What to Buy in August

Examining new laptop


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Examining new laptop

Hot August Deals

August is all about back-to-school deals. Even frugal shoppers without school-age kids can find big discounts this month on items such as electronics and office supplies. This is also the beginning of the end of summer, so August bargains include seasonal products. Here's a shopping list filled with cut-rate prices.

Related: 31 Simple Ways to Save Money Every Day of the Month

Tax-Free Items
Serghei Starus/istockphoto

Tax-Free Items

Some states offer tax-free shopping on select days in August. In most cases, these sales tax holidays apply only to select goods, such as clothing and school supplies. Check your state government's website for dates and restrictions. This could be a good time to make a big-ticket purchase such as a computer or energy-efficient appliance.

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school supplies 2010
school supplies 2010 by EvelynGiggles (CC BY)

School Supplies

True, school openings are still a question mark in many places nationwide. But you can still expect school supplies of all kinds to be discounted or promoted with coupons. Look for August deals on paper, notebooks, pens, pencils, glue, rulers, calculators, folders, and binders. Now's the time to stock up for a small business or home office, as well, with discounts on items such as chairs, desks, and file cabinets in addition to office supplies.

Related: 50 Tips for Back-to-School Savings

Outlet Shopping vs. Retail

Summer Gear

Consumers will see August deals on summer merchandise as vendors look to clear the racks for fall inventory. This is the best time and probably the last chance until next summer to buy a truly cheap swimsuit. If you have children at home, buy that kiddie pool now for next year. Grills will also be deeply discounted this month. 

Related: 18 Products That Can Turn Your Backyard Into a Relaxing Oasis

Clothing Essentials
Dorm Decor

Dorm Decor

College campuses are gearing up to usher in a new crop of first-year students. If you have a college-bound student at home, look now for discounts on dorm essentials and decor sold by retailers such as Walmart, Target, and dollar stores. Even if no one in the family is near college age, take advantage of August deals on storage containers, linens, and other items for the home (the first week of the month is National Simplify Your Life Week). 

Related: 33 Great Gifts for College Students

Shop for Tax-Free Items


In addition to all the typical supplies, a new laptop is on many college students' shopping lists. Laptops will be on sale this month and many retailers will be offering discounted bundles that might include software, a case, and even a printer. Keep an eye out for low prices on desktops as well. Don't forget, these savings can benefit anyone, not just college-bound students. 

Gas-Powered Tools

Lawn Mowers

Homeowners in most parts of the country won't need lawn mowers for much longer, so watch for retailers to mark them down. Gardening tools and other landscaping implements, such as tillers and weed eaters, also go on sale this month. Outdoor furniture and decorative yard items, on the other hand, are likely to see greater price cuts (up to 90% off) in September and October. 

Related: 16 Gardening Must-Haves for Anyone With a Green Thumb

Camping Tent


By August, most people have already finished their summer travels and are setting their sights on fall getaways and holiday travel. The lull makes this month a good time to buy new luggage to replace that ancient piece held together with duct tape.

Seasonal Produce

Seasonal Produce

The late summer harvest yields fruit such as apricots, blueberries, grapes, mangos, melons, nectarines, kiwis, peaches, plums, raspberries, strawberries, and watermelon, all of which will be ripe and cheap. Readily available vegetables include corn, cucumbers, bell peppers, beets, eggplant, green beans, green onions, lettuce, okra, radishes, summer squash, and tomatoes. (Make the most of August produce with these recipes.)

Related: Eat Seasonally and Save: When to Buy Fresh Produce Year-Round

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