What to Buy Month by Month

The Best Time to Buy Almost Anything in 2019

View Slideshow
What to Buy Month by Month


Timing is everything, especially for frugal consumers. Knowing when to buy something can make a big difference at the register. The best time to shop for big-ticket items usually comes just before a new model is introduced, and the end of a season can mean big bargains. Remember, though, that waiting for a sale has trade-offs. Forget about having the latest and greatest, but enjoy the steep discounts to be gained with this month-by-month guide.



New furniture models come out in February, so bargains arrive in January. Look for stores like Macy's and Target to discount living room sets and area rugs. With winter weather setting in, department stores like JCPenney lure shoppers with "white sales," making this the best time to buy linens, bedding, and towels. Gym memberships are often good deals in January — especially when they waive joining fees. Check out what Gold's Gym, Planet Fitness, and Retro Fitness have to offer. Holiday items will see deep discounts in January, while winter apparel will start getting discounted to make room for spring styles.



Stock up on high-end chocolate — which rarely goes on sale — after Valentine's Day. Check companies like Lindt and Godiva for possible sales. Also in February, retailers continue to discount select electronics. See what Costco and Best Buy offer in the way of TVs and audio equipment, as well as video games released during the holiday gift-buying frenzy. As stores like Kohl's and Burlington Coat Factory make room for spring fashions, look for deals on winter coats and apparel, especially over Presidents Day weekend. At Sears and other stores, Presidents Day also spurs sales on mattresses, linens, towels, and bedding. With the winter boat show season in full swing, February is the best time to buy a boat for less. Also on sale: tax-filing software.



As temperatures rise and demand cools, sellers like Dick's Sporting Goods strike deals on winter sporting equipment and apparel. Updated luggage styles arrive in advance of summer travel, so now's the time to buy last year's suitcases. Check out sellers like Costco and American Tourister. March is a big month for food discounts. It's National Frozen Food Month, so stack coupons on top of supermarket sales to fill the freezer, and leftover Valentine's Day chocolate will be discounted even more following the holiday. With St. Patrick's Day in March, look for green discounts the closer it gets to March 17. Some restaurants also offer food and drink deals to commemorate the holiday.



Car dealers pick up used vehicles at auction this time of year and aim to move them quickly. April is also National Car Care Month, which means deals on car parts, tires, and service. Keep Sam's Club and Costco in mind this time of year. Retailers mark down cookware as graduations and wedding season approach. Check Amazon and Walmart for cookware bargains. In recent years, Home Depot has held a springtime Black Friday sale with discounted home improvement supplies. Spring apparel has been on the retail racks since February, so April is the time to look for discounts at stores like Target and Kohl's. With tax day falling mid-month, look for tax-day freebies and deep discounts on jewelry. Also on sale: snow blowers, and cruise vacations. With spring-cleaning heating up, April is also a good month to shop second-hand stores.



Mattress retailers offer exceptional discounts in May to clear the floor for incoming merchandise, so don't be caught snoozing: Keep an eye peeled for deals at Walmart and Amazon. The long Memorial Day weekend also sees the last markdowns on spring clothes. Deals on office furniture pop up in May, with price cuts continuing through June, making it a smart time to shop retailers like Ikea. With the start of wedding season, graduations, and the upcoming Mother's Day, look for bargains on home goods and other gifts, especially items such as kitchenware should be discounted heavily. Bonus discounts on these items can be found in the Memorial Day sales. Picnic and grilling supplies see price dips in May. (For grills, think Amazon, Walmart, and Lowe's.) Also on sale: refrigerators and party supplies. For fridges, check out Home Depot.



Warm weather heats up deals on health club memberships, workout gear, and lingerie in June. The onset of hurricane season makes cruises and Caribbean vacations cheaper yet, especially for last-minute bookings. It's also off-season for travel to Alaska, so watch for deals there. Look to Cruise.com and CruisesOnly.com for deals. Cinemas offer deals on movie tickets, and rock-bottom kids ticket prices during the week. With Father's Day coming, look for discounts on restaurant dinners, as well as on tools and paint. Home Depot and Lowe's come up big here. Savings on cookware and dishes continue from May. National Doughnut Day falls on June 7 this year, so take advantage of freebies from places such as Krispy Kreme, Dunkin' Donuts, and Tim Hortons.

HVAC System


July is a pivotal bargain-shopping month. It's one of the best times to buy tools and paint to round out those home improvement projects. After July 4, retailers start firing up discounts on grills, summer apparel, and air conditioners. Look to Lowe's, Amazon, and Walmart for deals on air conditioners. Independence Day also heralds a handful of deals on mattresses. On National Ice Cream Day (July 21 this year) look for specials at local shops and chains such as Baskin-Robbins and Cold Stone Creamery. The semi-annual release of new furniture models in August invites sales in July. And with no gift-giving holiday in sight, jewelry stores vie for business. Back-to-school shopping starts near the end of the month, which can mean deals on computers from retailers like Amazon and Best Buy. July has played host to Amazon Prime Day in the past four years, so expect Black Friday-like specials from the e-commerce giant.

Niki Love/shutterstock


August is a good time to buy back-to-school staples like laptops, backpacks, and office supplies as well as dorm room essentials. In addition to attractive deals on kids' clothes, summer apparel and swimwear are at all-time-low prices. Check out Forever 21 and Target for swimsuits and other summer wear. Keep track of tax-free shopping days (they vary from state to state) to gather up these and other items without sales tax. Items such as patio furniture are tagged with some of the biggest discounts of the year. Look for deals at places like Costco and Home Depot.



September is a good time to buy plane tickets for holiday travel. In addition to checking on Priceline and Travelocity, also be sure to take a look at under-the-radar sites like Momondo and Wanderu. New car models are released in early fall, leaving cut-rate leftovers from the prior model year. Check out Costco's car-buying program if you don't like to haggle. Likewise, last year's bicycles go on clearance, as do large appliances. Apple has historically released new products in September making it a prime month to buy older models. Look for denim and desktop computer sales after the back-to-school rush. Once again, mattress dealers roll out discounts for the long Labor Day weekend. On Sept. 29, don't miss the opportunity to get a free cup o' joe for National Coffee Day. Also on sale: patio furniture, perennial plants, lawn mowers, and sunglasses.

Michael Pettigrew/shutterstock


Not much goes on sale in October, but the remaining summer stock — bikes, grills, lawn mowers — takes on spooky-low price tags. Watch Amazon and Nashbar for bike deals, and look to Home Depot, Sears, and Walmart for mowers. Discounts on denim, new cars, and camping gear also continue this month. Air conditioners also see rock-bottom prices in October, while deals on Halloween costumes and decorations start in mid-October and continue to increase as the witches and goblins close in. Also on sale: travel deals.



The biggest shopping season of the year kicks off on Thanksgiving, but look for Black Friday deals throughout November. Expect discounts on big and small appliances, and vacuum cleaners. Check Amazon, Walmart, and Target for vacuum cleaners. Likewise, keep those same retailers in mind for small appliances, too. This is also a good time to buy laptops, TVs, tablets, digital cameras, smart-home devices, video games, and other electronics with Best Buy and Amazon as the heavy hitters for TVs and cameras. Sales abound on food storage containers to help store leftovers, and cookware. Think Walmart when shopping for plastic and glass food storage containers. As people prep for holiday guests, home service providers such as house cleaners lower their rates. November is also a good time to buy clothing, but it brings a lull in the wedding business, and bridal shops want to clear out older inventory. Also on sale: Halloween candy and trappings.



Savings continue in December on TVs, as well as on cookware, small appliances, kitchen items, and wedding dresses. Toys reach their lowest prices as Christmas approaches. Shop Walmart and Amazon for deals on toys. Gift card deals also emerge. In the market for a new house? Sellers who leave a home listed during the holidays are usually very motivated to negotiate a deal. With New Year's Eve in sight, Champagne and other sparkling wines are discounted. December is the best time to buy a winter coat and other winter apparel — especially directly after Christmas. The day after Christmas also brings a wave of fresh discounts on many products, from clothing to electronics and appliances, as well as holiday decorations, which you can stock up on for next year. Amazon and Walmart are big players here, too.