy Major Appliances in July, September, and December
You can see from our list that we needed to purchase some major appliances. We read Consumer Reports, a report generated by a non-profit organization established to help consumers make smart purchases. According to Consumer Reports, the best time to purchase major appliances is July, September, and December.
Since our house would be completed in July, our original goal was to wait until July to purchase a washer, dryer, refrigerator, and freezer. But, we noticed that for one week in April, Home Depot was selling the exact washer and dryer we wanted to purchase at a price that was 42% to 46% less than the MSRP. We went quickly to the store to purchase the washer and dryer prior to July because we saw that we would be saving much more money than had we waited until the July sales.
How We Saved on Our Washer and Dryer
Here is a quick rundown of our purchase and savings for the washer and dryer:
- The MSRP for the washer is $1,099 and for the dryer is $1,199.
- If we had waited until July to make the purchase, based upon on a normal 30% discount, the washer might have cost about $769 and the dryer might have cost about $839, and we could have saved a total of $690.
- We actually purchased the washer for *$574 and the dryer for *$670, and we actually saved a total of $1,054 (not including sales tax, and there was zero cost for shipping).
*My husband is a Vietnam veteran. In many cases, when shopping at stores, he asks if they offer a discount for veterans. Oftentimes, the answer is yes. Oftentimes, the discount can be as much as 10%. When we purchased our washer and dryer, Home Depot gave us an additional 10% off the already low sale price.
Budgeting and Watching for Sales
Based upon our research, assuming we were to purchase items at full price, we declared a total purchase budget of $8,123. Because my husband and I like saving money, we determined that if we buy smartly, we could save a minimum of $2,443 for our anticipated household purchases.
We still need to purchase the rest of the items on the list; however, we will keep an eye open for sales. We may not be as fortunate to find such a deep discount like the one we found for the washer and dryer, but knowing the prices for items and waiting for sales has helped us stay within our purchase budget. Plus, the cost savings from one purchase can be applied to the purchase of another item on the list.
By my calculations, it is a continuous cycle of savings.
Know Your Prices Before Buying
|Item||Description||MSRP||Discount Price 30%||Savings Comparison - 30% Discount||Actual Price Paid||Actual Savings|
4.8 cu. ft Top Load Washer with Built-In Water Faucet
7.4 cu. ft. Top Load HE Gas Dryer with AccuDry
36-Inch Wide French Door Refrigerator - 25 cu. ft.
22 cu. ft. Chest Freezer
3-in-1 Electric Spiralizer Model 70930
Cangshan S Series 59656 6-Piece German Steel Forged Knife Block Set, Acacia Block
Cuisinart Kitchen Pro Food Slicer
Elemental 11 Cup Food Processor
Cal King-Sized Mattress
BeautySleep Amelia Island Plush Tight-Top - Mattress + Box
JC Penney Royal Velvet 400 TC Wrinkle Guard Sheet Set
Set of 8 Bar Terry Cloth Kitchen Towels
Malibu Squared Arm Convert-A-Couch
Shop for the Best Buys
It is not often that stores offer sales prices as extreme as the one my husband and I found at Home Depot; however if you keep your eyes open for sales, you could discover cost savings for the things you purchase for your household. Generally, these savings are around 30%, but sometimes savings can be as much as 50% or more.
Like my husband and me, many consumers have come to rely on Consumer Reports as a reliable resource about the products they buy. In addition to letting consumers know the good and bad information about products, Consumer Reports also lists which household goods and appliances are more likely to be found at a discount during certain times of the year.
Consumer Reports lists the products by month. However, I wanted a tool that showed the products in alphabetical order and then allowed me to see which months were best to buy the product. So, I created an alphabetical chart, which you can find below.
Plan Ahead and Shop Around
Be smart in your buying choices. Just because a merchant offers a product for sale does not mean it is the best price. Sometimes merchants increase the cost of a product in one month only to offer it at a discount in another month. Plan ahead before you make your purchase. Shop around to compare prices so you can make your purchases during a time when you can get the best prices.
Best Time to Buy Chart
The following is an easy reference chart listing products in alphabetical order. You can quickly see which months are the best months to purchase home appliances and products.
Baby High Chairs
Back to School Goods
Desktop and Laptop Computers
Lawn Mowers and Tractors
Linens and Sheets
Paint & Stains - Exterior
Paint & Stains - Interior
Summer Sports Gear
Tax Preparation (online)
Winter Sports Gear and Clothing
Many people establish New Year’s Resolutions to lose weight or work out, so it is a good thing that workout equipment is typically offered at a discount during the month of January. You will find Treadmills, elliptical machines, and bathroom scales at discounts.
TVs are also still on sale, so you are in luck if you want to purchase your big screen TV to watch the Super Bowl at your home.
Linen and sheet sales, better known as “white sales” have traditionally been held in January. Also, January is a good time to purchase your winter clothing.
Typically, the majority of the sales will be during the big holiday weekends such as Presidents Day and the days leading up to the Super Bowl Weekend. The cold dry air can cause misery for some folks. If you are in the market for a humidifier, February is a good month to find a good deal on this item. Indoor furniture is generally on sale during the month of February. Tax filing time is approaching, so if you want to use an online tax preparation program, February is the best month to purchase the software for doing your taxes online. February, as well as January, is a good month to buy winter clothing.
Springtime is a great time for sprucing up the body and the home. It is also a time when things such as interior and exterior paint and stains go on sale for deep discounts. And, to help you get ready for summer, you will find exercise equipment such as elliptical machines and treadmills.
If you like chocolate, the time between Valentine’s Day and Easter is a good time to find discounts on boxed chocolates.
Look for humidifiers to be on sale during March. You will also find a good deal on digital cameras and sound bar speakers, including the wall-mounted style.
April is the beginning of what merchants consider the beginning of the outdoor season. As consumers begin to spend more time outdoors, they are in need of outdoor products. So it is no surprise that outdoor products, such as lawn mowers, tractors, and gas grills go on sale in April. Also, look for outdoor and indoor carpet to be sold at discounts during the month of April. Consumers can also find discounts for humidifiers, digital cameras, desktop and laptop computers.
May is the month for Memorial Day sales. According to Consumer Reports, consumers can see discounts as deep as 50% off items such as paint, wood stain, decking, siding, roofing, mattresses, gas grills, air conditioners, vacuums, pressure washers, air conditioners, baby high chairs, and strollers. Also add desktop and laptop computers to the discount list.
The month of June brings on warm weather and discounts on products related to summertime. Find personal care products such as sunscreen to be on sale at excellent prices. Personal enjoyment items like wireless speakers and camcorders are a great buy during June. Also, home improvement items like windows, siding, decking, and roofing products and supplies go on sale during the summer month of June. And, look for string trimmers to be on sale in June. June is a good time to buy summer sports gear, and if you still want to purchase exercise equipment, June is still a good month to buy treadmills and elliptical machines.
The discounts may not be as deep as in the Memorial Day sales held in the month of May, but during July, consumers can still find discounts on home appliances such as refrigerators, humidifiers, dehumidifiers, washers and dryers. Also find discounts on sunscreen and decking, siding, roofing products, indoor furniture, and interior and exterior paint. Just like in June, camcorders can still be found at a good price. July is the best month to buy summer clothing.
August is back-to-school time, so consumers will find plenty of discounts on school supplies. Other products to buy at a deep discount are air conditioners, dehumidifiers, snow blowers, flooring, vacuum cleaners, outdoor furniture, headphones, and printers.
Consumers can still find plenty of back-to-school supplies at discounts, especially printers, laptops and desktop computers.
Also, many household appliances typically go on sale during September. Look for the best deal on washing machines, dryers, dishwashers, lawn mowers, tractors, leaf blowers, and interior and exterior paint. Still, camcorders are offered at a good buy. And if you are in the market for a digital camera or television, now is a good time to buy it. Look for snow blowers to be offered at an excellent discount.
October is the month to buy mattresses. Other household goods to buy in October are smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, gas grills, snow blowers, lawn mowers, tractors, and GPS devices. If you are looking to buy a digital camera, desktop or laptop computer, October is a good month to buy these products.
Veterans Day, Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving), and Cyber Monday are holiday-related and special event times that make November a good time to buy products on sale. Look for televisions, refrigerators, blenders, coffee makers, camcorders, gas grills, GPS devices, and fitness trackers to be on sale at discounted prices.
December is the gift-giving month, so almost every type of item can be found at a discount in this month. Some gift items you’ll find are kitchen cookware, headphones, wireless speakers, televisions, blu-ray players, e-book readers, tablets, cordless drills, camcorders, gas grills, GPS devices, fitness trackers, and fitness smartwatches.
I hope this article helps you shop for the household appliances and products you need at the best price during the best time of year to purchase them.
For shopping tips and additional buying guides, visit Consumer Reports to receive more helpful shopper comparison advice and tools.
Additional Savings Note
When my husband and I purchase large ticket items, we generally use our credit card (paying off the balance each month) to generate additional savings. Using our credit card for the washer and dryer purchase gave us an additional 1.5% cash back reward.
Being frugal means saving money. In order to reap the true benefit of the credit card cash back reward, it is important to pay off the credit card balance each month, otherwise, you will be paying interest on the money you used and that is not saving money at all. If you cannot pay off the credit card balance at the end of the month, do not use your credit card merely to purchase an item to get the cash back reward, no matter how low the discount is. The interest you pay on your credit card over time will exceed the amount of cash you receive back.
Best Time to Buy Things, Consumer Reports, https://www.consumerreports.org/cro/money/best-time-to-buy-things/index.htm. Website last visited 1/20/2018.
© 2018 Marlene Bertrand
Marlene Bertrand (author) from USA on March 29, 2020:
Thank you Umesh. I hope it helps to provide the best buy for your household appliances.
Umesh Chandra Bhatt from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on March 28, 2020:
Informative and useful.
Marlene Bertrand (author) from USA on July 19, 2018:
Hi Audrey, I am so glad you found this information to be helpful. Whenever I need to buy anything for the house, it has saved me a lot of money when I wait until it is the best time to buy.
Audrey Hunt from Idyllwild Ca. on July 18, 2018:
Anyone, wanting to save money on household items must read this hub. You've shared so much great information. I want to thank you. Knowing the best times to buy items for the house will save me some money.
Marlene Bertrand (author) from USA on March 21, 2018:
Hi Larry. Thank you for your wonderful feedback. I have found Consumer Reports to be a great starting point when I want to know more about buying products. I like your idea of going to Amazon and reading reviews. I think I will start doing that, as well.
Larry W Fish from Raleigh on March 21, 2018:
A good article, Marlene. Consumer Reports is a great organization that has been great in leading me in the right direction many times. I also like to go to a website such as amazon and read the reviews for something that I have considered buying. Many times bad reviews have steered me away from making that purchase.
Marlene Bertrand (author) from USA on January 23, 2018:
Hi Devika Primić. Thank you for your positive feedback. You're right, some things are not affordable at the regular price, but if you can get a great deal on it, maybe there's hope.
Marlene Bertrand (author) from USA on January 23, 2018:
Hello Chitrangada Sharan. This article was generated from my personal curiosity of when would be the best time to buy appliances. It's good not to be in a hurry because as I discovered, some seasons are better than others to buy.
Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on January 23, 2018:
Great ideas here. I learned lots from how to buy items and with nicely presented pictures it gives more an interesting perspective. Such items are not always affordable.
Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on January 23, 2018:
That’s a great article and very good guide for consumers, who want to plan their purchases. Planning in advance can save money, and one can get the best deals as well, which are offered by sellers from time to time.
Thanks for sharing this useful and informative hub!
Marlene Bertrand (author) from USA on January 21, 2018:
Hello Venkatachari M. It is an excellent tip that you added about off-season stock sales. And, now, I will be looking for those deals too. Thank you.
Marlene Bertrand (author) from USA on January 21, 2018:
Hi Bill, thank you for your feedback and support. As you know, I'm building a house that (Lord willing) will be completed in May. I'm in the market for household appliances and wanted to know when was the best time to buy. This list is a product of my research. Like you, I'm in no hurry, so I can take time to shop and take advantage of the deals. Happy Sunday to you too.
Venkatachari M from Hyderabad, India on January 21, 2018:
Very useful and interesting information. Most of the deals are good when made during seasonal sale offerings or even at off-season stock sales.
Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on January 21, 2018:
Very timely, my friend. I'm on the search for a mini-freezer. I'm really in no hurry, which is a benefit. I'm just looking for the best deal, whenever it appears. Thank you for this. I hope this finds you well. Happy Sunday to you!