Are You Shopping on the Best Days?
From all the hype that I have been hearing, the majority think that Black Friday and Cyber Monday are the best time of year, essentially the best days to shop. If it wasn’t bad enough, Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, has been turned into a whole week of shopping. But we should remember that this hype was created by the retailers themselves to convince us to shop and may not mean that you are getting the best deals. Your “Buyer Beware” sign should prominently displayed on your lapel as you enter the stores during this season. The lures that something appear to be too good to be true may just as well be too good to be true.
I recognize that I am in the minority with my opinion of commercializing holidays and the whole blackballing of Black Friday. My message is simple, whenever you shop, be strategic and smart about it. Alternatively, there are other times you can shop when the pricing is truly on your side.
Do you know the best days to shop? Recently, I thought about this very question as I was writing this post. The answers may surprise you.
Here are some of the best days to shop for items such as gas, cars, clothing, groceries, and more:
- Buying Gas
- The best day of the week to score cheap gas varies, but the majority of studies say that you will find the best deals late in the week or over the weekend. The best time of day to refuel is before dawn or late at night as stations usually raise prices during the day, especially for rush hour. Sometimes I have gone to work and seen the gas prices at one rate and on my way home from work, the same gas was at cents higher.
- I tend to buy gas on Friday after I have done my weekly grocery shopping because I can then use my gas reward discount at the pump to reduce the overall costs.
- Buying Cars
- It has been said that the optimal time to shop for a car is when the new models are about to hit the market. Usually this is towards the end of the year. This is a good time because dealers have to make room on their lot for the new models, which usually leads to a bigger sale and the salespeople are able to make better deals with their customers.
- If you have to shop for a car during the earlier part of the year, try going towards the end of the month on a weekend. Every time I have ever bought a car, I picked the least busiest time of the day when I had time to browse as well as time to negotiate with the dealership. This seems to work for me because the fewer people on the lot, the more likely the dealer is willing to make a favorable deal.
- Grocery Shopping
- Grocery Shopping can be tricky. A common theme among grocers used to be that the best deals begun on Wednesday due to stores beginning their weekly discount and coupon programs. Now, a lot of your deals will depend on where you shop.
- Double coupons are the new frontier for smart, savings-oriented shoppers. What they are, essentially, is an agreement by the grocery store to double the savings of the coupon at checkout. The grocery stores take out these additional savings from their end in the hopes of drawing you to the store. For instance if you have a coupon for $0.50 off an item and you’ll receive a total of $1.00 off at the register. This can lead to some killer savings.
- Another means to determine the best day to shop is find out which day your store marks down items and try to shop on those days to get the best selection. Sometimes grocery stores will also offer up to a 10% discount to seniors and military families.
- Along with these considerations, I try never to shop at the beginning of the month when everyone else is shopping. The stores are too crowded and I seem to lose concentration and get frustrated, which is bad for keeping an eye out for the best deals. Also, I try not to shop in the evening as I am getting off from work, I am the most tired and hungry. This puts me in a vulnerable position.
- So depending where I am going to shop – Farm Fresh, Martin’s, Kroger, or Food lion, the best day for shopping is different because the savings are going to be different.
- Generally, the best discounts on clothing can often be found on Thursday because retailers will start to mark down merchandise before the weekend crowd hits. However, if you shop at stores that specialize in everyday low prices this equation won’t fit them.
- Seasonal shopping is always a good idea. For huge savings, try buying your clothes at the end of a season, and holding them until next year. Styles don’t change all that much from year to year, so you will have a jump on the crowd. I love buying my clothes this way because some things I can wear regardless of the season. For instance, I tend to wear shells or sleeveless blouses year round because I have them under a sweater or suit jacket.
- Items like jeans and khaki that are not tied to a season will routinely go on sale. Watch for the sales. Periodically look through your favorite store’s sale flyer. Some retailers may offer 40 percent off storewide sales for the Memorial Day weekend. Sign up for the store’s mailing list, they will send you personalized coupons that other customers may not get. It is so worth have spam in your mailbox.
- Much research points to the best time to buy electronics, such as cellphones and tablets are on Mondays. Electronics manufacturers release rebates and discounts on Mondays at which time they pass them on to customers. I can tell you the last time I shopped at Best Buy on Saturday, it was a nightmare. I will never do that again. Not only were the crowds outrageous, but the sales clerk to customer ratio was off balanced. I learned my lesson there.
- Planning ahead can help you save these purchases until December and January. This is when most electronics such as televisions, computer equipment, and peripherals go on sale.
Leave me a comment below, and let me know what you think. Are there other products that you get at a certain time of year? I would love to hear your thoughts.
Photo Credit: Kozzi