Most consumers live inside a perpetual rush hour. They recreate on weekends, vacation during summers, dine with the masses, and shop precisely when everyone else does. They fight crowds because they follow crowds. To increase the misery, they usually end up paying top dollar because they buy during times of peak demand.
The frugal few, in contrast, live inside a perpetual happy hour. They recreate on weekdays, vacation during shoulder seasons, dine early or late, and shop precisely when everyone else doesn’t. They escape crowds because they avoid crowds. They enjoy relatively unrushed lives. And as a bonus for buying off-peak they pocket big discounts.
In order to move from rush hour to happy hour, you have to reprogram yourself to consume when demand is low. Those are the hours when sellers are most frantic to bring in business. To reel you in they offer amazing deals. A partial list of these savings opportunities appears below. Feel free to skim it. There’s nothing to study and you won’t be tested. After you peruse the list, I’ll show you how to convert these valuable tips into real life savings every time you spend—with no memorization required.
Many utilities charge lower rates for off-peak use. Read your bill to see whether you can save by changing the times you run major appliances.
□ Holiday Products
The time to shop for holiday items is immediately after the holiday. Grab the discounts and stock up for next year.
□ New Gizmos
Procrastination pays. Early adopters of new technologies pay massive premiums. Release cycles are now so compressed that if you can wait just a few months, you’ll enjoy even better features at a lower price.
Buy when seasons end, not when they start.
□ Sports Equipment
□ Cell Phone Minutes
If you already talk mostly on weekends, seek a phone plan that rewards your established patterns.
At many lots, early birds pay less.
□ Events Registration
Seminars, 5k races, and season passes often sell for less if you buy early.
□ Dining Out
Buy your lunches and suppers during off hours. Avoid weekend dining.
Shoulder seasons provide great values.
Golf and ski on weekdays to save yourself both time and money.
□ Hotel Rooms
When Mrs. Moose and I take car trips, we avoid travel on Fridays and Saturdays. Hotel rooms cost less Sunday through Thursday nights.
□ Airline Tickets
Generally, you get better deals when you shop mid-week. And you pay less when you fly late at night or on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, or Saturdays.
□ Health Clubs
Some clubs offer discounts if you’re willing to work out in the wee hours.
If you avoid rush hour stop-and-go traffic, you get better mileage.
□ Repairs and Remodels
Hire expert technicians and craftsmen during their off-seasons.
* * *
It would take time to commit this lengthy list to memory. It would take even longer to get into the habit of using these tips to score regular discounts. May I suggest a less labor-intensive approach? Buy a Kindle copy of Spend Less Now! for only $0.99. If you can remember just one thing—to review a checklist each time you’re about to spend—you’ll receive a well-timed prompt to look for off-peak buying opportunities wherever they exist. This approach involves no memorization yet still delivers reliable savings. And checklists deliver one added bonus—they keep you unrushed and far away from the madding crowd.