Category Archives: sale calendars

Pulling It Together

I have notebooks, pages, cards, file boxes of various sorts, tracking what I do or want to do. It’s a mess.

I started an index  today with the idea that I will cull/organize the mountain of paper into a usable tool, or set of tools. Since this incorporates several years (decades?) of planning, successful and not, it’s not a small task and will take me some time. A week or perhaps longer. I took a pic of the dining table awash in paper, but have to download it.

It occurred to me that I’m overwhelmed with the various tasks I’ve set myself. The cull and clean up of the house and stuff is a daunting task. Also, I have these various bits and pieces which worked (and didn’t). I don’t want to throw away work when I don’t have to, but have no need to keep it all forever, either.

So, it begins!

  • Loose-leaf binders for the seven levels of stuff cleaning plan. (2)
  • Teacher’s attendance notebooks, also used for the seven levels. (2)
  • Monthly Notebooks, for filing things which are done that way (12)
  • Category Notebooks, for filing clippings (5, I think?)
  • File boxes for the monthly notebooks (2)
  • Garden clippings and book in another file box (1)
  • Various cards, card pockets, and files (?)

I’m not sure what I missed, but I’m sure there are pieces not included in the list above.

It’s a mess.

June Sales

JUNE NONFOOD SALE

In June, there are a lot of clothes sales! Dresses, camp clothing, intimates, sleepwear, sportswear, and summerwear (of course) should all be seasonally discounted.
You’ll also find sales on home improvements: fabric, storm windows, floor coverings, building materials and rug cleaning.
Holiday sales in June are for Grads and Dads!

JUNE MONEY-SAVING TIPS

Egg prices may go up at the end of the month (they should also go down again in a couple of months). If you use lots of eggs, you may want to stock up and freeze them! I was always told to separate the eggs and then freeze them for baking/sweet use (with sugar) or for other/savory use (with salt). But there’s another way, you’ll find it here:

http://www.food.com/recipe/freezing-eggs-153034

There’s a few wonderful and easy sounding recipes for watermelon jam on the ‘net. I can’t imagine anything more decadent than watermelon jam in December! For the past few years, I’ve intended to make some, but haven’t.

I also love watermelon salad, do you? Here’s mine: watermelon, chopped mint, a tiny bit of grated onion and a semi-sweet vinegarette dressing. The contrasts are wonderful! I keep thinking I’ll add some chopped jicama or almonds for crunch — but never have. Do you eat watermelon as it comes or do something like make jam or salad with it?
Here’s a freezer jam recipe for watermelon jam, I mean who wants to COOK in June?

http://www.food.com/recipe/watermelon-jam-132420

(I love the food.com website. As a resource, it’s just amazing!)

JUNE FOOD SALES

The last of the cheap eggs for a while will be in the markets in Jun. You may want to stock up? [We use so few eggs I don’t bother unless I can get them <= $2 a carton for large eggs. Figs, frozen foods & fresh garlic will be on sale briefly this month too.
Summer produce should be available at reasonable prices: zucchini, summer squash, radishes, peaches, edible podded peas, watermelon, amongst others.

May Sales

MAY NONFOOD SALES

In May, the only thing I have on my sales calendar that could be said to be left over from winter are blankets. May is a white sale month otherwise as well, you should find bargains on bedding and other white goods.

Clothes sales are almost all spring-summer related: hose, sportswear, intimates, robes, purses and shoes.

You’ll also find other sales due to the changing season: cameras, housewares, and rugs. May has one of the longest of my “move quick!” lists: not just the previously mentioned cameras, but outdoor furniture, luggage, tires and auto accessories.

Holiday sales in May are Memorial Day and Mother’s Day, but you could possibly find some early Father’s Day and Graduation sales.

MAY MONEY-SAVING TIPS

May, here, is the beginning of yard and rummage sale season. I prefer rummage and white elephant sales to yard or tag sales. I hate the driving around that good yard saling requires. I hate having to dicker with people. I also like the win-win that charity rummage and white elephant sales provide: the charity raises some cash, most of the goods are donated, they sell them cheap, and everything is in one location. Saves me both time and money!

Because of this and because the last time we had a yard sale we saw 4 people and sold 3 things (We live in the middle of nowhere on a side road.) I tend to donate goods rather than trying to sell them at a yard sale. However, if yard sales are your preference, here’s a site which may help:

http://www.yardsales.com/

Also look on craigs list for your area and check the calendars for your local media: TV or radio stations. Finally, try using a search engine. One thing I find really frustrating about many sites which try and help you find sales or stores is that they seem to be mostly set up by zip code. If you’re in a strange city or even if you’re not, you may not know the zip codes of the area.

Setting them up by zip code makes it easy for the programmers, and the folks who live locally, but not anyone else! I know my zip code, but honestly don’t remember those of the towns 5 miles on each side of us, and I’ve had post office boxes in both towns! I remember numbers I need to and forget those I don’t. Anyway, if I’m going somewhere and want to find the yard or tag sales, first I go to the post office site to see if I can find the zip codes – and now you know why!

MAY FOOD SALES

You might find fennel & mushrooms both on sale this month – one of my favorite combinations as a quick side dish,  sauteed in olive oil with a little sweet onion – yum!

You should find sales for lemon, lettuce, summer squashes, cilantro, cantaloupe, and green onions. This is probably the last month you’ll find deals  (or maybe find them at all?) on fresh favas, Milk products are frequently on sale in May, including milk, cheese, cottage cheese, cream, sour cream. Although the fancy cheeses I buy on sale I get after the first of the year when my local market puts the gourmet cheeses left over from the holidays on sale. I almost always look for cheddar, Swiss and Monteray jack, our “everyday” cheeses. I always have cheese in my freezer. The previously frozen cheeses are crumbly when thawed, but otherwise are fine.

Hmm. I think I’ll make grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch!

April Sales

APRIL NONFOOD SALES

April is the first spring month. Many sales are about the upcoming early spring holidays: Easter, Memorial Day, and Passover.

There are fashion sales related to the end of winter/beginning of spring and the change of season too. You’ll find sales on coats, boys’ & mens’ suits, as well as spring fashions.

I’d expect winter blankets to be on sale, but they don’t show up on my list? It wouldn’t hurt to look! Pots & pans, paint, wall to wall carpeting are on sale, as is supposedly fur storage. (I’ve never had a fur so I’ve never investigated this. If you have, let me know if fur storage prices go on sale in April please?)

APRIL MONEY-SAVING TIPS

If you plant a vegetable garden, you know which plants you can grow from seed and which you need to buy “starts” for. I have a reliable 90 day season. That means I need to get starts (or start myself) for vine squashes (esp. winter squashes), melons, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, large tomatoes. Except for asparagus, I can actually grow many of these from the seeds of the organic food I buy, if I remember to in time. My problem there is that I never have. If you’re more organized, save your seeds & plant them. Here’s an ehow article about saving squash seeds, for example:

http://www.ehow.com/how_8285767_remove-seeds-squash-planting.html

I keep meaning to try winter sowing. I think I have a chance of actually being able to do this as it takes minimal fussing and results in small plants just when I want them. You start winter sowing in the fall. Here’s a link:

http://www.wintersown.org/

If you aren’t organized enough to get either of those strategies in place beforehand, like me, how do you save money on a vegetable garden? In general,seeds are the cheapest way to get your garden started. There are three ways that I know of.

  • Buy seeds at the end of the season at a discount. Around here that’s in October or so. Sometimes the seeds are free, sometimes they’re ½ off, sometimes they’re .10 a packet.
  • Harvest some of your own seeds, keep and resow them the following spring. I go through my garden in the fall and gather seeds. The root parsley usually self-seeds, but I gather some for growing indoors in the winter and giving as gifts. I have a red lettuce I call ‘New York Red.” I let at least one plant go to seed each year. These are the descendents of a six-pack I got in Pleasantville, NY 3+ years ago. I also have seeds I kept from particularly tasty peppers, mustard greens, etc.
  • Use your old seeds FIRST. You’ll be amazed at what grows and doesn’t. If you plant peas in March or early April and only ½ of them sprout, you ‘ll have time to augment the crop. If you just toss your older seeds, you’ve wasted the money, time, and space you’ve stored them in. Seeds want to grow, give them a chance! I planted seeds this past month which were from batches dated 2008 onwards, and a lot of them have sprouted!

There are some plants that grow if you just put them or the right piece of them in the ground: celery, potatoes, pineapple and onions are among these. You can find information on planting all of these (and a lot of others) here:

http://blackthumbgardener.com/1-plants-you-grow-from-kitchen-scraps/

APRIL FOOD SALES

Last of the sale avocados can be found this month. If you’re a fan of guacamole, indulge because it will be a while before you can again on sale! (Guacamole does NOT freeze!) when I was a kid I used to make avocado pie, just because it was so weird. I don’t even have the recipe anymore. My favorite way to use avocados these days is a wonderful cold lettuce soup which uses lemon (not on sale, darn it) and avocados. Many of the foods on sale in March are still on sale: broccoli, cabbages (Chinese & otherwise), carrots and eggs. (Eggs are usually the cheapest they get here the week before Easter.) You might find some peas, cottage cheese, and spinach on sale. And this month is the last of the  sales on grapefruit, leeks and rhubarb for a while.

I found a wonderful rhubarb coffee cake recipe online last year. I have rhubarb sprouting in the garden, but I bought some, I couldn’t wait! I’ll make the coffee cake from the store-bought. When the garden hits, I’ll be drowning in the stuff, so I think I’ll also make the rhubarb upside down cake from Martha Stewart. And I intend to freeze a batch or two, so we can have the coffee cake next winter!

I LOVE spring!

March Sales

MARCH NONFOOD SALES

March is one of those transition months. Winter goods will be replaced, if they haven’t been already, with incoming spring merchandise. Accordingly, the last of the winter stuff is usually on sale. Look for bargains on ice skates, etc.

There are also the beginning of the spring sales: garden supplies, spring clothing, laundry equipment can frequently be found on sale along with many small appliances too: curlers, shavers & hair dryers. Finally look for bargain luggage & shoes!

MARCH MONEY-SAVING TIPS

I tend to buy “gourmet” foods on sale and put them aside. I can’t afford to pay the premium prices the markets want for them otherwise. I buy asparagus when it appears cheaply, the beginning of the month. March is usually the last month for a while you’ll find bulb fennel on sale too. I saute fennel with mushrooms (also on sale in March) and serve it as a side dish. If you love mushrooms, make duxelles and put a pint or quart jar in your fridge. (I usually use up a pint, but quarts don’t work so well for us.) Use the duxelles in omlettes, stews, soups. The cooked mushrooms last longer than the wonderful (but fragile) fresh ones do!

MARCH FOOD SALES

Last of the winter stored apples are on sale this month. If you make apple butter or can apples, it might be a good time to get some? (My apple butter supply tends to be gone by the end of March.) Artichokes, avocadoes and grapefruit should still be on sale. The very first springtime veggies also appear: asparagus, edible podded peas, mushrooms, rhubarb, along with chicken, large eggs.

February Sales

FEBRUARY NONFOOD SALES

It’s time for February valentine sales of course, so valentines, roses, & chocolates  are usually on sale.

Also there’s other out-of-season sales, on air conditioners for example. And usually the last of the summer/fall sports equipment sales.

You can also find some mid-winter goods: curtains/drapes and men’s winter clothing, for example.

FEBRUARY MONEY-SAVING TIPS

Below are three tips for saving money on baking & baked goods.

If you bake your own bread, save the flour dregs left on the board when you finish kneading. (Put it in a margarine tub in the freezer.) It’s wonderful to add to soups & stews as thickener. I freeze mine because sometimes it has egg or milk in it.

Buy flour in bulk in December, when the prices are the cheapest they’ll be until around March. Markets discount prices when they know they’ll get a lot of demand. Christmas = cookies, etc. Easter = stollen, buns, etc.

Ask people who work in the bakery what time the discounted (day old) breads are put out. (This works for the other categories of food too.) I was told that the day-old baked goods aren’t put out until 2:30, so that the moms with kids can find them. Meats, produce, and dairy items are all pulled in the morning and put back out. That means that to get the most of these deals at my local market, I need to shop right around 1-2, pick up everything but baked goods, then get my bread, etc. just when the bakery items are brought out.

FEBRUARY FOOD SALES

Various fishes are supposed to be on sale this month. I don’t buy fish anymore and haven’t for years. Some of the data I used to compile my sales lists is NOT current, so I don’t necessarily think that the sale fish lists are accurate anymore. Otherwise, canned corn, parsnips, spinach & turnips should end their sales this month.

You should still be able to find broccoli, cabbages, celery, leeks & oranges on sale.

January Sales

For years, I’ve been compiling calendars of what’s on sale/when. I’m always looking for ways to save a buck too. Here’s a few of those.

JANUARY NONFOOD SALES

It’s time for January white sales of course, so linens are on sale. Also there’s the post-Christmas season sales (find candles, party goods, etc.) and pre-inventory sales (usually begins in the middle of the month). You can find many filing/office supplies, organizers and other organization or storage items and purses on sale this month too.

JANUARY MONEY-SAVING TIPS

Below are two tips for saving money in chain restaurants, got one to add? If you go to STARBUCKS and get a “tall” coffee, think you’re saving money by getting the smallest cup they sell, right? No. You’re getting the smallest size on the menu. Order a “short” instead! At FIVE GUYS hamburgers, if you order a regular hamburger, you get 2 patties. Order a “junior” and get only one patty, for about $1 less.

JANUARY FOOD SALES

Avocado, eggs, spinach. And these are the cheapest they’ll be for a bit: chicken, lemon, and iceburg lettuce.