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

Written by Deanna Nguyen | May 1, 2021

May is jam-packed with holidays like Star Wars Day, Mother’s Day, and Memorial Day, so be prepared for the horde of holiday deals and promotions throughout the month! Thankfully, these celebrations are scattered evenly, which means you don’t have to wait until the end of the month for huge sales. Before you jump the gun, here are all the items you should buy in May — and ones you should definitely skip.

The Best Things to Buy in May

Furniture

Furniture

After doing your annual spring cleaning, you’re probably in need of new furniture. From couches and armchairs to bed frames and dressers, retailers like Home Depot, Macy’s, and Walmart either automatically mark down prices on their furniture or offer coupon codes for customers to use at checkout. Memorial Day is on May 31 this year, so keep that three-day weekend open for all your furniture shopping needs! Some sales begin a week earlier, in which case you’ll definitely want to keep an eye out for official announcements on the sale period.

Appliances

Appliances

When it comes to appliances, we’re talking both major and small. May is right in between spring and summer, and as the seasons change, so will your home appliances. While you’re checking out deals on furniture, don’t forget to look at coffee machines, blenders, toasters, and other kitchen appliances. Head over to Best Buy, Macy’s, Home Depot, or Lowe’s and look for price markdowns. Mother’s Day is the perfect opportunity to give Mom a new set of kitchenware; retailers will most likely offer discounts beforehand so you’re well-prepared to surprise Mom on her special day.

Spring Apparel

Spring Apparel

A good rule of thumb when shopping for clothes is to buy them out of season if you want to get the most out of savings. As retailers clear out their inventory to prepare for summer fashion, spring apparel will receive discounts toward the end of May and during Memorial Day sales. Check out retailers’ clearance and sales pages on their website and sign up for their e-newsletter to stay in-the-know about upcoming promotions and get exclusive offers in your inbox. Old Navy, PUMA, and Kohl’s are just some of the retailers to keep an eye out for spring clothes hitting the sales racks.

Mattresses

Mattresses

If you missed out on President’s Day mattress sales, now’s your chance to swap out your old mattress with a new one this Memorial Day! Macy’s, Sam’s Club, Walmart, and JCPenny are known to mark down prices on their mattresses. Just like President’s Day, Memorial Day gives shoppers a longer weekend to decide whether or not they should invest in a new mattress. You might even be able to find discounted mattresses a week in advance, as retailers like to start their promotions early. If you miss out on the Memorial Day mattress sales, your next opportunity is Labor Day in September.

Star Wars Merchandise

Star Wars Merchandise

May 4, or “May the Fourth Be With You," is a special day reserved for Star Wars fans, as it’s Star Wars Day! If you’re a fan of the franchise, then you’ll be happy to know that Star Wars merchandise tends to go on sale for the commemorative day. From apparel to collectibles, celebrate your favorite characters like the legendary Luke Skywalker or the beloved Grogu by shopping at Walmart, Kohl’s, JCPenny, and Best Buy. Expect to see price cuts on anything related to Star Wars — and who knows, some retailers will offer the discounts all month long!

5 Things to Skip in May

1. Swimwear

Swimwear season doesn’t kick off until June, so it’s best to wait it out a little longer if you’ve been eyeing those swim trunks or bikinis. Even then, you’re probably better off waiting until the end of summer when retailers are clearing out their inventory and preparing for the fall season. August is generally the month to snatch deals on a wide variety of summer-related items, including swimwear.

2. Electronics

The ideal time to buy electronics like laptops, desktops, tablets, and more is during back-to-school sales, which happen in July and August. For even deeper discounts, hold out until November for notorious sales like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Some states will offer tax-free shopping days over the summer, so you might be able to save on electronics sooner rather than later.

3. Summer Apparel

Similar to shopping for spring apparel when it’s close to summer, you’ll want to avoid shopping for summer apparel during May and the following summer months. Retailers prioritize clearing the racks toward the end of summer to make way for fall apparel, so that’s when you’ll find the best deals. You might snag some deals on summer apparel during Memorial Day weekend, but retailers offer better discounts in August.

4. Grills

Barbecue season starts with Memorial Day and lasts through the summer up until Labor Day weekend. Because of the high demand, retailers won’t be too keen on marking down the prices for grills and similar outdoor appliances. It’s best to wait until after Labor Day weekend for discounts on grills because once the season for cooking up tasty burgers and hot dogs end, there will no longer be a demand for it.

5. Outdoor Furniture

In the same vein as grills, outdoor furniture will be highly coveted among shoppers to prepare for the summer season when lounging outside is an everyday activity. Anything that goes on your patio, from lounge chairs to porch swings, won’t go on sale until the fall season. Once the time comes, expect to get up to half off on patio furniture.

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