What to Buy (and Skip) in August
July’s Prime Day sale is behind us, and September’s Labor Day savings are still ahead. So what deals happen in between?
Here’s your guide for what to buy (and skip) this month.
Buy: Back-to-school supplies
First up on your August shopping list should be school supplies. Classroom products hit store shelves in July, but sales will be better in August, particularly as the beginning of school approaches. Look to back-to-school sales at department stores and office supply chains for deals on backpacks, pens, pencils and other essentials. And as with any sale, remember to apply relevant coupons and coupon codes.
If your state participates in a back-to-school state sales tax holiday, use that window to buy some supplies sales-tax-free. Check the full listing of 2019 sales tax holidays by state for dates, details and to see if your state is participating.
Skip: Amazon devices
In July, Amazon hosted its fifth annual Prime Day sale, and there were deep discounts on products like clothing, electronics and vacuums.
The deals on Amazon devices were especially impressive. For example, the Fire TV Cube was $69.99 ($50 off). The second-generation Echo was $49.99 ($50 off). The Echo Show was $159.99 ($70 off).
Based on past sales, it’s likely we won’t see Amazon device discounts close to this level again until Black Friday in November, so you may want to hold off until then.
Buy: Outdoor products
With summer coming to a close, you probably aren’t planning on doing much work in the backyard. That’s exactly why outdoor maintenance products and patio furniture will reach low price levels in August. Buy these items now so you’ll be prepared for next year. If you need a new lawn mower, for example, take advantage of the deals you’ll find over the next few weeks.
Skip: Major household items
Skip appliances and mattresses, at least until the last day or two of the month.
Labor Day and accompanying sales are around the corner. If it isn’t essential for you to make a major purchase in August, hold off until the big discount events arrive. This year, the holiday falls on Sept. 2. (Sales may begin at the tail end of August.)
Labor Day is renowned for its mattress, appliance and home decor deals. In the past, we’ve seen Lowe’s take up to 30% off major appliances and Bear Mattress offer $100 off any size Bear mattress online with a coupon code.
Buy: Summer clearance
As autumn draws near, it makes sense to want to add some sweaters and sweatshirts to your wardrobe. But prices at the start of any given season are generally higher than at the middle or end, so the price tag on that comfortable sweater you’re eyeing might not make you feel so warm and fuzzy.
On the flip side, now’s a perfect time to purchase summer clothing, shoes and swimwear. Since the warm season is coming to a close, retailers are trying to clear out old inventory to make room for winter weather necessities. If you’re going to buy any clothes this month, you’ll be able to save more on summer staples than winter gear.
Pump the brakes on a new iPhone purchase for just a little while longer. Rumors are swirling that Apple is gearing up to release its new iPhone (or iPhones) as early as September.
If that’s true, a new iPhone release will mean two things. First, there will be a new phone with fresh features on the market that will instantly render your existing iPhone out of date. Second, Apple and third-party retailers generally drop prices on previous iPhone models in the wake of a new phone, making September a great time for a deal.
Bonus: National Garage Sale Day and more
Great deals this month may be closer than you think: The second Saturday in August is National Garage Sale Day. This year, that’s Aug. 10. A lot of bargain hunters will be looking to sell or buy during this annual late-summer event. Look for offerings around your neighborhood and community.
And if you’re searching for other days to circle on your calendar, here are two more: Aug. 6 is National Root Beer Float Day, and Aug. 24 is National Waffle Day. Expect plenty of food freebies.
About the author
Courtney is NerdWallet’s consumer savings expert. Her work has been featured by USA Today and The New York Times. Read more