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The Coupon Lady: What to buy in April

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April has just begun and spring is here. Flowers are blooming in full force and our cars have a yellow sheen from pollen. Now that our spring-cleaning projects have been mostly accomplished, my family loves to get out and do lots of activities together while the weather is mild. Those activities don’t have to break the bank. There are some great opportunities for free activities and super grocery deals this month.

On April 7, Home Depot will hold the Home Depot Kids Workshop from 9 a.m. to noon. Kids ages 5-12 will make a window bird feeder. Children will also be able to paint and decorate the feeder. Participants will receive a child-sized apron, achievement pin and certificate for attending.

Lowe’s has a similar program called the Lowe’s Build and Grow Clinic. On April 14, participants will make a game show chip drop game, and on April 28, a terrarium. Registration is recommended and can be done at www.lowes
buildandgrow.com. First-time registered participants will receive goggles and an apron. All participants receive a patch and certificate upon project completion.

There are some great grocery deals this month. With Easter (and the Mas­ters Tournament) next weekend, many people will have guests. Don’t panic at the thought of feeding all those extra people! A smart shopper will find some great sales to keep everyone well fed and still have money left. Sales this month should feature Easter favorites including ham, eggs, asparagus, horseradish, coconuts, butter, olive oil, food coloring and dyes.

April will have one of the rare 24-week sales cycles on baking goods. These items will not go on sale again until the fall baking season starts in October. We should see sales on baking items such as chocolate chips, marshmallows, cake mixes, cookie mixes, brownie mixes, sugar, powered sugar, brown sugar and spices. This is a great time to check Web sites on familiar baking brands for coupons. For example, Nestlé’s Web site has a 50-cents-off coupon on chocolate chips that can be matched to a sale.

Keep an eye out for clearance sales on winter markdowns. Winter clothing should start being marked down at least 50 percent this month as the new spring lines come in. If you are a common size, start hitting the racks sooner rather than later for the best selection.

In the grocery aisles, look for sales and closeouts on frozen items such as Popsicles, ice cream and novelties as stores clear space for new products and flavors.

April is also the best month to buy a digital camera, according to Yahoo.com, which says digital cameras will go on sale during Spring Break to encourage people to capture those “fun in the sun” memories.

The first week of April should be the final week promoting the changing of your smoke alarm batteries or tackling spring cleaning projects. Sale items include batteries, carbon monoxide monitors, smoke detectors, natural cleaners and CFL lightbulbs.

April 22 is Earth Day. There are several events scheduled around town to celebrate. Many stores will have sales on Earth-friendly items such as organic produce, energy savers and eco-friendly cleaning products. There will be a few coupon booklets out there featuring these products, so keep a sharp eye out as you shop.

Remember, produce will always be cheaper while it’s in season. Vegetables in season this month include artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, cabbages, beets, carrots, peas, rhubarb, arugula, garlic, green onions (scallions), Hass avocados, mushrooms and onions. Fruits include strawberries, kiwis, apricots and grapefruit.

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