1. Money

Discuss in my forum

Buying Ahead

Save Money by Buying Things Before You Need Them

By

Smart shoppers don't shop for their current needs; they, shop for their future needs because it gives them more time to look for the right deal. Make the shift to buying ahead, and it will take less money to cover your needs and wants. Here are several things that are worth buying ahead:

Clothes

Always be on the lookout for good deals on wardrobe essentials like solid-colored shirts, jeans, khakis, socks and underwear. Having replacements on hand will ensure that you never get stuck paying retail for those have-to-have items.

For kids, consider working two to three sizes ahead. This will give you plenty of time to shop yard sales, thrift stores, consignment sales and clearance racks for the best deals and the best quality items. Remember to include coats, dress clothes and Halloween costumes on your shopping list. Anything you can buy at a discount now, will keep you from paying more later.

Shoes

Try to stay one pair ahead on shoes for yourself and any other adults in your family – especially when it comes to sneakers. For kids, consider shopping a few sizes ahead. This will allow you to take advantage of end-of-season sales, and ensure that you're ready for those sudden growth spurts.

School Supplies

Buy extra school supplies at the beginning of the school year, when everything is on sale, so you'll be ready to replenish supplies as things get worn out or used up. Extra pens, pencils, markers, glue sticks, paper, notebooks and binders are all good to have on hand.

Also consider stocking up on poster board when it goes on sale. Buying a stack of the stuff once a year, sure beats making a half dozen trips to the store for single sheets.

Groceries

Get all of your groceries at the lowest price possible by stocking up when things go on sale. Your goal should be to buy enough to get you to the next sale.

Gifts

Christmas, Mother's Day, Father's Day, Valentine's Day, birthdays – they all come once a year, so don't wait until the last minute to buy gifts for these occasions. If you keep an eye out for suitable gifts throughout the year, you'll never spend a dime more than you have to (or find yourself rushing to the store).

Have kids? Keep a stash of inexpensive kid gifts on hand, so you'll be ready for all of those birthday party invites.

Holiday Items

Wait for holiday merchandise to go on clearance. Then, buy everything you need for next year. It's an easy way to save 75-90%, without skipping out on a thing. Items to snap up: Valentine's cards, wrapping paper, greeting cards, decorations, toys, gift sets, craft supplies and holiday clothing.

Gift Cards and Vouchers

Humans are creatures of habit. Take advantage of that by purchasing discounted gift cards for the stores that you shop at regularly and daily deal vouchers for the services that you use again and again (hair salons, oil lubes, etc.)

  1. About.com
  2. Money
  3. Frugal Living
  4. Bargain Shopping
  5. Buying Ahead

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.