When spending one single dime, my parent’s taught me to squeeze as much out of that dime as possible. Everything from heading straight to the back of clothing stores for sales, to using a coupon if you can, paying full price for things almost never happened growing up. You may be on this same track, knowing that good deals AREN’T that hard to find if you search. But what about waiting? Does time have a part in saving as much money as you can. For those at Daily Finance, timing can really have an impact of how much of your dollar is spent and how much is saved. Here are thoughts to keep when heading into any purchase:
BUYING FOOD: It may not feel like it because the cost is spread out over three plus meals per day but, in fact, food costs are right up there with rent. If you implement better spending practices, small savings will compound day over day, year over year.
- Buy meat on weekday mornings. That’s when the specials are out and the store is looking to be sold out by noon that day. You’ll find great discounts – so buy in bulk and freeze what you won’t use right away.
- Purchase prepared foods like sushi and rotisserie chicken near day’s end – these items are discounted about an hour before the store closes.
- Take advantage of daily price cuts. Bread and other baked products have their prices slashed in half by the late afternoon and evening – encouraging people to buy before it gets thrown out.
- Bonus: Wednesdays are usually when weekly grocery sales start. Head over to your grocery store at the start of the cycle and have your pick!
ELECTRONICS: When it comes to buying electronics, it pays to keep track of product cycles and pricing trends. So long as you don’t mind buying slightly older models, there are discounts to be had. Generally, January and February are the best months for this. New models for digital cameras, TVs and even air conditioning units are usually announced in January – the following months are the best time to find good deals on older models. Likewise, for computers, try July through September so you can take advantage of all the back to school sales.
PLANE TICKETS: Shopping for airline tickets can be frustrating, confusing and disorienting. How does one make sure they’re getting the best value for the money without having to scour the web endlessly for deals? After crunching mountains of data, online travel agent Kayak concluded that anyone looking for the best price on airfare should book between three to four weeks out from their intended departure date. Look closer, however, and you see that a lot of sales are launched on Monday nights.
HOUSES: Spring may symbolize rebirth and renewal, but for the home buyer it’s the kiss of death. Don’t look for a home in the spring, except on Easter Sunday – the second best day of the year to make an offer, says Time Magazine. The best day is Christmas Day. It makes sense, who’s out hawking a house on holidays where the family gets together? The best time of year to buy a house is winter – when the weather keeps people inside and discourages them from house hunting.
CARS: The latest models start appearing in showrooms in the fall, so September is a great time to pick up great deals on previous year’s models. Likewise, the week between Christmas and New Year’s day is when the most generous discounts are available, especially on older and slow selling modes. One tip for buying a car: know your stuff before stepping foot on the lot. This is where most people mess up, so it is necessary to do all your research and planning beforehand, and go in knowing what you want. If you must go on the lot, pick a weekday or a time near the end of the month when salesmen’s quotas need to be made.
GAS: Every morning between 8 and 10 am, gas station managers do the dance of checking their competitor’s prices and adjusting their price accordingly. This is why you should buy gas in the early morning. Similarly, the best day of the week to buy gas is Wednesday because gas hikes usually take place on Thursday to take advantage of holiday travelers and road trippers who are on the move over the weekend.