Frugal Teacher Guide: The Best Time to Buy Almost Anything

Score massive savings every month.

Anyone who’s ever walked out of Target with a post-Halloween candy stash that cost less than $10 and will last you through the apocalypse knows there is a time and a place to buy everything. Since we’ve already covered the latter, we set out to investigate sales cycles and uncover the best time to buy almost anything on your teacher wishlist. Here’s what we found.



  • Furniture: If you’re thinking about adding some flexible seating to your classroom, now may be the time. Most furniture retailers receive new inventory in January and July, so they’ll sell off older items to make room.
  • Planners: We love our calendars and planners! As tempting as it is to buy one before the start of the new year, hold off. You’ll score them for up to 70 percent off by missing part of the month.

Also the best time to buy: Clothing, video games, small appliances, wedding-related items, suits (heavier styles), linens, gym memberships



what to buy in February

  • Electronics: Retailers wait about a full month after the finish of the holiday madness to discount top gifts, which tend to be tech-related. Check stores for deep discounts on last year’s models of audio/visual equipment and other small electronics (fan, humidifier, space heater) that make your classroom more comfortable.

Also the best time to buy: TVs, cellphones, chocolate, air conditioners, jewelry, winter coats




what to buy in March

  • Fitness gear: Want to encourage more movement in your classroom? Or maybe take up the relaxing practice of yoga yourself? March is a great time to buy everything from yoga mats to fitness trackers because retailers are dumping their stock before resolutions lose their resolve.

Also the best time to buy: Luggage, frozen foods, sewing machines, outdoor grills, golf clubs



what to buy in April

  • Vacation: Start your summer prep by shopping for your vacation in April. You’ll find savings on airfare, cruises, tropical vacation packages, and more. Plus, booking a trip now will give you a shiny beacon to guide you through the tough month of May.
  • Thrifted items: One person’s spring cleaning donate pile is your summer wardrobe. Check thrift stores for increased inventory on things to wear or use in your classroom.

Also the best time to buy: Car parts, tires, vacuum cleaners, running shoes, tools



what to buy in may

  • Paint: Summer is prime painting season for homeowners, so May brings the sales. This is a great time to buy if you’re looking to freshen up your classroom or do some DIYing. Pay attention to Memorial Day sales for the deepest discounts.

Also the best time to buy: Matresses, refrigerators, outdoor furniture, home goods, baby gear



what to buy in june

  • Tools and home improvement: If you’ve been considering creating a makerspace in your classroom, June is the time to stock up at home improvement stores. They’re discounting items for Father’s Day and to prepare for the busy summer season.

Also the best time to buy: TVs, gym memberships, cookware



what to buy in July

  • Everything on Amazon: Why leave the comfort of your air conditioning? Shop online during Amazon’s Prime Day, which falls in July. You’ll get mega-discounts on almost anything you need to personally or professionally prep for back-to-school. Plus, you can score a Kindle or Fire Stick at their cheapest for end-of-summer binge reading and watching.
  • Paper products/party supplies: After Fourth of July, paper plates, napkins, and party decorations go on deep discount. Stock up for handy classroom supplies or impromptu celebrations.

Also the best time to buy: theater tickets, suits (lighter styles), furniture



what to buy in August

  • General school supplies: This one is a bit of a no-brainer for teachers, but big box and online stores alike are discounting school supplies to get ready for back-to-school. The sales creep into September and if you’re a forward-planner, you can shop the clearance leftovers in October to save for later.

Also the best time to buy: Linens, kids’ clothing, outdoor grills



what to buy in september

  • Classroom decor/prizes: As summer comes to a close, everything summer-related—bright-colored buckets, sunglasses, tumblers, pool noodles, and other random, fun objects—go on clearance. You can stock up on manipulatives, incentives, or end-of-year gifts.
  • Patio furniture: We love patio furniture for flexible classroom seating because the designs are colorful and the fabric is tough. Stores are clearing out their inventory to wrap up summer, so buy now to refresh your classoom.

Also the best time to buy: Large appliances, cars, winter/Thanksgiving airfare, swimsuits



what to buy in October

  • Outdoor gear: October is the least sale-heavy month of the year, since most retailers are holding their low prices for November. But you can score good deals on camping equipment and other outdoor gear. Find some low prices and boom … you have an adorable (and affordable) theme for your classroom.

Also the best time to buy: lawn mowers, winter tires, real estate, denim



what to buy in November

  • Candy: Your students love it and, let’s be honest, you sometimes need it to get through the day. Hit the after-Halloween sales to stock up on loads of candy at bottom-of-the-barrel prices.
  • Tech gadgets: It’s no surprise that in November, sales on hot holiday gifts dip lower than ever. This is the best time to buy eReaders, tablets, or other small tech gadgets you want for your classroom.

Also the best time to buy: wedding dresses, cars, real estate, home theater gear



what to buy in December

  • Toys: All the hottest toys have been released by now so they can fly off the shelves and into wrapping paper. Take advantage of low prices (particularly the week after Christmas) to get learning toys or small prize toys for your classroom.

Also the best time to buy: cars, real estate, wedding dresses, champagne (yay!)