These expert strategies will help you get the most bang for your buck from dawn till dusk.
7 a.m. — Fill up the tank.
The smartest time to buy gas is in the morning, when temps are cooler. As gas warms up, it becomes less dense, which means you get a little less fuel per gallon. The price may differ only a bit, but every penny saved counts and can keep you on the road longer.
8 a.m. — Pick up prime rib.
The shelf life of most refrigerated meats is only five days, so when stores get in a big shipment (or steaks aren’t selling as fast as they’d hoped), butchers and deli managers often offer discounts of up to 40 percent. Duck in early, though: Deals likely won’t last through the evening.
10 a.m. — Catch a movie in the morning.
For many people, seeing the latest blockbuster before noon may not be doable until the weekend, but the first film of the day is cheaper at some theaters than a regular matinee, and sometimes that goes for all showings before noon. If you’re bringing the kids along, you still might shell out some cash on snacks, but the overall payoff could be a few dollars saved and a wide-open afternoon.
10:30 a.m. — Buy big-ticket electronics.
TV and laptop prices won’t drop at a certain time, but buying these items in the morning may keep you from splurging unnecessarily. The reason: Some research suggests that as the day wears on and we make endless decisions, from whether to get a Grande or Venti latte to where to park, our self-control can nosedive. So, shop mid-morning, when it may be easier to resist saying “yes” to the deluxe TV, plus a pricey warranty.
11:45 a.m. — Negotiate bills.
Many adults are most alert in late morning, making this prime time to tackle late charges on your credit card statement. If you discuss it when you’re at the top of your mental game, you’re more likely to come up with an effective argument for why you deserve a break.
12:30 p.m. — Hit garage sales.
The early bird sometimes does get the worm, er, sale, but you still can score bargains if you sleep in. Sellers who’ve been up all morning will be eager to make a sale by mid-day, and may start dropping prices. Don’t see a discount posted? Offer to buy two for the price of one or to pay 20 percent less than the sticker price.
5 p.m. — Shoe shop.
Feet tend to swell during the day, so shoes that feel comfortable at sunrise may have your feet screaming by sundown. Resist the urge to wait until the weekend: Try on those cute pumps you’ve been eyeing after work, when your feet will be their biggest.
7 p.m. — Scope out next-day deals.
Sale days aren’t the only time to score big. Stores often begin marking down merchandise just before closing the night before.
If you’re anxious about snagging a particular item before it sells out, head to the store then and nicely ask the manager if she’ll honor the discounted price or hold one for you until a certain time the next day.
9:30 p.m. — Raid the salad bar.
Deli buffet items, rotisserie chickens and prepped veggies can make for an amazing lunch tomorrow at a fraction of the cost. Prices on these foods sometimes get slashed by 30 percent or more near closing time — typically 9:30 p.m. or so — in an effort to sell them before they get tossed, though they’ll still taste fine a day later.
10 p.m. — Do the dishes.
Avoid running your dishwasher right after dinner. It may seem odd to wait, but many utility companies offer time-of-use programs that charge less when you use electricity during off hours, which could cut your bill by 50 percent or more. Check out your utility company’s website for off-peak programs.
ON ANOTHER MATTER …
Get Out and Enjoy!
Expand your living space with these outdoor-room ideas, whether you have a small patio or a sprawling porch.
Put your table on a patch of pebbles: Pea gravel is an affordable alternative to a stone patio or deck. Spread a layer edged with two-by-fours for a dining area that boasts English-garden charm.
Line the porch with Adirondack chairs: These classics send an instant message of comfort and welcome — and a sleek finish makes this rustic silhouette look polished and modern.
Transform a ledge into a bench: Pop on a few outdoor pillows and pull up a small side table to create a bonus seating area on a wide railing or garden wall.
Decorate your garage or shed: Dream up a private “bonus room” to keep the party going in rain or blazing heat. Add a pretty pendant light, wall art and curtains to soften the storage space.
The following products and vehicles were recalled by the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Unless otherwise indicated, discontinue use of the products immediately and return them to the store where purchased for a refund. For more information about the products, call the manufacturer or CPSC’s toll-free hotline, 800-638-2772. Only some cars or trucks recalled are affected. Contact a dealer for your model to see if it is included in the recall. The dealer will tell you what to do.
Werner Multi-Purpose Telescoping Aluminum Ladders, sold at Home Depot and Lowe’s stores nationwide from April 2018 through May 2018 for between $180 and $275.
The ladders can break while in use, posing a fall hazard to the user.
Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled ladders and return the ladder to the store of purchase to receive a full refund. Consumers can contact Werner toll-free at 888-523-3370 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, email at firstname.lastname@example.org or online at www.wernerco.com. Click on “News, Events & Recalls” located at the top of the page.
2004-2006 Mitsubishi Lancer vehicles, which previously received a like-for-like passenger-side frontal air-bag inflator under recall 15V321 as an interim remedy.
These passenger-side frontal air-bag inflators may be susceptible to moisture intrusion which, over time, could cause the inflator to explode in the event of an air-bag deployment. In the event of a crash necessitating deployment of the passenger’s frontal air bag, the inflator could explode with metal fragments, striking the vehicle occupants and potentially resulting in serious injury or death. MMNA will notify owners, and dealers will install a final replacement passenger-side frontal air bag inflator for free. Owners may contact MMNA customer service at 888-648-7820. MMNA’s number for this recall is SR-18-005.
©Hearst Communications Inc.; Distributed by King Features Syndicate
–GOOD HOUSEKEEPING REPORTS: Spend + save all day long —