Advance purchasing can save you money

By Stew

How much money do you think you could save if everything you need could be purchased on clearance or marked down or on sale?

Mrs. Stew recently walked in the door carrying several department store bags. I noticed because she does not usually come home from the store with her arms full unless she is coming home from the grocery store.

She proceeded to show me several items – a dress, a pair of shoes, a couple of shirts, etc. In all, she spent about $30 on seven toys and five articles of clothing. Everything was new, not second-hand and when she showed me the receipt I could see that she had saved over $100 off the original prices of the items. The toys are presents for future Christmases and birthday parties. Most of the clothing items are garments that our kids will grow into. The point is that the items were purchased to address needs in the future.

It is so commonplace for Mrs. Stew to purchase stuff in advance and on sale that I had never really thought about what a cost savings it is to purchase everything this way. To be honest, I usually just buy stuff when I need it. That is part of the reason that Mrs. Stew does most of the shopping in our household – the other part being that sometimes she just needs to get out of the house and once I get home, the last thing I want to do is drive somewhere else.

There are several things to keep in mind when trying to only purchase items in advance and on sale:

  • Keep a running list of things that you need or will need in the near future.
  • Seasonal shopping is a great way to find things on sale – buy winter coats in February and summer shorts in September.
  • Keep a list of what you have on hand so that you do not forget in December about the snow boots that you bought on clearance last March.
  • Plan your week’s menu by looking at the newspaper advertisements and coupons.
  • Keep track of the maintenance needs of your car and look for sales on tires, oil changes, tune-ups and all the rest
  • You do not necessarily need every item that is marked down.  That pair of shoes might be a steal at $25, but if you do not need shoes, it is just another $25 down the drain.
  • Advance clothing purchases for kids can be tricky, especially when estimating what size a child will be in a particular season.
  • Be sure the item that you are purchasing in advance is exactly what you need. Sometimes it is difficult to return an item that has been stored in the closet for six months.

Enjoy purchasing stuff in advance!

Article by Stew

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