Stretching Your Dollar: Savings Calendar - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Stretching Your Dollar: Savings Calendar

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV)  - Every year several web sites come out with their best time to buy guides.  I found the one from lifehacker.com to be cleverly written and right on point. 

I decided to take some of the suggestions on lifehacker.com and share them with you in what I call a ‘savings calendar'.   

I've also included some important info on specific dates that are important to those of us who live in the Carolinas.

If we break the year into four quarters, as lifehacker.com did, we find the beginning of the year should have us thinking outside!  While we've had a mixed weather start to 2012, most people aren't thinking about bike rides, or grilling, or their old overworked AC unit. 

But in the months of January, February and March most things you would use outside are marked way down.  Electronics are also a great thing to explore during January and February. 

According to lifehacker.com, "These stay on sale pretty much right up until super bowl." 

March might be the perfect time to clean out your freezer.    March is National Frozen Food Month according to the National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association.    

The trade organization encourages consumers to "Take a fresh look at frozen" during March.  Because of that, many retailers are offering specials during the month of March.

The second quarter gives us a chance to come inside and see what we need inside our home.  From electronics to kitchen accessories, lifehacker.com points out the impending graduation season as a great reason to shop the sales for home goods. 

And don't wait until summer to fix up your car.  In this ‘off-season' for road trips many manufacturers of tires and car accessories have huge sales, according to Whitson Gordon's list. 

I talked with the experts at Love's Plumbing; they suggest that you mark April on your calendar as a time to have both your heating and air units serviced.  Instead of paying for two trips, in the fall and spring, ask your HVAC company to take the time to service both.

The third quarter is important for thinking ahead.  We have a' back-to-school' tax holiday in North Carolina that has already been set, South Carolina's is not firmed up yet.  August 3 through the fifth of August you won't pay sales tax on back to school supplies. 

Things like clothing, backpacks, computers, footwear and sports gear is exempt up to a certain amount.  This link connects you to the state's description of the savings.

As they point out on lifehacker.com, if you can make it to the fourth of July on your old grill, try to.  Most big box stores run big sales on what's left of their inventory for grills and most outdoor furniture at the end of July, into August and September.  

Come fall your big ticket investments like cars, home appliances and electronics start to tumble in price. Lifehacker.com reminds us that the new models have hit the lots of car dealerships and because of that they're going to want to unload the 2012 models.  So if you're looking ahead, mark your calendar to check out the deals in the October, November and December. 

If you need a new fridge or washer or dryer, North Carolina has an Energy Star sales tax holiday November 2,3, 4, 2012.  On those days you can purchase household appliances that have the Energy Star label and not pay sales tax, which on a pricey new refrigerator can really add up.  Click here for information on what was covered in 2011, should be much the same this year.

Also mark your calendar for post holiday sales for all the major holidays.  I saw someone just this weekend walking out of a local drug store with two arms full of wrapping paper.  They told me quote, "We got all this for practically nothing."  Those types of sales hold true after most holidays year-round.

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