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Welcome to my new series! A monthly post of what your best bargains are and what you should be on the look out for the next month so you can save oodles of money!
Living your best life means stretching your money so you can get all the fun stuff and not worry about the necessary stuff because you have it all in control! Starting now, a week or two before the start of the next month I will be posting what you need to keep your eyes peeled for in getting the best bargains. So without further adieu... monthly money saving tips September.
Ah September, it's like a second New Years where things start fresh! Does anybody ever shake off the back-to-school feeling that arrives every September?
Most of the best summer deals are out of the stores now but not the thrift shops. They are still loaded with the loot that was left over from garage sales.
There are good quality new items in the thrift stores so spend some time looking. For gift giving I have found that a great thrift store is a treasure trove! Buying year round for Christmas is a great way to save money!
Clothing wise there are summer shoes and sandals on clearance but a lot of the merchandise is geared to the very short back to school season that retailers try to get rid of by the middle or end of September so they can start working on the festive seasons of Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Even now with confusion through out many areas if Back to School is even going to happen there are Back to School ads and sales. As in all years, Back to School Clothes get discounted quickly if there is a lull in sales. Stores want them out fast. By the end of the month most back to school clothes, backpacks, school supplies and lunch bags will be marked for clearance.
DON'T overbuy school supplies! Saving money also means not wasting money even if it is a great deal. This is a great time to stock up on your own home office supplies but do you really need 5000 sheets of lined paper?
Traditionally January was the month of white sales where you could pick up deals on sheets and towels and it morphed into a home ware sale where kitchenware went on sale.
August has become a second home ware sale month because of all the students going to college and university so by September you can find clear out items like glassware, dishes, pots and pans.
Appliances come out in September so get ready for the sales of last year's models that sell for up to 50% off now.
Bicycles go on sale as the best cycling weather is now coming to an end and the new models are now coming out.
Lawn mowers, Gas BBQs and Air Conditioners are coming to the end of their usefulness for the year so whatever stock is left over is put on clearance.
In the past I have always advised that if you are hosting a huge Thanksgiving of Christmas dinner or parties now is the time to make out your food shopping lists and look for any canned or jarred items on sale well before you need them and store them away.
No matter what size your Thanksgiving and Christmas is going to be this year it is still good advise. If you love to bake then plan how you buy your baking items as well. If you buy one or two items a week (flour and sugar this week, sprinkles and chocolate in the following weeks etc.) then you can spread the cost over several weeks instead of being hit with one huge food bill.
Canned soups are going on sale and a good quality canned soup with buns, or sandwiches and a hot fruit crumble (made from fresh seasonal or frozen fruit) can be a perfect fall meal on a cold night. Look for other staples that are sale now like spaghetti sauce and stock up.
Cauliflower, broccoli, peas, beans and many other vegetables freeze well and are great to have in the middle of winter. Most vegetables need to be blanched (put in boiling water for a few minutes and then set in chilled water) before freezing otherwise if you freeze them directly they will have the texture of bullets. If you have a freezer and have the space in it, it is a great way to stock up.
September usually marks the end of berry season in my part of the world but fruits like apples and pears can be found in grocery stores and fruit stands. If you have a favourite dessert made of these then think about making them up and freezing them for easy treats latter on. Small little individual apple pies that are frozen ready to bake are a wonderful way to end a meal or to have as a treat on a cold Saturday afternoon.
If you are planning to do some canning this fall then make sure that you have all your canning supplies read. Check Kijiji and Craigs List for people that are selling off their caning supplies for a fractions of what you will pay in the stores.
There are so many crafts that use natural ingredients that you can still be gathering. You can start drying flowers for fall arrangements, press fauna to use in all sorts of crafts and pine cones look amazing in Fall and Christmas crafts. (Learn How to Pick,Clean, Store Pine Cones)
You can collect fragrant flowers to dry to make potpourri and if you are growing herbs harvest them on a regular basis to dry while you use the fresh leaves in your summer cooking.
Corn husks from eating fresh corn can be saved to make all sorts of crafts including these little Corn Husk Dolls. If there was any natural crafts that you have always wanted to try then look for the raw products around you. I have a neighbour with an oak tree that litters the sidewalk with acorns that I gather up to use in my fall crafts.
As leaves are just starting to change colours now you can start looking for ones to press for fall decorations. Choose leaves that have interesting colours or still have some green in them.
Remember that they will always dry to a darker colour that when fresh. Simply place the leaves between two sheets of brown paper or any other absorbent paper and then slip between the pages of an heavy book and place a weight on top. They will be dry in about a week to ten days.
With the fall comes a change in temperature and often a change in mood, we have more energy, more projects and are looking forward to getting together with family and friends. Start planning out what you want your fall to be like so you can truly enjoy it!