As any savvy shopper knows, sales matter.

As any savvy shopper knows, sales matter. Paying attention to them can result in money saved. Here’s a look at how the Better Business Bureau works to promote the integrity of sale ads, and a then a guide for consumers about when to look for the best sale deals.

BBB’s advertising review program

The ads for sales constantly stream toward consumers online, on TV, radio and in print. When questionable claims are made therein, the Better Business Bureau encourages the public to bring those issues to their attention.

Getting more trust into the marketplace has been the goal of the BBB since it was founded in 1912. Continuing along that path, the BBB’s “Advertising Review” program is an important part of building trust, so that consumers know they’re going to get what ads promise them. The benefit also extends to businesses themselves, since higher consumer trust yields higher sales. So when an ad is brought to BBB’s attention, the business is contacted and asked to voluntarily substantiate or modify any advertisement claim that is questioned.

Save money by keeping the calendar in mind

Traditionally for decades, certain items have gone on sale at certain times of the year. Although many of our shopping traditions may have gone by the wayside in this digital age, consumers should remember that the schedule of when particular items go on sale has stayed the same. For that reason, it’s a good idea to get a refresher course on what goes on sale when.

Here is a guide to the first half of the shopping year, culled from Consumer Reports Magazine, Lifehacker website, and other consumer-oriented sources, put together by your Better Business Bureau.

January and February

Those looking to pass the time indoors with an upgraded home theater should remember that this is the best time to buy TVs, video games and other components. Furniture and carpet are also likely to be reduced.

It’s also the best time to purchase exercise equipment like treadmills and elliptical machines. Check your progress on bathroom scales that will also be reduced. Remember also that mattresses will be cheaper.

Traditionally, “white sales” take place at this time for items like bed linens and towels.

Off-season merchandise can be discounted at this time as well. That includes air conditioners, gas grills, boats and motorcycles.

March and April

The last days of winter and the beginning of spring bring lower prices on luggage, golf clubs, computers and cellphones. Office furniture and refrigerators are on sale as well. Chocolate (in this post-Valentines Day season) is cheaper. So are frozen food items.

Watch for sales in garden supplies. Discounts pop up for cruises and European vacations as well. April sees big discounts on bridal gowns.

Spring-cleaning means many people donate items to thrift stores, so it’s a good time to shop there for super bargains.

May and June

Warmer weather can bring sales on items like athletic shoes and tools. Interior and exterior paints go on sale, as do wood stains. Camping and sports gear get price reductions. So does swim wear. Cookware and dishware sales happen and many baby items like strollers and high chairs are reduced.

Watch for price cuts at this time of year for some of the seasonal items left over from winter. This could include exercise equipment, previously mentioned as on sale in January. Fathers Day sales lower prices on items like tools, grilling merchandise, and even guitars or other musical items.

Whenever possible, hold out on making that purchase until the item’s sale season arrives. Always remember to check out any retailer that you’re considering doing business with at, and report misleading advertisements. Contact your area Better Business Bureau at 1-800-856-2417, or visit