I'm sure you know that there are many items that you can get cheaper if you wait to buy until the right time. What you may not know is how to time those items. Here are a few tips on when to buy, tips that range from a particular day of the week to an exact month of the year. Simple understanding of these tips can save you big time.
- Gas prices – Particularly during warmer weather, people travel long distances on weekends. Gas station owners know this and will plan accordingly. They'll usually catch the wave up by raising prices mid-week, and starting to lower them again on by the end of the weekend. If you frequent a particular gas station, keep an eye on their prices throughout the week, and you'll start to notice a pattern. We have a Speedway station near us that is nearly like clockwork, and they'll raise prices by 10% almost every Wednesday or Thursday, so we plan our fill-ups accordingly.
- Coupon inserts and online coupons – If you regularly buy the Sunday paper, did you know that there's typically a pattern to coupons that get shoved in the ads? The first Sunday of the month will usually yield the highest volume of coupons. They'll typically have a ‘normal amount' for two other weekends, and there is often one weekend where there is a very limited amount of coupons, or sometime none at all. This also translates to the online coupon sites.
- Grocery sale items – There is often a predictable pattern to grocery store items on sale. Aldi always has produce on sale, but they typically rotate between fruits one week and vegetables the next week. Seasonal items will tend to go on sale every 3 weeks during the time it's ‘in season'. Most other items are around 6 weeks when it comes to a cycle. So, if you see an item on sale and you missed it, you can plan on getting it again, and can determine if you can wait that long. If you frequent one particular store, keep an eye out and you'll quickly spot patterns in sale pricing.
- Staples – Along the same lines, there are months of the year where it's guaranteed that grocery stores will put particular items on sale. If you love homemade chocolate chip cookies throughout the entire year, don't pay full price for the chips in July, but stock up around the holidays when baking items are at rock bottom prices.
- Clothing – Stores always put items out way in advance of the actual season. Now that back to school shopping is all but wrapped up, now's the time where you'll see winter clothes hit the shelves. Depending on the store, you can get sale prices when they first put items out, as they look to clear out any inventory they may have kept from last year, or at the end of the selling season, but if you wait until winter to buy winter clothes, you're likely going to have a very limited selection!
- Garden items – You know that outdoor section at Home Depot or Lowes? If you live in a cold weather climate, they're going to shut that down and clear every last item out of there before padlocking it for the season. That means you can get incredible deals on various landscaping items for next spring. You can often find lawn fertilizer or bug treatment items at 75% off as they look to clear inventory. The thing you also have to know is that these sales often go unadvertised, so if you're looking to hit a deal, plan on stopping into your local stores every now and then.
- Cars – Every commercial on TV for cars now features the 2014 models. Dealers still have some of last years models on the lot, and they are usually pretty willing to get rid of them at a cheaper price than most other times through the year. You'll have to be flexiblein terms of features or colors, but if a new car is in your sights, waiting until late summer or early fall is the best time to score a deal.
Readers, what other items tie to a particular time of the year or a regular pattern so that you can get the best price? Share your stories in the comments!