By Paula Wethington / Monroe on a Budget

I’ve talked about how seasonal specials such as Mother’s Day kitchenware sales can be useful for shoppers beyond the intended promotion.

I now have an example of how a Father’s Day special benefited a Mom, specifically me!

I went shopping for electronic accessories Monday at Meijer as the charger cord I keep at home for my iPhone died. I prefer to keep a cord at home, one in my work desk, and one in my car, than pack a charger everywhere I go.

But before I found the cord, I saw a portable power pack among the Father’s Day gift idea promotions. It was on a terrific sale – half off – so that it cost only $14.99.


Could my husband use one? Maybe. He has more electronic devices than I do. But I realized I could use one!

Despite my charger cord collection, there are occasions when I’m not sure I can find an outlet anywhere to plug in the phone. This situation could easily happen this weekend when I’m on a newspaper assignment.

A couple of years ago, I bought a power pack in hopes of extending the life of a previous phone that was giving out. The device didn’t help much. That could have been the fault of the phone rather than the battery, but I hadn’t taken the time to troubleshoot the problem.

A new battery, this time with a familiar brand name, sounded like a great idea. The old battery went into our disaster kit as a backup device, and this will be my main one.

What was my budget-friendly purchase decision after I picked up an unexpected item?

I bought the least expensive charger cord that immediately fit my needs. It’s a shorter cord than I’m used to having at home, but I also wasn’t expecting to buy an accessory.

This story turns out to be a great introduction to my newspaper column today: when is the best time of year to buy stuff?

You’ll find lists all over the Internet about those monthly and seasonal cycles, and there’s also a lot of word of mouth conventional wisdom about that. But I’ve noticed some shifts in recent years on those traditional expectations. That’s why I wrote a column about trends I’ve noticed.

And in the meantime, to spin off what I’ve said before on Mother’s Day gifts, you don’t have to be a Dad to appreciate a Father’s Day sale.

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