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September is the time to buy… (2012 update)

Certain times of the year are the best times to buy various things based on sales and availability. Here is your tip sheet for this month:

Cars: September is when new cars begin arriving at the dealers. They will then discount their older models to make room for new inventory. RV deals are common in the fall, too.

Certain fruits: September is the time to buy apples, blueberries, cantaloupe, cranberries, honeydew melons, nectarines, peaches, Bartlett pears, and plums.

Certain vegetables: September is the time to buy cauliflower, corn, eggplants, peppers, and spinach.

Charcoal grill: After Labor Day retailers offer sales of as much of 30 percent off from now and until December. The best selection is available in the fall.

Furnaces: Contractors and heating/cooling companies are not busy with emergency calls during this season, so they frequently will offer deals to sell appliances during their non-busy time.

Jewelry: September (along with January, March, April, July and August) are non-gift giving months. Retailers are more likely to offer sales during these months to help promote business.

Lawn mowers: To make room for their leaf machines and snowblowers, retailers will put their lawn mowers on sale. The closer to late fall, the more the discounts, but the less selection, too.

MP3 players: Companies sometimes put older models on sale during this time to make way for the newer models they will introduce in the fall. Consumers can then try them out and then give then as gifts for the holidays.

Plants, trees, and shrubs: Nurseries often drop their prices on these items in the fall to clear out their plentiful summer inventory. Now is the time to buy bulbs, too. Store them in the winter and then plant them in spring. Independent nurseries will often have larger markdowns and a wider selection than national retailers (big-box stores).

Ranges, stoves, and dishwashers: New models arrive around this time of year, which means older ones will often be discounted. Cooking-related appliances also go on sale now for Labor Day.

School supplies: Check local retailers for the last of their school supplies that they want to get rid of.

Swimsuits: This is the time that stores badly want to get rid of swimsuits and other summer items they have left.

Tires: To prepare your car for better traction in rain, snow and ice (winter), buy new tires now.

Sources:

Related articles:

 

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What does an oil change cost?

Nagger(Links checked 2/2013)

I know I am very guilty about not changing my oil enough. I know that changing my oil as experts recommend (every 3 months or 3,000 miles) will help improve the condition of my car and prevent breakdowns. However, it seems as if time and money always keep me from doing it on a regular basis. So I have tackled the money problem by investigating what an oil change really costs and by finding out who has the best deals. I have researched several nationwide chains and one local repair shop to compare.

FIRESTONE COMPLETE AUTO CARE

Prices:
Standard: $35.49
High mileage: $45.49
Full synthetic: $62.49 can vary by car, only do this if have used this kind of oil from the start

Coupons:
There is a monthly coupon right now on their website. For all current coupons click here. You can also sign up for their email list to receive specials and coupons.

Locations:
Firestone has more than 1600 locations nationwide.

Current low price with coupon = $24.85 + tax (with Feb. 2013 – 30% off coupon)

JIFFY LUBE

Prices:
Standard Oil Change: $39.99
Early Bird $24.99 (7 a.m. – 10 a.m.)

Coupons:
$5 coupon right now on their website. For all Jiffy Lube coupons click here. I have also gotten coupons in the mail via weekly mailers. You can also sign up for their email list to receive specials and coupons.

Locations:
Jiffy Lube has more than 2,000 service centers in North America.

Current low price with coupon = $34.99 after 10 a.m. or $19.99 early bird. Note: Some locations may not allow you to use a coupon with the sale price.

DOBB’S TIRE & AUTO

Prices:
Standard Oil Change: $34.95

Coupons:
There is a special right now on their website: buy one oil change, get one free. For all their current specials click here. You can also sign up for their email list to receive specials and coupons.

Locations:
Dobb’s has 38 locations in the St. Louis Metro area, St. Charles County and some of Illinois.

Current low price with coupon = $34.95 for 2 oil changes (as of Feb. 21, 2013)

MIDAS

Prices:
Standard Oil Change: $18.99 – $26.99
Oil Change with rotation and other checks: $24.99-$32.99
High mileage: $39.99
Full synthetic: $59.99 – $69.99

Coupons:
The coupons vary by location. The website lets you print coupons for the location of your choice. You can also sign up for their email list to receive specials and coupons.

Locations:
Midas has locations in North America, Central America, Africa, Asia/Pacific, and Europe.

Current low price with coupon = $18.99 at some locations, $19.99 at others

VALVOLINE

Prices:
Standard Oil Change (full-service): $38.99
Synthetic blend: $53.99
Full-synthetic : $69.99

Coupons:
I just received a postcard in the mail for a full-service oil change at $19.99 or $15 off a synthetic blend or synthetic oil change.

Locations:
Valvoline has more than 825 franchised and corporate Valvoline Instant Oil Change locations across the county. They also have more than 300 Express Care stores across the country.

* Valvoline also features tips on their website for saving money on gas.

Current low price with coupon = $19.99

THE BEST DEALS for Standard Oil Changes:

  1. Midas at $18.99 + tax at some locations (sale price)
  2. Jiffy Lube from 7 a.m. – 10 a.m., $19.99 + tax
    Midas or Valvoline at $19.99 + tax with coupon, any time of day
  3. Firestone at $24.85 + tax with coupon, any time of day

FOR MORE COUPONS

You can also look at Valpak.com for coupons for many repair/oil change companies and locations near you. For more ideas on where to find great coupons for a variety of products, see my post “Coupon websites – updated!” 

Related posts:

 

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November is the time to buy…

Certain times of the year are the best times to buy various things based on sales and availability. Here is your tip sheet for this month:

Cars: New cars often arrive at dealerships in September. During October, November and December deals on older models get better. RV deals are common in the fall, too.

Certain fruits: apples, cranberries, grapefruit, honeydew melons, oranges, Bartlett pears, and tangerines. Stock up now on cranberries to use later in the year when you can’t find them. (Just put them in a freezer bag and freeze them for later.)

Certain vegetables: broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, mushrooms and spinach

Charcoal grill: After Labor Day retailers offer sales of as much of 30 percent off from then until December. The best selection is available in September and October.

Cookware: Along with April, May and October, November is a good time for buying cookware. This is the time when consumers are preparing for end-of-the-year holidays.

Electronics:  Black Friday is when retailers often drop prices very low. Stores often do not stock many of each item, so they may be out of them before you even get in the door. Wal-Mart, however, often does and will match other stores’ prices.

Furnaces: Contractors and heating/cooling companies are not busy with emergency calls during this season, so they frequently will offer deals to sell appliances during their non-busy time.

Lawn mowers: To make room for their leaf machines and snowblowers, retailers will put their lawn mowers on sale. The closer to late fall, the more the discounts, but the less selection, too.

Pajamas and Slippers: These make great gifts for the holidays, so retailers put them on sale beginning in November. Look for good-priced packaged sets. In January the leftovers will be marked-down and put on clearance.

Plants, trees, and shrubs: Nurseries often drop their prices on these items in the fall to clear out their plentiful summer inventory. Now is the time to buy bulbs, too. Store them in the winter and then plant them in spring. Independent nurseries will often have larger markdowns and a wider selection than national retailers (big-box stores).

Sneakers: To make room for winter boots and shoes, big-box retailers will often put sneakers on sale during November.

Tires: To prepare your car for better traction in rain, snow and ice (winter), buy new tires in the fall.

Toys: Stores often offer sales during the fall to jumpstart the holiday season. Look for deals on games, puzzles and toys.

Turkeys: Look for sales after Thanksgiving, when grocers want to get rid of their unsold birds.

Sources:
– “Buy Ketchup in May and Fly at Noon: A Guide to the Best Time to Buy This, Do That, and Go There” by Mark Di Vincenzo
– “Your Month-to-Month Guide to Shopping Deals” from http://www.realsimple.com, at http://www.realsimple.com/work-life/money/spending/best-time-to-buy-00000000028717/

 

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October is the time to buy…

Certain times of the year are the best times to buy various things based on sales and availability. Here is your tip sheet for this month:

Cars: New cars often arrive at dealerships in September. October, November, and December deals on older models get better. RV deals are common in the fall, too.

Certain fruits: apples, cranberries, honeydew melons, oranges, peaches, and Bartlett pears

Certain vegetables: broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and spinach

Charcoal grill: After Labor Day retailers offer sales of as much of 30 percent off from now and until December. The best selection is available in the fall.

Cookware: Along with April, May and November, October is a good time for buying cookware. This is the time when consumers are preparing for end-of-the-year holidays.

Furnaces: Contractors and heating/cooling companies are not busy with emergency calls during this season, so they frequently will offer deals to sell appliances during their non-busy time.

Jeans: Now that the back-to-school sales are over, you will see big discounts. Stores want to get rid of their excess inventory. This is also a time of lower demand, so prices will tend to be lower.

Lawn mowers: To make room for their leaf machines and snowblowers, retailers will put their lawn mowers on sale. The closer to late fall, the more the discounts, but the less selection, too.

Plants, trees, and shrubs: Nurseries often drop their prices on these items in the fall to clear out their plentiful summer inventory. Now is the time to buy bulbs, too. Store them in the winter and then plant them in spring. Independent nurseries will often have larger markdowns and a wider selection than national retailers (big-box stores).

Ranges, stoves, dishwashers: New models arrive around this time of year, which means older ones will often be discounted.

Tires: To prepare your car for better traction in rain, snow and ice (winter), buy new tires now.

Toys: Stores often offer sales during the fall to jumpstart the holiday season. Look for deals on games, puzzles and toys.

Sources:
- “Buy Ketchup in May and Fly at Noon: A Guide to the Best Time to Buy This, Do That, and Go There” by Mark Di Vincenzo
– “Your Month-to-Month Guide to Shopping Deals” from http://www.realsimple.com, at http://www.realsimple.com/work-life/money/spending/best-time-to-buy-00000000028717/

 

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Free consumer resources from Uncle Sam

In doing some research at work today, I was reminded that there are many free resources from our national government. Remember those commercials on TV years ago about ordering free publications from Pueblo, Colorado? Well, now they are online. The Federal Trade Commission has a variety of consumer information resources on the following topics (you can print them from online or some can be ordered in paper copies):

- automobiles
– computers and the Internet
– credit and loans
– education, scholarships and job placement
– energy and the environment
– health
– ID theft, privacy and security
– investment and business opportunities
– shopping for products and services
– telemarketing and telephone services

If you work in a school or other business that might benefit from any of their publications, you can also order bulk copies by looking here.

The federal government also hosts a “Money Matters” website with information on scams, credit cards, managing your money, dealing with debit, your home, and jobs.

What did we ever do before the Internet?

 
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Posted by on September 16, 2011 in Email and online tips, Other savings tips

 

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September is the time to buy…

Beef and Corn on a Charcoal BBQ grill

Certain times of the year are the best times to buy various things based on sales and availability. Here is your tip sheet for this coming month:

Cars: September is when new cars begin arriving at the dealers. They will then discount their older models to make room for new inventory. RV deals are common in the fall, too.

Certain fruits: September is the time to buy apples, blueberries, cantaloupe, cranberries, honeydew melons, nectarines, peaches, Bartlett pears, and plums.

Certain vegetables: September is the time to buy cauliflower, corn, eggplants, peppers, and spinach.

Charcoal grill: After Labor Day retailers offer sales of as much of 30 percent off from now and until December. The best selection is available in the fall.

Furnaces: Contractors and heating/cooling companies are not busy with emergency calls during this season, so they frequently will offer deals to sell appliances during their non-busy time.

Jewelry: September (along with January, March, April, July and August) are non-gift giving months. Retailers are more likely to offer sales during these months to help promote business.

Lawn mowers: To make room for their leaf machines and snowblowers, retailers will put their lawn mowers on sale. The closer to late fall, the more the discounts, but the less selection, too.

MP3 players: Companies sometimes put older models on sale during this time to make way for the newer models they will introduce in the fall. Consumers can then try them out and then give then as gifts for the holidays.

Plants, trees, and shrubs: Nurseries often drop their prices on these items in the fall to clear out their plentiful summer inventory. Now is the time to buy bulbs, too. Store them in the winter and then plant them in spring. Independent nurseries will often have larger markdowns and a wider selection than national retailers (big-box stores).

Ranges, stoves, and dishwashers: New models arrive around this time of year, which means older ones will often be discounted. Cooking-related appliances also go on sale now for Labor Day.

School supplies: Check local retailers for the last of their school supplies that they want to get rid of.

Swimsuits: This is the time that stores badly want to get rid of swimsuits and other summer items they have left.

Tires: To prepare your car for better traction in rain, snow and ice (winter), buy new tires now.

Sources:
“Buy Ketchup in May and Fly at Noon: A Guide to the Best Time to Buy This, Do That, and Go There” by Mark Di Vincenzo
“Your Month-to-Month Guide to Shopping Deals” from Real Simple magazine.

 

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Review: Shop Smart magazine

I am an avid reader of magazines. My love of magazines dates back to my preteen years when I was obsessed with tv, movies, and girl issues. Now I am a mom, wife, and teacher, and I look for magazines not only to entertain me, but to inform me. I love to cut out articles and save them for future reference.

One of my fairly new favorites is “Shop Smart” magazine. I discovered it at Home Depot. The magazine is a publication of Consumer Reports. However, instead of focusing on larger purchases, Shop Smart is for the everyday consumer. Being part of Consumer Reports they benefit from the extensive testing staff that rates and reviews products.

I like this magazine for its:
- shop smart tips
– product comparisons and reviews
– reviews and lists of various websites pertaining to many topics and products
– Q & A
– explanations of rating systems and labeling seals
– buying guides
– variety of other topics like food, medicine, cars, electronics, home, and yard
– lighter topics like home decor ideas, fashion reviews, beauty, and pets

Check it out yourself! The magazine is a little higher-priced than some others because they do not have any advertising. This way they ensure that their reviews are not biased. I like to buy the magazine each year from my son’s magazine fundraiser at school, so I get a magazine I love and I support the school. Other places to look for it are http://www.amazon.com or http://www.shopsmartmag.org.

 

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