Stretching Your Dollar... Best ways to spend your money

By Maureen O'Boyle - bio l email

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - A new report on consumer spending is fueling optimism that consumers are a little more confident about letting go of their money.  During the month of August, consumer spending increased by 2.7 percent.  This is the best showing since January of 2006.  If you are like most Americans, you are choosing your purchases wisely.

In our Stretching Your Dollar series we are beginning a new On Your Side report on the last Monday of every month.  We will show you the best way to spend your money and what products are traditionally discounted for the coming month.

In October, you will see a big savings in major appliances.  Things like dishwashers, washers, dryers and refrigerators are discounted to make room for next year's models.  Most consumer advocates recommend scouting out your big ticket appliances in October and look for your best deal.

"We are offering this model at clearance, because once this item is sold, we wont be carrying it anymore," said Mike Wilson who works at the Lowe's Home Improvement store on South Boulevard in Charlotte.

If your grill has lost it's sizzle, October is also a good time to think about replacing it.  Don't wait until next summer when most outdoor items are full price.  Now is the time to shop for these things, although at Lowes' South Boulevard location they have already sold out of those items.

"We are a seasonally driven business, so we discount those items to make room for the next season, where lawn furniture was, we have started our heating and Christmas displays," Wilson said.

Also, keep in mind that states will soon be offering rebates for certain purchases on appliances with the Energy Star label.  Those rebates have not been determined yet, states are waiting on federal funding approval.  States will release that information in mid-October, just in time to benefit from the falling prices in the first month of fall.

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