Here’s where to find good spring deals

Spring is in the air. The birds greet us most mornings instead of a fresh coat of frost. Our friends and family begin talking about filing their taxes, and maybe preparing their high school son or daughter for prom or even graduation.

It’s a busy month filled with the beginnings of yard work, ISTEP exams and playing outside for our family.

April also presents a great opportunity for you to save money. As the weather warms but doesn’t heat, more of us opt to open the windows instead of turning on the air conditioning and give the furnace a rest. There also are plenty of purchases ripe for the month. Prices dip low for many household necessities.

Ever wonder what you should be buying during April? Here are the deals you should keep your eyes peeled for:

In the grocery store

Each big box and grocery store fights for your attention to get you in the door. But most retailers use a myriad of loss leader products to get you to push a cart through their doors.

Called “loss leaders” because the products literally cause the store to lose dollars, items like ham, eggs and strawberries are placed at an all time low during the month of April. The theory behind the practice is that you’ll come to the store for the great deal and stay long enough to buy plenty of other products you may or may not need.

Ever wonder why milk, bread and bananas routinely go on sale? Those weekly necessities bring in more shoppers. It’s also why you have to walk to the back of the store to retrieve the milk. The more things you pass, the more you are likely to buy.

You can still take advantage of the great deals and stick to your list, though. Holiday favorites like ham, eggs, potatoes, strawberries, pineapple, asparagus, and even Angel Food cake find their way to the sales.

In the clearance aisles

Each and every holiday season that passes causes to pause and ask myself some hard questions. Why is that shoppers (like me) will pay full price on Dec. 23 for items they will barely pay 75 percent off on Jan. 1? I love holiday fun, no matter the season or occasion. For that reason, after Easter passes in April you’ll find me picking through the decor and egg dye kits finding the best deals to put back items for next year.

In particular, I’ll be looking for baskets that can be used for planters, plastic eggs that store well and can be used year after year, and paper goods that while not necessary will add fun to next year’s celebration.

But don’t stop searching the store for clearance deals after you pass the seasonal aisles. Instead, keep exploring and find the end of season winter items. The final few coats, hats, boots and gloves are hiding somewhere waiting for you to find a bargain for next year. You’ll also want to take a pass through the household repair aisles to find great deals on shovels and ice melt.

As always, store clearance steals where you can actually find them when the next year rolls around.

At the office supply store

April comes in a close second to the back to school season for potential deals on office supplies. You won’t find the crayons and scissors for the elementary set as affordable, but “big kid” supplies like binders, staplers, paper clips and more all go on sale during April. As we focus on getting our taxes organized and filed, the stores know we’ll realize we’re out of the essentials we thought we had. Score a great deal on the items you need to keep everything in line and then follow through.

In the electronics aisle

Every item on the market has a sales cycle. New products roll out during a specific month or season. To make room for the new and improved products, manufacturers and retailers drop the prices on the older models. During the month of April, two particular major electronic products see dips in prices before May and June new release dates.

While we might be thinking spring cleaning causes a drop in the price of vacuum cleaners, it’s actually this sales cycle that causes them them to go down in price during April. You should find great deals on TVs on other electronics made in Japan. The Japanese fiscal year ends in March, meaning older stock needs to clear out for newer products to take their place on the market.

While we shake off the winter blues and tread lightly and happily into spring, there are plenty of bargains to be had. Make the most of this season of savings.