Let’s return to M3’s roots for a post, shall we? Here are a dozen ways to save $5 before noon.
One: Fill ‘er up!
Buying gas in the morning is outright smart. The gasoline is denser in the cooler air, so you get more gas for the same price. That is no secret.
This may be… Gasoline retailers raise prices between 10 a.m. and noon based on the opening price of oil on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). Gas prices go up 93% of the time. Since the price does not go down again until after closing bell (if the per barrel price and futures went down), better to fill up in the morning.
Two: Fill your tank.
No, this is not an echo. Gas stations often offer loss leaders on breakfast sandwiches and coffee. Fill your personal tank for a cost effective breakfast.
What? Oh, loss leaders are items stores offer discounted below cost to get you into the store. They assume you will fall prey to the impulse items they sell to make up the profit. Loss leaders include things like mayonnaise, ice cream, raw chicken and watermelon. Stick to the program and only buy the discounted products.
Three: Get a new ‘do.
Most beauty and nail salons and barber shops offer specials for hair, skin and nails to early birds to keep chairs filled all day. Avoid the rush (which begins just after lunch) by scheduling your appointment or walking in before 11. That way, you are out in time for lunch.
Four: Pump some iron.
After you gas up and have a bite, it is time to go to the gym to work off those calories. Early morning, the place is wall-to-wall with people trying to work out before work. Once they hit the offices, you guessed it, empty gym.
See if your gym offers a discount for off-peak users. You can have the run of the place from 10-12. No one will ever see you in your yoga pants or lifting the 30-pound press.
Loss leaders rule the morning. Early bird deals like “An additional 50% clearance from 7-11” make shopping for (early presents) perfect bargains. If you do not need a $12 maxi dress or $14 dress shirt, go to the grocery. Shopping in the morning when you are less rushed and not hungry will mean less money spent on impulse buys and snack foods. Be sure to bring your list and follow the rules.
Six: Grab a flick.
Been wanting to see the new blockbuster? Take in a matinee. On average, the first screening of the day is 60% cheaper than standing in line for 25 minutes to get a ticket. Some independent cinemas offer $1 tickets to the morning show.
Seven: Amuse yourself.
Edify your mind with some educational fun. No, you do not have to learn anything, but it would not hurt. Art, nature and science museums offer free of discounted admission when they first open in the morning.
Same goes for most botanical gardens, skating rinks and amusement parks (idly wonders which amusement park will sponsor M3 for the sheer number of amusement park references) slash prices before noon and on days when their afternoon traffic is much heavier…like Sundays.
Eight: Get creative.
Art, craft and DIY classes are a terrific way to decorate or make gifts on the cheap. Did you know the classes in the evening are more expensive? Schedule your (flower arranging, painting, scrapbooking, metal or woodworking) class in the morning to save money you can spend on supplies
Nine: See the doctor.
Not many doctors discount their prices E.V.E.R., but by going in the morning, you are likely to be seen at the time your appointment is scheduled. The time you save is money in the bank because you can spend it in much more profitable ways.
Ten: Get cooking.
Cook in the morning when it is cooler. Get the entree finished before the house gets warm (or let the excess oven and stove top heat warm it). In the evening, use the (much more efficient) microwave to warm the food for the table. Make the air conditioner work less. Recycle this idea for other appliances like the dishwasher, washing machine and dryer.
Eleven: Get wet.
Water your outdoor plants in the morning.
- Less water evaporates…no double watering.
- Leaves dry faster…less fungus…less fungicide.
- Ground absorbs more water…healthier plants.
Dozen: Get baked.
Want a loaf of your favorite cracked oat, honey wheat? How would you like it for 1/2 to 2/3 off? Be at the bakery when they open. If it did not sell yesterday, it is on sale today. Want it to last longer? Pop it in the freezer.
What is your favorite morning bargain? Where do you save the most by shopping or doing early or before lunch?
(c) Ann Marie Dwyer 2012
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