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7 Best Things to Buy in May

Look for good deals leading up to Mother’s Day, Memorial Day holidays

seated man in his backyard is looking at assembly instructions for a new barbeque grill

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After weeks of relatively ho-hum deals for shoppers, May marks the return of some major shopping holidays. With Mother’s Day in the middle of the month and Memorial Day at the end, you can find a whole host of products on sale throughout May.​

​Keep in mind that you don’t have to spend your holiday weekend hitting the stores to take advantage of many of the biggest Memorial Day sales, since lots of stores begin their promotions a week or more before the holiday itself.​

​“It’s a good idea to start looking for sales around mid-May,” says Julie Ramhold, a consumer analyst with DealNews. “You’ll see sales on virtually everything, including large and small appliances, mattresses and clothing.”​

​One “bonus” holiday to keep in mind: May 4. If you or your loved ones are Star Wars fans, you’ll find some extra deals on May 4, as retailers capitalize on the pun “May the fourth be with you.” (Look for sales online or at stores like Target or Kohl’s.)​

​Can’t tell the difference between a Mandalorian and a Millennium Falcon? Look for deals on these items instead in May.​

1. ​Small electronics

The closer you get to Mother’s Day, the smaller the discounts you’ll see on traditional Mother’s Day gifts like jewelry and flowers, Ramhold says. But you will be able to find more substantial discounts on less traditional gifts that Mom will still enjoy, including tech items like headphones, cellphones and e-readers.​

Where to find deals: Best Buy, Amazon, Verizon​

Potential savings: Up to 60 percent off, depending on the product​

2. ​Grills

May is National Barbecue Month, and Memorial Day is the unofficial start of cookout season, so it’s a great time to find deals on a new grill. In addition to shopping on price, Jeanette Pavini, author of The Joy of Saving, suggests looking for a retailer that will throw in free delivery and assembly, or even haul away your old grill without an extra charge.​

Where to find deals: Lowe’s, Walmart, local hardware stores​

Potential savings: Up to 40 percent off​

3. ​Patio furniture

Retailers are also hoping you’ll pick up some new outdoor tables and chairs for your guests to enjoy whatever you’re preparing on that grill. Some stores will offer discounts on full sets, while others might have larger discounts on specific pieces. ​

Where to find deals: Target, Wayfair, Home Depot​

Potential savings: 25 to 50 percent off​


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4. Home improvement supplies

This is a great weekend to look for sales on DIY materials like tools, ladders or paint. “A lot of people do home renovations in the summer, so home supply stores offer deals to get their business,” says Andrea Woroch, a consumer money-saving expert.​

Where to find deals: Home Depot, Sherwin-Williams, local hardware stores

Potential savings: 20 to 30 percent off​

5. ​Refrigerators

While nearly all appliances go on sale over Memorial Day weekend, refrigerators in particular go on deep discount, Pavini says. “The nice thing about refrigerator shopping is that you can comparison shop, and most stores will price match if you find one at a better price somewhere else,” she adds.​

Where to find deals: Best Buy, Lowe’s, Samsung​

Potential savings: 40 to 50 percent off​

6. ​Bedroom furnishings

While sales might not be quite as good as those you find in February, there are still plenty of discounts on mattresses in May. Furniture and department stores might also offer deals on bed frames and other furniture to help complete your bedroom decor.​

Where to find deals: Macy’s, Ashley, Wayfair​

Potential savings: 20 percent to 60 percent.​

7. Beach gear

While discounts will be best at the end of summer, if you need items like swimwear, towels or sandals now (or if you like having a large selection to choose from), you’ll typically find decent discounts over the Memorial Day weekend. “There will be discounts across the board on summer items,” Woroch says.

Where to find deals: Target, Costco, Walmart

Potential savings: 30 percent off or BOGO (“buy one, get one”) deals​

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.