Whether we realize it or not, the seasons all but dictate our lives, and we act accordingly. We sit outside and garden in the summer while the weather is more relaxing. Yet, we stay indoors to stay warm when winter kicks in. While this is reflected in the activities we allow ourselves to do, there is an upside to seasonal behavior. And that way you can save money.
You can save a lot of money if you don’t care about seasonal living. Most retailers and vendors price their offerings according to seasonal demand. Therefore, you can take advantage of decreased seasonal demand when prices are typically lower.
Some of the best ways you can save cash by buying out of season are as follows.
Summer is one of the most incredible times of year for enjoying the great outdoors. As such, garden centers, DIY and home stores, and furniture outlets maximize profits throughout. However, while it’s tempting to renovate, redecorate or revamp your home and outdoor space while the sun is beaming, you will be essentially ripped off if you do so.
When looking to get new summer items like cushions for outdoor furniture, patio and decking items, and barbecues, look for the way past summer. Almost every retail store will sell these items at a considerable discount in winter or just before summer. They try to eliminate the past year’s stock to make way for the current year’s new innovations or trending items.
Gardening is a fantastic way to relax if you are lucky enough to have some outdoor space. You can grow beautiful flowers, delicious vegetables, and flavorful herbs. Yet similar to summer furniture, retail outlets will manipulate your green thumb thirst and try to sell garden equipment at a premium price at specific times of the year. Mainly during the summer.
Although gardening is seasonal, most people abandon their garden during colder months. Because of this, gardening supply centers and stores try to make the most of dwindling sales by offering them at a discount throughout autumn, winter, and the start of spring. So plan ahead and try to get what you need then. Because, as soon as it gets a little warmer, you can guarantee prices will skyrocket.
Clothing and Shoes
Fashion is notoriously seasonal, and in most cases, it has more to do with snobbery than a change in the weather. But that’s another post for another time. However, because fashion is so seasonal, it works out amazingly well for the consumer. Unless, of course, you actually care about seasonal style. Which most of us don’t. Clothes are clothes, right?
It works great because fashion stores and high-end labels will sell their last season’s clothing at a reduced price. TK Maxx is a perfect example of this as they are supplied by established fashion brands with outdated designer clothing. That’s why they are so cheap. For example, it isn’t uncommon to get your hands on jackets or shoes from Gucci. In the previous season, they may cost thousands. Yet, in the current season, they are priced for hundreds.
Another notorious seasonal industry is the vacation and holiday booking system. For some reason, people want to go on vacation to a short country when their own country is in its summer months and a cold country when in winter. How strange? But because of this, holiday tour operators charge a premium for seasonal vacations. And holidays aren’t cheap these days. Especially following Covid-19.
However, you can save an absolute ton of money by booking out of season. But, of course, it depends on your destination’s popularity at that time. For example, booking a vacation for Spain in the middle of summer will cost a fortune. Yet, in the middle of autumn, it will usually be around half the price. And the same applies to somewhere like a woodland lodge during Christmas when people are looking for the winter wonderland experience.
Special Occasion Items
The annual calendar is filled with special occasions and magical times of the year. At the least, we have Christmas and New Year. But there’s also Halloween, Thanksgiving, Hogmanay for the Scots, and birthdays. While it might be difficult to source stuff for a birthday seasonally, there are occasions where the season dictates how much you will be charged. Therefore you can save a lot by purchasing after the fact.
You can save money and plan for next year’s event by purchasing special items immediately after this year’s event. For example, Halloween is almost upon us. Every store’s seasonal aisle is filled with spooky candy and decorations promotions as the day approaches. Yet, come October 1st, all of that stuff will be heavily discounted. So, get what you need then, and you will save a ton of cash.
Wedding Dresses and Bookings
Weddings are always lovely occasions, yet they are notoriously expensive. In the United States alone, the wedding industry is worth $50 billion, with the average wedding costing around $20,000. For all but the wealthiest among us, twenty grand is a lot of money. Yet, most people aren’t aware that weddings are looked upon seasonally by industry insiders. So you can save money by planning accordingly.
The vast majority of weddings are planned for the summer. This is understandable since all brides want the perfect day, and the weather can play a huge role. But because everyone wants a summer wedding, demand is high. Therefore savvy wedding vendors capitalize on the potentially huge profits. Yet, they are always willing to negotiate and settle upon a much lower price during colder periods as they seek to increase business.
Sports events and where and when you can participate in certain activities are very weather-dependent. Summer sports are designed for the hotter temperatures, and winter sports are designed for the cold. Therefore, the seasons play a crucial role. Because of this, you can seize the opportunity to take advantage of retailers who offer out-of-season discounts on sporting gear such as skiing boots for winter or track running shoes for summer.
Of course, you need to plan your purchases accordingly. For example, sporting gear specialists generally offer discounts on winter sports equipment when the season ends. Conversely, summer sports gear is best purchased in the colder months. Many retailers also offer further discounts on these goods as part of brand promotions or year-end sales.
Gym Pass and Exercise Equipment
You’ve probably done this yourself. The years are almost over, and you promise yourself you will get in shape for the coming year. So, you can get a gym membership or buy some exercise equipment. You get in the mood. You begin a new diet. And you get excited about losing some weight and toning up. Then your pass or equipment arrives. And you use them twice, never to return to the gym or see your dumbbells again.
Don’t feel bad. Almost everyone has done this before. One survey by Exercise.com found that up to 67% of gym passes go unused. However, if you are serious about getting into shape, you can buy a pass out of season. Gym and exercise equipment vendors know that people make that doomed New Year’s resolution and hike their prices during and after Christmas. So check your local gym’s prices during spring as they will inevitably be lower.
Big Release Video Games
The video games industry is more significant than it has even been, and it grows year on year. Game franchises like Call of Duty, FIFA, and Grand Theft Auto make billions for their parent companies and developers. Yet you may have noticed a pattern with many of these AAA titles. And that is the release at a particular time of year. Primarily September, October, November, and April. Coincidentally, these are times of the year when people like to give gifts.
Although it can take some time for the price of a big release game to come down, you can save quite a bit of money waiting for a couple of months until purchase. For the first 3 months, a game will retail at full price. You can also check digital platforms like Steam or PlayStation Store. They often offer a game at a lower price for a limited time.