2009 Money Saving Alternative Calendar

I thought it might be a good idea to compile an alternative Old-Style calendar for 2009, showing the best times of year to find bargains, or the times to make the best savings. I see it as a calendar in reverse - The opposite of when the large companies would like us to buy things.

One example is the tip of Buying Christmas cards and wrapping paper in the January sales; and buying summer clothes in winter i.e out of season.

The calendar isn't just for buying things, but the best times to do old-style jobs too, maybe in the garden, or cooking certain things.

I am sure there will be lots more examples, which would act as reminders for the coming year, and I would love to hear your ideas so I can update the calendar below,

PS: This calendar is for everyone, whatever beliefs you have, so if there are any significant dates, such as religious festivals or events taking place in 2009, then please let me know and I will add them.

Best wishes

Useful Website addresses
Unfortunately adding the individual Seasonal Produce Information to each month makes this MSE post too long so have had to add these links suggested by other MSEs
www.eattheseasons.co.uk sign up for weekly updates


BBC what's in season

School Term Dates
Please check your local council education department’s website for dates specific to your area

January 2009
  • New Year’s Day Bank Holiday Thursday January 1st Friday
  • and January 2nd Scotland)
  • Make a personal list of any important dates and celebrations coming up for you and your family this year, so you can plan ahead and maybe prepare hampers; make cards or gifts
  • Buy xmas cards and wrap in sales, also look for little gifts, stocking fillers and other presents that won't date and you can use for next years birthdays & christmas
  • Pack carefully and put xmas decorations and tree in loft for the following year
  • Freeze any left over mince pies, xmas cake, cooked meats for packed lunches.
  • Have a start of year financial over haul, check everything you are paying for is the best value, insurance is adequate and cheapest, get rid of Sky movies now Xmas is over,
  • Start that new years diet (cheaper to eat well, less junk food & treats)etc.
  • Put Bread crumbs, fat, rind etc out for the birds
  • Make one environmental commitment that you and your family could stick to in 2009 e.g. switching off lights; or recycling more
  • Give the house an early spring clean, no clutter to help you feel more energetic and positive
  • Purchase hamper baskets and coloured tissue for next years gift hampers, cheapest at this time
  • Sort through unwanted Xmas gifts and store them away for recycling "cough cough" lol.
  • Have a present store for next Xmas that you add to throughout the year, so the expense of Christmas doesn't hit you all at once
  • Check Freecycle for unwanted presents
  • January is a buyer’s market on Ebay, as nobody wants much as they have spent too much running up to Christmas. Perfect time to get a low cost bargain
  • Make Seville Orange Marmalade
  • Make a Finance list using all Martin's money-saving tools on MSE to help decide what you need to achieve financially in 2009
  • Include any credit card switches; or other significant money dates for you and your family
  • Start a sealed money jar and put any spare change in it to save throughout 2009
  • Check prices for door-curtains; or material in the sales
  • Look for left-over summer bargains in sales e.g. sunhats and sunglasses; holiday bits and bobs
February 2009
  • Sow peppers and chillis indoors in a warm temperature. (They need a long growing season)
  • Bake heart shaped cookies for valentines day and find best offers in supermarkets on Rose wine. Makes a nice Valentines gift
  • Check the Travel Lodge hotel site for bargain rooms. This time of year they find it hard to fill the hotel and can give rooms away from £19
  • Make your fruit cake now for Easter, add some marzipan and a bit of almond essence and you have a bargain price Simnel cake
  • If your friends got books/DVDs for Christmas, they should have read or watched them by now. Why not start a swap club
March 2009
  • Clean out greenhouses; cold-frames and containers and prepare for planting Sow tomatoes for growing in greenhouse
  • Start decluttering alongside spring-cleaning - see Ceridwen's Simplifying Life thread for inspiration
  • Spring clean the house, ebay all your clutter and get ready for all that glorious weather spring and summer 2009 will bring us.
  • The clocks go back, time to think about not using the heating any more, bring the odd bunch of wild spring flowers in to your home to brighten it up and take lots of pretty scenic walks to warm upPrepare the garden for planting seedlings
  • The second Wednesday in March is National No Smoking Day, quit smoking with many others and save yourself a fortuneCycle or walk to work now the weather is getting better
  • Look for young nettles good for for making soup and other goodies
  • Clocks SPRING FORWARD ONE HOUR March 29th 2009
April 2009
  • Good Friday Bank Holiday Friday 10th April 2009
  • Easter Sunday 12th April 2009
  • Easter Monday Bank Holiday Monday 13th April 2009
  • Sow tomatoes if growing outdoors for planting out early/June
  • Have a virtually free Easter, have a treasure hunt in the garden or house, giving Cadbury's Creme Eggs as the treasure rather than larger eggs or buy your eggs in bulk at the Supermarkets, there are often on offer buy two get one free etc.
  • Blow eggs for the kids and get them to decorate them, cheaper than going to the cinema and you could give prizes for the best eggs. (Don't forget to be money savvy and use the egg white & yolk too
  • Make tasty hot cross buns from scratch and the same with Simnel cake
  • After Easter buy those dirt cheap Easter eggs and melt them down for cooking...or even treat yourself
May 2009
  • May Day Bank Holiday Monday 4th May 2009
  • Spring Bank Holiday Monday 25th May 2009
  • Early May: sow courgettes and cucumbers indoors for planting out in June
  • Look for elderflowers for elderflower champagne, cordial etc etc [very good recipes on the Rivercottage site www.rivercottage.net
  • Start keeping your eyes peel for free soaps/shampoos/conditioners/perfumes etc from the freebie sites on MSE. Ideal to use for impending holidays
  • May sees the start of summer Fayres and May Day fates. Go along, have fun and grab some delish home made preserves or coffee cake
  • Celebrate VE day (Victory in Europe Day) on May 8th with a War Time family supper, refuse to have the TV on or any P.C and have a board games night, listen to the radio or play charades. It's more fun that you would imagine...saves money too.
  • Check out Pakistani mangoes if you have an ethnic greengrocer near you. They're great for making smoothies, fruit purees for ice cream, etc.
June 2009
  • Buy Anti-freeze for your car as it may be cheaper now
  • Have your central heating boiler serviced or get the chimney etc. swept. as it may be cheaper now
  • June is good for peas, strawberries and cherries. Perhaps the time to start thinking about Pick Your Own and a spot of jam making
  • Look for winter clothing bargains in summer sales e.g thermals
  • Check your finances, are you on target as planned back in January? If not, look at ways to get it sorted
  • 18th May to 18th June is National Smile Month, a lot of Dentists and dental products manufactures will do offers and free samples around this time, so beware and notice any bargains to be had
  • Pakistani mangoes if you have an ethnic greengrocer near you. They're great for making smoothies, fruit purees for ice cream, etc.[/font]
July 2009
  • Buy summer basics for children ready for 2010 in summer sales
  • Now the weather "should" be getting delightful, start making home made fruit smoothies from over ripe past it fruit and ice cubes
  • Packets of seeds should start to be reduced in price now as people are past their main sowing stages so get buying, ideal for next year
  • Start revamping your wardrobe for summer, cut down long skirts into shorter skirts, cut old jeans into shorts, make a gorgeous patch work sun hat
August 2009
  • Summer Bank Holiday Monday 31st August 2009
  • Six weeks of having to find the kids things to do cheaply!
  • A picnic, a family game of football/rounders/cricket, use Orange wednesday for half price cinema tickets, utilise your local free museums and gallerys, check your local library for information on subsidised kid's clubs, go swimming, go to the park etc.
  • Don't waste money on the Icecream man, get icecream from your local supermarket in the freezer, buy some cornets or wafers and you will have an on tap treat source for a fraction of the price
  • Buy a lolly making kit and freeze your own lollys. Cheap cola and lemonade ones are particularly tasty and still fizzy on the tongue
  • Renting DVDs from your library are usually cheaper than your local DVD rental store
  • Pick up lots of bargains in the stationery line when the supermarkets have all the back to school stuff out, and even more when they start clearing it. Great for stocking fillers/craft making stuff
September 2009
  • Plant hyacinths, crocus, anemones or miniature iris for forcing into flower at Christmas
  • Save seed from your home-grown tomatoes, peppers, chillis and other veggies or flowers. (Much cheaper than buying them from a garden centre)
  • When the kids go back to school and the rest of the world starts focusing on Xmas, grab your holiday for next year (avoid booking hols for July or August if you can as prices are always more) or buy your childrens’ stationary for next year as it starts to appear in the Autumn sales
  • A fabulous time for collecting brambles/blackberries, apples, pears and elderberries for home cooking and preserves
  • Start preparing for the colder months that lay ahead. Double line curtains, make an insulation snake, ensure letter boxes are secured down firmly and are not blowing open and making a draught etc
October 2009
  • Check the antifreeze in your car and top up if necessary
  • Search out and test / wash winter equipment such as torches; heaters; blankets
  • Start making mincemeat / Xmas puds and cakes
  • Start looking on Ebay for shorts, bikinis, cut off leggings, t-shirts etc Anything you can use for next summer at super prices
  • Now is a great time to start looking for bargain sun protection lotions and glasses for next year
  • Start removing the leaves and tidy up the garden for a head start into the winter months
  • Get ahead now so you can have a hassle free Xmas. Wrap presents, write cards, make your xmas cards/tags, menu plan etc Xmas will be organised and cost a fraction of the price
  • If you are having a pumpkin for Halloween, be sure to use the innards for tasty pies and savoury stews, (it makes lovely, creamy soup
  • Clocks FALL BACK ONE HOUR Sunday 25th October 2009
November 2009
  • Buy on sale Halloween goods for next years party/celebration
  • Have a joint Halloween/Bonfire night party. Kill two birds with one stone and halve the cost
  • If you're having a bonfire party, make it a bring-a-box party. So you aren't left stumping the bill for all the expensive fireworks
  • Foil up a few baked tatties and get them in the fire. When they have cooled, remove the foil and freeze them for quick and easy to microwave baked spuds
  • If you're really MSE, take a hot flask and some butties to a local hill/mound/high point and watch all the other people’s money go up in spectacular fashion
December 2009
  • Christmas Day Friday 25th December 2009
  • Boxing Day Monday 28th December 2009
  • New Year’s Eve Thursday 31st December 2009
  • Don't buy big purchases in Nov/Dec, come the Winter sales (from Dec 26th onwards) shops slash the prices. You could make up to a 50% killing, even on costly electronics
  • As you have been soooooo good preparing for Christmas and being the super sorted person that you are, lay back with a huge glass of your favourite tipple and really enjoy a lazy Christmas
  • After Xmas day, save the pretty bags, wrapping paper and ribbons that can be recycled and use for next year
  • Save your Christmas cards to make into tags for next Christmas
  • Look at Greenfingered Money-saving and prepare your planting plans or ideas for the garden for 2010



  • Bongedone
    Bongedone Posts: 2,457
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    That is a good idea. You could put in the picking times for blackberry etc
  • Yes, it's a great idea. It would be good if we could make a list of when certain foods are in season, so we can base our meals on what's plentiful and cheap. Not that I can contribute much, I'm afraid. :p
    Freebies: Nov - £5 Habitat voucher; Dec - £5 Amazon voucher, mini bottle of Glavya :beer:
    Wins: Dec - £100 voucher & £100 for charity from Lands' End, Garnier Set from E4 :rudolf:
  • soulbalm
    soulbalm Posts: 15 Forumite
    There's a great site called eattheseasons that tells you what is seasonal. You can sign up to a weekly email and you get a lovely message in your inbox telling you what to eat this week, although I wasn't chuffed it was turnip this week. And I think they base it on South of England seasons, not freezy cold scottish seasons! I have no affiliation to the site, but find it useful for buying fresh UK produce. Next year I hope to have my own veg from the garden.

    Grocery Challenge
    Budget / Spent
    Nov 08 £250 / £266.97 Dec 08 £275 / £88.77 as of 2/12
  • Pink.
    Pink. Posts: 17,675
    Combo Breaker First Post
    Yes, it's a great idea. It would be good if we could make a list of when certain foods are in season, so we can base our meals on what's plentiful and cheap. Not that I can contribute much, I'm afraid. :p

    Hi kamcauliffe,

    These websites are good for finding information on what's in season throughout the year:



    BBC what's in season

  • Guapa1
    Guapa1 Posts: 890 Forumite
    Erm summer sales are good for stocking up on summer clothes basics for next year.
    Getting there... A deal at a time. :T
  • Olliebeak
    Olliebeak Posts: 3,167 Forumite
    Guapa1 wrote: »
    Erm summer sales are good for stocking up on summer clothes basics for next year.

    That's always been one of my favourites, Guapa :D. I've had really great bargains for my grandkids this way - buying approx 9 months ahead!
  • Aril
    Aril Posts: 1,877
    Combo Breaker First Post
    I read somewhere that you should buy your antifreeze for your car in the summer and get your central heating boiler serviced then aswell as you can get a better deal.
    Food wise I think January is the traditional month for marmalade making as it's the sevillle orange season I believe [not that I make it...but my Daddy makes a wicked one:D and it's my personal job to test the fruits of his labour!!]
    Aiming for a life of elegant frugality wearing a new-to-me silk shirt rather than one of hair!
  • Thanks for thos websites pink-winged and soulbalm - it hadn't really occured to me that there'd be websites listing that sort of thing. Anyway, thanks - gonna go check them out now!
    Freebies: Nov - £5 Habitat voucher; Dec - £5 Amazon voucher, mini bottle of Glavya :beer:
    Wins: Dec - £100 voucher & £100 for charity from Lands' End, Garnier Set from E4 :rudolf:
  • I'd like to be reminded when to plant seeds, I always forget to plant tomatoes until it's too late (except for last year :D )

    This is a brilliant idea.

    My favourite sunhat was 35p in the middle of last winter, they cost a fortune when the sun came out ! Next June I shall start looking for new thermals !

    Decluttering, 20 mins / day Jan 2024 2/2 
  • term dates for the bedfordshire area are as follow;
    return to school 6th jan
    half term 16-20th feb
    easter 6-20th april
    may 25-29th may
    summer hols 24th july

    back 3rd sept
    half term 23-30th oct
    christmas last day 18th dec

    hope this is what you wanted and it is of help
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