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6 Best Things to Buy in July

Get ready — it's prime time for bargain shoppers

ice cream in a cup decorated in red, white and blue American motifs

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With the Fourth of July falling on a Monday this year, retailers will take advantage of the three-day weekend to draw in shoppers looking for holiday sales. But the rest of the month also offers significant savings on certain items.

One date to mark on your calendar: July 17, National Ice Cream Day. In previous years, retailers like Carvel, Dairy Queen and Friendly’s have offered deals and freebies in honor of the event. Not into dairy but still want a frozen treat? 7-Eleven convenience stores typically dole out free Slurpees on July 11 (as in 7/11).

Here are some of the best things to buy in July, according to shopping experts, including where to shop and how much you could potentially save.

1. All things red, white and blue

Retailers stock up on patriotic apparel and other items in advance of Independence Day and then deeply discount it as soon as the holiday is over. Markdowns might be even higher this year if inflation keeps some consumers from spending as much on patriotic goods as they have in the past, says Brad Godwin, regional vice president of Shopkick, a shopping rewards app. “You’ll see the markdowns increase every day that passes after the Fourth of July,” he adds.

Where to find deals: Kohl’s, Macy’s, Target

Potential savings: 40 percent or more

2. Booze

Leading up to the Fourth of July, as well as for a week or more after, you’ll find bargains on beer, hard seltzers, wine and other adult beverages. The savings will come via markdowns, coupons and rebates from the manufacturers, Godwin says.

Where to find deals: Local and regional supermarkets, beer distributors, liquor stores

Potential savings: 30 to 50 percent off

3. Mattresses

The Fourth of July weekend is a sales event for many mattress retailers. In addition to discounts, retailers may sweeten the deal by throwing in free accessories such as pillows or sheets.

Where to find deals: Mattress Firm, Casper, Purple

Potential savings: 20 to 30 percent off, or BOGO (buy one, get one) deals


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4. Electronics

Amazon Prime Day, the online retailer’s biggest annual sale event, will take place this year over two days, July 12–13. Historically, electronics have been among the most heavily discounted items during the sale, with a particular focus on Amazon’s own devices, such as the Echo and the Kindle. But you don’t have to shop at Amazon to find electronics deals.

“All of the other online retailers throw their own sales on top of Prime Day, so you can find a lot of good sales online,” says shopping expert and editor Kristin McGrath, of RetailMeNot, a coupons and deals company.

Where to find deals: Amazon, Overstock, Walmart

Potential savings: 50 percent or more

5. Summer apparel

While you may still be enjoying the beach weather, retailers are already thinking ahead to the fall — and making room on their shelves. That means you’ll start seeing discounts on summer clothing like sandals, tank tops and shorts this month.

“The end of July is when you’ll see the biggest selection of sizes and colors of summer clothing on the clearance racks,” McGrath says.

Where to find deals: Target, Old Navy, Kohl’s

Potential savings: 40 to 60 percent off

6. Back-to-school supplies

In areas where the kids head back to school in August, the back-to-school shopping sales start to pick up at the end of July, although discounts get even bigger in August. Shoppers in states including Alabama, Florida, Mississippi and Tennessee will get additional savings in this category, thanks to their states’ sales tax holidays this month. Even if you’re not shopping for kids or grandkids, back-to-school sales are a great opportunity to stock up on office supplies and electronics like laptops and headphones.

Where to find deals: Target, Kohl’s, Amazon

Potential savings: 10 to 20 percent off

Beth Braverman is a contributing writer who has covered shopping and personal finance for more than a decade. Her work has appeared in Consumer Reports, CNNMoney.com, CNBC.com and dozens of other publications.