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The holiday season isn't the only time of year when items fly off the shelves at rock-bottom prices. Knowing the right time to shop for specific products and categories of items can be the key to saving lots of money. Several factors can affect the price of certain items—like store location, seasonal availability, inventory, and stock for clearance—so some sales are less predictable than others.
However, retailers often follow well-established trends when offering discounts at certain times of the year. Whether it's the post-holiday deals, like January's annual white sales for linens and housewares, or the outdoor and garden goods that get discounted in the fall. With careful planning, you can save money in the long run by looking for sales that pop up at predictable points throughout the year.
Bedding, carpets, and linens traditionally go on sale in January. These are often called "white sales." Tablecloths, towels, and household linens go on sale to clear out excess stock and make room for new designs for the upcoming year. Some department stores also hold "white sales" in July, so keep an eye out for that alternative.
After the holiday season ends in December, retailers are eager to clear out last year's electronics before releasing new products. So, the best time to purchase electronics and office software is early in the year.
According to Bankrate, TVs tend to go on sale before the Super Bowl, in January or early February. Tax software and prep tend to go on sale in March, before the filing deadline in April. Desktops, tablets, phones, computer monitors, digital cameras, and other small electronics can see significant discounts from retailers from January to April.
Furniture and Decor
According to Grace Baena, director of brand of Kaiyo, an online marketplace to buy and sell pre-loved furniture, the best deals for housewares are typically when there is a holiday that extends into a long weekend—think Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Presidents Day, and Memorial Day.
Indoor furniture discounts tend to occur in the warmer months. With Memorial Day weekend in May, big furniture items often go on sale this time of year, with sales often extending through July. Popular retailers, like Walmart and Home Depot, usually also offer May discounts for homeware, including dining and living room sets.
Generally, any themed holiday decor will go on sale after the holiday has passed. Since retailers want to clear out inventory, a post-holiday shopping spree can help you save big on next year's decor items.
Clothing is seasonal, and so are the prices. An end-of-season sale for summer clothes typically happens around September to October, while winter apparel discounts happen around January to February.
Fitness wear discounts often roll out around May, along with Memorial Day sales. Some retailers also have store-specific annual sales, such as Old Navy's flip-flop sale or Nordstrom's anniversary sale.
Outdoor and Garden Supplies
It's easy to shop for outdoor and garden supplies when it's top of mind (i.e. when you're spending the most time outside), but a savvy shopper will wait until the time is right. If you're looking for patio or deck furniture, the best time to buy is at the end of August through October, when the weather starts to cool off. Following a similar trajectory, gas grills are typically discounted in September, and lawnmowers and snowblowers are cheaper in early fall. Camping gear goes on sale at the end of the summer or winter season, depending on the seasonality of what you're looking for.
Outdoor perennial plants, which are low maintenance, typically go on sale in September and October.
Vehicles and Travel
With new cars becoming available in September, you'll find deals on old models starting in August. But, according to Bankrate, October thorugh December is an excellent time to capitalize on dealerships' scramble to make end-of-year sales quotas. That final quarter is when people are likely to find the best bargains.
Travel discounts also fluctuate depending on when you book, how far you plan to travel, and when you're looking to vacation. If you're looking to book holiday travel for Thanksgiving or Christmas, it's typically best to lock in deals by Halloween. Buying tickets during the middle of the week, versus on the weekend, can also save you money.
Purchase larger home appliances from September to December. The week before Labor Day, expect blowout sales on home appliances. In November, expect Black Friday sales that apply to high-ticket items like refrigerators, dishwashers, and washers and dryers.
Small kitchen appliances sales come around May for Mother's Day and Memorial Day. Amazon Prime Day often falls in July, and that's a perfect time to order coffeemakers, kitchenware, vacuums, and other household solutions.