To find out the best times to buy certain items, we asked two pros to open up their bags of secrets: Lisa Lee Freeman, savings expert at the coupon app Flipp; and Trae Bodge, who hass shared her smart shopping tips across the media landscape.
They both have some general advice to keep in mind. “National holidays and seasonal changes typically drive deals on products from clothing to mattresses to appliances,” says Freeman. Bodge adds that winter is an especially great time to save, as the end of the year can bring deals on closeouts and new models.
The secret, of course, is knowing what to buy when. So read on—and mark your calendar now for the year ahead.
Kick off the year by hitting the “White Sales,” recommends Freeman. This concept, started in January 1878, features discounts on sheets, towels, bedding sets and pillows. In the market for a boat? Bodge notes that early-season boat shows may give you a way to nab discounts of up to 10 percent off sticker prices. She also says that the new year is a great time to find discounts on gym memberships, as well as fitness apparel and equipment. (Using the stuff? That’s on you.)
Both experts recommend shopping over President’s Day weekend for markdowns on mattresses as well as big-screen televisions, since retailers need to make room for new TV models introduced at the Consumer Electronics Show in January. “It’s better than Black Friday,” says Freeman. Bodge also loves this weekend for discounts on clothing and accessories.
End-of-season promos make this month an ideal time to buy winter gear, says Freeman. Get a jump on the next cold season by stocking up on coats, sweaters, boots, skis and sleds. Also look for deals on luggage—just in time for spring-break trips.
Next-generation computers often come to market in spring, so Freeman suggests looking for lower prices on older models. This is also the time to buy some home goods, including carpeting.
Why skip town on Memorial Day when you could be shopping for great deals? This weekend—as well as Mother’s Day weekend—are the perfect times to buy refrigerators, cooking appliances and sports apparel for less, says Freeman.
It’s wedding season, so Freeman says to hunt for sales on dishes, decorative tabletop items and other bridal-registry staples. Father’s Day brings bargains on home–improvement supplies and gardening tools.
“Christmas in July” (the month when big-box stores slash prices to kick off the fall buying season) yields great deals on electronics, says Freeman. Department stores’ Fourth of July sales also offer closeout deals on summer clothing.
In the market for a new car or RV? Dealerships refresh inventory in September when new models arrive, says Freeman, so look for markdowns that continue throughout the fall. Just don’t wait too long, says Bodge, since car lots can be pretty picked over by the time you ring in the new year.
Labor Day weekend is the time for lower prices on school supplies, computers and backpacks, says Freeman. New smartphones also come out this month, so you could save on last-generation models.
With backyard season over for most people, this is a good time to find sales on lawn and yard equipment, says Freeman, as well as barbecue grills and outdoor furniture. New household appliance models hit the market now too, so last year’s models can be a bargain.
Black Friday, of course, is the official time for discounted holiday shopping. Freeman says you can find some of the biggest discounts on small electronics such as tablets, activity trackers and cameras. The best deals come in refurbs, last-generation models and bundled gifts, such as video-game consoles packaged with games or cameras and accessories. Also cheaper: small appliances, kitchen gadgets and cookware.
TOYS! Retailer markdowns deepen as you get closer to Christmas, says Freeman. And winter is home improvement’s off-season, so discounts on anything related to home repairs are plentiful.
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Read more: Find out how to use your phone to save even more while you shop.
By Danielle Blundell and Jenna Gottlieb