Early signs of fall
The retailers are ready for a change in the weather. Sweaters and blankets are on display in the malls; any remaining summer merchandise has been moved to the clearance aisle.
Pots of yellow and burgundy mums line the sidewalks at Kroger. Mums are an obligatory autumn porch-and-yard decor in Kentucky.
Real pumpkins aren't ready yet, but you can buy a cute fake pumpkin at Lowes. And at the cash registers, a display of spray foam insulation for windows and doors reminds shoppers that it's time to get ready for cold weather.
Of course, this is just the prelude to the busiest retail season of the year. First it's Halloween, then Thanksgiving, followed by Christmas, and finally, the after-Christmas clearance sales.
Look for some very good buys this fall. The stores will be fiercely competing for the consumer's dollar. It is a good idea to buy early, if you see something you like at a reasonable price. Because of the economy, retailers aren't sure how much to order. In their effort not to overstock their warehouses, they may run out of items that sell better than expected.
That's my shopping advice for the season, and it's offered completely free of charge.