What not to buy in May: Swimwear, electronics and patio furniture
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Between Mother’s Day celebrations, graduations, weddings and baby showers, there are likely going to be plenty of occasions where you’ll feel obligated to spend money this month.
But while you pick up those gifts on others’ wish lists, you may not want to jump at the chance to buy everything on your own. Many items, especially those most prevalent during summer months, are likely to see more attractive pricing as the season continues.
If you do pay a visit to the mall, especially for Memorial Day sales, make sure you shop smartly with a cash back rewards credit card. Otherwise, here are a number of things you can feel comfortable crossing off your shopping list this month.
If you missed home improvement clearance sales during Spring Black Friday at stores like Lowe’s and Home Depot, it’s probably best to pause on purchasing any pricey outdoor items until summer ends.
According to Tiara Rea-Palmer, head of retail relations at CouponFollow, you may find sales on Memorial Day, since it’s one of the best shopping days of the year. Still, she recommends waiting until later in the year for end-of-season sales.
“[Retailers] know people want to have the patio set up, they know people want to grill outdoors in the summer, so they’re not going to be discounting those items much at all,” she says. “If you can wait on those until September and October, those are really optimal months for grills and patio furniture purchases.”
Swimwear and summer apparel
Along with planning your cookout, a day by the pool may have to wait if you’re looking for a discount.
“You could find some sales on summer clothing during Memorial Day, but best to wait until mid to late summer if you can for the best buys,” says Trae Bodge, smart shopping expert at TrueTrae.com. “The longer you wait, the deeper the discounts will be.”
If you are in the market for a new swimsuit or other summer apparel like sandals, shorts and tanks, don’t hesitate if you see a deal on Memorial Day, because you may otherwise have to wait until August or September for a good price on these items.
Electronics — from phones to computers and smart home devices — can be pricey, so they’re often worth waiting for the biggest price drops throughout the year before buying. For many items, that means back-to-school season.
Beginning in July with Amazon Prime Day, expect to see discounts on Amazon-branded items like Kindles, Echos and Fire TVs, as well as televisions and accessories like headphones and earbuds.
Towards the end of July and into August, look for discounts on laptops, cell phones and other electronics both in-store and online geared towards students and teachers heading back to school. Apple, for instance, usually offers bundled freebies with MacBook and iPad purchases ranging from App Store gift cards to Beats headphones and other accessories, plus discounts on AppleCare warranties for students and teachers.
While you wait, consider putting your cash designated for that new laptop into a high-yield savings account. Not only will you be less tempted to spend it, but you can also earn a few extra bucks in interest in the meantime.
Gas prices are generally higher in the warmer months, and you can expect that to be true this year as we approach Memorial Day.
In their latest analysis of national gas price averages, AAA not only showed that gas is currently at its most expensive price of the year so far, but also predicted that averages would soon surpass last year’s high of $2.97 per gallon, which peaked over Memorial Day weekend.
It’s unrealistic for drivers to forgo buying gas altogether, but you can save money by being diligent in finding the best local prices and using tools like gas rewards credit cards and price-tracking apps like GasBuddy and Gas Guru so you’re not spending more than you need.