What to Buy in July and What to Skip

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young woman shopping in the summer
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After the Fourth of July, retailers start setting their sights on fall, which makes July a good month to snatch up deals on certain summer items. July is also the height of fruit and vegetable season and has been designated the official month for some classic summer foods. Here's a look at what's best to buy in July — and a couple of items likely to be cheaper at the end of the season.

tool set
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Like the weather, tool deals heat up in July. With Father's Day over and done, retailers such as Lowe's and Home Depot offer tools and accessories for less. Time to complete some home improvement projects.

paint can and paint brush from above
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Who wants to paint a room in the heat of summer? Not many people, so home improvement stores try to entice consumers to buy paint in July with hefty discounts. Even if you don't want to take on this chore now, take advantage of the specials and put the paint in storage for a while. Unopened cans last for years.

woman laying on mattress
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Like Memorial Day and Labor Day, Independence Day is a fine time to take advantage of sales and bring home a good, cheap mattress.

women swimwear for sale
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As soon as July Fourth celebrations come to a close, retailers begin discounting summer apparel to make room for back-to-school items. This means July is the time to find the best selection of low-priced swimsuits and summer clothes. August and September bring clearance sales too, but the selection is smaller and more picked over. For kids, buy bigger sizes and put them away for next year.

grill outside
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Once the Fourth of July holiday has passed, retailers no longer want to hold cheap grills in their inventory, and deals pop up in anticipation of an onslaught of fall merchandise.

air conditioner
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Much like grills and summer apparel, air conditioners start to drop in price about halfway through the summer. Even in July, there's plenty of hot weather still to come this year, and sweltering households would welcome a new AC unit at a discount.

amazon prime package
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Amazon Prime Day — not yet officially announced this year though deals may be starting July 16, according to Techradar — will likely bring substantial bargains on numerous items. The deals require Prime membership (now $119). Previous years have seen respectable discounts on the company's branded products and other items. Look for Walmart to offer deals the same week in an effort to compete with its rival.

woman shopping in retail computer store
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The big back-to-school shopping season kicks off in July, bringing a plethora of discounts for consumers in need of a new laptop, tablet, or desktop computer.

African-American couple shopping in furniture store
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Come August, a semi-annual wave of new furniture models will hit stores. Retailers must clear out current inventory to make space on showroom floors, so look for big discounts in July.

engagement ring
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With the December holidays and Valentine's Day half a year away, jewelers are experiencing the summer doldrums. Eager to draw in buyers, they drop prices and run sales in July. Keep in mind that jewelry bought now makes a welcome gift any time of year.

fresh berries in basket
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This month is the prime growing season for many fruits and vegetables. Fresh fruits to buy in July include blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, cantaloupe, watermelon, peaches, apricots, plums, and kiwi. Vegetables that ripen this month and sell for dirt-cheap prices include corn, green beans, cucumbers, tomatoes, summer squash, and lettuce. To be really frugal and enjoy fresh produce for months to come, stock up now and freeze fruit and vegetables for later.

group of friends eating ice cream on summer in swimwear
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July is National Ice Cream Month. Scoop up sweet ice cream coupons and look for promotions at the grocery store. While the entire month is focused on the creamy frozen treat, deals and freebies are especially likely on July 15, National Ice Cream Day, from local ice cream shops and chains such as Baskin-Robbins, Graeter's, Cold Stone Creamery, Marble Slab Creamery, and Maggie Moo's Ice Cream and Treatery. 

hot dogs
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July is also National Hot Dog Month. Look for coupons and discounts on hot dogs leading up to National Hot Dog Day on July 18. Sonic, 7-Eleven, and QuikTrip have offered free or discounted franks to commemorate the holiday in the past.

outdoor furniture on the lawn
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Along with grills, ACs, and summer apparel, outdoor furniture and yard decor will start displaying discounted prices after July Fourth. Still, for the best deals, wait until later in the summer and into fall. September and October typically see the best prices. In the meantime, try a few easy ways to revive the patio furniture you already have.

elegant sunglasses in a fashion store showcase
Photo credit: Grosescu Alberto Mihai/istockphoto

Sunglasses are hot, hot, hot right now and priced at their peak. The best deals on sunglasses usually don't appear until the off-season, starting in September.

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