Delay gratification to save while shopping

Kristi King,

WASHINGTON – When searching for deals, the right time to buy could depend on the month, season or even the time of day.

For cheaper meat, check the markdown bin in the morning. Give the butcher time to get in and go over his inventory, but don’t wait too long — sale items might be gone by early afternoon. Beef and pork are good for days after the sell-by date.

When buying a car, salespeople may be more accommodating at the end of the month, when they’re trying to make quota.

MainStreet also recommends checking for bargains online at 12:01 a.m. Sunday. However, if a store’s headquarters is on the left coast, it may be 3 a.m. before deals show up on computers in the Eastern time zone.

If there’s a store where it might be possible to haggle over a price, don’t try it on weekends or after typical work hours when salespeople and managers are busy. Go when it’s slow.

Buy electronics in January or February, when stores are trying to clear last year’s models off storage shelves.

And not to insult your intelligence with advice that’s too obvious, but when buying seasonal items, the best prices can be found when the season is over or coming to a close.

Buy bargain winter coats before spring. Find cheap bathing suits just before fall. And of course, the cheapest Christmas cards can be found after Christmas.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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