Monday, February 4, 2013

Spring forward, Fall back, check those dates!

Diagram of a clock showing a transition from 2:00 to 3:00.
     There are things we do annually like change our clocks to comply with daylight savings time.  We make mental notes like Spring Forward, Fall Back to remember which direction to turn the clock hands.  Yes, I know we are almost all of us to the point that the clocks are connected to the internet and set themselves.  The point is, there are things to do, regularly.

     I like to use this time of year when there is no pressure from holidays, before the season of spring birthdays in my family to check dates and re-position foods and prep supplies.  Because I started prepping in the early spring, the canned meats I bought tend to be the freshest with the longest date from the time they were purchased and are all to expire several springs from now.  I know this because I check the dates.  Just like changing the times on my clocks and changing the batteries in the smoke alarms, I check the dates.

     I do not go to the storage locker and put my hands on every item I have ever bought.  I go to my spreadsheets and my cross referenced ledger papers and check the dates.  If I need to rotate or pull an item, I know where it is and I pull it forward to the pantry or the local food bank.  This is my time of year for checking dates.  I suggest you use this post holiday its-still-too-cold-to-go-swimming time to straighten up your files and check the dates on your time sensitive prep supplies. 

     As a homemaker and discount shopper, I am aware of marketing tricks to get the money in the stores.  There are annual white sales and times to buy electronics and times to wait.  January white sales used to be huge when I was a kid.  All the sheets and bedding were on sale the month after Christmas.  Now, you can count on the stores to phase out the Christmas decorations and refill half the shelves with Valentines and the other half with plastic storage containers.  The linens and bedding are still on sale but this is a great time to purchase birthday gifts for giving later in the year as toys and gift sets are in close out sales!

     As the storage boxes retreat to there normal shelf space, laundry baskets and cleaning supplies move forward in anticipation of spring cleaning and seasonal closet cleaning.  The week of St. Patrick's Day you will see all the glittery clovers and luggage on sale as chops hope you are getting ready to travel in the summer.  

     There are a number of sites online that give detailed lists of what goes on sale and when.  I am in the market for a set of tires and I have the time to wait until they go on sale in May.  I like this site for quick reference: and as always when starting to research something online I like  Seasonal Sales are under the heading Personal Finance.  

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