There are lots of different ways to save money. You can use coupons, shop sales, cook at home, cut cable, and even stop drinking coffee (please don’t do this one! 😉 ). Most likely you are already doing a number of different money saving activities. Some activities can feel pretty easy while others can take some more effort. There is one that is fairly easy but does involve some planning- buying a year in advance.
Buying a Year in Advance
What exactly is buying a year in advance? Exactly what it sounds like. At the end of a season, you shop through the clearance section. So at the end of summer, you check the clothes for things for next summer, keeping in mind the size your kids will be next summer. You check through the summer toys and entertainment items. You check the gardening and outside living areas. This is a perfect time to replace a broken hose or buy garden edging.
You do the same thing after holidays. After Halloween, look for items that you will use (such as glow sticks) that will keep a whole year. After Christmas is a great time to buy decorations and stocking stuffer items. Even a couple weeks after school start is a great time. I once found large sized glue sticks marked down to 5 cents instead of 50 cents.
Keep It Organized
The major trick with buying a year in advance is keeping everything organized. It saves you no money if you lose the stuff you buy. With decorations, just put them away with the correct holiday as soon as you get them home (if possible). With clothing, it’s always a good idea to have one tote of currently outgrown items and one of to grow into. Or even a drawer in the dresser. We set aside one-two drawers in each kid’s dresser for clothing the next size up.
With things like gifts, have a spot designated for that. Again, a plastic tote is a great place. Just make sure it is a solid color and not see through so no one stumbles across their gifts or stocking stuffers for next Christmas. The same goes for gardening or outdoor things. Put the items in the shed or garage or wherever you keep those things so it is ready to go when needed.
Another way to keep things organized it to keep a list. When you buy an item in advance, make note of it. Just a notebook will do. Have different sections set up for clothing, gifts, outdoor, etc. Sometimes just the act of writing it down can help you remember it.
Word of Caution
One thing to keep in mind is, if you buy it, are you going to use it? Personally, my youngest child is unpredictable with how she is growing. I am not buying clothing a year in advance for her. However, my oldest child is pretty steady but a slow grower. It is pretty easy to buy a year ahead for her.
Maybe it’s stocking stuffers. Your child may be super into one particular character/movie right now. Be careful buying a bunch of really marked down items in that character as kids often change their options in a year.
Buying a year in advance can be a great way to save money. If done right and kept organized, you can save on everything from clothes to toys to gifts to gardening gear. Just be careful to not over buy and to keep in mind the item/person you are buying for.
Come party with me! Here are all the link parties I do each week.