Chico with lots of dog food

Here we see my father’s chihuahua, Chico, on top of 200 pounds of dog food I bought on clearance for $70 at Walmart. Presented with this, people will look at you funny and ask the same repetitive questions like “why are you buying so much?” In this case, Walmart was clearing out this dog food even though it still has over a year left on expiration. The price was 50–60% off the normal price so that an 18 lb. bag of Purina was $6.25 and a 20 lb. bag of Ol’Roy was $5.50.

Stocking up when items are on sale is a great strategy when a few criteria are met:

1. The price should be a “good” deal. This varies by person. Stocking up on Louis Vuitton handbags because they are at the lowest price ever might be a great deal for someone who has a bonafide purpose for them (e.g., projecting an image or enjoying a high-quality product) and is financially equipped. Otherwise, not so much.

2. You would use the item anyway. If this is something you would be using anyway but would be likely to buy at a higher price in the future, then buying it on sale or clearance might be a good decision. There is, of course, a certain amount of uncertainty here. For instance, a child could have a growth spurt and grow out of the clothes you bought for him or her.

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