Buy raincoats in summer, because winter always comes.


You’ve almost certainly heard this one from a few sources (mine was from my dear old mum), but it’s without doubt one of the best pieces of advice for anyone watching their pennies.

Right now, the holiday season is over and sales are sprouting up faster than a two-year-old on a growth spurt. It’s not unusual to see 70% or even 80% off many seasonal items. Of course, you don’t really feel like buying them because the holidays are over. There’s way too much to think about, what with Valentine’s Day fast approaching. But stop, and think.

You’re always going to need wrapping paper. I bought 10 rolls last night, and the grand total — $4 instead of $25. Those fancy decorations you wanted for your yard this year are now $20–$30 instead of $100.Snap them up! Buy quality greeting card packs at knockdown prices. They’ll be just as impressive to send out next year. Toys go for silly prices, stores are clearing their shelves for the spring collection. But tell me one three-year-old who wouldn’t think a pirate ship is just as cool in a year’s time? Grab it now, stow it away in the basement or attic, and pat yourself on the back for being a smart shopper.

And while you’re at it, grab a few winter clothing articles. A sweater, a coat, some nice thick socks. They’ll be on the shelves soon at massively reduced prices because spring is coming. And when the rain and snow comes around again, you’re well prepared, and have plenty of money left over for a hot cocoa and snow shovel.

If there’s one thing you can count on, it’s that the seasons will always come and go. Take advantage of the seasonal sales, and you’ll make out. Every time.

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Will Chen's picture

That's very sound advice. My parents always had the discipline to hit the stores right after the holiday season to stock up on stuff, but I've always been too lazy to venture out. Perhaps with this little bit of encouragement (or push) from your article I will finally get organized enough to do it!

Speaking of raincoats in summer, your article reminded me of something I read in the NYT the other day:

"Retailers are calling it the Coat Crisis of 2006, a fashion fiasco measured in racks of unsold fur-lined shearlings at Saks Fifth Avenue and down puffer jackets at Bloomingdale’s. Balmy temperatures on the East Coast, with average highs this holiday season 15 degrees warmer than last year, have been disastrous for sales of all kinds of cold-weather clothing, from cashmere caps to wool scarves." (NYT )

Lynn Truong's picture

before the holidays i walked by a store that had 50% off everything in the store. i was stoked and came out with a free teddy bear because i spent over $100. last week i went by the same store and everything was 70% off. DAMN IT!

Greg Go's picture
Greg Go

"Buy quality greeting card packs at knockdown prices. They’ll be just as impressive to send out next year."

My parents have been buying next year's Christmas cards and ornaments for years. It's sound, practical advice that saves you a ton of cash without sacrificing anything.

Great tip, Paul! Welcome to Wise Bread.

Paul Michael's picture

Hey guys, thanks for the great feedback. It seems quite strange that my life as a 'penny pincher' will now come to good use. My folks always taught me to wait for the best deals, and never, ever pay full price (or retail) for anything. In these days of the Internet, it's getting easier and easier to get what you want for a lot less.

I'll keep the posts coming. And I'll read all of yours with a pencil and notebook at the read. Cheers all.