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Buy airfare on Tuesdays, and seven other calendar shopping secrets

According to shopping researchers, several items are cheaper when purchased on certain days of the week.

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    Airfares are often least expensive if purchased on Tuesdays.
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Ever wonder if there's a rhyme or reason to the retail game? Well, there is, and it often involves knowing when to buy. Reverse your losing streak and start winning by buying these items on certain days of the week.

1. Airfare

It seems like everyone has an opinion about the best time to purchase airfare, but the general consensus seems to be that Tuesdays are you best bet to pick up a ticket for your next jet-setting vacay.

"Airlines post sales on Monday evening which make other airlines scramble to match prices on Tuesday morning. By 3 p.m. on Tuesday, the unbelievable deals are gone, but those sales may last for a few more days," writes My Dollar Plan.

ABC News also weighed in on the subject of cheap airfare, citing CheapOair.com, which said that purchases can save up to $236 on average on Tuesdays — while Fare Compare is much more specific, claiming that the lowest prices are typically found at 3 p.m. EST on Tuesdays.

CNN took a different approach to find out the best average time to book your cheapest plane ticket. "CheapAir.com analyzed nearly 5 million trips last year and found the best prices for domestic airfare were booked, on average, 47 days ahead of the departure date. The year before, the sweet spot was 54 days," it says. Forbes backs up that assessment by generalizing that the best time to buy airfare is 50 to 100 days before the trip.

2. Electronics

In the market for a new computer? DVD player? Flatscreen TV? Tell the boss you'll be a little late on Monday because you've got some shopping to do.

According to the Huffington Post, "Online manufactures and retailers offer cheaper deals for computers, TVs, cameras, video games, and other electronics on Mondays."

Consumer savings expert Andrea Woroch confirmed to ABC News that Mondays are the best time to buy electronics, such as cellphones and tablets, because that's the day manufacturers release rebates and discounts and the retailers pass them on to customers.

3. Jewelry

Lifehacker says that Wednesdays are the best day of the week to buy jewelry, because "...apparently women tend to shop in the middle of the week, so online jewelry prices start dropping on Wednesdays and sales on accessories continue on Thursday."

That statement isn't entirely scientific, of course, but Time magazine substantiates it with research that suggests that jewelry is at it lowest on Wednesdays.

4. Groceries

You might expect Mondays to be the best day to go grocery shopping — because who wants to go grocery shopping on Monday — but it's actually Wednesday when you'll score the best deals.

DailyFinance says it's more economical to shop mid-week because Wednesday is the day that many supermarkets release new sale ads, but also honor the previous week's sale items. Take advantage of that tidbit and you could walk away with double the savings.

On the other hand, however, My Dollar Plan and U.S. News & World Report both claim that Sundays are the day you should do your food shopping because that's when new coupons appear in the newspaper.

So who's right?

Let's say that nobody's wrong — both days have their merits — but Wednesdays take the lead in the "best day to grocery shop" category.

Just steer clear of the supermarket on Saturdays, which research shows is the busiest grocery-shopping day of the week.

5. Cars

Many websites agree that Monday is the best day of the week to buy a car.

"Coming off of a less than impressive weekend, any sales they can get to temper their unimpressive performance are gladly taken, but sometimes the opposite is true," explains My Dollar Plan. "If the dealership had a big sale and the results were impressive, they may be more likely to make the same deals to people they met over the weekend. Sort of an icing on the cake as they look at their sales numbers."

But wait — there's more…

The best month to a buy a new car, according to Fox Business News and ABC News based on data from TrueCar, is August. Reasoning suggests that August buyers benefit from changeovers in model years, which used to come in September and October.

And for the absolute, very best day to buy a car, you'll want to shop on New Year's Eve. That's right, you'll have to put your party plans on hold if you want to score serious savings, according to MarketWatch — though you can still save a bundle anytime between the day after Christmas and Jan. 2.

6. Major Appliances

You've probably noticed a pattern emerging that weekdays are the best days to save on a lot of item, which is just typical isn't it? Who has time to shop Monday to Friday!?

Rest assured that major-appliance manufacturers are tapped into your schedule, with Saturday and Sunday being the best days to reduce the cost of washers, dryers, refrigerators, and more.

For good measure, Home Depot accepts competitor coupons. You can find an abundance of low-priced Lowe's coupons on eBay (that's how coveted they are; people are selling them online), primarily for 10% of your purchase.

7. Gas

You might think the gas gods are against you — always raising the price-per-gallon when you feel the pinch the most — but you might be surprised to learn that the industry is (sort of) in your corner.

According to GasBuddy, the best days of the week to buy the cheapest gasoline are actually on the weekend. Shocker, huh?

"Surprisingly, many states see the lowest gasoline prices for the week during the weekend, which may come as a surprise to many motorists," said Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst with GasBuddy.

8. Clothing

The early bird gets the worm when it comes to new clothes, and if you want the pick of the litter, you better show up on Wednesdays or Thursdays.

Margie Cader, spokeswoman for Shop It To Me, says that retailers add new sale merchandise on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, so if you want to take advantage of new markdowns, Thursday is the ideal time to strike, according to ABC News.

Catey Hill, a consumer reporter for MarketWatch, confirms Cader's assessment to Marketplace.

"They're hoping people will go shopping on Friday or Saturday, so they release the deals on Wednesday or Thursday in preparation for the weekend. But there are so many avid couponers that are like, 'Oh deal's released, I'm getting this right now!' that by the time Saturday has rolled around the inventory is much more picked through," she says.

The Christian Science Monitor has assembled a diverse group of the best personal finance bloggers out there. Our guest bloggers are not employed or directed by the Monitor and the views expressed are the bloggers' own, as is responsibility for the content of their blogs. To contact us about a blogger, click here. To add or view a comment on a guest blog, please go to the blogger's own site by clicking on the link in the blog description box above.

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