I’m wealthy for a bevy of reasons. I recycle. I pick up change on the ground. I clip coupons. Do my money saving techniques transcend to a staff of almost English-speakers? Yes. But I personally also know how to save a buck.
For instance, on Christmas shopping, I don’t just buy one of my kids a new Tesla $TSLA or an all-expense paid trip because they have the Bauer name. No. I wait for the bargains. If I did decide to splurge and buy them a vacation, I’d wait for a disaster—Carnival $CCL poop cruise anybody? If one of those grandkids I can’t stand wanted an advertised Nintendo DS XL, I might consider buying it for them as a Black Friday deal for $149 instead of the normal $199 price. Fifty dollars is fifty dollars, friend, whether you’re rich or not.
So in order to buy my gifts, I sent my staff out to all of the places with the best Black Friday deals: Wal-Mart $WMT, Kohl’s $KSS, Best Buy $BBY. As a man who isn’t afraid to “mingle with the serfs” I even dressed down in a slack pair of denim dad jeans and a rugged flannel shirt and joined the fray myself (partly because Raul wouldn’t answer his telefono) at Target $TGT. The line was intense, the crowd rabid…but momma didn’t raise no fool.
I brought my two month old newborn son and strapped him to my chest in a Baby Bjorn and borrowed my favorite grandchild and hoisted him on my ailing back. I lurched into Target $TGT with a sweaty brow and a desperate look on my face. I grabbed a cart and frantically joined the fracas, possibly reeking of turkey and booze. My guise didn’t take long to be noticed—an amazing Target clerk found me and asked if she could help me. I rattled off the discounted ‘doorbuster’ deals I needed for my family. One by one, ‘Moira’ became my personal shopper and helped me locate all of them. She checked the storerooms. She checked hidden spots. She conferred with fellow team members. And I thrived.
A dollar saved is a dollar earned. Recently I’ve noticed a barrage of savings coming from my own household on my soda consumption. While I last documented the coupon and sales plethora on Dr Pepper Ten back in September (“A Stock You’ve Been Meth-ing?! $DPS $KO #GoodbyeBreakingBad on www.AtTheMoney.com/meth), I didn’t realize just how much I had adjusted my own household spending of late…concerning my Sodastream $SODA.
In the last 6 months, Sodastream is down 10% (though still up 15% from when I recommended it in February). Could the countless barrage of 3 for $10, 4 for $11, and coupons galore for Coke, Pepsi, and Dr Pepper at local supermarkets be taking their toll on the stream of soda?!
Perhaps. It’s no surprise that Sodastream is one of my favorite products and stocks. I love the product because of the cost savings per drink, but the yin to that yang is that I actually have to do something. I have to mix up and push buttons and screw bottles just to get my tasty caloric free beverage. In the past, I haven’t griped about this because I knew I was saving money. But if all of the sudden, Dr Pepper products go 4 for $11 with four $1-off coupons and the use of a 5% discount via your Target Red Card, my cost per can of soda has dropped to around $.13 a can. That means I save money over Sodastream and can walk my hefty ass to the fridge, crack open the can, and enjoy immediately. Plus, if the can eventually makes it to the recycling bin, I get a few cents back there.
So I’d be careful investing in Sodastream throughout the holiday season, despite their product being one featured in Black Friday deals. I noted that those aforementioned deals usually included a gift card with purchase instead of discounting the actual product itself. I also noted that Sodastream recently won the 2013 Product of the Year in the Home Appliance section from TNS. They’ve added an easier way to mix with Sodastream Caps. Lastly, they recently announced a new line of products that really had me considering stocking up on more of their products: Happy Hour Cocktail Mixers.
Sodastream is a screaming buy for my Growth portfolio when mainstream soda prices are high. Go to your local supermarket and see how much a 12-pack costs. If you notice that a name brand flavor is consistently $5.19 for 12 cans ($.43/can), then our Joe Consumer will often seek out better bargains. But if coupons and sales and discounts reign supreme week after week, I’d be more bearish on my beloved Sodastream at this time.
I don’t know about you, but when I’m investing in soda and growth, I want my profits to pop (pun on how some Northerners call all soda pop) and not be fearful at all that sales could go flat (like a soda left out overnight). I never want my profits to fizz out so I keep an eye on all facets of the industry. You should too…