Riding out the recession: Consider calendar when buying

If you're trying to cut the budget and curb spending, you'll find some of the best bargains by working the calendar.

Retailers are almost certain to put some items on sale at the same time every year.

For example, deals on digital cameras often can be found in April, a few months before new models are introduced.

Look to buy items out of season because they're bound to be marked down by retailers. Buy furniture in June when showrooms are making room for new designs. Buy your swimsuits and patio furniture in the fall and your heaters in the summer.

Car prices typically go down in October as dealerships make room for new models. The current automobile market, however, is so depressed that if you're in the market, it's worth a look now to consider some of the deals.

The same is true of houses, which typically have good deals in December when people aren't looking to move. But slow sales clearly have made this a buyer's market in many places.

Those of you who bought your flat-screen television before the Super Bowl last weekend made a wise move. Stores typically stock up on televisions before the big game, and they know that competitors will be out there fighting for customers.

And retailers have been holding "white sales" every January on linens and towels ever since department store founder John Wanamaker created it in the 1800s.

Just as it's important to know when the sales are, also note when it's a bad time to buy something. Consider waiting on buying your sweetie that engagement ring around Valentine's Day, when many people are buying gifts for their loved ones.

Even with the tips, be sure to look for bargains regularly. Retailers are desperate for your business right now. If you've got the money, there are bargains to be found.

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