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The Best Time to Buy

The Best Time to Buy

You may be the most frugal person in your family. You might even be the most frugal resident of your city. However, that does not mean that you can get through life without having to make at least some significant purchases.

After all, items conk out. Your refrigerator and freezer might be working fine in the morning. That does not mean that your ice cream sandwiches will not be melting by late afternoon. Your car might have gotten you to work in the morning. However, when it is time to leave at night, its engine sputters, grinds and leaves you stranded in your company's parking lot.

So when is the best time to buy big-ticket items? You might be surprised, but you can save a bundle of money by purchasing different types of items during particular times of the year.

When to buy

For instance, the first quarter of the year -- the months of January, February and March -- is an ideal time to buy a boat. That is because this is the off-season for boating. It is also a time of year during which boat shows are held, meaning you can find plenty of bargains.

What else should you buy in the first quarter of the year? How about computer monitors? Gas grills and air conditioners are often priced lower, too. Moreover, if you are planning a wedding, buy your supplies during the first quarter of the year. No one wants a winter wedding, so supplies are less expensive.

What about during April, May and June, the second quarter of the year? This is a good time to buy televisions and other electronics. This is largely because the fiscal year for Japanese manufacturers ends in March. They are then happy to unload old stock at discount prices.

You might be surprised to learn that digital cameras, especially older models, are cheaper in the second quarter, as are vacuum cleaners. You can even find spring sales on gym shoes, running shoes and other athletic footwear.

Computers tend to retail at bargain prices in the third quarter of the year, July, August and September. There's a combination of factors here, including back-to-school sales and the fact that many top manufacturers are ready to unload older models before unveiling their newer equipment.

Children's clothing, because of back-to-school sales and office furniture routinely see their prices fall during this time of year, too. Also, if you can wait until the end of the summer, you'll rack up big savings on swimsuits.

Finally, in October, November and December, the last quarter of the year, you can find great deals on cars. You have to be willing to purchase an older model, however. Car makers have their new models out at this time, and they are happy to unload older ones through sales.

Patio furniture, tools, jeans and appliances all go through price drops at this time of year. If you wait until the absolute last minute, you can pick up toys and games are deep discounts as Christmas gets closer and closer.

Special cases

Sometimes there are special days or times throughout the year when it makes most the financial sense to make a large purchase.

For instance, seven airline industry experts will tell you that the best time to buy airplane tickets is on a Wednesday 21 days before your flight is scheduled to take off. Why is this? Airlines usually make their significant pricing changes every week, often doing this on Tuesday evenings and Wednesday mornings. If you book your flight more than 21 days out, you'll see more deals as airlines rush to fill unoccupied seats.

You should consider buying appliances on a holiday weekend. That is when retailers dramatically reduce their prices, something you are bound to notice if you've ever watched television near President's Day or the 4th of July. This holds true even on less-celebrated holidays such as Columbus Day and President's Day, according to SmartMoney.

Finally, if you want to buy Broadway tickets, make your purchase just hours before the show is scheduled to start. Many big-name Broadway musicals offer same-day ticket lotteries that provide seats at cheap prices. You are taking a gamble, though; there's no guarantee that your favorite musical will have seating available.