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What to Buy (and Skip) in May

Personal Finance, Shopping News

While you’re stopping to smell the flowers this May, you might want to admire some sweet sales, too.

From furniture to Star Wars memorabilia, here’s everything you should buy (and skip) during the month of May.

Buy: Furniture and appliances

May will be a prime time for making major purchases. That’s because Memorial Day is a great occasion to buy indoor furniture, patio furniture, appliances and even mattresses at discounted prices.

Last year, Maytag offered up to $750 by mail-in rebate with the purchase of select appliances. Sears discounted vacuums, floor care and kitchen appliances.

This year, Memorial Day is on May 29, but sales often begin at least a week earlier. In fact, some retailers are already gearing up. For instance, furniture giant Overstock is inviting shoppers to register their email addresses so they’ll be notified about Memorial Day deals.

Remember that some prices are automatically reduced but other sales require consumers to input a coupon code at checkout or complete a rebate.

» MORE: What to buy every month of the year in 2017

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 like Amazon and Best Buy have hosted Black Friday in July sales with discounts on electronics that rival Black Friday prices.

Buy: Small kitchen appliances

While you’re outfitting your home with a new sofa, chair or table at Memorial Day sales, check out the 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 been known to offer savings on kitchen essentials.

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 happens each June, and other retailers follow suit.

In June 2016, deals at Victoria’s Secret included up to 50% off lingerie, up to 40% off loungewear, up to 60% off sport and over 200 swimsuit styles, $19.99 or less bra clearance and $4.99 or less panty clearance. Hold out a little while longer for similar savings.

Buy: Spring apparel

Clothing sales are a given each May. Now that warm-weather styles have been on shelves 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 — it might send you 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 like Old Navy and American Eagle Outfitters have apparel sales right now.

Bonus: ‘Star Wars’ Day

May 4 is “Star Wars” Day, and you’ll be feeling the force when you see the “Star Wars”-themed deals and discounts that come on this day each year. Whether 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 movie series. If prior years are any indication, expect savings at outlets including 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.

More: Hear what to buy (and skip) in May

In an interview with WDUN radio station in Gainesville, Georgia, NerdWallet discussed the products consumers can save money on in the month of May.

Courtney Jespersen is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: Twitter: @courtneynerd.

Updated April 28, 2017.