With the change of season comes the need for warmer clothes, winter weather supplies and even a pantry stocked with enough food, medication and other items to tide you over during a blizzard. If you find the notion of winter shopping intimidating, here are some tips:
Shopping for winter clothing can be trickier than you think, particularly when moving between home, car, office and public spaces that are all heated to a different temperature. In addition to basic winter gear (coat, gloves, hat, boots) pick up layering pieces, such as jackets and cardigan sweaters that you can put on and take off as the need arises.
If you plan to vacation in a warm destination during the winter months, check out the clearance racks at your favorite stores. You’ll find some great deals on warm-weather fashions.
Emergency Tip: Stow older coats, gloves and boots in the trunk of your car. They may come in handy if you find yourself stranded in bad weather.
Be prepared for the first cold snap or snowstorm by making sure that you have winter tools and supplies on hand. Check your snow shovel (or snow blower) to see if it needs replacing or repair. Do you have salt for your sidewalk? Do the windows in your older house need insulation? Put these items on your shopping list.
The holiday season is expensive. Reduce the hit to your wallet by starting your holiday shopping early. Take advantage of sales and wrap and label your gifts right after you buy them so that you aren’t left frantic the night before your holiday celebration.
Grocery and Household Staples
If you live in an area known for bad winter weather, now’s the time to stock up on food and household items, including emergency supplies. Cold weather will make quick trips to the store less-than-pleasant.
Moreover, there is always the chance that you could find yourself snowed in for a few days, possibly with limited or no utilities. Don’t get caught unprepared.
Emergency and Non-Emergency Items
- In addition to your staple meals and ingredients, stock up on emergency rations such as canned soups and stews, protein bars, beef jerky, nuts and as shelf-stable foods and beverages.
- Toilet paper
- Over the counter medicines (i.e. pain reliever, cold remedies)
- Prescription medication
- Sterno cooking stove
- Matches and/or lighters
- First aid supplies
- Solar and/or battery powered cell phone charger
- Emergency radio
- Light bulbs
- Basic household cleaners
- Personal hygiene items
- Pet food and supplies, such as cat litter
Depending on where you live, fall may be your last opportunity to make needed household repairs. Have a look around your place (you might even want to hire a home inspector) to identify areas that need attention.
Once you decide which projects you need to tackle, head over to the hardware store to pick up the supplies that you need. If a project is beyond your capabilities, call local contractors and start getting estimates.
What are some standard winter purchases in your household?