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Wallet Watchers: Helping You Save Money

Fall is the best time to shop for summer

As soon as the summer ends we feel the pressure of the holiday season creeping up on us.

That's the case for sure for me. I have to confess, I've begun some of my holiday shopping, but what I'm buying, that's a different story. Each year when the weather starts cooling down I hit the stores looking for specific items I know they'll be at least 50 percent off. Here are a few deals you're better off buying after summer ends.

• Swimwear: We like to think the Valley weather is warm enough all year, but that doesn't mean we hit the pool in December. However, it appears retail stores forget that in September and October, we in the West still get plenty of sunlight. Take advantage of slashed prices and stock up on swimsuits for next year. I was lucky enough to find a Nike brand one-piece suit for less than $9 a few weeks ago at Kohl's. I'm set for next year.

• Workout gear: Retailers forget we can still run outdoors in shorts in October and November. This is the perfect time to go through clearance racks for summer workout clothes. You can still wear for another month or two and have plenty for next year. Last year around this time, I found shorts, shirts, socks and even hats for less than $5 a piece. My go to stores: Kohl's, Target, JC Penney and TJ Maxx. Look for gear and equipment marked down at sporting goods stores.

• Pool perfect: Need a new pool pump? How about new poolside umbrellas or chairs? This could be the time to find some pretty hot clearance prices. Watch markdowns at wholesale stores such as Sam's Club and Costco. As stores make room for holiday decorations and gifts, they'll try to get rid of summer items. Buy them and store for next warm season.

• Home dιcor: You've probably already walked the halls at your favorite department store or big-box store. Two themes are obvious: Halloween/Thanksgiving and Christmas. Once you get past the shock of the season hitting us earlier each year, walk straight to the end of each aisle, the back end or the big clearance sections and you'll find lots of markdown home items. Bright summer colors will go out of style for fall or winter but they'll come right in next year. Stock up on linens, towels, bathroom accessories, bedding, and kitchen items, and picture frames. My plan: buy an entire dining set for next warm season at fall's prices.

• Food: One way to save on your grocery bill is to buy foods that are in season. Late-summer and fall months are full of delicious and beautiful fruits and vegetables. Apples, carrots, cabbage, eggplant, onions, potatoes, mushrooms and pumpkins are just a few. You'll find lots of green beans, herbs and potatoes that will come in handy during the fall (eating) season. Begin looking for good deals at the grocery stores, such as frozen foods that will have one last run at going out the door like ice cream and appetizer items.

• Shop for the holidays before and after: Buying Halloween candy on Oct. 30 isn't only procrastinating it's wasting money. As soon as the holiday passes, prices get slashed at least 50 percent. A good idea is to stock up for the following year when the prices are low. Last year I bought a lot of candy, froze it, and I was able to use it in baking dishes all year long. Holiday deals are popping up earlier and earlier. When it comes to decorations, though, waiting until after the holiday is actually a money-savings measure. You will have to be diligent, however, as good items will go fast. The days after sales are the hottest. I'll be up early those days to try to get the best for next year.

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About the Author


Martha is the traffic controller in the KTAR newsroom. Her full time role is that of Assignment and Breaking News Editor of KTAR News. She oversees daily Breaking News planning and over-the air execution, and puts together the elements that make it happen. She gathers and distributes daily news assignments to reporters and editors. She also reports on a daily basis, anchors news afternoons 1-2p and fills in as anchor occasionally during other time slots. She began working at KTAR in the winter of 2012 as Desk Editor and was promoted to oversee Assignments and Breaking News in 2014. During that time, she received two awards as a journalist. The first was the 2013 APTRA Awards, where she took home 2nd place for Best Serious Future in the "Recycled Orchestra." The second was a 2014 Edward R. Murrow Award for her collaboration in KTAR's Voice for a Better Arizona Series: Immigration - seeking solutions. In her piece, Martha profiled two Arizona sisters looking for the DREAM. Martha was born in Mazatlan, Mexico. She moved to Arizona in 1996 with her parents and younger sister and has lived here since. She attended Barry Goldwater High School in Phoenix and graduated from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Arizona State University in Tempe. Prior to working at KTAR news she worked in news and production at Univision Arizona in Phoenix. She also supervised the marketing, catering and public relations department at Hotel Araiza, 5-star hotel in Mexicali, Mexico. She has also been a personal trainer and aerobics instructor. When she isn't in the newsroom or behind the microphone Martha is an avid gym-goer and marathoner. She trains for two races a year and enjoys taking group exercise classes, such as kickboxing, indoor cycling and weight lifting. Martha is married and lives in Surprise, AZ with 2 dogs, Tasha and Elsa, and a cat, Sammy.

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