What to Buy (and Skip) in May

This month, you'll find sales on patio furniture, 'Star Wars' merchandise and more.
Courtney JespersenApr 29, 2018

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"The Force" — and plenty of discounts — will be with you this month.

From appliances to "Star Wars" memorabilia, here’s 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 28, but sales often begin at least a week earlier. Some retailers are already gearing up. For example, furniture giant Overstock is inviting shoppers to register their email addresses now, so they’ll be notified about Memorial Day deals.

Maytag has announced that it will feature the May is Maytag Month promotion again this year, running from May 3 until June 6. Shoppers can get up to a $700 rebate (in the form of a prepaid card) by mail with purchase of select Maytag kitchen and laundry 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 events.

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 discounts on electronics that rival Black Friday prices.

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 2017, Victoria’s Secret dished out discounts of up to 50% off on over a thousand 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 “Star Wars” deals and discounts that come on this day each year. No matter if you cheer for Luke Skywalker or Darth Vader, you’ll see sales on merchandise featuring your favorite character.

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, the Disney Store 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.