What is the Best Day to Buy Specific Items?

by Sean Bryant on April 18, 2012

As consumers we are always looking to get the best price on the product or service that we are in the market to purchase.  Did you know that prices can change just because of what day of the week it is?  Well it’s true, but luckily for you I am going to go through some popular items and let you know when you should be making your purchase.

When to Buy Gas

We have seen over the past few years that oil prices and issues in the Middle East can have a huge impact on gas prices. Not taking those issues into consideration anywhere from Monday through Thursday morning is the best time of the week to fill your car up with gas. The main reason for this is because the demand for gasoline is the highest on the weekends due to people heading out of town. Because of that demand gas stations typically will raise their prices slightly on Thursday afternoons before lowering them again on Monday morning.

When to Book Hotel Rooms

Even when the economy is in full swing the average fill rate of hotels is just 65%. This makes it pretty easy to book a cheap hotel room. The best day of the week to negotiate room prices with a hotel is on a Sunday.  Most upper management has Sunday off after the Friday and Saturday night crowds have left.  It tends to be a little easier to negotiate with a shift manager or with the director of sales.  Most hotels would rather sell at a lower rate than have the room sit empty.

When to Purchase Airfare

Towards the end of the weekend, airlines will start to mark down prices. On Mondays  most other airlines will start to match these prices depending on how fares are selling in certain marketplaces.  By the time Wednesday morning come around you can usually find your best deals before the weekly cycle starts over.

When To Buy A Car

When you set out to go shopping for a car the best time is last few days of the month.  Most dealerships are making their final efforts to meet their monthly quota so you can usually negotiate a little bit more than you would be able to the first of the month.

The best day of the week to head to the car dealership is on Monday.  Weekends typically have a lot of foot traffic and they will make the most of their sales on those two days.  Mondays will probably feel like they will never come to an end.  Because of this they will be more likely to work with you on price.

Best Day to Buy Clothing

When it comes to buying clothes the best day of the week is Thursday.  Most retailers will get new shipments during the middle of the week and by Thursday they will have the best selection of clothes on the shelves in preparation for the weekend.  If you follow my other website FreeSnatcher.com you will notice that a lot of store coupons will begin on Thursdays and run through Sunday.

If you need a new work outfit or just need some retail therapy head to the mall on Thursday because you will not only hit the best selection of clothes but you will also get the best deals.

Best Day to Eat Dinner Out

You probably never knew there is a best day of the week to eat a meal out did you?  Most restaurants receive food deliveries on Tuesdays.  That means that if you are looking for the best possible meal for the money, head to your favorite restaurant on Tuesday night for dinner.

Because restaurants receive their food on Tuesdays this also makes Sunday and Mondays the worst days of the week to eat out because they are trying to get rid of the leftover food.

To Conclude

Hopefully this will give you a better idea when is the best time to purchase certain items.  If you follow these you should end up with a little extra money in your pocket.

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Sean Bryant

Sean Bryant created OneSmartDollar.com in 2011 to help pass along his knowledge of finance and economics to others. After graduating from the University of Iowa with a degree in economics he worked as a construction superintendent before jumping into the world of finance. Sean has worked on the trade desk for a commodities brokerage firm, he was a project manager for an investment research company and was a CDO analyst at a big bank. That being said he brings a good understanding of the finance field to the One Smart Dollar community. When not working Sean and he wife are avid world travelers. He enjoys spending time with his daughter Colette and dog Charlie.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Average Joe April 18, 2012 at 4:23 pm

On hotel rooms, I’d love to hear a story of someone haggling over room prices. I’ve never done it and would be curious to read a success tale. I use discount sites all the time but have never tried a f-t-f approach.

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Sean Bryant April 18, 2012 at 4:51 pm

I have a friend that works for Choice hotels and he said it’s fairly common for people looking to get a deal the following week. Because most hotels have such a low fill rate they would rather get some money for a room and have the room sit empty

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Average Joe April 18, 2012 at 7:53 pm

I always love it when I have to buy gas Memorial Day weekend. It feels like I’m participating in a bullfight…and I’m the bull.

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Modest Money April 19, 2012 at 11:52 am

Interesting facts about different business’s weekly peak times. I knew about the gas prices and restaurants, but hadn’t really considered some of these other things. I guess with the end of month car sales tip, that may apply to many sales industries where they would have monthly quotas.

Regarding the comment about hotel price haggling, I’ve done that before and it can often get you a lower price. A lot of the times you have to be willing to spend the time going to different hotels to get them to match or beat prices. Of course it depends on how full they are too.

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