Black Friday is over and holiday deals will soon be winding down. Can you count on any discounts going into the new year? For some products, maybe (those January sales are often pretty good.) But others? Not so much.
Every year, we see a rotating list of price predictions coming our way. They affect everything from big-ticket items like cars but also everyday ones like fruit. Why is that? “Prices are affected by raw material prices, transportation costs, tariffs, and of course supply and demand,” which are always changing, says Edgar Dworsky, Founder and Editor of ConsumerWorld.org. Andrea Woroch, consumer savings expert at andreaworoch.com, points out that competition also plays its hand.
This year, check the price tag on these items before you “add to cart.”
Major appliances. We’re talking refrigerator-sized ones. Like actual refrigerators, but also ovens, ranges, dishwashers, washers, dryers and the like. Price increases on these items could be related to tariffs being imposed on imports, says Dworsky.
Streaming services. As if you weren’t paying enough for your entertainment needs, 2020 will bring even higher bills. Hulu Live is raising its price by $10, says Woroch. Plus, with all of the new streaming services, like Disney+, consumers in general are expected to spend more on their streaming needs, she adds.
Food. The price tag at your local grocery store will be going up for things like beef, veal, meats, seafood, processed fruits and vegetables, and fresh vegetables, says Woroch. This is due to a number of factors, like increased prices in electricity, diesel, for food production, transportation, and retail sales. It’s not all bad news at the supermarket. Reader’s Digest predicts that switching to a lower cost (discount) grocery store — like Aldi or Lidl — could open the door to bigger overall savings. It will be easier as these stores expand their footprint in the US.
Electronics should drop in price, unless they are affected by tariffs, Says Dworsky. “The trend has been bigger and better for less money,” he adds. Specifically, the price of the iPhone 11 will drop since it has already been on the market for a few months, wireless headphones are seeing price cuts as more companies are competing for business in this market, and there will be better deals on OLED TVs, Woroch says.
While you might want to try to focus your shopping on items that are expected to drop in price, that isn’t always realistic when you get to the store. Even if something goes up in price, there are tried and truel ways to save. Dworsky is a fan of buying in bulk — especially for grocery store purchases. The best way to do this is to develop a price consciousness, he says. Keep track of prices of your favorite items so you know when it is going for a great price. When it’s on sale, “don’t just buy one,” he suggests. Stock up, if you can, when the price is the lowest it is going to be. Your patience will save you money, Woroch says. If you can wait a few months for the “latest and greatest,” the price is likely to be a little lower.
With Rebecca Cohen