I am a person who likes to plan things. Planning ahead can sometimes save you money. Here are some ways to save money by planning ahead.
The main ways we save money by planning ahead are buying items at their best price. This means that we may buy items on clearance, on sale, using a coupon, or used from a garage sale or thrift store.
These are examples of how we save money by doing these things.
Note: It is important that you are only buying things ahead of time if you KNOW that you will for sure use them! Don’t buy items that you think you might use because you will end up wasting money on things that will just sit around your house.
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#1 Buying Clearance Items
Buying items that you know you are going to need later on clearance makes a lot of sense.
For example, we use tabletop humidifiers because it is really dry in the winter where we live. I buy a new one every other year on clearance.
They usually put them on clearance for less than half price. This is such a good deal that it makes sense to buy it on clearance even if the humidifier won’t be used for a couple years. Whenever a humidifier breaks, we always have a back up and don’t have to go to the store to buy one at full price.
Another item I like to buy on clearance (or at a garage sale if it is not used) is a scrapbook. I make several scrapbooks a year, and if I see one I like that is cheap, I will get it and save it for later.
Scrapbooks can be expensive, so buying them when I can get a good deal on them makes sense since I know I will use them.
My daughter likes to write in journals, so any time she finds new journals for a cheap price, she buys them. You can find clearance journals for a couple dollars, and you can find new journals at garage sales for less than a dollar. By buying journals when they are cheap, she never has to buy one at full price. There is always a backup for when one is filled up.
#2 Buy Medicines Before You Get Sick
Every fall and winter someone in our house gets a cold. I try to buy cold/flu/sinus medicines when they have a big sale on them at the store.
I will also buy a more expensive medicine like Allegra-D when I have a $5 off coupon (since that is not a coupon I see very often).
If you wait until someone gets sick, not only will you have to go to the store to get medicine, you will also likely have to pay full price for something that you could have gotten a lot cheaper.
#3 Going Out of Business Sales
Many times I have bought things ahead of time at “going out of business” sales.
Last summer, a local picture framing business closed. I bought a lot of discounted mat board since we need mat board for entering photographs in our county fair every year.
Another time when my kids were homeschooled, a teacher store went out of business. I was able to buy different school books that I did not need at the moment. I knew I would be using the books within a few years.
#4 Watching Sales for an Item You Will Need Soon
If you know that you are going to need an item, especially a big item, start watching for sales.
When one of our older cars started having a lot of problems, we knew it was going to have to be replaced. It would have cost too much to fix it, had a lot of miles on it, rust spots, etc.
We started looking at cars for sale online, at dealerships, and by owner. We looked for almost two months until we saw a really good deal on a type of car we liked. It has been a good buy for us still 9 months later.
Instead of waiting for our car to stop working, we were proactive and started looking when we realized that we were probably going to have to replace it soon. If you wait until your car stops working, you don’t have as many options to choose from in a short amount of time.
#5 Planning Ahead for a Vacation or Trip
Planning out a trip or vacation early can really pay off.
If you are flying or going by train, the price is usually cheaper the earlier you buy your ticket. You will also have more accommodations to choose from the earlier you plan.
If you are traveling near a holiday and need to board your pets, spaces at kennels and vets fill up quickly.
Instead of waiting until the last minute to buy your tickets and book your hotel or house, you can save hundreds of dollars by planning ahead!
#6 Research Large Items Before You Buy
If you are going to replace a costly item, it makes sense to do some research before buying it.
I like to read reviews of an item I am thinking about buying. I want to know if I am making a good decision.
It might take extra time, but I would rather wait and be happy with my purchase.
For example, if you know that you will need to replace your laptop soon, you should start researching right away. You may not end up purchasing the item for several months, but you will have time to research which laptops have the best reviews and will work best for you. You will also have the chance to maybe find a good sale on the item you are looking to buy.
This proactive approach will help you not only save money but also find the best item for you instead of settling for what’s available when you really need it.
#7 Buy Seasonal Items Right After the Holiday
Instead of waiting until it’s close to a holiday to buy decor and other holiday items, purchase your seasonal items right after the holiday or a couple days right before the holiday.
These are the perfect times to purchase holiday items because they have the best sales then.
Christmas wrapping paper and bows are something we use every year, so we buy them right after Christmas. They typically have them at least 50% off if not more.
Some stores like JoAnn Fabrics clear their items out before the holiday even comes.
#8 Buy Kids Clothes Before They Need Them
I used to buy all my kids clothes for the year to come at garage sales. It was especially easy when they were younger.
I would buy for the next year all that I thought they would need. All I would have to buy new would be shoes, socks, and underwear.
You can find a lot of cheap clothes for your kids at garage sales. This is a great idea for when you have to constantly buy your kids clothes because they grow so much.
You may be surprised by the quality of clothes you can actually find used if you look.
#9 Stock Up On Big Sales
I stock up on certain groceries when there is a really big sale.
Our local grocery store sells canned goods really cheap at certain times of the year. That is a good time to stock up on canned vegetables and fruits.
You don’t even have to have a huge pantry in order to stock up on groceries. Just make sure that whatever you buy, you will actually use before the items expire.
#10 Buying Items Because of Promo Codes
Our favorite place to purchase photos and photo gifts is from Shutterfly.
One thing that is nice about Shutterfly is the amount of sales and promo codes they constantly have. They literally have new ones every week (sometimes multiple times in a week).
I recently needed to print pictures from my vacation to Seattle because I am in the process of creating a scrapbook of my trip. Besides the 4 x 6 and 4 x 4 photos I purchased, I also got two 8 x 10 photos for free because of a promo code they had. The photos I chose are ones that I want to enter in my county fair this coming summer.
Although I could have waited to print these photos a lot closer to the fair, I chose to go ahead and take advantage of the deal that they had.
If you know that you are going to end up buying something soon, you should go ahead and buy it when you can get a really great deal.
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What Are Your Favorite Ways to Save Money?
Do you like to plan ahead? What are some of the things that you do to save money on items that you need to buy?