Jennie Runevitch/Eyewitness News
Indianapolis - Saving money on big ticket items is easier than you think. There's a trick to finding major markdowns and discovering the best time to buy. It starts with your calendar.
Sometimes it's not what to buy or where that can save you money. It's when. Depending on the month, certain big ticket items actually come at a lower price. Experts say just mark your calendar and get ready to save.
"There clearly are better times to buy certain items than other times, and if the shopper is pretty astute and knows those types of things, they can really save themselves some money," said Dan McQuiston, Butler University marketing chair.
The best time to buy that fridge or washer/dryer is in September before the new models come out.
For the best deals on televisions and electronics, look for incentives after Christmas and before the Super Bowl. January is the month for markdowns.
"Because they haven't quite sold everything they thought they would. They have a lot of inventory left over. Let's move it," said McQuiston.
Car dealers want to move inventory too.
"The best time to buy a car is gonna be right as the model year is ending and so that's gonna be late summer, August, September," said McQuiston.
If you're in the market for a new couch or table, experts say there are actually two months you're guaranteed the lowest prices on furniture: January and July.
"The models are discontinued. The old things they want to move out. So that's why you'll see sales at that particular point in time," he said.
For some items, the calendar doesn't cut it. Experts say computers are at their lowest prices right before new technology comes out.
When it comes to jewelry, Professor McQuiston says it's not necessarily when to buy, but when you could pay a premium. Each store offers its own sales, but in general he says buying jewelry around Valentine's Day or Christmas won't allow for much haggling.
"What you'll find is probably inventory's a little bit better and you can probably do a little bit better pricewise with a little better negotiating," said McQuiston.
Flip the calendar to winter for real estate. Although selection is leaner, experts say the homes available likely have been on the market for a while and have sellers anxious to deal.
Sometimes timing is everything, when it comes to finding the lowest prices of the season. If you're unsure, experts say just ask. Stores will tell you when new merchandise is coming out. Then you can time your purchases and use the calendar to cut costs
Some other tips: the best deals on real estate are usually in the fall and winter when homes have typically been on the market awhile. Experts say airline tickets tend to be cheapest on Wednesdays when airlines try to sell the unsold seats for the next week.