Couponing's Best-Kept Secrets:

Super-Couponing Secret: The day of the week we shop makes a huge difference how much money we can save.

To understand this tip, consider this: Many grocery stores run two sales cycles each week. One flier comes out on Thursday and runs for seven days. This is the "long" cycle, which runs Thursday-to-Wednesday. But the same stores often have a second sales flier that comes out on Sundays and runs for four days. This is the "short" cycle, which runs Sunday-to-Wednesday.

Now, look at a calendar and pay attention to the days. There are four days each week when both cycles and sales fliers overlap: Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. If your store participates in two sales cycles, these are the days you want to shop in order to maximize your savings. By shopping Monday through Wednesday, you gain the advantage of two concurrent sales rather than just one.

Why do stores do this? Look at the remaining three days in the week: Thursday, Friday and Saturday. These are busy days for a grocery store. Statistically speaking, they're also the days people are most likely to shop without much forethought. The weekend is approaching, the workweek is almost done and people head to the store. By contrast, when Sunday rolls around and the new week arrives, store traffic drops off. The store issues more sales and more deals on those days in order to drive traffic back into the store. These are the days we want to shop!

People often ask me how many times I'm at the grocery store during the week (I can't imagine why, but many people are under the impression that I practically live there!) The truth is much less exciting. I really do shop just once a week. But I always shop on one of days when both sales fliers are active.

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