Monday, February 2, 2009

When To Buy

Airplane Tickets
When to Buy: Wednesday morning.
Why: “Most airfare sales are thrown out there on the weekend,” says travel expert Peter Greenberg, a.k.a. The Travel Detective. Other airlines then jump into the game, discounting their own fares and prompting further changes by the first airline. The fares reach their lowest prices late Tuesday or early Wednesday.

When to Buy: Thursday.
Why: Price compare between Borders and Barnes & Noble. The former releases its weekly sales and coupons on every Thursday; the latter, every Tuesday.

When to Buy: Thursday evening.
Why: That’s the day when stores stock their shelves for the weekend, and when many retailers — including Ann Taylor, Banana Republic and Express — start their weekend promotions. You’ll find great prices and the best selection.

Department-Store Wares
When to Buy: Saturday evening.
Why: Department stores have a lot to mark down for their Sunday circulars, so they frequently start the process on Saturday evenings before store closing. Bonus: Even if the markdowns haven’t been made, many employees will honor the sale price if you ask. Print out the circular preview from the store’s web site, and bring it with you when you head to the mall.

Dinner Out
When to Buy: Tuesday.
Why: Most restaurants do not receive food deliveries over the weekend. “Sunday is the garbage-can day of the week,” says Kate Krader, senior editor at Food & Wine magazine. “No doubt, they’re cleaning out their fridges. Tuesdays, they’re starting fresh.” Dining out on that day offers the best odds you’ll get a meal worth paying for, no matter your price point, she says
When to Buy: Wednesday.
Why: Plenty of movie theaters, amusement parks and museums offer extra discounts to consumers who visit midweek. Six Flags theme parks offer a $12 discount to AAA members — three times its usual discount of $4. AMC Theatres offers members in its free AMC Movie Watcher reward program a free small popcorn on Wednesdays.

When to Buy: Thursday, before 10 a.m.
Why: The price of oil isn’t the only factor influencing costs at your local pump. Consumer usage plays a role, too — and weekend demand is high, says Jason Toews, co-founder of, a price-monitoring site. Prices usually swing upward on Thursdays as travelers fuel up to head out the following day. By hitting the pump before 10 a.m. (when many station owners change their prices), you’ll beat the rush and the price jump.

When to Buy: Tuesdays.
Why: Maximize savings by combining store sales, which run from Wednesday to Tuesday, with the latest round of coupons from your Sunday paper, says Mary Hunt, publisher of Debt-Proof Living, a money-saving newsletter. “It’s a smart idea to wait until you have those in hand to match up with the week’s sale items,” she says.
To snag savings on items you don’t need just yet, shop on Tuesday, advises Hunt. Chances are, the store will have run out of the sale items. “That means you can pick up rain checks, which allow you to buy those items later when you need them, and at the sale price,” she says.

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