Best and worst things to buy in May

If you’re planning on buying certain products in May, make sure this is the right month to buy them before heading to the store.

During this busy month, many retailers will make room for new inventory by getting rid of old inventory — which means potential sales and savings on the items you need for the summer and beyond. But sometimes, you’ll have better luck spotting sales after May and toward the end of the summer.

From mattresses to swimsuits, find out what you should and shouldn’t buy to save money in May.

Best Things to Buy in May

May is the precursor to warm weather and summer celebrations, like backyard barbecues and graduations. And, it might be your last chance to stock up on the items you’ll use most in the coming months. Here are some items you’ll likely score discounts on in May.

1. Party, Picnic & BBQ Supplies

Summer means picnics, graduation parties and other outdoor celebrations, so the months leading up to this season are the perfect time to buy what you’ll eventually need. If you regularly grill during the summer or know you’ll be hosting a party, stock up in May on everything from paper plates to charcoal, and save on the upcoming festivities.

2. Outdoor Furniture

In May, you might want to redecorate your backyard or patio with new furniture before summer arrives. If so, you can possibly find good deals in May — but toward the end of the month. “You should be able to find some good deals on outdoor furniture during Memorial Day sales,” said Karl Quist, president of, which helps consumers find lower prices and coupons when shopping online.

However, you might have even better luck after the summer is over. Consumer and money-saving expert Andrea Woroch suggested waiting until the end of the summer season to buy new patio furniture because that’s “when retailers look to clear inventory to make room for cold weather merchandise,” she said.

3. Home Goods

In addition to outdoor furniture, Quist added that you should be able to find some great deals on home goods during Memorial Day sales, too.

But if you don’t want to wait until Memorial Day, scour the web for May coupons on home goods and appliances by visiting sites like, and Just be sure to check the coupons’ expiration dates so you can use them in May.

4. Mattresses

Having trouble sleeping? May might be the perfect time to shop for a more comfortable mattress.

According to Benjamin K. Glaser of, you should be able to find mattresses that are at least 50 percent off during this month. For example, if you visit, you can find a bunch of mattresses that are up to 50 percent to 70 percent off during Memorial Day sales at retailers like Walmart, Kmart, Macy’s, Overstock and more.

5. ‘Star Wars’ Merchandise

May 5th is Cinco de Mayo, but there’s another fun holiday that comes just a day earlier: May 4th — also known as Star Wars Day. found that there are at least 29 Star Wars Day sales, deals and freebies, ranging from video games and comic books to stuffed animals and toys. If you know a “Star Wars” fan — or if you’re one yourself — save money by taking advantage of these deals.


Worst Things to Buy in May

There aren’t too many items you should avoid in May, but there are a few. Most likely, you’ll find better deals and discounts on the following two items in later months.

1. Laptops

“I’d advise waiting to buy laptops,” said Quist. “You’ll find better deals on those as the back-to-school sales ramp up in July.”

Glaser also recommended staying away from both Apple and PC laptop purchases. According to DealNews, you should be able to find lower prices on MacBooks in August. As for PC laptops, DealNews reports you might find better deals in late June as back-to-school sales kick off.

2. Swimsuits

As tempting as it might be to buy a must-have swimsuit before summer officially begins, hold off on that purchase. “Summer fashion is just hitting store shelves now, so don’t expect sales on warm weather or beach essentials like swimsuits,” said Woroch. “You can expect markdowns to begin in mid-summer and become better as the season winds down.”

Casey Bond contributed to the reporting for this article.

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