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I love the July 4 th holiday-- picnics, parades, fireworks, and a chance to spend time with family and friends celebrating our nation's independence. And it's also a chance to do a little shopping and score some terrific deals, if you know where to look.
Although summer isn't known for being the best "bargain season" of the year, with consumer spending still sputtering along like a sparkler that turns out to be a dud, it looks like this year many retailers are beefing up their traditional July 4 th sales and putting some extra meat on the "barbie" to lure in spending-shy shoppers. (How's that for mixing metaphors?)
A number of home improvement centers, including Home Depot and Lowes, are offering in store and online deals (be sure to check both) to help you spruce up your home with fresh paint, landscaping materials, and other DIY supplies. They're also pushing some pretty attractive sales on selected appliances, which might be fortuitous for our household, as our aging refrigerator is struggling harder every day to keep up with the summer's heat.
If you're in the market for some new apparel or fashion accessories, many national retailers use their July 4 th sales to begin marking down swim and summer wear. Again, compare sales from retailers both online and in their stores, as often there are different deals to be had depending on how you shop.
If you shop online, be sure to check free websites before placing an order. Sites such as promotionalcodes.com and retailmenot.com offer promotional codes, coupons, and other discount offers from various retailers and manufacturers which can often save you even more.
Look for some sizzling savings on electronics and computers this Fourth of July, too. With fierce competition within the industry, it pays to not only comparison shop for electronics but to also ask retailers - point blank - if they can "do any better" before you close the sale. You might be surprised how often they'll sweeten the pot if you only ask.
And for some hot local deals, check out websites like Groupon.com and LivingSocial.com. Both have compiled special July 4 th offerings from restaurants, stores, and other merchants in your community.
Have a happy - and thrifty - 4 th of July!
Photo courtesy japi14 via Flickr Creative Commons.