What to buy every month of the year in 2016
Stores regularly offer their deepest discounts at annual points in the year. With a little advance planning, it's easy to take advantage of those huge sales.
In 2016, you may resolve to save more, spend less or budget better. But whatever your money goal, the one common key to your success is shopping smart. And shopping smart means knowing when’s the best time to buy just about anything.
To help you out, we’ve created a purchase calendar to plan your shopping for the rest of the year.
With a fresh page on the calendar comes a fresh start for sales. These products are discounted in January:
- Bedding and linens. Department stores are known to hold bedding and linen “white sales” in January with deep discounts on sheets and towels.
- Fitness equipment. Retailers know you want to get in shape. Expect fitness equipment and apparel sales to abound at sporting goods stores.
- TVs and electronics. Just ahead of the Super Bowl, retailers normally discount their selections of HDTVs and other home theater essentials.
It’s the month of love and gift giving, but February might be a better time to purchase major items for yourself than trinkets for your loved one. Options include:
- TVs. TV sales spill over from January into February. Aside from Black Friday, this is one of the prime times to purchase a new TV.
- Winter products. With winter winding down, stores will be looking to unload their inventories of cold-weather products. Look especially for sales on apparel and winter sporting accessories.
- Home goods. Presidents Day is on Feb. 15 this year. Expect home and apparel sales from retailers on that Monday as well as the weekend preceding the holiday.
There aren’t any major shopping holidays in March, but that doesn’t mean sales are lacking. These products are wise to purchase during March:
- Golf clubs. Expect to find discounts on golf clubs in preparation for summer. Whenever consumer demand is down, prices usually are too.
- Grills. Purchase your summer grilling necessities in March to avoid the spike in prices that will come when summer arrives.
- St. Patrick’s Day essentials. St. Patrick’s Day falls each year on March 17. Around that time, online retailers and department stores usually discount their selection of green-themed clothing, party supplies and jewelry.
The month of April has its fair share of spring deals and discounts, including:
- Vacuums. Buying a vacuum isn’t the most exciting purchase, but it’ll be less painful if you take advantage of a spring cleaning sale. Look for these at department stores.
- Jewelry. The general rule with purchasing jewelry is to avoid buying it close to major holidays. Try to secure a good deal when jewelers have a slower period and may be more motivated to make sales.
- Freebies. Year after year, retailers and restaurants try to lighten the burden of tax day with discounts and freebies. Keep an eye out for these around mid-April (tax day this year is April 18).
April showers bring May flowers — and sales blossom then too. Here’s a look at some products you should consider purchasing this month:
- Spring cleaning necessities. Before summer arrives, act on spring cleaning discounts on vacuums and mops.
- Small kitchen appliances. Use May discounts as a perfect opportunity to purchase small kitchen appliances, such as coffeemakers and blenders. These products are normally included in the home discount portion of Memorial Day sales.
- Furniture. Three of the biggest blowout shopping days are Black Friday, Labor Day and Memorial Day. This year, Memorial Day is on May 30. Look for plenty of home and furniture discounts from big-box stores.
June may be one of the shorter months of the year, but its supply of shopping events isn’t lacking. Smart purchases include these products:
- Lingerie. Stock up on undergarments during June. That’s when Victoria’s Secret has been known to host its famed Semi-Annual Sale. The sale also usually occurs in December.
- Gym memberships. Consider buying a gym membership during the summer and don’t forget to try to negotiate to get the best possible deal. Gyms may be more eager for sign-ups at this time.
- Gifts for Dad. You don’t have to buy Dad’s gift at full price. Expect Father’s Day deals this month, especially the closer you get to the holiday on June 19.
The temperature usually rises in July, but the prices of certain products drop. Consider buying these items during the summer:
- Apparel. If you don’t want to wait until the end of summer to purchase summer clothes (when prices are lowest), buy midsummer. You’ll likely find a better price than you would at the start of the season.
- Patriotic items. Retailers like a reason to celebrate. In the days leading up to the Fourth of July, there are usually an abundance of discount events on red, white and blue products as well as on sporting goods, jewelry and furniture.
- Personal electronics. Black Friday is a big deal day that falls in November, but many retailers have begun hosting Black Friday in July sales. Look for these to drop this month (from retailers like Best Buy) and expect discounts in nearly every product category.
Close out summer by purchasing summer products? That’s right. Look for end-of-season clearance sales in August:
- Back-to-school supplies. The start of school marks the need to buy small items such as pencils and expensive ones like laptops. Generally, the closer to the start of the school year you buy, the better your chance at getting a good price.
- Lawn mowers. Ride out the end of summer with a big deal on lawn mowers and other seasonal outdoor equipment.
- Swimsuits. There may not be many swimming days left by the time August rolls around, but that’s exactly why swimsuit clearance sales will crest. Buy your swimsuits now to stock up for next year.
With deals as varied as those on electronics and back-to-school supplies, September is a surprising month for good buys. Pick up reasonable prices in these departments:
- Mattresses. Year after year, September is the time for mattress sales. Expect these from department stores and mattress centers, usually as a part of Labor Day deals.
- iPhones. Apple has been known to announce its new iPhone installments at the company’s annual keynote in September. Usually, the unveiling is followed by a drop in prices on the current phones in anticipation of the new models.
- Appliances. This year, Labor Day falls on Sept. 5. Expect a series of blowout deals in the week leading up to this annual shopping event, including promotions on appliances big and small.
Don’t let the cost of shopping spook you during the Halloween season. There will be plenty of deals on some product categories in October:
- Outdoor living furniture. People generally spend less time outdoors when the temperature drops. Expect deals on patio furniture and outdoor living products when summer ends.
- Jeans. Fall inventory generally arrives in stores in August and September, but you’ll be paying top dollar unless you wait a few weeks to make a purchase. By October, the chilly months are generally well underway, which is a great time to purchase a new pair of jeans.
- Candy. The closer you get to Oct. 31, the better your chance at snagging a discounted bag of candy for your trick-or-treaters.
November is the month for Black Friday sales, which means some of the most popular tech products fall to their lowest prices during this time:
- Tablets and laptops. Electronics take center stage during November’s Black Friday sales. Look for discounts on tablets and laptops, but also smartphones and activity trackers.
- Gaming systems. Whether you prefer Xbox or PlayStation, Black Friday is the best time to purchase a discounted gaming console or gaming system bundle.
- Home appliances. Reserve your major home appliance purchase (refrigerator, washer, dryer, dishwasher, etc.) for Black Friday deals. Often, sales on these can be found throughout the entire month of November.
The end of the year is just the beginning for discounts in some product categories. Look for sale prices on these products in December:
- Toys. Since toys are a popular Christmas gift, stores generally host big toy sale events when the holiday season draws to a close.
- Christmas decorations. Beginning the day after Christmas, shop sales for deep discounts (often upward of 50%) on decorations, wrapping paper, ornaments, artificial trees and similar seasonal fixings.
- Cars. The end of December is an ideal time to purchase a car. That’s when dealerships are looking to meet end-of-year sales quotas.
This article first appeared at NerdWallet.
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