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Best Things to Buy in August 2021 — and 5 Things to Skip

Written by Amy Boyington | August 1, 2021

The dog days of summer are winding down, and it's already back-to-school season! Although there aren't any major holidays in August, you can still save on many daily essentials as retailers move out the old to welcome new products for fall and the major holiday seasons ahead. Here's what to buy this month — and a few things to save for later.

The Best Things to Buy in August

Lawn and Garden Products

Lawn and Garden Products

From gardening tools to lawnmowers, August is the prime time to buy outdoor and gardening products. As with air conditioners, stores are looking to clean out old inventory rather than store it up for the next couple of seasons. This means you get to benefit from the savings when they do. Browse lawn and garden aisles at Sam's Club and Home Depot to see what you can grab for super cheap, including outdoor power equipment, garden decor, weed eaters, and pest control products.

Air Conditioners

Air Conditioners

In some parts of the country, August is the hottest month. Still, retailers know that most people already shopped for new air conditioning units as soon as the first bead of sweat hit their brow this past summer. Now that the rush to buy a new air conditioning unit is over, retailers start marking down their prices on this past summer's models to clear out inventory for next year. Check Walmart and Best Buy this month for wallet-friendly deals on window air conditioning units and fans.

Home Storage Bins

Storage Solutions

College students are gearing up to head back to school for the fall, and retailers see August as the perfect month for promotions on storage solutions that can help them organize their dorm rooms. Shop online or in-store at Office Depot and Kirkland's for savings on storage bins, carts, baskets, shelving, and hidden storage furniture to keep them organized away from home. Have a home office that needs some organization? Stock up in August on decorative bins, baskets, and filing systems!

Back to School Supplies

Back-to-School Clothing and Supplies

Be on the lookout for huge back-to-school sales from major retailers like Office Depot, Target, Macy’s, and more. That means more stuff for less money! Also, did you know that several states have tax-free shopping weekends in August? Generally, these holidays let you shop for back-to-school supplies — clothing, footwear, and school supplies — without having to pay sales tax. TaxJar lists every state and its tax-free days, along with all the details on what you can buy during the days of savings. Just be sure to check the fine print, as some states have stipulations that only items under $100 are tax-free.

Wedding Photobooth

Wedding Supplies and Decor

The Knot noted that the most popular months for weddings are June, September, and October. August is right there in between them all, making it just right for stocking up on wedding supplies for your upcoming celebration (shop in August the year before your June wedding to get everything you need for better prices!). Shindigz is one of the best places to go for all your wedding decor needs, including personalized wedding favors, photo booth props, and romantic backgrounds.

Home with Front Porch

A New Home

According to Zillow, August is the best month to buy a house because it sits right between the bustling real estate landscape of spring and summer and the slower periods in fall and winter. You'll still have plenty of homes available to consider, but sellers may start cutting their prices to get rid of their homes before the slower season begins. If you haven't already, start keeping track of all your finances with QuickBooks to make it easier to prove your income and assets when it's time to buy.

5 Things to Skip in August

1. Exercise and Fitness Equipment

Many of us want to get our summer bodies looking great well before summer hits, so it's common to see fitness gear and exercise equipment flying off the shelves in the spring. August isn't prime time for people to buy more equipment, so you might start seeing a few deals here and there as retailers look to diminish some inventory. You're better off waiting until January, though, when the real sales hit to appeal to those looking for a healthier start to the new year.

2. Gaming Consoles and Games

New gaming consoles usually arrive in time for the holidays at the end of the year, so you might find some good deals on older consoles and games in August. But if you're looking for the latest releases, wait until Black Friday. Most retailers offer bundles with consoles and games, and discounted games for the shopping season. Be quick — new gaming consoles sell out fast and may even need to be preordered. Starting now, follow the social media channels and email newsletters of the stores you plan to shop in order to catch the details.

3. Swing Sets and Outdoor Toys

It's not quite time for home goods stores to start dropping prices on outdoor toys, swing sets, and play areas. Wait closer to November and December to get the best savings on anything for outdoor fun, including pools, water toys, and beach gear.

4. Mattresses

Big-ticket items like mattresses are definitely best to wait to purchase until they go on sale. It's not uncommon to save hundreds of dollars on a quality mattress during a mattress sale. The two biggest mattress sales of the year fall on Memorial Day and Labor Day for most retailers, and the latter is just around the corner! Head to retailers like Macy's, Home Depot, and Walmart to cash in.

5. Small Appliances

Another item you might want to wait to buy until Black Friday rolls around are small appliances, like air fryers, slow cookers, stand mixers, or coffee makers. Count on just about any retailer that sells home goods to discount small appliances for Black Friday, with as much as 50% savings or more — perfect for gift-giving or buying a few gifts for yourself.

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