What to buy in May: Mother’s Day gifts, party supplies and gym memberships
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For many of us, May is a busy month. Between holidays like Mother’s Day and Memorial Day, high school and college graduations — and, ostensibly, the start of summer — there’s no shortage of occasions that come with the urge to spend.
Luckily, all those opportunities to head to the mall or your favorite online stores also bring plenty of great discounts. Here are some of the best deals to include on your shopping list this month:
Mother’s Day gifts
Mother’s Day discounts may have begun in April, but May is also a great time to pick up a gift for your mother or any mom in your life.
“Deals will be available as early as early May and will likely deepen as you get closer to the actual holiday,” says Trae Bodge, smart shopping expert at TrueTrae.com. “After Mother’s Day, we may see some items go on clearance, but because it’s not such a themed holiday like Valentine’s Day or Halloween, clearance pricing is not as likely.”
Look for discounts on traditional gift items like beauty products, jewelry and accessories. While flowers are often a great option and discounted around Mother’s Day, Bodge advises to do some research if you want to score the best price.
“Be sure to comparison shop before pouncing on any flower deals,” she says. “Around Mother’s Day, some flower deals are based on marked-up pricing.”
Memorial Day sales
Three-day weekends are always prime time to score great discounts on big-ticket items, and Memorial Day is no exception.
“The two big categories for Memorial Day will be refrigerators and mattresses,” says Tiara Rea-Palmer, head of retail relations at CouponFollow.
Refrigerator manufacturers release their new models in May, meaning retailers are looking to clear out what’s left of last year’s inventory. “If you can add on top of that a Memorial Day discount, you can get a really great deal on something that’s not really that old,” Rea-Palmer says.
Mattress retailers, too, will offer some of their steepest discount of the year around Memorial Day. Rea-Palmer says not only to look out for online and in-store discounts of up to 60 percent off, but also add-ons like free sheets and pillows or a free box spring with your purchase. Department stores like Macy’s and Belk are go-to options for Memorial Day sales, but check with smaller online-only brands like Leesa and Tuft & Needle as well.
Big-ticket items aren’t the only things discounted for Memorial Day. Big box stores, online retailers department stores and even car dealerships will all bring out their their low prices and promotions. Just look out for any common ways they may be tempting you to spend more money than you’d like.
Don’t forget to shop using a rewards credit card so you can get even more value out of each dollar you spend.
If you’re planning a big summer blowout or throwing a celebration for a graduating loved one this year, now is the best time to pick up any party supplies for the occasion.
According to Rea-Palmer, that’s because “May is filled with holidays like Memorial Day and Mother’s Day, but then you also have Father’s Day, graduation, 4th of July soon and summer cookout season. All that stuff makes for a really good time for party suppliers to discount their products. And then summer is also a huge time for weddings and bridal showers, so if you can get a lot of those party supplies in May ahead of the game, you can save a lot of money.”
Look for discounts online at sites like Oriental Trading, at your local party supply stores like Party City and even throughout larger national chains like Target and Michael’s.
Gym memberships and athletic apparel
Now that temperatures are heating up, many winter gym-goers will turn to the great outdoors for their workouts.
If you’re looking to start a new routine or want to jump-start your workouts, now is the best time of year aside from January. Look out for new customer discounts from local gyms seeking new patrons as regulars head outdoors. Sign up for a trial period and negotiate your rate with online coupons or bundled deals.
Stay on the lookout for discounts on athletic apparel and footwear too, according to Bodge. “May is a great time to treat yourself to some new duds and kicks, with sales in the 30 to 50 percent range at athletic retailers and big box stores,” she says.
You can also anticipate plenty of sales from your favorite clothing stores this month.
“All the major retailers like Old Navy, JCPenney and Torrid are going to have a spring clearance sale, so definitely watch for that in May,” Rea-Palmer says. “They’re going to try to get rid of all of their spring stuff so they can bring out their summer stuff.”
Look for major clearances at department stores and don’t forget to check your email for coupons and sale offers from any online retailers you love. Again, these will be most prevalent during Memorial Day weekend.
“I always advise in May, if you can wait until Memorial Day, you’re always going to get a better deal,” Rea-Palmer says. “Everyone is going to have some kind of coupon or freebie.”