Know your sale seasons to save money

There is a seasonality to sales, and you can often save big by waiting to buy that bedspread, convertible or Hummer-sized grill until the time of year they are likely to go on sale.

For example, according to Consumer Reports (subscription required), January is a good time to shop for deals on cookware, bedding, exercise equipment, winter clothing, and, of course, Christmas supplies.

Hold out until next month for furniture and clearances on personal entertainment devices left over from the Christmas season. This time of year is also a good time to house shop, but not so great to sell a house. As soon as the weather breaks in the north, though, housing picks up and the likelihood you'll snatch up a bargain drops considerably. (of course, when it comes to housing, all bets are off this year.)

This is also a good time to take your mower in for a tune-up. The price might be lower, and your darling won't be given the "lick and a promise" it might receive in the logjam that forms on the first warm spring day. Likewise, if you need other outside work done such as fence repair or tree trimming, you'll find those craftsmen eager to respond during their slack season.

Remember that to everything there is a season -- a time to save, a time to spend. Use the calendar to your advantage.

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