Buying new stuff is pretty much unavoidable, which is totally fine–because in the end, your money is there to enjoy! However, if you’re gonna spend, why not do it like a boss? There are times that are better than others to purchase things like plane tickets, cars, and electronics. Here’s a quick breakdown of some of the best times to buy:
Food: Many grocery stores begin their weekly coupon programs on Wednesdays, which makes it an ideal time to go shopping and grab some deals. Remember though that buying in bulk normally doesn’t save you that much money; and the food you buy has a bigger chance of being wasted. Also: quit going to the grocery store hungry! Going to the store earlier = sticking to your list (assuming you have one, which you should for ye olde Spending Plan), and purchasing healthier food (which means more nutritional bang for your hard-earned buck).
Clothing: Retailers tend to add new sale merchandise on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays ahead of the weekend shopping rush, so keep an eye out on those days if you’re looking for something new.
Electronics: Japanese manufacturers’ fiscal year ends in March, so they’re eager to get rid of old stock to boost numbers. As long as you’re okay with buying last year’s model, you can find some steep discounts. Also good to buy in April? Cookware and kitchen accessories! As graduation season draws closer, you’ll see a lot of sales for these practical gifts—but you don’t have to be a grad to get in on these great deals.
Cars: Lots of car dealerships work on a quota system, meaning that they have to sell a certain number of cars every month. In the last days of the month, the dealership will have greater incentive to knock down the price in order to meet their quota. Going on a weekday can work in your favor as well as things aren’t as busy as on the weekend. And go for pre-owned: new cars depreciate 15-20% the second you drive them off the lot, and they lose 70% of their value in the first four years.
Gas: Since the markets are closed on the weekends, that’s when you’re likely to find the best gas prices.
Plane tickets: Tuesday at 3:00p.m. eastern time is the best time to book. This is when airlines release the most sales, and internet traffic is typically slower meaning you’re competing with fewer customers for flights. And it might sound counter-intuitive but don’t book too early: 45 days before your trip (or 60 for international travel) is ideal because outside of that 45-day window most airline computers aren’t programmed to give you any kind of deal. If you book too far in advance and then prices drop later on, you can’t take advantage of the lower price without getting dinged by the standard change fee—which will easily erase any possible savings.
For more consumer news you can use, check out Nicole’s recent appearance on “Good Day LA!”