Warm summer nights, trips to the beach, cross country vacations and camp outs in the mountains are what August is all about. Most of us don’t even feel like shopping, but August is when you’ll find your best discounted prices on everything seasonal, and super great deals on back to school. Here’s what to buy in August, along with some great shopping tips.
If you hope to pick up summer clothing deals, you’d better do your shopping fast. Mid to late July is when the best clearance discounts start, although where I live in Central Washington state, I found many deals earlier in the summer for flip flops, tees, sandals, tops, capris, swimwear, active wear and shoes, shorts, tanks, light summer skirts and dresses, already on clearance – some at up to 60% off – in August you’re likely to find even better deals than that.
If you want to get the jump on back to school clothes, you’ll start to find good sales early in August. If your stores are depleted, check online for good trendy deals on school clothes, AND if you are looking for jeans, you might just want to wait until October when retailers need to make room for Christmas merchandise, and you’ll find the best prices of the whole year, though inventory might be down.
BACK TO SCHOOL SUPPLIES:
Early August is when you’ll find super duper incredible bargains on school supplies. The merchants know that you don’t want to shop for school supplies in the heat of August, so they’ll post ads for amazing “loss leaders” that might just get you into their stores to spend money on other regular priced items.
We always have a “Back to School Sunday” at our church, and give away school supplies, near the end of August. The best prices and inventory have started to slump by then, so you will want to get the majority of your school supplies by the middle of August for the best deals and availability. Many stores have lists of required supplies for your child’s school grade or teacher.
Summer dinnerware, serve ware and drink ware, along with patio furniture are already clearance priced. You’ll find dorm room housewares and small appliances on sale as well.
Pick up patio furniture, pools, garden decor, solar lighting, plants, (though the choices will be few, prices will be very low) soil, mulch and planters. The start of discounts on grills and camping equipment comes before Labor Day.
GAMES AND TOYS:
August is a real good time to buy video games! If you want to get your kids to play outside more, check out clearanced outdoor toys, water toys and games.
DORM ROOM MERCHANDISE:
Dorm room merchandise, including long twin blankets, sheets and bedding sets are just now filling the shelves. The deals get better and better as you get further into the month, but don’t forget, as prices go down, inventory also decreases. Storage containers, and accessory prices also improve in August.
Near the start of August you will find good deals on laptops and tablets, better deals will happen later in the year, but you’ll still find some bargains now.
If your student is going off to a school that is some distance from home, consider buying online and having the items shipped to their school, or directly to a nearby store. Walmart offers this convenience. Check with other retailers to see if they will do this as well.
AIRLINE TICKETS – TRAVEL:
August and September are the best periods of the whole year to buy cheap airline tickets! If you’d like to book a cruise, be aware that September, October and the non holiday dates in November are typically the lowest prices for many cruises. AND the price of gas is under $2 a gallon in many states, so you might just want to take a road trip before the elections in November, when who-knows-what will happen.
Oh, I love the produce of summer! Summer melons, berries, grapes and soft fruit are at their peak. They are starting to pick apples and pears in the orchards surrounding my home. Zucchini is ripening almost overnight and corn, cucumbers and green beans are about perfect. Find a farmer’s market and buy local if you are able, but with the great prices for fuel, shipping costs remain low for produce that needs to be shipped in, like bananas, mangoes and avocados.
MEAT, DAIRY, EGGS:
Last week I found eggs for $.99 a dozen and this week for $.79 a dozen! It is safe to say that the price for eggs has finally come down. Dairy prices are forecast to be down in August as well as poultry. “Loss leader” prices for beef remain good, and the price for pork remains good. The good fuel prices have helped to keep these prices lower. OTHER GOOD NEWS: Beef prices are forecast to not go up until 2017
Stay cool, and look for more great shopping tips in September.
Marjie Briggs is a Consumer Scientist / Home Economist who is regularly sharing the best things to buy each month or season.