It’s August! Back to school is in full swing and the weather is starting to hint at cooler weather.  Kids are buying backpacks and there are sales on paper, pens and glue! (I get very excited about school sales! P isn’t even school age yet, and it’s tough to resist the lure of new notebooks and folders!)

But beyond the new school clothes and supplies, there is another sale season that’s here – summer clearance!

This is the time of year that both department stores and thrift/discount stores put their remaining seasonal products on deep discount. These stores want to clear their shelves for the next season’s clothes and this is the best time of year for frugal guys and gals!

This is a pretty awesome little snow suit, isn’t it? My sister picked up at a thrift store clearance sale. It’s almost brand new, no wear, great condition. Cost? $3. (She picked it up in the spring) Even at a thift store, I can guarantee I would not be able to find those prices in a few months when I’d actually be looking for a 12 month snow suit.

That’s one of the keys to clearance sales – buy ahead!

Spring Clearance (March-April)

This is the sale to stock up on winter basics like hats, gloves and scarves often for pennies on the dollar. I bought P two winter hats for twenty cents each this year! Keep your eyes open for jackets, snow suits and boots. Slippers normally begin to go on clearance in February, after Christmas and Valentine’s Day.

If you’re into interior design, look for throw blankets and plush pillows, vases and winter-themed art.

Summer Clearance (July-August)

As stores get their cool weather clothing and back to school sales start ramping up, the summer gear prices get slashed. Stock up on shorts, bathing suits, short sleeved shirts and polo shirts (which look great layered under a sweater). Beach towels and toys, summer decor and grilling accesories are good buys as well.

The key to buying clothes at these sales is to keep a list of sizes that you and your family will be wearing in the next few seasons. P is only 9 months, but next summer she’ll be wearing 12-18 month clothes. So that’s what I’m shopping for this summer. We already have a box of winter clothes that we started shopping for back in March and April, so we won’t have to scramble (and pay full price) for clothes when it gets cooler.

Do you shop clearance sales? What tips do you have for successful bargain hunting? Share it with us below in the comments!

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