How Weather Affects Shopping

The mercury has reached about 96 degrees each of the past two days. With the beginning of July on us, we move deeper into hurricane season and that will have a very clear effect on my household buying patterns for the next few months. Peak hurricane season is July and August, but the season, which began on June 1, will not end until November 30.

During hurricane season, I always have ten cases of water on hand (enough for my household for ten days) and I will make sure that I have flash lights, duct tape, candles and batteries, too. There are plenty of articles appearing now about the hurricane preparedness, assuming you live in an area prone to hurricanes, so I won’t add to the stream of survival articles. I do find it interesting, however, to consider how the weather affects buying patterns for those of us who do not want to waste money. I know that the weather does affect how I shop.

Be Aware of Possible Power Failures

My freezers are now full of food that I bought on sale, typically during buy-one get-one sales. Of course, I love BOGO deals but I realize that they are only great deals if I actually get to use the products that I purchase. I also know that during hurricane season, I may lose my power for several days if a big storm should hit my city, as was the case in 2004. I usually get about ten days advance warning of the possibility of a big storm so as the hurricane season progresses, we will stop stocking up and start eating what we have in the freezer so that if we do lose power, we won’t waste all of the food that we have already purchased. The same philosophy should be considered if you live in an area that is prone to heavy snow in the winter.

Follow Severe Weather Guidelines in Every Climate

Just as I will not stock up on frozen food during hurricane season, I will stock up on water and all of the other things that we are told to purchase during hurricane season. Know what you are supposed to have on hand during severe weather and be shopping for it before the severe weather season arrives. It is always better to be prepared for the worst, and by looking for sales before you need to stock up, you can save money and still be prepared.

Try Not to Use Your Oven during the Summer (but use it a lot in the winter)

If you cook during the summer, you contribute to the heat in your home. That will contribute to the cost of air conditioning and general discomfort in the household. Look for items like salads and easy to make sandwiches that you can serve instead of serving meals that require extended use of the oven. During the winter on the other hand, use your oven a lot and at least your kitchen will stay warm!

Great Deals on Hot Soup are not All that Great in the Summer

You know that soup will go on sale again, so why would you stock up on soup at the beginning of June? I have seen several people do that recently and, being bold, have asked them if they actually eat soup in the summer. Each person asked has told me that they are stocking up for the fall and winter. If one happens to be a farmer, I can understand laying away food for the colder months, but the grocery store is going to continue to stock soup and other cold weather foods and the sales will return as they always do. Stocking up on food that no one will eat for months just gives money to the grocery store. Shoppers should consider buying only foods that are useful now and in the foreseeable future.

How does the weather change your buying patterns? How does your shopping cart during the dog days of summer compare to your shopping cart during the colder months of winter?

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3 Responses to How Weather Affects Shopping

  1. Ashley says:

    For the most part I agree with your advice on this. But the line about avoiding stocking up on freezer foods in case of a snow storm knocking out power? It’s called a cooler in the snow. I guarantee your frozen foodstuffs won’t melt. What you do have to worry about in that scenario, on the other hand, are your refrigerator items that shouldn’t freeze (like milk or eggs). In that case you also need alternatives for keeping your house warm (as several of my friends found out when DC’s Snowpocalypse left them without power for several days).

  2. Diane says:

    We also live in a hurricane zone (outside New Orleans), so we use the stocked up food in our freezer for the same reason. We do stock up on water, batteries, propane (for the grill) to some degree. However, if a major hurricane threatens we’ll be evacuating, so no need for weeks supply of food & water on hand.

  3. Gail says:

    If I see an all time low for soup in the summer, I’m happy to stock up then! We have a large pantry and I want it fully stocked by the beginning of Novemeber because we get heavy snowfalls and it is hard to get out and shop so I want that pany, freezer and cupboards to be full. If you are always watching for deals you can do this much cheaper by buying at times in the ‘off’ season.

    How the weather affects my shopping is frankly, I don’t want to leave the air conditioned house to go out in the heat and go shopping nor do I want to cook. I guess I get lazy. When it is hot, even with AC, no one seems to really want to eat, so I don’t cook big meals.

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