You can save money every month when you know what to buy and what to hold off a few months to buy. It’s based on what’s on sale and what’s on its way out the door to make room for the next batch of merchandise.
There’s a sort of seasonality to the savings and sales at your favorite stores. And there’s a way to crack the code. In fact, we’ve done it for you.
Once you shift your thinking and approach every month this way, you’ll save loads of cash on things you’re probably already buying.
Print your free version of KCL’s What to Buy Every Month of the Year Checklist for easy reference throughout the year.
Get all the Christmas clearance deals so you’re set for next year.
Stores are offloading all their Christmas merch this month and markdowns are steep. Here are a few examples:
- Walmart and Target: Up to 90% off items like gift tags, lights, ornaments, cookie cutters
- World Market: Up to 90% off dinnerware collections and holiday candles
- Dollar General: Look for $0.10 deals on items like candy canes, bows, ornaments, candy
- Home Depot and Walmart: Up to 75% off Christmas trees
Here’s your Ultimate Guide to Christmas Clearance by Store.
Replenish your gift stockpile with great deals during the Target Semi-Annual Toy Clearance.
Too soon to shop for Christmas gifts for next year? Never!
Shop Target’s Semi-Annual Toy Sale to get toy brands like Disney, Barbie, Fisher-Price, and more for up to 70% off. Markdowns begin at 30% off and climb to 70% off by the third week in January. This sale happens again in July.
Protein shakes are the best things to buy while New Year’s resolutions are hot.
Retailers know everyone is focused on health this month. Take advantage of this by stocking up on these items you’ll find on sale:
- Blender bottles on Amazon for less than $6 (reg. $20.98)
- Boost Nutritional Shake for 65% off at Target with a sale, Circle offer, and an Ibotta rebate
- Orgain supplements and shakes for up to half off on Amazon
Buy $0.49 tops, shoes, and toys at Ross during their secret clearance event.
Every year, Ross marks down most of the store in January to make room for the next season. We’ve seen brands like POLO and Crayola marked as low as $0.49 and brands like Nike shoes as low as $2.99.
Learn how to master the Ross January clearance sale.
Shop Amazon to stock up on great deals on chips, salsa, and dips just before the Super Bowl.
About a week before the big game, Amazon offers snacks like chips and dip for up to 30% off, on top of a sale price. You’ll see a 15% off coupon to “clip.” Combine it with a 15% off Subscribe & Save discount to get the best deal.
See the best Amazon deals available now.
Stock up on oatmeal, thanks to National Hot Breakfast Month.
During February, watch for deals on hot foods like oatmeal. In 2022, Dollar General offered a coupon for $2 off two Quaker products. This brought the price down by 60%, so we stocked up.
Watch for 68% off Quaker oatmeal at Kroger. Learn how to coupon at Kroger.
Get pizza deals to celebrate National Pizza Day on Feb. 9.
First things first: Get frozen pizzas you can stockpile!
Kroger is your best bet here, as they discount brands like Red Baron down to $3.99 during February. Toss in an Ibotta rebate for $4.49 off one pizza, and you’re looking at a pizza that makes you money. (You can usually use an Ibotta offer up to five times.)
Also watch for restaurants like Domino’s, Blaze, Chuck E. Cheese, and more to offer pizza deals.
Shop Valentine’s Day clearance sales for candy and jewelry.
In 2022, Kohl’s offered a buy one, get one 50% off Valentine’s Day sale on jewelry. It’s a great time to buy any jewelry you might give as a gift the rest of the year.
As for Valentine’s candy, decor, and toys, here’s what you can expect to see:
- Walmart: 90% off Squishmallows, My Little Pony and Hot Wheels Valentines, Baby Shark candy
- Target: 90% off Valentine’s themed pillows, wreaths, mugs
- Walgreens: 70% off Valentine’s candy like Russell Stover candy boxes, chocolate tins
Stock up on makeup during ULTA’s 21 Days of Beauty Sale.
One of the best things to buy this month includes prestige makeup brands like Urban Decay, Benefit, Anastasia Beverly Hills, Lancome. You can get these and more for up to half off at Ulta.
Check out what we’ve seen during Ulta’s 21 Days of Beauty Sale in the past.
Buy natural makeup, hair products, and skin care during Whole Foods Beauty Week.
All shoppers will save 25% on select beauty items during Whole Foods Beauty Week (usually the first week in March). Prime members will save an additional 10% on top of that. The best makeup deal is the beauty bag. You pay $20 for $135 worth of natural beauty products.
Make sure and stock up on enough of these normally pricey items to last until next March!
Get great deals on outerwear and winter gear during clearance sales.
February and March are both great times to shop winter clearance sales. Make sure and size up if you’re shopping for jackets for kids to wear next winter. Here’s what you can expect to see:
- Nordstrom Rack: Watch for up to 75% off women’s outerwear brands like Kenneth Cole
- REI: Columbia outerwear for up to 60% off; winter sports gear like skis and more for up to 70% off during the REI Garage Sale
Stock up on mulch, pavers, and charcoal during The Home Depot’s Spring Black Friday Sale.
Home Depot’s Spring Black Friday Sale usually happens the first week in April.
You’ll find $2 bags of mulch, half-price brick pavers, and a few dollars off bags of charcoal. It’s also a great time to buy any plants you want to put in your garden this year. Vegetable plants are marked down a little, and while it’s not an earth-shattering sale, you might not be able to wait if you want to get plants in the ground. Take whatever savings you can find.
Shop Earth Day deals to save on home plants, supplements, and more.
Some retailers offer Earth Day deals to motivate shoppers to buy green or healthy products.
In 2021, GNC offered 25% off select supplements like greens, superfoods, and more. Best Buy ran a four-day sale on items to improve your “home environment.” Definitely be thinking about your Christmas shopping list when you see these sales:
- AeroGarden Indoor Garden Heirloom Salad Kit: (reg $179.99) $129.99
- Dyson TP04 Pure Cool Tower 800 Square Foot Air Purifier: (reg $549.99) $449.99
- Google Nest Thermostat: (reg $129.99) $99.99
Visit all the Easter Clearance sales for candy, plastic eggs, grass, and other decor.
- Hobby Lobby: 90% off Easter baskets, plates, pillows, door mats
- Family Dollar: 75% off Easter grass, garland, chocolate bunnies, jelly beans
- Walgreens: 70% off Ghirardelli chocolate bars, Blow Pops, Reese’s, Godiva, Cadbury Mini-Eggs
- Target: 70 – 90% off Starburst, Russell Stover, L.O.L. Surprise! toys, plastic eggs, stuffed animals, Easter baskets
- Walmart: 50% off chocolate bunnies, Jolly Ranchers, pencils, Easter decor
Learn more in this After-Holiday Clearance Guide.
Stock up on ground beef, shredded cheese, and tortillas at ALDI during the last week of April.
ALDI gets a jump on Cinco de Mayo shopping by offering deals on food you’ll want for the holiday. Look for sales on ground beef ($1.99 per pound), chicken breasts ($1.69 per pound), shredded cheese, corn tortillas, salsa, guacamole, and a whole lot more.
Most of these are items you can stock up on and freeze to use in months to come.
See the best ALDI deals available now.
Stock up on grilling and outdoor party foods leading up to Memorial Day.
Just like the Cinco de Mayo items, most of these items can be frozen or have a longer shelf life. Look for anything someone may want to buy for an outdoor party or barbecue — that’s the stuff that’ll be on sale in May. Here’s what we saw leading up to Memorial Day in 2021:
- Hot dogs: (reg. $3.29) $0.49 per pack at Kroger
- Beyond Burger patties: (reg. $5.99) $3 per 2-count at Kroger
- Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ Sauce: (reg. $2.29) $0.66 per bottle at Kroger
- Sockeye salmon: $11.89 per pound at ALDI
- Bush’s Baked Beans, 28 ounces: $1.98 at ALDI
- Hamburger and hot dog buns: $0.85 at ALDI
Buy desks, mattresses, or any other furniture during Memorial Day Sales.
You’re probably not going to “stock up” on mattresses or end tables, but these larger purchases are a part of life, and knowing what time of year to buy things includes saving money on the big things.
Say you need a new mattress and it’s March. Can you wait until Memorial Day Sales start in May to buy it? How about if you could get one for half the price? Here’s what we saw in 2021:
- Wayfair: Up to 60% off home desks, beds, ottomans
- Macy’s: Up to 75% off storage cabinets, end tables
- JCPenney: 50% off select gel memory foam and innerspring mattresses
Get wine (especially Rosé) for 20% off at Whole Foods.
Whole Foods’ Rosé Sale happens at the end of May, and if you like wine, plan to stock up. Every year, Whole Foods offers 10 – 12 different wines for 20% off.
Stock up on $3.99 panties and $15 bras during Victoria’s Secret Semi-Annual Sale.
The Victoria’s Secret Semi-Annual Sale happens at the end of June every year. It’s the best time of year to load up on panties and bras, along with lotion and body mist. Aim for these prices:
- Shorties, bikinis, and thongs: $3.99
- Lotions and body mists: $4.99
- Cheekinis and lace thongs: $5.99
- Swim: $9.99
- Push-up bras: $14.99
- Sports bras: $14.99
- Leggings: $19.99
- Lingerie: $24.99
Stock up on cheese and yogurt during National Dairy Month.
Here’s what you can expect to see during National Dairy Month:
- Shredded mozzarella, 1 pound: $3.39
- Cheese cubes, 8 ounces: $1.59
- Moo Tubes (similar to Go-Gurts), 8-count: $1.29
- Gourmet cheese singles, 12-count: $3.29
- Siggi’s yogurt: (reg. $1.25) $0.75 each
- Cottage cheese or sour cream, 16 ounces: (reg. $1.39) $1 each
- Sargento cheddar slices, 12 ounces: (reg. 3.79) $3.50
Buy Amazon devices like Ring, Echo, and Fire during Amazon Prime Day.
Amazon Prime Day is the best time of year to buy anything made by Amazon. These two days in June (21 – 22 in 2021) are when you should pull the trigger on any Amazon devices you want. Plan to do your Amazon device Christmas shopping during this time too, as Amazon Prime Day prices for these are cheaper than what you’ll find on Black Friday.
- Fire TV Stick: (reg. $29.99) $17.99
- Echo Dot: (reg. $39.99) $19.99
- Ring Video Doorbell: (reg. $99.98) $44.99
Use coupons to buy Fourth of July fireworks.
I’m not telling you to “stock up” on fireworks, but if you’re buying them, you should certainly get a deal! As the Fourth of July holiday approaches, sign up for TNT Fireworks emails and get a 50% off coupon.
Stock up on sunscreen any time you can get it half off on Amazon.
Amazon had the most frequent sunscreen deals in July in 2021. Most of the deals were for Banana Boat and Coppertone sunscreen, and in the 50% off ballpark. To get the lowest price consistently, be open to buying multiple different brands.
If you’re shopping at a brick-and-mortar store, check for sunscreen coupons before you go.
Load up on school and office supplies during Back-to-School sales.
The Back-to-School shopping season starts in July and it’s a great time to make sure you’re stocked on anything you’ll need for the year. Buy school and office supplies, but don’t forget about your (or your kids’) craft bins too.
Get any calculators at Dollar Tree, but price compare everything else. Don’t pay $1 for glue when you could get it for $0.50 at Walmart.
Watch for these items to be less than $1 at either Walmart or Walgreens:
- Washable markers
- Pink erasers
- Pencil sharpeners
- Pencil topper erasers
Stock up on free or cheap ice cream thanks to National Ice Cream Month.
If you like a freezer full of ice cream (and who doesn’t?), watch for ice cream deals during July.
In 2021, we got free ice cream at CVS when we combined a coupon with a sale. Breyers ice cream came to just $2 per quart at Walmart (reg. $3.88), thanks to coupons and Ibotta rebates. Plus, we got free Brave Robot ice cream at Kroger when we stacked other coupons with Ibotta rebates.
Buy summer decor at Hobby Lobby when it reaches 75% off.
Hobby Lobby is constantly making room for the next season, so the deepest clearance markdowns happen promptly at the end of a season. Expect to see 75% off summer toys, wall decor, frames, and, of course, summer decor like pillows and rugs.
These Hobby Lobby sale and coupon tips will make you a smarter shopper.
Stock up on cereal when school’s about to start.
Back to school means back to easy, no-fuss breakfasts. Buy enough cereal for a few months’ supply when it’s under $1 – $2 after sales and coupons. (On the KCL deal, you’ll see that it’s a “Hot” or “Great” deal.)
The best strategy for finding discounts on cereal is to look for a sale price you stack with a manufacturer’s coupon. And it might seem strange, but drugstores (and Kroger) are the best places to find cereal deals.
- Buy 2, receive $1 in ExtraBucks
- $1/2 General Mills Cereal, CVS L2C Coupon
Stock up on bedding and towels during Kohl’s Back-to-School sale.
Kohl’s runs a sale on The Big One bedding and bathroom linens every year as students are heading back to college. Whether you have a college student or not is beside the point. This is the time to get super cheap bedding and towels!
It will usually be a sale price, plus a percent off on top of that. Sometimes there’s also a promo code you can use. Here are the final prices you can expect to see:
- The Big One Solid 6-Pack Washcloths: (reg. $9.99) $3.49
- The Big One 2-Pack Hair Wrap Set: (reg. $16.99) $4.75
- The Big One Oversized Supersoft Plush Throw: (reg. $29.99) $7.19
- The Big One Bath Wrap: (reg. $25.99) $7.27
- The Big One Down-Alternative Reversible Comforter: (reg. $79.99 – $119.99) as low as $11.99
See the best Kohl’s deals available now.
Stock up on T-shirts and tank tops during Old Navy’s extra 30% off clearance sale.
Size up for next year and you’ll have your kids all set when the weather warms up again. Best part? You can shop for yourself too. It’s not just a kids’ sale. Check out what we saw in 2021:
- Kids’ tanks: Up to 85% off
- Men’s tees: Up to 75% off
- Women’s leggings: Up to 60% off
- Kids’ tees: Up to 60% off
Shop the best Old Navy deals available now.
Buy an older generation iPhone after the new model drops.
If you’re in the market for a new phone, wait until the new iPhone launches in mid-to-late September. Then buy an older generation model. Like clockwork, when the new model hits the shelves, the previous models get significant price cuts. Here are the price drops we saw for the three most recent models when iPhone 13 launched:
- iPhone SE: Starting at $399
- iPhone 11: Starting at $499
- iPhone 12: Starting at $599
Learn more iPhone upgrade tips.
Stock up on shoe brands like Crocs and TOMS for the whole family during Labor Day weekend.
Who would think Labor Day weekend and shoes go hand in hand? But they do. And in this case, many of the deals are in places you might not normally look, like the brand’s website directly, or other online shopping spots.
Look for deals like these:
- Up to 65% off Michael Kors shoes at Bloomingdales.com
- Up to 64% off at Toms.com
- Up to 60% off at Crocs.com
- Up to 51% off at Adidas.com
- Up to 40% off UGGs at RueLaLa.com
Buy patio furniture and BBQ grills for up to 80% off.
You’ll see outdoor furniture deals begin in late August and teeter into September. But if you can hold out, you’ll be rewarded with huge savings by the time October rolls around. Here’s what we saw in 2021:
- 9-foot Patio Table Umbrella: (reg. $179.99) $49.59 after sales and coupons
- 28-Inch Round Outdoor Fire Pit: (reg. $42) $15, sale price
- 28″ Propane Gas Grill: (reg. $192) $27.29, sale price
- 5-Piece Outdoor Dining Set: (reg. $875) $200, sale price
- 29-Inch Outdoor String Lights: (reg. $19.43) $11.46, sale price
See all the best Home & Garden deals available now.
Stock up on baking goods at Kroger.
Kroger runs regular events where you can use a digital store coupon up to five times. It’s a perfect opportunity to stock up on baking items and also baked goods this month. Here are a couple examples from 2021:
- Pillsbury Flour, 5 pounds: (reg. $2.29) $1.77
- 8″ Pumpkin Pie: (reg. $3.99) $2.99
Buy Halloween costumes and inflatables for next year.
…Or for this year if you get a deal in time! Halloween clearance usually shows up the week before the holiday. Watch for 50% off Halloween yard inflatables at Walmart, and up to 60% off kids’ costumes at JCPenney.
Here’s what the best Halloween deals look like.
Small kitchen appliances, electronics, and vacuum cleaners are the best things to buy on Black Friday.
Black Friday is bound to offer some great deals. Look for these reliable sales to save big:
- Macy’s: Small kitchen appliances like toasters and waffle makers for $3.99 – $6.99
- Walmart: Up to 50% savings on TVs; $29 vacuum cleaners
- Kohl’s: Get $100 in Kohl’s Cash when you buy a Nintendo Switch.
Bookmark this Black Friday deals page and you’ll be set.
Buy your turkey at Kroger and save up to $1.50 per pound.
Kroger puts turkeys on sale during November and you can get one for as low as $0.53 per pound (regularly $2 per pound).
This deal is “limit 1,” so if you want to stock up on turkeys for the rest of the year, visit more than one Kroger store. Learn more about how to get a cheap or free Thanksgiving turkey.
TIP: Get a free Thanksgiving dinner through Ibotta! For the past couple years, Ibotta has offered up to $25 in free items to use to make a Thanksgiving dinner. Some items included were turkey, instant potatoes, corn, soups, and more.
Save 75% on hand soap, lotion, and more during the Bath & Body Works Semi-Annual Sale.
The Bath & Body Works Semi-Annual Sale begins the day after Christmas and runs for three or four weeks. Shop in store to get the best deals. (If you shop BathandBodyWorks.com, you’ll only be able to save up to 60% on average.)
Buy what you want right away and then consider going into the store for a price adjustment if you see a price drop after the fact.
Buy ornaments, wreaths, table decor and more at Hobby Lobby when it reaches 65% off.
Hobby Lobby Christmas clearance hits 65% in December, usually before the holiday. It can get up to 90% off in January, but it’s better to buy earlier because stuff gets picked over so quickly. Stock up on Christmas decor like ornaments, wreaths, Christmas towels, and other themed items for your home.
Stock up on gift cards you’ll use all year long and save up to 20%.
You can get great deals on gift cards in two ways.
First, in the form of a discounted gift card. When you pay just $20 for a $25 gift card, it’s a “discounted” gift card, because you pay less than the face value of the card. This month, Amazon and other retailers offer some discounted gift cards for up to 20% off. That’s huge savings in the discounted gift card game.
Another way to save on gift cards this month is to take advantage of “bonus” deals. You buy a gift card and get a bonus card or coupon.
Here’s what we saw in 2021:
- GrubHub or Michaels: $50 gift card for $40 (20% savings)
- Retail Therapy (including Lululemon, Gap, Ulta and more): $50 gift card for $42.50 (15% savings)
- Adidas.com: $50 gift card for $40 (20% savings)
- DSW: Buy a $50 gift card and get a $10 bonus card
- Children’s Place: Buy a $50 gift card and get a $10 bonus card
- Aerie: Buy a $75 gift card and get a $25 bonus card
See the best gift card deals available now.