Best Days of Week to Get Best Deals

Smart shoppers never pay full price.

But did you know you can get better deals on certain days of the week?

SmartMoney.com Senior Consumer Reporter Kelli Grant told "The Early Show" viewers when to shop for what.

She says you can definitely take advantage of the calendar to pay less for a wide variety of things, from cars to groceries and more:

Timing is always important when shopping. There are definite patterns for when retailers offer sales. For them, it's a way to draw in people when crowds are small, or, they know people are already going to be out looking for something, so they want to make sure you come to them and not a competitor.

For the most part, you want to go when they want you to.

But in a few cases, like this first one, it's actually better to go when they aren't expecting you.

CARS: MONDAY

If you can, you should shop for cars on Mondays. Why? Because dealers have very slow foot traffic at the beginning of the week. On weekends, they don't have as much incentive to mark down prices, because they know the crowds are going to be there. But Mondays are slow, and they want to make a sale. It also means you will have plenty of time to negotiate. You won't be rushed into a decision.

AIR FARES: WEDNESDAYS

You start to see on Sunday nights and Monday mornings that one airline will put forward a sale. Others will start matching it and typically, by Wednesday morning, you have the most cheap flights offered by the biggest variety of airlines.

Kayak.com is a good deal aggregator in this area. But remember, check some individual sites too. Airlines are starting to use coupon codes, which is new for them, so it might be best to check each airline individually or go to a watchdog site such as Airfarewatchdog.com.

Cheapest Days to Shop Online

ENTERTAINMENT DEALS: WEDNESDAYS

By this I mean things like movie or amusement park tickets. Why? Because Wednesdays just tend to be a slow day, so there are extra coupons and deals out there. Just a few examples…Six Flags has its AAA discounts on Wednesday. And that's when AMC theaters give free popcorn coupons to people in their MovieWatcher club.

CLOTHING: THURSDAYS

Retailers want to pull people in on Friday-to-Sunday, so the sales will start on Thursday. If you're looking for that perfect shirt, dress, etc., but you're on a budget, they'll have the full stock, and it will be nicely presented. Sometimes, towards the end of sales, stores can start looking like a warzone.

WOMEN'S HANDBAGS: THURSDAYS

The average discount is 36 percent. ShopItToMe.com, which scours sales at more than 100 online retailers, ran a survey showing which days of the week certain categories of items carry the biggest discounts. The data was compiled between June 2009 and June 2010 and analyzed over 1 million sale items on the Web.

FRIDAYS AND SATURDAYS TEND TO BE BAD DAYS

Those are the big shopping days, But in terms of the sales cycle, it's really just going to be whatever retailers want to move -- they know you'll be there anyway, so they aren't going to be trying to really lure shoppers in.

GROCERIES: SUNDAYS

Sunday is your grocery shopping day. If you want to save, match up stores sales (which tend to begin on Tuesdays and Wednesdays) and the latest round of coupons from the Sunday newspapers. If you have serious shopping to do, wait until the first week of the month. Data shows there are 191 percent more coupons that first week.

If you don't get a paper, Redplum.com and SmartSource.com are two really good grocery sites.

RETAILERS ARE SHIFTING THE TIMING OF THEIR MONTHLY DEALS BASED ON PEOPLE'S PAYDAYS

We're hearing more people are living paycheck-to-paycheck, so retailers are timing sales and what they stock to take advantage of the crowds with their pay checks. We're hearing they are offering more bulky/bigger packages at the beginning of month, when people have more money, and then smaller packages toward the end.

SO CONSUMERS SHOULD BE CAREFUL WHEN THEY GET THAT CHECK

Consumers are often less price-sensitive when they get paid, and more willing to buy things that might improve their lives. So if you have some room to spend money right around your payday, really take the time to think about why you want to buy whatever it is, and maybe even wait a few days.
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