It’s freezing in L.A., at least by Southern California standards. I headed to Target to buy a warm blanket for the cold nights and bought a cozy one for $15. It’s original price was $30. You too can save money on items for your bedroom and bathroom at a White Sale, when stores mark down linens and home goods by 30 to 70 percent off. These sales take place in January and offer reasonable prices on towels, sheets, blankets, pillows, and bathroom accessories. To get in on the action – but not overspend – follow these five simple tips.
1. Buy what you need. You won’t save money if you go crazy buying things that will end up in your linen closet. Before heading out, do an inventory of what you have and make a mental note of what needs to be replaced, like old bed sheets and towels. If you are not redecorating your bathroom or bedroom, refrain from impulse buys on dÃ©cor.
2. Shop alone or with a savvy person. Whenever possible, shop alone to keep your children or spouse from putting things in your cart without you realizing it. Do the same to save money on groceries. Or if you’re like me and need someone to keep you on track, bring the person that’s up to the challenge.
3. “On sale” is not the same as “a deal.” Just because an item has been marked down doesn’t mean it’s a great deal. Compare prices and scrutinize the quality of an item before purchasing it. Look at sales flyers online if you don’t receive them in the mail or browse multiple retailers websites.
4. Look for quality. I found colorful bed sheets for $7 and thought it was a great deal until I noticed the thread count – a measly 130. Thread count refers to the number of threads found in one square inch of fabric. Stay away from low thread counts as they very likely will be scratchy, not last long, and require a replacement soon. If the packet doesn’t mention the thread count, it’s probably below 180.
5. Don’t wait until the last minute. Most stores are trying to get rid of inventory during White Sales, so they will not restock every item. If you find a good quality item at a good price, take action or risk missing out entirely; it may not be on the shelf when you return. Familiarize yourself with the store’s return policy in case you make a return. And don’t forget to carry coupons as some stores will accept them on top of mark downs.