What to Buy (and Skip) in July 2023

Tommy Tindall
Courtney Neidel
By Courtney Neidel and  Tommy Tindall 
Edited by Sheri Gordon

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High prices make it imperative to find good deals. July is typically a solid month for summertime savings, especially with Amazon's Prime Day sale now official.

To make the most of July’s discounts, here’s a category-by-category guide for what to buy (and a few things to skip).

Buy: Patriotic items

Each year around July 4, stores pledge allegiance to the red, white and blue with sales on just about everything that has stars and stripes on it. Expect clothing discounts at department stores and decoration discounts at party supply shops. Wait until close to the holiday to buy your items at the best price.

Some stores extend their sales to other products. We've found Fourth of July deals on food, appliances, mattresses and more in the past. Keep your eyes peeled for star-spangled savings this year.

Skip: Indoor furniture

Online shopping makes it easier to find markdowns at any time of the year, but as tradition has it, July is not a great time to splurge on indoor furniture. New pieces tend to arrive in stores in the spring and fall, so it’s best to put off your search for a new sofa or dining set until August or September, before stores take delivery of new arrivals.

Buy: Summer apparel

By July, tank tops, shorts and flip-flops have been on display for several weeks — and in some cases, several months — so it’s finally time to stock up.

By this point in the season, don’t settle for anything less than a sale price on summer apparel. Look for storewide discount events and coupons specifically for clothing departments. Designer brand Coach, for instance, has already launched a summer sale with discounts up to 50% off, and apparel and accessory shops like Forever 21 and Old Navy also have seasonal sales.

July 17 marks the official beginning of Nordstrom’s Anniversary Sale for all shoppers.

Skip: Lawn mowers

July isn’t an ideal time to purchase large outdoor items, such as lawn mowers. You aren’t the only one thinking about yardwork, and higher demand traditionally means higher prices.

By the time August and September roll around, outdoor items will see steeper discounts, so hold off for another month or two.

Shop: Amazon Prime Day

Amazon’s biggest sale of the year is July 11 and 12. With the price of nearly everything up, shopping the 48-hour sale could be a good way to cut the cost of inflation on the things you need. Expect deals on electronics, especially Amazon’s own Alexa-enabled devices, small appliances, vacuums — or anything, really. It’s the wild card sale of the summer.

If you have a traditional Prime membership or Prime Student membership (for eligible college students and people ages 18 to 24), the deals could be even better — not to mention your membership could get you early access.

Not to be outdone, other major retailers like Target, Walmart and Best Buy are likely to offer similar discounts to compete for your business. So, click around on other store sites too to make sure you’re getting the best deal.

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Bonus: Ice cream

July 16 is National Ice Cream Day this year. Use it as an excuse to enjoy a scoop or two. If you work it right, you can get your cone on the house.

In past years, some ice cream shops offered free or discounted treats. Look for promotional announcements and coupons on social media.