What to Buy in June
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What to Buy in June — and What to Skip

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What to Buy in June
Juanmonino/istockphoto

June Bargains

Warm weather and related festivities usually bring plenty of discounts in June, but social distancing and lingering business closures mean some of the summer's hottest buys won't be so hot this year. Still, there are plenty of product categories where your dollar will go further. Here are June's best buys, plus plenty you can safely skip this year. (Wondering what commerce will be like going forward? Here are Essential Changes Businesses Are Making to Reopen Safely.)

Raechel Conover contributed to this article.

Spring Apparel
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Buy: Spring and Summer Apparel

While it's typically a budget bummer to buy in-season apparel — sales are always better when retailers are trying to clear their shelves at the end of the season — the pandemic has made clothing stores desperate for business. Bypass big-box stores and look for deals at department stores like Macy's and specialty retailers like Gap or Eddie Bauer that were forced to close their doors for much of spring.

Workout Gear
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Buy: Workout Gear

With more people wanting to get into "swimsuit shape," retailers often offer rock-bottom prices on fitness apparel at this time of year. Think shoes, clothes, and accessories for the gym or outdoor workouts. While Target's in-house All in Motion line is always worth checking out, specialty retailers are also a solid bet right now: Places like Dick's Sporting Goods and REI are trying to make up ground after spring store closures.

Lingerie
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Dinner for Dad
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Buy: Dinner for Dad

Father's Day falls on June 21, and while there aren't many sales on traditional Father's Day gifts, national restaurant chains often advertise deals on dinner out — think buy-one-get-one entrees, free items, and specials. Some of the best deals last year were on gift cards purchased in advance of the holiday; for instance, a $10 bonus card with a $50 gift card purchase at Olive Garden, a deal good again this year. (If restaurant dining rooms aren't yet open in your neck of the woods or you'd rather not dine in, plenty of deals will likely be good for takeout, too.)

Dishes and Cookware
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Buy: Dishes and Cookware

May ushered in deep discounts on cookware, between Mother's Day and the dawn of wedding season, and many of those deals continue through June. Prices on dishware also start dropping as wedding season gains momentum — and yes, gifts are still appreciated even if the celebration itself is canceled. Dishes and cookware make practical graduation gifts for young adults moving out on their own. Look to department stores like Kohl's or specialty retailers like Bed Bath and Beyond for the best deals as these stores try to make up ground lost to store closures.

Tools and Paint
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Buy: Tools and Paint

The absolute best deals on tools typically don't come until October or November, but a few bargains emerge around Father's Day. Take advantage of the discounts at the major home improvement stores, Lowe's and Home Depot, as well as local hardware shops for summer DIY projects that call for power tools or a coat of paint.

Doughnuts
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Berries
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Buy: Foods in Season

June brings a fresh fruit and vegetable boom, an ideal time to get in the habit of buying local produce. Depending where you live, the fruits to buy include melons (watermelon and cantaloupe), berries (blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries), and stone fruits (apricots, peaches, and nectarines). Kick off the grilling season with sales on the first crop of sweet corn, summer squash, green beans, and tomatoes, plus lettuce and cucumber for salads.

Related: 35 Foods You Wouldn't Think to Grill But Definitely Should Try

Small Electronics
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Skip: Electronics

Now that school is over, the best laptop deals have run their course, and retailers have mostly cleared out older tech that still lingered on shelves after an influx of updated gadgets toward the beginning of the year. Some deals on smart-home tech may be out there to appeal to summer do-it-yourselfers, but this month is mostly a wash for cheap electronics.

Mattresses
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Skip: Mattresses

If you missed all the blowout Memorial Day sales, you're out of luck in this category. Expect slimmer discounts until Labor Day, the next big holiday shopping weekend when mattresses are in the mix.

Skip: Grills and Patio Furniture
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Skip: Patio Furniture

Reliably warm weather always means plenty of buyers are clamoring for new patio furniture in June, and the pandemic means even more people are trying to upgrade their backyards for safe outdoor fun. Don't expect any exceptional deals in this category while demand is so high.

Backyard Gas Grill
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Skip: Grills and Grilling Accessories

There were some deals in this category as late as last month, but like patio furniture, they tend to evaporate when summer is in full swing. If you can wait, the end of summer will bring lower prices, and Fourth of July sales may offer some temporary discounts.

Movie Passes
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Skip: Movie Passes

June has traditionally signaled deals brought on by summer blockbusters and audiences eager to beat the heat, but movie theaters have been hard hit by the pandemic and are just starting to reopen. Until most have been cleared for business again, it's unlikely that many new films will make it onto screens.

Tropical Vacations
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Skip: Travel Deals

The onset of hurricane season and sweltering temperatures in the Caribbean usually make June a great time for travelers to scoop up last-minute deals on cruises and tropical vacation packages. However, the pandemic means cruise lines remain closed for business, and the U.S. State Department's recommendation against all international travel remains in effect.

Gym Membership
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Skip: Gym Memberships

As the weather improves and people move their workouts outside, June usually means sales surface at gyms and health clubs that are running hard to sign up new members. But fitness centers are just starting to reopen after prolonged closures because of the pandemic, and most will be operating at reduced capacity. Our advice? Stick with your at-home workouts for a while longer.