How to: A guide to becoming a frugal shopper

Brittany Moon

Many college students are most likely looking to save a few bucks when shopping, whether that is apparel or other items, like groceries. As far as groceries go, keeping an eye out for store ads in the local newspaper is a great way to score deals. But what are some strategies and tips to assist in apparel shopping?

With just a few tips and tricks, anyone with access to a computer can shop for clothes incredibly easily, if they know where and when to look. 

First, lets start by talking about what one should be currently shopping for this month. January, February and March is the best time to get any clothing item that is winter related. This is the time when winter jackets and coats get marked down to make way for summer items. Along with winter outerwear, any other winter clothing item, such as sweaters, boots, scarves and other items related to cold weather drop in price tremendously. In addition to winter items, holiday clothing and decor also drop in price. This includes Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanza apparel and merchandise.

For men, April is the best month to invest in a new suit or pieces of a suit set. After Easter ends, many items, in a variety of colors, become heavily discounted including ties, suit coats, suit pants, vests and button downs as well as sets.

If one were to be looking for apparel at a more modest price tag, waiting until May rolls around would be the best option. The majority of people go through spring cleaning around the end of March, April and May, which means thrift stores tend to gain a flood of merchandise. Don’t be turned off by thrift stores, digging for deals in consignment and thrift shops can lead to great discoveries.

Near the end of July and beginning of August, swimwear and summer garments begin to drop in price, making way for the fall items to come. This is the best time to stock up on a few new swimming suits as well as beach towels and other outdoor summer items. Dresses, shorts, tanks and sandals will be on sale at this time too. 

One specific day each year that is perfect for bargain deals is Black Friday. This day can be incredibly daunting for some, while others take the challenge head on. This is a good time to get all kinds of merchandise at reduced prices, including apparel items. Some of the best shoe sales fall during this time as well.

A close cousin to Black Friday and more secure option is Cyber Monday. This day is the Monday following Black Friday. For those who don’t dare go out for the Black Friday madness, this is a nice alternative. 

Although not everyone on a college campus is thinking of marriage, December is the best month for hot deals on wedding supplies and venues. Since it’s technically “out of season” many retailers and venues have reduced pricing at this time.

As far as technology is concerned, a few dates are crucial to know for purchasing items. As stated on the blog “Buy Via,” in the month of January, the Consumer Electronics Show occurs, when new models are announced, specifically televisions. The current HDTV models will fall in price. One other important time to purchase technology, also seen on “Buy Via,” is around September and October. Apple tends to release a new model of the iPhone at this time and when Apple does this, the older models drop dramatically in price.

Following this, the cycle then resets with a new year of savings. Keep an eye out for amazing deals all year round and be patient if a deal is heading your way in the coming months.