Ways to Save Money

Christmas in July: Your Chance to Save Big on Back-to-School and Holiday Shopping

Updated August 10, 2015
by Marie Hickman
Contributor
Christmas in July

Christmas seems to come earlier every year — at least the shopping part of it.

Target, Amazon and Walmart have already turned a holiday-themed gimmick into a way to test the waters for Black Friday, even though it’s months away. Now it’s Best Buy’s moment to shine with a Black Friday-esque sale July 24 and 25.

While it’s tough to out-do Black Friday, could these deals help you get a head start on your back-to-school or holiday shopping? If any of these items are on your list, you could save a bundle — and spread out the hit to your budget.

1. Back-to-School Clothes

If you’re trying to save money on clothes, you’re in luck.

Stores are eager to clear the shelves of shorts, swimwear and sandals, but many staples like blue jeans and tees carry over into fall. You may also find some last-season cool weather apparel heavily marked down. Look for flash sales on backpacks, too.

2. Dorm Furnishings

If your kid is heading off to college, you’d better act fast before inventory clears out.

Kmart is offering 30% off of dorm bedding sets and other furnishings through early August. Check The Container Store and Target for dorm registries, organizers and décor.

3. Patio Furniture

Long one of the best things to buy in July, outdoor tables and chairs, fire pits and loungers are as much as 40% off right now online at Kmart, up to 30% off at Sears, and up to 50% off at Macy’s.

Don’t overlook sales at your local furniture outlets, or on smaller specialty websites like Hayneedle and Furniture Depot.

4. Barbecue Grills

Summer is synonymous with hot dogs and steaks hot off the coals, but depending where you live, you can use your barbecue almost year-round.

If you’ve had your eyes on a new one, check Lowe’s, hhgregg and Kmart for deals on gas and charcoal models.

5. Air Conditioners

You’d think prices would be high with summer demand, but at the end of the month and into August, online shoppers can get good deals on window and portable ACs. Walmart and Newegg had the best deals last summer.

One great perk of ordering from a store like Walmart: You can order online and pick up in a store to avoid hefty shipping costs.

6. Laptops

You’ll now start seeing the price of laptop computers come down, with prices dropping even lower in August. For example, you’ll find great deals on basic models like a 15-inch screen with 500GB hard drive that’s perfect for students or home use.

Check out 48% off clearance deals on Asus laptops at Newegg, warehouse specials at Amazon and the “Deals” section of Dell.

Miss the July Sales?

The Christmas in July phenomenon has upped the competition for your dollar, but there are more ways to save money in late July.

Compare Prices

A coupon website will group products by category, allowing you to compare stores and deals on a single page. Or try a price comparison tool like PriceJump, or one of these browser extensions that help you find extra savings.

Take Advantage of Tax-Free Holidays

If your state is one of the 17 that has a tax-free holiday in August, you can save on state sales tax, too.

Stack Discounts

While you shop, look for opportunities to combine as many deals as you can in one transaction. Use an online coupon code for site-wide deals or free shipping, a deal-of-the-day sale, a manufacturer coupon and a cash-back app.

Get Free Shipping

Combining orders, rather than piecemeal shopping, is an easy way to meet a free-shipping minimum. If you’re buying in bulk or ordering a larger item, choose site-to-store shipping to save money.

Use Price-Matching

As the Amazon-Walmart showdown proved, competition is keen. Many large-volume retailers will meet or beat other prices for identical items. Read each retailer’s fine print to make sure it’s an identical deal. Here’s a look at the price-matching policies for some of the largest online retailers.

If you’re the type who’s always scouting for low prices, you don’t have to wait until fall to get a jump on school and holiday shopping. Take advantage of Christmas in July to kickstart your back-to-school and holiday gift shopping!

Your Turn: Are you planning to hit any of these Christmas in July or Black Friday in July sales?

Disclosure: We have a serious Taco Bell addiction around here. The affiliate links in this post help us order off the dollar menu. Thanks for your support!

Marie Hickman is a savings writer at valpak.com. She lives the fun but frugal life with her son in Palm Harbor, Florida.

by Marie Hickman
Contributor for The Penny Hoarder

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