PHOENIX — The new year is always a time when people are looking to refocus and reorganize their lives. That also counts when it comes to finances. People are looking for ways to tighten their belts when it comes to their bank accounts after splurging for the holidays. So, how can you use the New Year sales to your advantage and save money all year long?
ABC15's Smart Shopper team talked to experts about this, and they told us, it's all about shopping strategically. While you may feel "shopped out" after the holidays, you should see what is going on sale now. The items that will have the greatest discounts will be very different from the ones we already saw last month. That includes things like mattresses, winter clothing, and even some toys.
"It's really a good time to recalibrate," says RetailMeNot.com shopping expert and editor Kristin McGrath. She says stores also know that many people are coming back to return gifts so retailers are putting items on sale for everyday essentials like toiletries and self-care products.
"They want to have those tantalizing offers that get people into the aisles to go shopping, as well," McGrath says.
It's a strategy Valley mom and small-business owner Divya Yoder uses every year. She says she plans her purchases around the big year-ender and New Year's sales when it comes to small and large purchases.
"Big ticket items, we need to, like, look and see what we need and when we want to purchase it. And then, based on that, we start doing our research ahead of time so we're not looking the day of," Yoder says. She also admits to being a natural multitasker, which helps when searching for good deals.
"I write down if there's, like, certain things that I need so I don't forget," Yoder says about planning for sales. "In the evening time, you know, once the kids are settled and we're just hanging out, I'll kind of look at my notes and be like, 'Oh, yeah! That's something I needed.'"
In addition to her own research, Yoder also suggests letting the retailers do the work for you by signing up for their emails, getting their alerts, and seeing what deals companies are offering there. All that will help you know what the best price is on the items you want to buy. It's a strategy McGrath agrees with.
"It's very easy to see all these things on sale and then just dig yourself further into the hole that you dug yourself in during the holidays, buying things you don't need," McGrath says.
McGrath's biggest piece of advice is to look at your year as see what you can take care of now.
"So, I would say plan, make a list, find out what's on sale. Maybe you need to restock your linen closet. Maybe you absolutely need a new mattress. Maybe you need toys for the birthdays that year. You can also pick up a lot of seasonally packaged beauty and gift items that you can re-gift and even use yourself, rather than buy full price later. So, there's just so many sales to harness if you're strategic about it."
Kristin McGrath is a shopping expert and the editor of The Real Deal by RetailMeNot.
Divya Yoder lives in the Valley and is the owner of Original Elderberry Company.