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Best Buys for Each Month

Save money throughout the year with these monthly sales offers

Excerpted from the 2013 AARP Almanac

En español  |  As the saying goes, for everything there is a season. And there is a season for when you should — and shouldn't — buy a car, a dining room set, a new refrigerator. Here's how your calendar can help you be a savvy shopper.


Sporting goods: Cold weather puts the chill on two-wheeling leisure and ball-field activities, so expect prices to drop with the temperature — at least in colder climates.

Furniture: Many furniture companies introduce items in February, so retailers are eager to make room for new inventory. Expect January sales on previous-year merchandise.

Linens and bedding: So-called white sales are a tradition that's been around since 1878. No reason to expect that will change this year.

Best times to buy best things guide


Your month-to-month guide to 2013's best buys.


Air conditioners: Need you ask why? Early winter is also the best time to have existing units serviced — along with lawn mowers.

Cameras: Some industry trade shows occur in January to unveil new models, so older inventory is marked down, and you can snap up bargains.

Luggage: With a lull between the busy holiday travel rush and the beginning of spring break, it's a good time to bag deals.


China and flatware: Between the holidays and the upcoming wedding season, retailers dish out discounts.

Gardening tools: Before spring fever hits, inventory may be sparse. But what's available should be cheaper than in coming months.

Winter outerwear: Who thinks about parkas, gloves and hats toward the end of March? Retailers with leftover inventory, that's who. Look for deals and be ready for next winter's wrath.


Athletic footwear: Check out spring sale savings on sneakers.

Computers: As tax refunds arrive, so do discounts, especially for laptops.

Vacuum cleaners: Find spring savings before new models come out in the coming months.


BBQ accessories: Stock up on charcoal and lighter fluid before barbecue season. But hold off on buying grills for now.

Patio furniture: The new stuff hits stores, along with seasonal sales on it and on leftover stock.

Spring and summer clothing: Sales begin in shower-filled April, but the better bargains are in May — especially around Memorial Day weekend.


Health club memberships: Gyms empty as more fitness fans opt for outdoor workouts. Look for healthy savings.

Men's suits: Ties may be a classic Father's Day gift, but suits and dress shirts are a better buy.

Tools: Expect sawed-off prices just before and after Father's Day.


Kitchen appliances: Look for discounts on refrigerators, ranges and microwaves starting mid-month.

Grills: After July 4, expect plenty of markdowns.

Lawn and gardening supplies: As summer reaches its midpoint, prices dip on remaining lawn mowers, as well as on lawn and gardening supplies.


Camping equipment: These summer supplies take up a lot of room in stores, which need to display winter gear. Look for deals on tents and sleeping bags.

Linens and storage containers: College-bound kids need 'em, and good sales abound on these and other dorm supplies.

Wine: Many vineyards release new wines in the early fall, so it's a good time to stock up on the existing inventory.


Bicycles: Retailers try to unload last season's models.

Cars: Post-Labor Day, you won't have to work so hard haggling on existing new models. Also look for financing deals, especially toward the end of the month.

Grills and lawn mowers: These summer staples can be a wintertime display and storage headache. Shop after Labor Day.


Cookware: Retailers discount prices for early holiday shoppers.

Lingerie: Get special discounts this month and maybe next.

RVs: As with cars, new models arrive in the fall — and prices on existing inventory get slashed. Look for this trend to continue through the winter months.


GPS devices: Navigate toward unexpected discounts around the end of the month.

Baby products: A good selection — with prices to match — makes this the month to buy clothing and accessories for grandkids' first holiday.

Televisions and electronics: Black Friday and Cyber Monday, of course, offer well-publicized deals. But with more retailers kicking off the holiday shopping season on Thanksgiving Day itself, it's the perfect time to cruise the Internet for those discounts.


Cars: Traditionally, this is a slow time at dealerships, since consumers' attention turns to holiday spending. But sales quotas still must be met. Translation: a good time to bargain on new and used vehicles.

Small appliances: Toasters, blenders and mixers make for easy last-minute holiday gifts. Retailers make it easier with seasonal promotions.

Tools: As with Father's Day, the holidays offer hands-on savings for the handy.

Toys: For the very best seasonal savings, wait until mid-month; the 10-day period before Christmas is when most toys are drastically discounted.

Also of Interest

Visit the AARP home page for great deals and savings tips