Saving with the season
Not yet, but in a few short weeks, we should see the best deals of the winter season. Sure, you'll be sifting through snagged sweaters and leftover Christmas colors. But you know that patience will be rewarded with the finds of a lifetime -- knee-high boots for $20, a chic bomber jacket at 80 percent off.
Budget shopping 201: Shop with the season.
There's a season for everything, including discounts. We expect "white sales" on linens in January. But did you know a good time to buy that new flat screen could be right before the Super Bowl? Electronics stores often stock up before the great American sport watching and guacamole chowing event. Competition drives down prices.
For clothing, SmartMoney says the best time to buy is a Thursday night, six to eight weeks after the item landed in the store. You'll catch the weekend sale, but with better selection and fewer crowds. Also look for season-end clearances when designers unveil their new collections (February and September). Check the catwalk to see if current trends -- like ruffle shirts and hues of eggplant -- are going to stick around for another year. Then grab them while they're cheap!
Here's another bargainista guide to when to shop for everything from garden supplies to summer T's. Remember: Don't be afraid to pounce. Deals too good to walk away from won't stay on shelves long.
-- Deal Diva Letitia (with help from Guest Diva researcher Shirl Kennedy)