I’m always clipping articles on money matters, because – well, my entire professional life as a consumer bankruptcy specialist and bankruptcy attorney in Indiana centers around helping my clients deal with money issues. The other day, looking through the stock of feature stories I’ve collected, I came across a cute – and potentially very valuable – little piece that came out in Smart Money last summer, called The Cheapest Days To Buy Certain Items.”

Although the article talks about a dozen different kinds of shopping, the three I was most interested in are “biggies” for everyone every day, and especially big for families struggling to make ends meet – gasoline, clothing, and groceries.

Smart Money advises buying clothes for the family on Thursday evening. The logic is that stores stock their shelves for the weekend on Thursdays, and often start their weekend promotions early to get people coming to the store on a weekday. On the other hand, if you’re buying clothing from a department store, Saturday night would be a good time to shop, because goods are marked down for the Sunday newspaper circulars.

Tuesdays are a great day for grocery shopping. First, many grocery stores have “specials” that run from Wednesday to the following Tuesday. By the time Tuesday comes, some of the goods are sold out, and you can request a “rain check” and buy the stuff later at the sale price! Of course, the article reminds us, it would be a great idea to bring along the coupons you’ve cut out from the Sunday paper.

When it comes to buying gasoline, Smart Money quotes the website GasBuddy.com, telling us that many gasoline station owners change prices at 10 AM on Thursday mornings to get ready for the weekend. In fact, totally unrelated to the price of oil, sometimes station owners raise prices because they know many of us will be filling up to prepare for weekend trips and errands. (Wow! I hadn’t thought station owners were that cunning, but now I’ll be aware…)

On a serious note, for many of the families and individuals who have turned to me with debt problems, shopping tips such as these will prove “too little, too late”. Folks hounded by creditors, having wage garnishments, or utilities shut off, will find small comfort in knowing which day of the week is best for buying certain items. But, for most of my readers – hey, every little bit helps.