Spend Now - Save Later

Taking Advantage of Opportunities

Many of us use opportunity buys to stock up on food and toiletries.  Timing purchases to meet the sale or coupon cycle.  If you are in position to take advantage of it, the same principle can used for larger purchases as well.

I visited a friend recently.  He's a prepper.  A couple of years ago he got tired of spending up to $4,000 a year on propane for his furnace, so he bought a used woodstove and installed it.  Since then, he's figured out that he uses about five cords a winter, and maintains a pretty good stack out back.  He cuts some deadfall at friend's and family's houses, and buys some from a guy who delivers it in a dump truck.  He gets a lot of his exercise cutting and stacking.

He's been paying $180 a cord, but his supplier wanted to get rid of seven cords of last year's wood and let him have it for $100 a cord.  It hasn't even finished curing and drying yet, so it will be good to go for at least another couple of years.  He had about three cords all stacked up already, so now he has a full two year's worth ready to go.  He did some calculations, and this $700 investment means that based on BTUs, the heat that would have cost him $4 with propane is going to cost him 26 cents for the next two years.  I know he's glad he was able to take advantage of the opportunity.

While visiting with him, we talked about health and fitness for a while.  I'm fighting the battle to get myself back in "fighting" shape, and my friend has really made some positive changes in his levels over the past couple of years.  He suggested some supplement packs from GNC that he uses.  I went to GNC today and found them with a regular price of $49.99 for 30 days, but on sale for $39.99, a 20% savings.  The sale goes until Aug. 27, so here's my plan.  I'll start taking them and make sure it all works with me.  If everything seems to be going right, on the 27th, I'll go buy two more packs.  When those are gone, I'll need to pay full price.  But, knowing that they are on sale now, I'm guessing that they go on sale on a regular basis, perhaps every four or six months or so.  I'll continue buying, putting aside an extra pack when I can, but when they go on sale I'll be able to by several more.  Over the course of a year or so, I'll get to the point where I have plenty put back, and I'll time my purchases to take advantage of the sale cycle.  It will ultimately save me $120 a year.  Not a tremendous amount, but it's a few extra cans of freeze dried food, some more ammo, or some first aid equipment.

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