This is a rule that's opposite of the locavore's ethos: when it comes to making a purchase, buy out of season.
Smuggy case in point: for no particularly interesting reason, we needed to buy a new set of flannel sheets yesterday. It's been a challenging winter so far and having a nest of flannel to sleep in has been a wonderful way to ward off the chill. Sadly, we didn't have a backup set of flannel.
Zed mentioned BB&B, a store that I used to love, but whose luster suffered mightily after we bought a house and I realized how poor their selection was. But it was a start, so we trundled there, perfunctory 20%-off coupon in tow. They literally carried only one brand of flannel sheets. The sheets were not particularly soft nor attractive, and further examination of the set proved that they were sold as sheets only and didn't include pillow cases. I refused. Much as I wanted this task complete, these shabby specimens simply would not do. Set of King-sized fitted & flat sheet = $60. Pillowcases additional.
Macy's was our next stop. I have grown to love the Bed & Bath department of Macy's as my ardor for BB&B has waned (in an inversely proportional way, I might say). Imagine my love blossoming at the sight of Martha Stewart (not a fan, but I know her brand at Macy's is to be trusted) Collection flannel sheets, including pillow cases at an unbelieveable 70% off for $42.
Need I mention that they were a superior grade of cotton flannel and more attractive to boot?
The fire-sale prices were thanks to retail stores' one-season-ahead concept of selling. It may be winter now, but all the accoutrements of winter are all on expiration pricing: boots, sweaters, warm wool coats. When it comes to clothing and footwear, end-of-season sales aren't usually something to get excited about because if you're a common size, it won't warm your heart to see a pair of coveted boots at 60% off....but available only in size 13s. But bed sheets? Oh yeah.
So don't buy your flannel sheets in August. To everything there is a season, including sale prices.