Plan Your Spending All Year Round

A pencil sitting on top of a piece of paper with the words 'spending plan' on top for use to establish a budget.

Use’s Seasonal Shopping Calendar to Know the Best Days to Spend

Being successful on a budget and knocking out debts means carefully planning your spending. A typical spending plan is a monthly budget, but we also encourage people to look ahead throughout the year and plan their spending over the long term.

Every month of the year offers unique opportunities to save through annual sales events, bargains on particular goods, and optimal times to buy various kinds of produce. We want everyone’s budget to take into account the best time to buy the things they need and the best days to save money when shopping.

Consult our infographic all year round for reminders of the best times to save. Below we’ll offer some additional ideas for the best times to purchase various goods, but be aware some prices can vary within a given month. For example, prices for things like jewelry will be higher right before Valentine’s Day, then drop as soon as the event has passed.


Right from the start of the year, New Year’s Day offers opportunities to save. Retailers are looking to clear out their leftover goods from the holiday shopping season, and set prices to encourage people to buy. Take advantage of these low prices.

Shopping days: Like any federal holiday that creates a 3-day weekend, Martin Luther King Jr. Day leads to sales and shopping events. This can be a great time to buy.

What to buy: Linens, winter clothing, coats, bedding, holiday cards, and gift wrap. Also look for out-of-season clothes like swimwear.

Food and produce: Citrus fruits like (lemons, limes, oranges), root vegetables (beets, turnips), winter greens (cabbage, collards, kale, broccoli, cauliflower), and winter squash (butternut, acorn squash) are all in season and should be more affordable in January.


It’s time to start thinking about tax season, so get good deals on tax preparation and related software. File early so you know if you need to save up for a tax bill, or to get that refund as soon as you can.

Shopping Days: President’s Day is another 3-day weekend when you can expect store sales, and Valentine’s Day will drive up costs  of certain kinds of goods.

What to buy: TVs and audio equipment will go on sale in anticipation of the Superbowl, and prices on things like jewelry should drop right after Valentine’s Day. January and February are good months to buy a used car as dealers are looking to clear out inventory to make room for new models. February is when new styles of goods are introduced, so housewares and furniture will typically be on sale during President’s Day sales.

Food and Produce: People buy more steak in February for Valentine’s Day than any other time of year, so grab any leftover beef once it’s been marked down after the holiday and freeze what you can’t use right away. Winter greens are still in season, and add Swiss chard, fennel, leeks and cabbage to that list. Snacks and finger foods might be discounted for Superbowl parties.


While there aren’t any specific shopping holidays in March, expect Easter sales in the runup to the holiday.

Shopping Days: St Patrick’s Day might inspire sales on some deals.

What to buy: Outdoor weather is coming, so camping gear, outdoor apparel & shoes, patio furniture and home improvement products will be featured by retailers.

Food and Produce: March is a good time for fresh fish, spinach, spring onions, and peppers. Mussels and oyster season is ending, so this will be the last month to get good prices there for a while. Grab corned beef at a discount after St. Patrick’s Day.


Arbor day might bring some specific sales for plants, trees, and eco-friendly goods. Spring cleaning season might produce some discounts on household supplies.

Shopping Days: Easter is usually a long weekend, leading to sales on things like clothing.

What to buy: Air conditioners, vacuums and laundry equipment will be good buys, along with china and glassware. Garden supplies will be getting more popular.

Food and Produce: April is still a great time to buy fresh fish and spring greens. Look for kosher foods discounted after Passover.


Stores should be changing seasons in advance of summer, so look for lots of clearance items when it comes to clothing.

Shopping days: Memorial Day is an important three-day weekend after a few months without a big sales holiday. Mother’s Day will inspire sales for gift items for Mom.

What to buy: Appliances and clothing, sporting goods, luggage, and Mother’s Day items like cookware, perfume and jewelry are good buys.

Food and Produce: Lots more things coming into season, including strawberries, cherries, carrots, eggplant, and peas. Cinco de Mayo might inspire sales of Mexican food ingredients, and Memorial Day will inspire deals on everything you need for a backyard BBQ.


Father’s Day is a big driver of sales in June, along with wedding season and graduation sales.

Shopping days: Father’s Day isn’t a national holiday, so sales will be happening in the weeks leading up to the day, rather than a big three-day weekend.

What to buy: Tools, grills, and other Father’s Day gifts. Lingerie and undergarments, sleepwear, and shoes. This is the season to start looking at houses if you’re interested in becoming a homeowner.  

Food and Produce: Many kinds of berries are coming into season. Asparagus, tomatoes, and artichokes will start to show up in the produce section, and cheese and dairy are good in June, which is National Dairy Month.


Independence Day is the most important day of the summer and one that is perfect for planning.

Shopping days: Fourth of July sales are the main event, but Amazon’s Prime Day typically falls in July and offers big discounts for online shopping.

What to buy: Apparel, outdoor goods, school supplies, rugs, and furniture.

Food and Produce: Fresh vegetables of all kinds are going to be more common, along with melons, peaches, and broad beans.


Back to school time is coming soon, which will drive many kinds of sales. Summer is coming to an end, so leftover summer clothes and sporting goods will be better buys.

Shopping days: Many states offer tax-free weekends for shoppers looking to get ready for going back to school.

What to buy: Electronics, school and office supplies, school clothes, sporting goods, and gardening supplies. Also look for white sales in August.

Food and produce: Lots of fresh vegetables and fruits, with berries nearing the end of their season. Celery joins the menu and potatoes are at their peak.


Back to school time is here, with deals to be had before, during, and after Labor Day.

Shopping days: Look for back to school and Labor Day events.

What to buy: Fall fashions, back to school clothing, and outdoor goods. Mattresses typically go on sale in September. If the latest models of smartphones are announced in September, last year’s models might be discounted.

Food and Produce: Eggplant, pumpkin, squash, cabbage, and apples come into season. Labor Day will see discounts on things like hot dogs, baked beans, condiments, and anything made for the grill.


Columbus Day/Indigenous Peoples Day is this month’s 3-day holiday weekend.

Shopping days: Halloween isn’t a special shopping day, but there may be sales in the lead up to the holiday. Columbus Day will bring a long weekend and potential sales.

What to buy: Outdoor furniture will be going into storage, so this is your last chance to buy for the year and get a good deal. Fall clothing will start to drop in price in October. If you need a new furnace, shop for it now before it gets any colder.

Food and Produce: Cranberries are new to the produce shelf, and lots of other fruits and vegetables are reaching the end of their season. It’s time for wild mushrooms and root vegetables are still seasonal.


There are lots of good opportunities to save in the lead-up to the Christmsas shopping season.

Shopping days: Black Friday is the biggest shopping day of the year so far, with deals galore, and cyber-Monday offers similar discounts for online purchases. Veterans Day also offers a 3-day weekend for pre-black Friday sales.

What to buy: TVs, electronics, toys, and Christmas gifts.

Food and Produce: Nuts, onions, winter squash, and brussels sprouts. Turkey will reach its peak and frozen Turkeys will be a good bargain after Thanksgiving. Look for deals for all the traditional Thanksgiving dinner ingredients.


Christmas time is here, and shopping will be a major focus of the month. We hope all of our clients and students from our budgeting courses will have prepared well in advance for holiday expenses.

Shopping days: The last few days before Christmas are the busiest days of the year for retail. Right after the holiday, you can expect a lot of markdowns. Between Christmas and New Year’s Eve are good days to hunt for bargains.

What to buy: This might be the best month of the year to buy a used car. Toys and games will get marked down to ensure retailers aren’t left with a lot of holiday inventory after Christmas.

Food and Produce: All the same winter fruits and vegetables are available in December, but remember bananas and avocados are year-round produce. Other non-local produce to think about trying to include are kiwi fruit and Bok Choy. Save room in the freezer for leftover turkeys and hams and look for deals for party foods for New Year’s.

Article written by
Melinda Opperman
Melinda Opperman is an exceptional educator who lives and breathes the creation and implementation of innovative ways to motivate and educate community members and students about financial literacy. Melinda joined in 2003 and has over two decades of experience in the industry.

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