The thrifty prepper – how to stretch the prepping budget
The thrifty prepper – how to stretch the prepping budget
I think most preppers are frugal folks deep down in their prepping hearts.
We are prepared and practical in our approach to life. We pour over our prepping lists and consider what items are best suited for our needs. If those items happen to be on sale, discounted or there is a coupon we can use to further reduce the price, we just achieved prepper nirvana.
I learned to be frugal from my parents. They were generous of spirit, but they loved building their savings. My Mom was a somewhat shy person, but get that woman shopping and I used to wonder where my mother went.
She knew her prices and could execute a grocery shopping trip with all the zeal of a five-star General storming an enemy stronghold. Those groceries were hers and they were landing in her shopping cart at the price she wanted to pay. No can of tuna was left behind!
My Dad and Mom together were a tour de force. They would descend upon an appliance store and compare every detail to ensure the best possible features. Then, the final moments as they circled a washing machine and shifted from an appraising to a critical eye. Aha! There was a dent!
I swear those two invented scratch and dent sales. But you know, it wasn’t such a bad way to shop. They were careful and informed shoppers.
They taught me to pay attention to what is referred to as “sale seasons.”
We know about Black Friday sales or Boxing Day sales, but throughout the year, there are items that traditionally go on sale each month and at certain times of the month. If you follow this sale calendar, you can save some money.
For example, there are the “white sales” of January each year when bed linens, pillows and towels go on sale.
You don’t have to be a Dad to take advantage of the Father’s Day sales that happen every June. You can get great deals on all kinds of tools at hardware stores and big-box home stores.
There are different sale season calendars that can be sourced online. I’ve included the links for a couple that might help you familiarize yourself with them.
Aside from sale seasons, there are ways to negotiate on the best deals for that BOV you’ve been wanting.
I worked for two car dealerships and got an understanding of how people walked away with the best deals.
October, November and December are the best time of year to buy a car.
Car dealerships must meet sales quotas, which typically break down into yearly, quarterly and monthly sales goals. These three goals dovetail together late in the year.
Of those months, I personally would choose December and walk in on the last business day before the sales cut off for commissioned sales reps.
They will be eager to make a deal and then push for a successful negotiation with their Sales Manager. They want that sale included in their pay cheque.
The Sales Manager will push back on the negotiations because that’s what he does, but a savvy shopper says to the sale rep “Let me talk to your Sales Manager so we can get you that nice big commission check.”
You can do it politely, in a firm and business-like tone, but ask to speak with the Sales Manager drirectly. The sales rep has no power to approve the deal. It saves time and you won’t get caught up in a negotiation that could cost you more than you want to spend or waste your time if there is not a deal to be made there and you could have made a deal elsewhere.
Once you are in the Sales Manager’s office “Look, the car lots are slow because people are paying off their Christmas spending. I have cash in my account so it’s a cash deal. Easy money for you, if I get the deal that works for me. So far, our numbers are too far apart. Just give me your best and final offer. I’m buying a vehicle today, and for the right deal, it will be off your lot.”
You have turned the table on the Sale Manager because now he has to present a number to you, his best and final, in order to make the deal work.
January is usually a good month for used cars. Did you know that most millionaires, multi-millionaires and even billionaires drive three year old cars?
That BOV of your dreams is a depreciable asset and it will depreciate at least $1000.00 the moment you drive it off the lot.
A three year old vehicle still has warranty. Any recall issues are usually addressed. There are also one year old Sale Reps Demo vehicles that can be had for a good deal also. Same principles apply re time of month shopping, always on day before for pay day cut off day.
Read the bill of sale carefully before paying and don’t pay for baloney charges like “airport tax.” When was the last time anyone saw a plane full of cars offloaded? “A doc fee” is another one. It is short for a document fee which is short for you are expected to contribute to their Finance & Insurance Manager’s commission cheque. Have these charges removed from the bill. They can pay their own people.
There are other ways of being a thrifty prepper.
If you and a couple of friends are in the market for new deep freezers, coordinate your purchase, then approach the appliance department together, in the right sale month, at the right time of the month and say “There are three of us and we each want to buy that deep freezer, what’s the best price you can offer us?”
How about grocery shopping? Are you using coupons? How about case lots or bulk food purchasing? Have you tried sourcing directly from the producer or farmer? There is always gardening or a you pick fruit farm.
Have you ever bought a mis-matched mattress and box-spring set? It’s only the outer fabric that differs and that is covered up so no one sees the difference.
There are good deals to be had from government surplus sites. Another is the deals from boom cities that are winding down. Kelowna, BC, for example, had a huge amount of generators, tools and various building gear for sale online and in the local pawn shops. The people hired were desperate to sell and there were some very good deals available.
They are so many more ways to be a thrifty prepper. How about you? Do you practice thrifty prepping? What are some ways that you get thrifty?