Every occasion, special event or holiday is an opportunity to save money. From the very beginning of the year, when you’re making and following through with your New Year’s resolutions, right through the end, when you’re snatching up last-minute holiday deals, you can keep more money in your pocket just by being a smart shopper. We’ve compiled the best discounts and offers for every time of year, and we’re constantly updating to ensure you always have access to the latest info.
One of the easiest ways to save money is to shop sales. These happen throughout the year, but they're especially prevalent when holidays roll around. While Black Friday is undoubtedly the most popular shopping holiday of them all, with Cyber Monday coming in at a close second, don't discount other celebrations, such as Back-to-School time, Fourth of July and Columbus Day. As with most people, retailers will take any opportunity to throw a party (and a sale!).
Using coupons and promo codes is another simple way to save when shopping. Whether you're looking for budget travel to get away during Spring Break or Thanksgiving, or all the supplies necessary to make your parties and events a success, applying coupons when shopping with your favorite retailers will instantly lower your subtotals. Be ready for all the holiday specials by signing up for the mailing lists of your preferred stores. Many retailers, including Target, Old Navy, Groupon and eBay, will send advance notice of upcoming sales and some might even include extra coupons and deals just for subscribers.
Many retailers offer discounted prices on things from clothing to appliances whenever a major holiday rolls around. Jewelry and fragrances tend to be popular around Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day at places like Zales, Macy's and Ulta while washers, stoves and outdoor equipment like grills and lawn mowers often go on sale at Lowe's, Home Depot and Sears when the weather is warm, typically for Memorial Day, the Fourth of July and Labor Day.
If you're looking for gift ideas for occasions like Valentine's Day or Father's Day, the best time to shop is the week of the holiday itself. Some major holidays, such as Labor Day and Christmas, might have many sales before (and sometimes after, as in the case of extended Labor Day sales), but most others will be limited to week-of. Shop during this time to not only get the best deals but also a peek at weekly ads for gift-giving inspiration.
Take advantage of store coupons, manufacturer coupons, and favorable store policies to save the most. Stores like Walmart, for example, have generous price-matching policies, while Kohl’s allows you to stack coupons and earn Kohl’s Cash at the same time.
Think ahead, paying special attention to BOGO deals (which can be used to cross off two gifts at once). When all else fails, Target’s dollar aisle has never let me down for a quickie kids gift.