Some purchases are impossible to plan: car repairs, leaky roof patches, a working furnace right before the big snowstorm hits.
But more often than not, you can plan ahead for life’s necessities — and some non-necessities, too.
Before you let an impulse buy drain your bank account, consult our handy calendar of the best time to buy absolutely everything. You might be surprised at the deals each new season brings!
What to Buy in January
Kick off the new year with big savings.
Retailers know that the newest TVs and other electronics are revealed at the annual Consumer Electronics Show in early January. This makes January the best time to buy a TV, thanks to major discounts — as long as you don’t sweat the new, fancy models too much.
No need to rush to the bookstore in December to get a new wall or desk calendar. Buy one during the first week or two of January to get 50 to 70% off.
“Look for gyms to at least lower or completely waive sign-up fees; if they don’t outright offer it, ask for it,” Benjamin Glaser, editor of DealNews.com, writes.
“The best deals will also give you a month or even two months for free.”
The yearly tradition of hosting a white sale dates back to the 1870s, when linens were only available in white. But modern white sales include linens and home goods in every color of the rainbow.
Don’t be swayed by sheets with super-high thread counts — those claims of quality may not be true. (And really, you probably don’t know what different thread counts feel like.)
Ugly Holiday Sweaters
I know, you have an entire 11 months until you get invited to your next ugly sweater party. But my Goodwill intel reports that January is the best time to find a truly hideous sweater for way cheap.
What to Buy in February
Fall in love with these deals during the month of February.
Why is President’s Day the best time to buy a mattress? Because when both spouses need to agree on a purchase, they shop together on long weekends, according to Forbes contributor Laura Heller.
That’s why retailers use the holiday to shill for pricy items many people have put off buying or replacing for a while. Take advantage.
One of the best times to buy jewelry is in February — but only after Valentine’s Day.
Look for discounts of up to 80% off after retailers take off their rose-colored glasses. It’s not worth paying the love tax to celebrate with your sweetheart, anyway.
Winter coats take up a ton of room in your closet and just as much room in stores. Help retailers clear ’em out this month, and you’ll get a big discount.
What to Buy in March
Spring forward by making these smart purchases in March.
Don’t wait until a week before your big family vacation to get a new suitcase. March is the best time to buy luggage, as it’s on sale to entice shoppers who are desperate to be done with snowy, dreary winter and crave a little spring break.
Just don’t forget where you put it when it’s time to pack.
What to Buy in April
The smart shopper always plans ahead.
Book your summer vacation now for the best prices on flights.
Want to save even more? Travel early or late in the summer instead of during peak times.
You don’t have to wait until Father’s Day to find excellent prices on tools and home improvement gear.
If you’re anxious to start your home DIY projects in the spring, go ahead and shop now. Home Depot likes this time of year so much it even hosts a Spring Black Friday sale.
Everyone’s finally going outside again. Let sporting goods stores make it easier for you to keep up with your New Year’s resolution (remember that?) by discounting those new kicks.
What to Buy in May
Is your refrigerator running? If not, May is a great time to get a new one.
I understand you’re not going to time your baby’s birth to get the best deal on all their accoutrements.
But if your kiddo needs a new stroller or high chair, May is a good time to shop, according to Consumer Reports — especially if you can grab the Memorial Day deals.
New refrigerator models debut in the summer, Jon Lal from BeFrugal.com notes. Shop in May to get last year’s model at a better rate.
You can’t tell the difference between last year’s refrigerator models and this year’s, right? Didn’t think so.
What to Buy in June
Here come the… deals?
Cookware and China
June is peak wedding season, and stores hope you’ve planned ahead to buy those wedding registry gifts.
Now is when those items are discounted, and it’s the perfect time to replace or upgrade what’s in your own cabinets.
Now that summer is in full swing, outdoor gear, like tents, backpacks, lanterns and even fitness gear, is marked down.
But there’s still plenty of time to enjoy a weekend in the woods.
What to Buy in July
Don’t sweat these savings.
If you’re an Amazon Prime member, check your calendar: Amazon celebrates its birthday each July by discounting thousands of items on Prime Day.
While there are a lot of duds and “Amazon really sells that?!” raised eyebrows, the megastore offers great deals on its own products, from Kindles to Echos to Fire Sticks.
New styles hit stores in February and August, so retailers spend much of July clearing out old stock, especially over Fourth of July weekend, making this the best time to buy furniture.
What to Buy in August
The dog days of summer offer some amazing bargains.
Computers (Except Apple Products)
Computer manufacturers typically release their new models in the summer, so back-to-school sales are a great time to buy last season’s model. The specs probably won’t be different enough for you to notice, unless you’re a hardcore gamer or designer.
Apple products, however, typically get announced in the fall, so hold off to get that new Macbook.
Grilling season doesn’t stop at the stroke of Labor Day. Buy at the tail end of summer to enjoy your grill almost until Thanksgiving (OK, depending on where you live).
What to Buy in September
Back to school? More like back to the checkout lane.
The best time to buy Thanksgiving flights is 60 to 70 days before the holiday, which means mid- to late September could be your sweet spot for saving.
Even though your local pool might be closed for the season, you should think about stocking up on swimsuits for next year.
What to Buy in October
There’s a joke about spooky deals in here, but I won’t make it.
Jeans typically get discounted in October, after back-to-school sales have ended and families are stocked up on fall attire.
Goodbye summer, hello savings.
It’s worth checking out the patio furniture if you don’t mind storing it over the winter. When that first warm spring day hits, you’ll be ready to bask in the sunshine.
This might not be a frequent purchase, but if you’re in the market for a new home, it can help to hold off past the busy spring and summer buying season.
Your costs typically drop a few percentage points in October, making this the best time to buy a house.
What to Buy in November
The days get shorter, but the deals get bigger.
This time of year is ripe with rock-bottom prices on giftable small appliances.
If you’re looking for a blender, food processor, coffee maker or anything else that’ll proudly take up space on your kitchen counter, it’s worth waiting until Black Friday sales begin in stores and online.
Bridal shops are slow before the proposal rush during the holiday season, so the few weeks before Thanksgiving is a good time to start trying on gowns.
Ask about sample sales and last year’s styles that may be priced to move.
What to Buy in December
Celebrate the season… by shopping smart, obviously.
If your family’s been begging for a backyard pool, December is the best time to have one installed. It might be chilly, but pool pros would rather avoid working on 90-degree days!
Plus, when their workload slows in the winter, many contractors are willing to lower their prices.
Toy deals stick around after Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales in November.
Even if you’re done with holiday shopping for your little ones, consider picking up their favorite character and activity toys while they’re still discounted to stash away for birthdays.
The Best Time to Buy Anything
Here’s your cheat sheet:
Your Turn: What seasonal shopping tips would you add to this list?
Lisa Rowan is a writer and producer at The Penny Hoarder.