Financial Fitness


What to buy (and skip) in May

Posted at 4:02 PM, May 01, 2019

The next 31 days will bring discounts on appliances, apparel and even “Star Wars” memorabilia.

To help you find the savings, we created a guide for what you should buy (and a few things you should skip) during the month of May.

Buy: Furniture and appliances

May is a prime time for making major home-related purchases. That’s because Memorial Day sales are packed with markdowns on indoor furniture, patio furniture, appliances and mattresses .

Some prices are automatically reduced, but other sales require shoppers to use a coupon code at checkout or complete a rebate. Be sure to check the terms of the deals you find. This year, Memorial Day is May 27, but sales often begin at least a week earlier.

Maytag will feature the May Is Maytag Month promotion again, running from May 2 through June 5. Shoppers can get up to a $700 rebate in the form of a prepaid card by mail with purchase of select Maytag appliances at participating brand retailers.

Skip: Home electronics

We suggest making electronics purchases in November, when prices on laptops, tablets, gaming consoles and other electronics are usually at their lowest, thanks to Black Friday sales.

If you can’t wait until the day after Thanksgiving, July is just around the corner. In past years, retailers such as Amazon and Best Buy have hosted Black Friday in July sales with electronics discounts that rival Black Friday prices. After that, August will bring back-to-school electronics deals.

Buy: Wedding registry gifts

While you’re outfitting your home with a new sofa, chair or table at Memorial Day sales, check out coffee makers, blenders and other small kitchen appliances, too.

In the past, department stores such as Macy’s and J.C. Penney, as well as home and kitchen specialty stores like Bed Bath & Beyond, have offered savings on kitchen essentials. If you’re not shopping for yourself, now would be a good time to buy a household gift from a registry ahead of the summer wedding season.

Skip: Swimwear and lingerie

Victoria’s Secret sets the schedule for swimwear and lingerie deals, and May is one month too early for steep savings. That’s because the store’s Semi-Annual Sale traditionally happens each June, and other retailers follow suit.

In June 2018, Victoria’s Secret dished out discounts of up to 60% off almost 2,000 styles. Hold out a little while longer for similar savings again this year. Follow the retailer on social media and sign up for the store’s mailing list for announcements about the exact dates of the sale.

Buy: Spring apparel

Clothing sales are a given each May. Now that warm-weather styles have been in stores for a few months, you can expect retailers to bring down prices.

Our best advice for finding these deals? First, check retailers’ sale sections or clearance racks both in store and online. Then, register for your favorite clothing store’s email list, which could mean exclusive deals. Finally, fill your cart with sale-priced shirts and shorts while you’re getting that KitchenAid mixer and coffee table on Memorial Day.

Can’t wait until the end of the month? Stores such as Old Navy and American Eagle Outfitters have apparel sales right now.

Bonus: ‘Star Wars’ Day

May 4 is “Star Wars” Day, and you’ll certainly be feeling the force when you see the deals and discounts that come on this day each year. You’ll see sales on merchandise featuring your favorite characters, such as Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia.

Last year, we spotted price cuts on apparel, video games and other items inspired by the movies. If previous years are any indication, expect savings at places like Amazon, Target and more.

Bonus: Free food days

Every month is home to some sort of national food observance, and May is no exception. Mark your calendar for the following dates, which are likely to include deals and freebies: National Buttermilk Biscuit Day on May 14 and National Hamburger Day on May 28. Most freebies are announced and shared via social media.