Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money.
Between supply chain disruptions, inflation and a still-raging pandemic, last year was a stressful one for shoppers. And while 2022 doesn’t promise to remove all of those challenges, it still offers the opportunity to take charge of your personal budget and develop a strategy for buying the things you want.
Creating a list of the big purchases you plan to make — as well as items you tend to buy every year — can help you shop smarter and save money. But sometimes it’s hard to know when to buy that item on your list and when you should hold off for a better deal.
To help you out, we listed the best products to buy each month, plus the holidays when you’ll find major sales — and a bonus: the national days when you can score free stuff. This way, you can take advantage of seasonal retail sales trends to buy the things you want and need, without blowing your budget.
With a fresh page on the calendar comes a fresh start for sales. These items are discounted in January:
Bedding and linen. Department stores hold bedding and linen “white sales” in January with deep discounts on sheets and towels.
Fitness equipment. Retailers know you want to get in shape. Expect fitness equipment and apparel sales to abound at sporting goods stores.
TVs and electronics. Just before the Super Bowl, retailers normally discount TVs and other home theater essentials.
Mark your calendar: Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Jan. 17.
Freebie day: National Spaghetti Day, Jan. 4.
It’s the month of love and gift-giving, but February might be a better time to buy major items for yourself than trinkets for your loved one. Options include:
TVs. Television sales spill over from January into February. Aside from Black Friday, this is one of the prime times to buy a new TV.
Winter items. With winter winding down, retailers will be looking to unload inventory of cold-weather products. Look for sales on apparel and winter sports gear that you'll need later in the year.
Home goods. Expect retailers to have home and apparel sales on Presidents Day and the weekend preceding the holiday.
Jewelry, chocolate, perfume. What do these things have in common? They are frequently given to loved ones for Valentine’s Day. And if you’re in the market for candy, don’t forget to stock up on Feb. 15, when stores will be discounting their Valentine’s Day leftovers.
Mark your calendar: The Super Bowl is Feb. 13, Valentine's Day is Feb. 14, and Presidents Day is Feb. 21.
Freebie day: National Frozen Yogurt Day is Feb. 6.
There aren’t any major shopping holidays in March, but that doesn’t mean a lack of sales. Look for deals on these products:
Tax software. Retailers like to discount tax-prep items in March, ahead of Tax Day in April.
Grills. Buy your summer grilling necessities in March to avoid the spike in prices when summer arrives.
St. Patrick’s Day essentials. Around St. Patrick’s Day, online retailers and department stores usually discount green clothing, party supplies and jewelry.
Mark your calendar: St. Patrick’s Day is March 17.
Freebie day: Pi Day is March 14.
April has its fair share of spring deals and discounts, including:
Vacuums. Buying a vacuum isn’t the most exciting thing, but it’ll be less painful if you take advantage of a spring cleaning sale. Look for markdowns at department stores as well as manufacturers like Dyson.
Tax-themed items. Year after year, retailers and restaurants try to lighten the burden of Tax Day with discounts and freebies on services like paper shredding. Keep an eye out for these around mid-April.
Easter candy. The days after the Easter holiday will be filled with markdowns on candy, plastic eggs, stuffed animals and more.
Sustainable items. To celebrate Earth Day, be on the lookout for retailer deals on sustainable items, from reusable totes and water bottles to sustainably made clothing and other “green” products.
Mark your calendar: Easter is April 17.
Freebie day: Tax Day is April 18 and Earth Day is April 22.
April showers bring May flowers — and sales blossom then, too. Here’s a look at some items to consider buying this month:
Spring apparel. By May, retailers will discount spring clothing that has already been hanging on racks for a month or two.
Furniture. Three of the biggest blowout shopping days are Black Friday, Labor Day and Memorial Day. Memorial Day is in May, so look for furniture and home decor discounts from big-box stores.
Small kitchen appliances. Use May discounts as an opportunity to buy small kitchen appliances, such as coffee makers and blenders. Typically, these products are included in Memorial Day sales, and they make great wedding gifts for upcoming summer weddings.
Mark your calendar: Mother’s Day is May 8 and Memorial Day is May 30.
Freebie day: National Hamburger Day is May 28.
June may be one of the shorter months of the year, but its supply of opportunities to snag deals isn’t lacking. Smart purchases include:
Lingerie. Stock up on undergarments in June. That’s when Victoria’s Secret, for example, has been known to host its famous semiannual sale. The sale also typically occurs in December.
Gym memberships. Consider buying a gym membership during the summer, and be sure to negotiate for the best deal. Gyms may be eager for sign-ups at this time.
Tools and grills. In preparation for Father’s Day, many retailers will offer deals on a variety of power tools and grills, as well as things like men’s clothing.
Mark your calendar: Father’s Day is June 19.
Freebie day: National Doughnut Day is June 3.
The temperature usually rises in July, but the prices of certain items drop. Consider buying these:
Apparel. If you don’t want to wait for end-of-summer sales, buy clothes now. You’ll likely find a better price than you would’ve at the start of the season.
July Fourth items. Retailers like a reason to celebrate. In the days leading up to Independence Day, there’s usually an abundance of sales on red, white and blue products, as well as on barbecue and backyard items, sporting goods, jewelry and furniture.
Personal electronics. Black Friday is a big deal day that falls in November, but many retailers have added Black Friday in July sales. Expect discounts in nearly every product category.
School supplies. While many kids don't want to think about the end of summer quite yet, retailers start putting school supplies on sale in late July. If you have supply lists in-hand, shopping these deals early can help you avoid the back-to-school rush.
Amazon Prime Day? While Amazon is keeping the dates for Prime Day 2022 a secret, historically the sale has come sometime in July (except for recent years where the sale was moved due to the pandemic and supply chain issues). Expect other retailers to offer sales to compete for your dollars
Mark your calendar: Independence Day is July 4.
Freebie day: National Ice Cream Day is July 17 and National Lipstick Day is July 29.
Close out summer by buying summer products? That’s right. Look for end-of-season clearance sales in August on:
Back-to-school supplies. The start of school marks the need to buy low-cost items such as notebooks and pencils and more expensive ones like calculators and laptops. Generally, the closer to the start of the school year you buy, the better your chances of getting a good price.
Outdoor products. Ride out the end of summer with a big deal on lawn mowers and other seasonal outdoor equipment.
Swimsuits. There may not be many swimming days left by the time August rolls around, but that’s exactly why swimsuit clearance sales will crest. Buy swimsuits now for next year.
Tax-free shopping. Back-to-school supplies can get expensive. However, to aid in the purchase of school supplies, clothes, personal computers and other approved necessities, many states offer dates when shoppers do not have to pay state sales tax on those items. Not every state offers this opportunity, so it’s a good idea to check out your state’s Department of Revenue website for details.
Mark your calendar: For many school districts, the first day of school is in August.
Freebie day: National Waffle Day is Aug. 24.
With deals on items as varied as mattresses and back-to-school supplies, September is a surprising month for good buys. Score reasonable prices on these:
Mattresses. Year after year, September is the time for mattress sales. Expect these from department stores and mattress centers, usually as a part of Labor Day promotions.
iPhones. Apple has been known to announce its new iPhone models at the company’s annual keynote event in September. Usually, the unveiling is followed by a drop in prices on the current phone models.
Appliances. Expect a series of blowout deals in the week leading up to Labor Day, including promotions on appliances, big and small.
Mark your calendar: Labor Day is Sept. 5.
Freebie day: National Cheeseburger Day is Sept. 15.
Don’t let the cost of shopping scare you during the Halloween season. There will be plenty of deals on these product categories in October:
Outdoor furniture. People generally spend less time outdoors when the temperature drops. Expect deals on patio furniture and outdoor living products when summer ends.
Jeans. Fall inventory arrives in stores in August and September, but you’ll pay top dollar unless you wait a few weeks. October is a great time to buy a new pair of jeans.
Candy. The closer you get to Halloween, the better your chances of snagging a discounted bag of candy for trick-or-treaters.
Mark your calendar: Columbus Day and Indigenous Peoples Day are Oct. 10, and Halloween is Oct. 31.
Freebie day: National Coffee Day is Oct. 1 and National Taco Day is Oct. 4.
November is the month for Black Friday sales, which means some of the most popular technology products fall to their lowest prices:
Electronics. Gadgets like tablets, laptops and gaming systems take center stage during Black Friday sales. Look for discounts on smartphones and activity trackers, too.
Home appliances. Reserve your major home appliance purchase — refrigerator, washer, dryer, dishwasher, etc. — for Black Friday deals. Often, sales can also be found throughout the month.
Tools. Home improvement stores discount tools, ladders and toolboxes during Black Friday promotions.
Holiday gifts. Many shoppers wait until Black Friday sales to check items off their holiday gift lists. Expect most retailers to offer some kind of deal on products in nearly every category — not just on Black Friday, but throughout the month.
Mark your calendar: Thanksgiving is Nov. 24, Black Friday is Nov. 25, and Cyber Monday is Nov. 28.
Freebie day: National Sandwich Day is Nov. 3.
The end of the year is just the beginning of discounts in some product categories. Look for sale prices on these items in December:
Electronics. Those Black Friday electronics deals from late November will spill over into the new month.
Toys. Toys are popular holiday gifts, and stores generally host big sales on them as the season draws to a close.
Christmas decorations. Beginning the day after Christmas, shop sales for deep discounts — often upward of 50% — on decorations, wrapping paper, ornaments, artificial trees and similar seasonal fixings.
Mark your calendar: Christmas is Dec. 25.
Freebie day: National Cookie Day is Dec. 4.