This week's launch in Chattanooga depleted my stock of A8-3 motors, thereby providing an impetus to take a supply inventory; we are coming up on NSL and other launches, and it is not cool to run out of stuff mid flying season. Folks often ask me where I get my rocket supplies, thinking that I have some great insight into special deals. Naturally, I do not - any deals that I might find pop up via postings on the forums or shear dumb luck. However, I will state that I am pretty good at recognizing a good buy when I see it, and these happen on a weekly basis. You just got to know where to look; the 40% off coupon for Hobby Lobby is a great start, as you can get a rocket kit or some motors for cheap using it.
Here's the list of vendors I regularly patronize, in no particular order. There are many more very fine rocket suppliers out there - these are just the ones I use. You may have found others.
AC Supply - perpetual 40% off Estes items. My number 1 spot to pick up Estes motors and kit bulk packs, as well as the normal Estes kits.
Aerospace Specialty Products - ASP has very nice scale kits, available at an even nicer price. They also have the NEO standard, which is a very good looking beginner kit.
Apogee Components - Tim offers perhaps the greatest variety in rocket kits of any vendor, with selections from many manufacturers. He also is the developer of the very versatile Rocksim software package and stocks items of great use in TARC, such as egg cushions. Prices are not the lowest, but you can't beat the selection - or the customer service.
Balsa Machining Service - tubes and balsa nose cones. Their school rockets are great beginner kits, and at $5.25 a rocket, hard to compete with on price.
eRockets - huge selection of parts and vendor for the outstanding Semroc kits.
Estes - they occasionally have fabulous sales on rocket kits, especially around holidays. Keep an eye out for Mother's or Father's Day specials. I also usually buy my first of any new Estes kit here, to show my appreciation for the recent revitalization of the company.
Excelsior Rocketry - The Sandman fills most of my water slide decal needs. He is also a fantastic woodworker, and will do custom nose cones, etc.
JollyLogic - John Beans has a great line of altimeters, including one that communicates via BlueTooth with a phone or tablet. His Chute Release is the rage among mid-power rocketeers, especially old guys who don't like to walk.
JonRocket.com - my source for Odd'l Rockets and Dr. Zooch kits, rip stop parachutes, and other odds and ends. Roger and Bracchia are very responsive, ship quickly, and have some decent sale items.
Perfectflite - the manufacturer of the altimeters used in TARC; I usually buy these straight from them.
StickerShock23 - The place to go for vinyl decals, markings, and wraps. His variations on the Red Max themes are hilarious.
The local hobby store for balsa and basswood - I like to inspect my wood before buying it.
So this is where I shop; now if I could only find some money...