Happy New Year. Folks often ask the best time to buy certain items, and January is the place to start.
Obviously, we can't always wait until a particular month to buy for a specific occasion or if something breaks or even if we see a phenomenal sale going on.
But if you're shopping in advance, today's column -- research by and compliments of www.lifehacker.com, among others -- is a great clipping to stick up where you can see it all year long.
January: Gas grills; lawn furniture, bikes, air conditioners, furniture, linens and bed sheets, carpet and digital cameras.
February: Tools, chocolate (after Valentine's Day), boats, HDTVs and home theatres, and video games.
March: Luggage, frozen foods, boots and winter wear, houses, vacuum cleaners and golf clubs.
April: Car accessories and parts, used cars, laptops, cookware, cruises, office furniture and snow blowers.
May: Patio furniture (last year's models), party supplies, mattresses and refrigerators.
June: Gym memberships, tools (Father's day sales), dishware, paint and suits.
July: Broadway tickets, furniture, grills and big appliances.
August: Linens and storage containers, outdoor toys and camping equipment, kids' clothes, school supplies and wine.
September: Cars (new), lawnmowers, laptops, bikes, holiday airfare, grills, patio furniture, school supplies and grills.
October: Car accessories and parts, jeans, big appliances, cookware, Broadway tickets and health insurance.
November: Candy, aluminum foil and plastic wrap, cookware, wedding dresses (Nov. 11-Dec. 24), HDTV and home theatre equipment (Nov. 15-Jan. 31), and electronics.
December: Wedding dresses (same as above), HDTV and home theatre equipment (same as above), champagne, golf clubs, pools and tools.
Ellen Phillips is a retired English teacher who has written two consumer-oriented books. Her Consumer Watch column appears every Saturday. Email her at consumerwatch@timesfree press.com.