Here’s Your Month-by-Month Guide to the Best Time to Buy Almost Everything
Some purchases are tough to plan: car repairs, patches for a leaky roof, a working air conditioner amid a heat wave.
But more often than not, you can plan ahead for life’s necessities — and some non-necessities, too.
“You might be able to score an extra discount on a floor model, and some stores are offering special freebies and bundles to incentivize consumers,” said Trae Bodge, a Smart Shopping Expert featured on CBS, CNBC and The Today Show.
Before you let an impulse buy drain your bank account, consult our handy calendar of the best time to buy absolutely everything. You might be surprised at the deals each new season brings!
Our Guide to the Best Time to Buy Everything
Be a smart shopper and plan your purchases according to this calendar, which plots the best deals, month by month.
What to Buy in January
Kick off the new year with big savings.
Retailers know that the newest TVs and other electronics are revealed at the annual Consumer Electronics Show in January. This makes January the best time to buy a TV, thanks to major discounts — as long as you don’t covet the new, fancy models too much.
We also think it’s no coincidence that the Super Bowl is played annually in early February. Some 100 million people watch the game and nearly all of them do so on a TV.
No need to rush to the bookstore in December to get a new wall or desk calendar. Buy one in January to get a discount.
Calendars and other physical organizers still hold sway with modern shoppers, Bodge says, in part because people are naturally tactile.
It feels really good crossing stuff off your to-do list. We get it.
“Planners also remain popular because many planners are designed to help people become more organized, more mindful,” Bodge said, “There is a self-help/self-care benefit.”
Gym Memberships and Home Fitness Equipment
Gyms are known to offer big incentives to sign up and get fit in the New Year. Home gym equipment also goes on sale in January, as do scales, according to Consumer Reports. Here’s some guidance on what equipment you need for a good, affordable home gym.
You’ll also be able to find good deals on smartwatches and fitness trackers to help with that resolution.
The yearly tradition of hosting a white sale dates back to the 1870s, when linens were only available in white. But modern white sales include linens and home goods in every color of the rainbow.
Don’t be swayed by sheets with super-high thread counts — you’ll want to focus more on the material the sheets are made from. You’ll also get more for your money by helping your new sheets last longer with the proper care.
You have an entire 11 months until you get invited to your next ugly sweater party, but you can browse the clothing racks for some heavily discounted Christmas sweaters. Other Christmas supplies are also on sale in January, including holiday cards and decorations.
What to Buy in February
Fall in love with these deals during February.
If you’ve recovered from your Christmas spending and could use a new mattress, check out Presidents’ Day sales. The three day weekend is considered the first major mattress sale of the year.
If you need time to decide if you’d rather have foam or an innerspring, mattress companies also use holidays such as Memorial Day, July 4th and Labor Day to offer big discounts.
One of the best times to buy jewelry is in February — but only after Valentine’s Day.
Look for deep discounts after retailers remove their rose-colored glasses. It’s not worth paying the “love tax” to celebrate with your sweetheart, anyway.
Also look for discounts on other Valentine’s Day goods, such as cards and chocolate after the holiday itself.
Winter coats take up a ton of room in your closet and just as much room in stores. Help retailers clear ’em out this month, and you’ll get a big discount.
What to Buy in March
Spring forward by making these smart purchases in March.
Don’t wait until a week before your big family vacation to get a new suitcase. March is the best time to buy luggage, as it’s on sale to entice shoppers who are desperate to be done with their snowy, dreary winters and who crave a little spring break.
Just don’t forget where you put it when it’s time to pack.
What to Buy in April
The smart shopper always plans ahead.
You don’t have to wait until Father’s Day in June to find excellent prices on tools and home improvement gear.
If you’re eager to start your home DIY projects in the spring, go ahead and shop now.
Everyone’s finally going outside again and stores are swapping out their winter shoe collection for the brighter summer colors. Let sporting goods stores make it easier for you to keep up with your New Year’s resolution (remember that?) by discounting those new kicks.
What to Buy in May
Is your refrigerator running? If not, May is a great time to get a new one.
Blenders and juicers, coffeemakers, slow cookers, toasters and even toaster ovens are often on sale during Memorial Day extravaganzas. That’s at the end of the month but the deals are often offered at least a week before, sometimes all month. (See also November.)
Besides replacing your old kitchen aids, think about these items for shower and wedding presents.
New refrigerator models debut in the summer. Shop in May to get last year’s model at a better price.
You can’t tell the difference between last year’s refrigerator models and this year’s, right? Didn’t think so.
Also look for deals on other necessities like freezers, oven ranges and air conditioners, according to Consumer Reports.
What to Buy in June
Here come the … deals?
Planning a summer vacation? Travel early or late in the summer instead of during peak times. And you’ll pay less for airfare if you can travel midweek.
“Because prices are particularly high, consider using any points you have accrued and when you make your purchase, use the credit card that offers the highest percentage of points so you can make the most of your purchase,” Bodge said.
Now that summer is in full swing, outdoor gear — like tents, backpacks, lanterns and even fitness gear — is marked down. You can also find great deals throughout the year.
Cookware and China
June is typically peak wedding season, and stores hope you’ve planned ahead to buy wedding registry gifts.
Now is when those items are discounted, and it’s the perfect time to replace or upgrade what’s in your own cabinets. While you’re looking through your old stuff (or your Nana’s), keep an eye out for china patterns that are worth something.
What to Buy in July
Don’t sweat these savings.
New styles hit stores in February and August, so retailers spend much of July clearing out old stock, especially over Fourth of July weekend — making this the best time to buy furniture.
July means humidity. Pick up an older version of a much-needed dehumidifier in July or August, according to Consumer Reports.
What to Buy in August
The dog days of summer offer some amazing bargains.
Computers (Except Apple Products)
Computer manufacturers typically release their new models in the summer, so back-to-school sales are a great time to buy last season’s model. The specs probably won’t be different enough for you to notice, unless you’re a hardcore gamer or designer.
Apple products, however, typically get announced in the fall, so hold off to get that new MacBook.
If you’re working from home, you might be considering a printer upgrade. Printers, tablets and wireless earbuds are some of the electronics that you’ll see discounted during back to school sales.
Grilling season doesn’t stop at the stroke of Labor Day. Buy at the tail end of summer to enjoy your grill until almost Thanksgiving (OK, depending on where you live).
What to Buy in September
Back to school? More like back to the checkout lane.
If you’re planning a trip for the holidays, consider buying those Thanksgiving flight tickets in September to get a better price.
Hitting the prime booking window — plus our other top tips for saving on air travel.
Even though your local pool might be closed for the season, you should think about stocking up on swimsuits for next year.
Have you been debating on making the switch to a front load washer and dryer set?
Many manufacturers roll out new models in September and October, so Labor Day weekend can be a particularly good time to save, according to Bodge.
What to Buy in October
There’s a joke about spooky deals in here somewhere.
This might not be a frequent purchase, but if you’re in the market for a new home, it can help to hold off past the busy spring and summer buying seasons.
Your costs typically drop a few percentage points once fall rolls around (after the kids have gone back to school), making this the best time to buy a house.
Jeans typically get discounted in October, after back-to-school sales have ended and families are stocked up on fall attire.
Goodbye summer, hello savings.
It’s worth checking out the patio furniture if you don’t mind storing it over the winter. When that first warm spring day hits, you’ll be ready to bask in the sunshine.
October means fall leaves — and they are likely covering your yard. Pick up a leaf blower, and while you’re at it, get ready for the snowy days ahead with a snow blower, according to Consumer Reports. Incoming snow also means you’ll find good deals on lawn mowers.
What to Buy in November
The days get shorter, but the deals get bigger.
Small Appliances, 2.0
Like in spring, the fall is a gold mine of rock-bottom prices on giftable small appliances.
If you’re looking for a blender, air fryer, coffee maker or anything else that’ll proudly take up space on your kitchen counter, it’s worth waiting until Black Friday sales begin in stores and online.
Video Game Consoles
If you want to snag a video game console, prices will be lowest around Black Friday, experts say.
If you (or your kids) are OK with older models, the previous generations of consoles experience a drop in price when new models arrive.
It’s a good idea to wait a few months after release to buy a new console, since it gives manufacturers the chance to work out any kinks.
When you do get a new console, you’ll need video games to go with it.
If you wait until Black Friday or Cyber Monday, many retailers bundle popular video games with their respective consoles — giving you good deals on both.
If you can’t wait for the holidays and are buying throughout the year, wait until the game has been on the market for two or three months. That’s when games tend to experience their first drop in price.
If you’re looking for computer games, you can also check out the distribution service Steam for summer and winter sales. They have sales throughout the year, but you can find games slashed by as much as 60% during those weeks.
Bridal shops are slow before the proposal rush during the holiday season, so the few weeks before Thanksgiving is a good time to start trying on gowns.
Ask about sample sales and last year’s styles that may be priced to move.
What to Buy in December
Celebrate the season by shopping smart, obviously.
If your family’s been begging for a backyard pool, December is the best time to have one installed. It might be chilly, but pool pros would rather avoid working on 90-degree days!
Plus, when their workload slows in the winter, many contractors are willing to lower their prices.
Toy deals stick around after those Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales in November.
Even if you’re done with holiday shopping for your little ones, consider picking up their favorite character and activity toys while they’re still discounted to stash away for birthdays.
You won’t always be able to predict when your current car will see the end of the road, but if you can, wait until the end of the year to buy a new (or new to you) one. Car dealerships offer the lowest prices in December when they’re trying to make their yearly quotas. You’ll also find older car models discounted to make room for the new ones.
If you can’t wait until December, also try going at the end of any month throughout the year. That’s the deadline for meeting monthly quotas
Contributor Jenna Limbach writes on financial literacy and lifestyle topics for The Penny Hoarder. Lisa Rowan is a former staff writer. Freelancer Kent McDill contributed to this report.