So how do you know when a price is good to allow you to "stock" up? While there is no "price" rule and sometimes you just need to get an item when you need it, I do have some price point guidelines for myself that I use to know a good "stock up" price! Obviously these will vary by brand and store and it will take you a few months to track how low you can go on your favorites by waiting for sales and combining them with coupons. I suggest taking no more than 3 products at a time and start looking for deals and coupons.
Here are some examples I never pay more than:
Diapers $0.15 each
Shampoo- $0.50 or less (prefer free)
Toothpaste, floss and brushes : free
Body Wash: free
Wipes: $1 or less for box
Cleaning supplies: $.50 but prefer free
Toilet paper: $0.25/roll
Meat: $2/lb, $4/lb Steaks (high quality)
Potatoes: $3/10 lb bag
Soda: $2.50/12 pk
Cereal: never more than $2 per box but aim for $1
Canned veggies: $0.35
Frozen veggies: free
So what is your rule??? Let's add to the list.
What to Buy When?
Electronics: A lot of electronics are made in Japan. The best time to get good deal is in the spring as they try to unload old inventory for the new fiscal year. Look at big screen TV’s before the Super Bowl too! For home theaters, in general the holidays can be a good time and January. Computers, a good rule of thumb is the middle of summer to take advantage of the back-to-school sales or winter holiday markdowns.
Furniture: The best time to buy furniture is Feb-April and Aug-October. So do some planning and look around during these times, you'll find the deals.
Toys: Obviously the holiday season is one of the best times to buy toys. The problem with the holiday season is that everyone else is buying then too and you might not find what you want. Try the end of summer clearance and October!
Cookware: One is in the spring, in April and May, coinciding with the graduation and wedding season. The other is in October and November, with promotions in regard to the holidays.
Clothing: Off-Season, clearance, and try going on Thursdays. If you wait until the weekend you're likely to find other folks ransacking for the best deals and selections which means things have been picked through. And don’t forget to bring coupons!
Appliances: Best time is September and October as new models are coming out.
Wedding Gowns: November
Car: First, shop online. You can find out the price of cars online and even locate what and where to buy what you want. Next, the next year's models come out in early fall and to make room - yes you guessed it again - the old inventory has to go. Shop in the early fall. Go at the end of the month - it's all about quotas. If the dealership has made their monthly quotas, they are likely to make a deal. The end of the year again is another great time as they are trying to get rid of all the old inventory.
Food & others:
January: Chocolate, soda, diet foods, frozen finger foods,linens, small appliances, air conditioners, carpeting, winter clothes, bikes, Christmas decorations, motorcycles, boats, sports and weight loss
February: Chocolate, steak, seafood(post Valentine's Day),oatmeal, boats
March:FrozenFoods, easter meal items i.e. eggs, ham, gardening items
April: Candy, eggs, ham, cheese, frozen pies, cake mix, electronics, vacuums, cookware, tires and auto supplies
May: Barbecue items i.e. hot dogs, beef, condiments, ice cream, party supplies, grill supplies
June: Ice cream, popsicles, soda, pianos, building materials, tools
July: BBQ items, chips, grill supplies
August: Cereal, breakfast bars, peanut butter, lunch meat, cold lunch items, yogurt, pool supplies, outdoor toys, bathing suits, summer clothes
September: Cereals, back to school snacks, hamburger, hot dogs, condiments, spaghetti sauce, cars, lawn mowers
October: canned fruits and veggies, dried fruits, stock up on holiday foods and soups and broths, large appliances, lawn mowers
November: Turkey, butter, cheese, canned goods, baking goods, cookware, tools, carpeting
December: Ham, butter, cheese, post-holiday sales, baking goods, some electronics, toys, winter clothes
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