A Dozen Ways to Save $5 by Noon

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!

English: Vintage Signal Ethyl Gasoline pump (d...

Wish for the price when this pump was new!

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.

Get beautiful early.

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.

Five: Shop.

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.

Share the popcorn...

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.

Learning is earning.

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.

No snacking. Wait for dinner.

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.

No thirsty plants.

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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  1. I had heard about gas stations having great prices on their food and coffee, but I don’t know if I trust their food… I recently saw fresh fruit at a service station and did a double-take. I’m used to seeing donuts and packaged foods all over the place! Good post to start my day Red.

    • Glad you liked it. You will notice a department of health or environmental quality (whatever it is called where you live) sticker or certificate in any place which sells food. It is required to be displayed in public view. (May have to check on Canada, but I do believe it is where you live as well. I do know it is the law in most all of Europe.) They are bound by the same cleanliness standards and inspection schedules as restaurants. When in doubt, check the dates!


      • Ah, thanks for the tip. I had not thought much about the standards being a must but you are quite right that there are health guidelines to be followed. As a Canadian, I a still waking up 🙂

        • Haha! I think that has less to do with being Canadian and more to do with the morning’s worldwide lack of coffee 😉

  2. I like to save money and get my D.I.Y fix by giving myself a new do.
    Because I’m classy like that.
    And the older I get, the less time it seems to take me, anyway.

    • I, too, am guilty of combining the choices. I think my problem arises mostly when I DIY amuse myself. Details would probably get me more spam. 😉 LOL!

  3. Hmmm… Useful! 🙂

    I wonder if it works over here – everything seems expensive and discounts seem to all be one big con because they sell at a higher price for a month or so then offer ‘Discount ‘ prices…

    God Bless!


    • A lot of them are, Pren. True loss leaders are those things which are never sold at a profit. For a long time in the US, milk was one of those things. Now, we have a law which demands milk be sold at or above cost not to exceed 6%. It was a way to keep the dairy farmers from going under nationwide. The profit law does not apply to other dairy products like yogurt and sour cream, which are often sold below cost.

      You have to watch for scams. Ice cream is one of them. Buying when on super-sale is often a at- or below-cost buy. You just have to resist buying the other things not on sale! Check out the Ten Commandments of grocery shopping (link in the post) for some more ways to pick out what really is on sale.


  4. HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA! I am laughing and my husband is absolutely rolling on the floor. Did you actually ask me to get up before noon and do something? No wonder I didn’t know you could get bargains by going early. I want those bargains that happen in the middle of the night (could call this REALLY EARLY morning). I might get my eyes open before noon, but I don’t move well until much later. Maybe I’ll try to get out a little earlier just to find these bargains of which you speak. Great post 🙂

  5. I like the idea of filling up the gas tank and saving some cash, though at over £1.30p per litre I hardly ever feel like I am getting a good deal on fuel, but it still sounds a refreshing idea nonetheless 🙂

    Of course the barber’s shop is out of the question I always shave my own, mind you a massage and a nice manicure could be a nice way of starting the morning, depending on whom is taking charge of that (A nice Sexy Maiden, opposed to an Obese Hairy Slob).

    Okay before I lower the tone of your excellent posting I will skip the rest and just say that this most definitely a wicked write 🙂 Now just out of interest I wonder what time the Sexy Maiden’s Gorgeousness Salon opens 🙂 lol

    Have a fun evening Red 🙂

    Androgoth XXx

    • Oh, a massage sounds divine at this stage! But I quite agree…obese hairy slob is not on my menu of relaxation. 😉

      I hope your night has been warm and wicked.

  6. And I really should check what I have
    written before clicking ‘Post Comment’

    Androgoth XXx

  7. In Canada, you will have gas stations across the street from each other, and their prices will change at the same time (yet, there’s no collusion!). To save money, fill up only what you need, and when you see it cheaper, fill more. I save by not investing my sanity on earning money online!

  8. I never even thought about getting gas in the morning. Thanks for that most helpful tip. You are clearly a smart one Red. I no longer need subscriptions to Parenting, Redbook, or other mags out there thanks to your blog. Really, no sarcasm there.

    • Blushing and grinning! You may well be surprised what I have managed to squirrel away in the brain box. Some days, I need my toddlers to help me figure out how to get it out, but it is still there!

      • Well, then a big thank you for the kiddos. Whatever they are doing to help you keep going on those days….it’s working.

  9. Hold on what if I don’t normally cook

  10. I do best when the stores are empty, like in the middle of the night, but now I find the weekends with the kid (without her father) if I have to take one of them is best for concentration. Definitely cannot shop stressed, panic spending causes you to buy everything.

    I noticed the local trend for gas prices, they usually go down over the weekend, bottom out around Saturday or Sunday and go up at least 5 to 10 cents a gallon on Monday. Then again we’re on the way to the beach, so the weekend traffic would be higher, and they could have increased sales. One of the stations with that little outside thing surrounds you with snacks and drinks while you stand in line to pay if you didn’t do it at the pump to avoid the temptation.
    Laurie recently posted..Day 2: Something I feel Strongly AboutMy Profile

    • I do not think I have gone inside to pay (without a coffee cup in my hand) in years. I wish we had an all night grocery. The children shop less when they sleep. In all honesty, since Little V is old enough to write the list, she is a much bigger help telling Man Cub what he has in his hand is not on the list.


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