This is the first article in the new, Mind Your Cents series – a column dedicated to helping you save money!
I do a lot of cooking and entertaining, so it probably wouldn’t surprise you to know that I am regularly shopping for small appliances, serving and entertaining ware, and cooking tools. But you know what I love way more than kitchen stuff? Great deals! So here’s how I found the best deals on my favourite household and kitchen items. Note that the strategies apply to all sorts of other products, too. I’d love to hear about how you search for great deals!
How to Get the Best Deals on Kitchen Stuff
As long as you’re patient (and I mean really patient) and vigilant, you’ll be able to save a lot of money on small appliances, dishes, and kitchen gadgets (and everything else, really). I’ve broken down this article into what has worked for me based on three main strategies: 1. When to shop, 2. Where to shop, and 3. How to shop. See here for Part 2 and here for Part 3.
Part 1 – When to Shop
- The first step is to make a list of every single item that you would like to purchase.
- Then go through each item on that list and ask yourself, “Do I really need this?”. If not, remove it from your list. It is very important to be honest with yourself, because no matter how great the deal is, money spent on unnecessary clutter is money wasted.
- Carry your list with you, preferably electronically on your smart phone. That way, you won’t forget to look for those items when you find yourself on an unplanned shopping trip in an unfamiliar store that sells random things. Some of my best finds have been in the most unlikely of places.
When to Shop
- Years ago, I would have told you that the best times to shop are during the national holiday weekends. I spent countless Boxing Days and Black Fridays shopping across the border in my youth. Although those are still great times for sales, retailers have started offering better sales more frequently throughout the year.
- So now I’d say that the best time to shop is regularly and often. The only way to get the best deal is if you know what the best price is and the only way to do that is to watch for sales and track the prices frequently. This way you’ll know what a reasonable target price is, you won’t miss the best sale, and you’ll be very happy with what you pay. You just have to have patience while waiting around for the right opportunity.
- If you use websites like kijiji.ca to purchase things from private sellers, the best time to shop is after the holidays when people are trying to get money for brand new gifts that they received but don’t want.
- I have no evidence to back this up, but my observation has been that companies seem to offer better deals within the first 3 days of the month. This would make sense considering most people get paid at the end of the month.