Oct. 24, 2013 at 3:16 PM ET
Are you sick of standing in lines, sitting in traffic, buying past-its-prime food and overpaying for stuff? Us, too. So we compiled your quickie guide to the worst (and best) days of the week to approach all kinds of things, from buying fresh flowers to going to the DMV. (You can thank us later.)
The worst day to shop for groceries is Tuesday. That’s because stores are often out of stock of common items, and also because it’s a popular day of the week for shoppers to cook homemade meals. (Likewise, the best day to shop for groceries is Wednesday.)
You might think that the worst days of the week get things done in the car are the dreaded Mondays, when it seems like everyone's trudging back to work. In fact, traffic is often lighter on Mondays, with Thursdays being the worst day to drive in major metropolitan areas like Los Angeles and New York.
Don't buy airline tickets on the weekends if you're looking for the best deal, as that's when many fare sales have already expired. Tuesday and Wednesday have long been considered the best days to book air travel to score the best deals. Lately, some experts are saying that may not be the case as consistently anymore—but it remains true that discount fare finders like Travelzoo come out with their weekly newsletters and weekly best-fare roundups on Wednesdays, making it an attractive time to pounce.
If you've ever visited a DMV in a major city, you might say that any time is the worst time to go. But the department itself gets a bit more specific: It says the longest wait times are on the first and last days of the week the office is open, or Mondays and Fridays in most cases. Also avoid the first and last weeks of the month, the day just before or just after a holiday, and the lunch hour.
Mondays and Tuesdays are the worst days to buy a car, particularly when those days fall early in the month. That's because dealerships consider customers who come in on those days “need-based buyers" who “don’t negotiate as much as the savvy weekend shoppers who do their homework," according to TrueCar senior analyst Kristen Andersson, cited in Time.
Monday is the worst day to buy fresh flowers, as those blooms are likely to be leftover from the previous week or they've spent some time sitting without refrigeration over the weekend while waiting for the flower markets to open, suggests Flower Arranging 101.
If you want your new diet to succeed (and who doesn't?) don't start the new regime on Tuesday. Psychologically, it's the worst day of the week, compared to Sundays or Mondays, which feel like fresh starts, according to a study cited in the Daily Mail.
The common understanding is that Sundays and Mondays are the worst days to eat sushi, because those are the days where you'll be the least likely to find fresh fish in restaurants. (That said, many people including experts suggest that might be a misconception.)
If you ask for a raise towards the end of the week, you might not have the full attention of a boss who just wants to get the heck out of there for the weekend. Similarly, you might find that any paperwork necessary to authorize your raise will get buried under the weekend pile, according to Mint. Instead, opt for early in the week as your best negotiation strategy.
Definitely don't schedule a surgery for a weekend if you can help it. According to a British Medical Journal study cited in Men's Health, a patient's risk of death was 44 percent higher (!) if he or she underwent a surgery on a Friday and 82 percent higher on a weekend (!) versus on a Monday.
A version of this story originally appeared on iVillage.