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Best and Worst Things to Buy in August

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Linsay ThomasGuest Blogger
August 01, 2017 · 3.3k Views

back to school in august

Photo by Personal Creations / CC BY 2.0 via Flickr

August is here, and parents everywhere are rejoicing as summer break ends and school is back in session. So what will you do with all that free time once the kids are back in school? Shop, of course!

Did you know that there are seasons when it comes to shopping? Just like August marks back to school time, it also marks the end of the summer shopping season, which means that new items are on their way to your favorite stores. What does this mean for you? Big savings…but only if you know which things to buy. Not everything is a good deal this time of year, but don’t worry. This guide has you covered, so you will know which items are must-buy purchases for August and which items you should hold off on for now.

lightbulb icon Check out our Back to School Sales 2017 Roundup for all the best sales, deals, and coupons to get you and your kids ready for the new school year! celebration icon


The Best Things to Buy

Snatch these deals now while they last!

summer apparel icon  Summer apparel: Before summer leaves us completely, stock up on hot weather clothing essentials such as swimsuits, shorts, and tank tops. Get next year’s summer shopping done now because if you wait until spring or summer, you’ll pay full price. You can save 50% or more from your favorite retailers. Walmart, T.J. Maxx, and Target often have some great clothing deals this time of year. There may be some great deals online, but shop in store for best selection and prices.

suitcase icon  Travel: Look for travel deals in early August from popular travel sites such as Orbitz and Hotels.com. You’ll especially be able to save as much as 15% on airfare and hotels, so if you still haven’t taken a summer vacation, now’s the time to do it.

school supplies icon  School supplies: You might be ready to send your kids off to school in July, but that’s not necessarily the best time to start buying school supplies. In fact, research shows that 90% of back to school supplies are reduced in price in August compared to July. Wait until the end of August and you’ll see huge markdown, so wait a little longer if you can and you’ll save big. Don’t think you have to have school-age kids to reap the benefits. Stock up on pens, pencils, and paper for your home office so you don’t have to pay full price for them in a couple months.

dorm room icon  Linens and dorm furniture: To get college students ready for school, retailers often offer huge markdowns on dorm room essentials such as linens, bedding, and inexpensive furniture. But you don’t have to be in college to take advantage of these offers, so if you need new bed sheets or a mini refrigerator, shop in August. Walmart offers especially good prices on these items.

laptop icon  Laptops: Continuing on the back to school theme, laptop sales are also big in August for the back to school season. This is a good time to upgrade your current laptop or buy a spare just in case. There are also a lot of laptop bundle sales going on, so if you’re looking for a package that includes anti-virus software or a carrying case, now’s the time to make a purchase.


The Worst Things to Buy

Let’s start with the bad news first. If you’re planning on buying the following items any time soon, don’t do it in August.

x icon iPads and iPhones: Apple tends to release new tablets and smartphones in September and October, so if you’re looking for the latest and greatest, it doesn’t make sense to buy one now. In fact, the release date for the upcoming iPhone 7 is set for September 16. Even if you don’t necessarily need the new iPhone, the iPhone 6 will drop in price significantly over the next few months, so don’t overpay now. Be patient and check Best Buy, Walmart and eBay for the best deals.

x icon TVs: The summer is not a good time to buy TVs, despite the fact that college students typically buy them for their dorms. The best TV deals are in September and beyond, especially for 32" 1080p LCD sets, so hold off if you can. HDTV deals are rare during the summer. If you must buy now, look for deals on TVs in the 46” to 55” range.

x icon Patio furniture: You’ll see some markdowns on patio furniture in August, but for rock-bottom deals, buy in September or October. By then, everyone will be focused on preparing for fall and winter and won’t need outdoor furniture anymore. Look for clearance furniture as manufacturers get ready for next year’s stock. Home Depot and Sears are your best bets, but they sell out quickly, so start looking around Labor Day weekend and keep checking back weekly.

x icon Jackets: Hopefully your jacket from last year still fits because if not, you’ll be paying full price for it now. Even though it’s still summer, retailers are already gearing up for fall and winter. You may already notice cold weather apparel at your local store. Retailers won’t be marking down jackets and other fall apparel anytime soon. If you must buy a jacket now, look online for deals.


Become an even savvier shopper by following these shopping guidelines. While you may not want to wait to get the best deals, a little patience pays off huge in the end. Take advantage of what August has to offer because time flies. In a few short months, you’ll have the Christmas rush to look forward to.

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Linsay Thomas is a seasoned writer and editor who has written thousands of articles about topics such as saving money, healthcare, law, pets and education. She hails from California, where she lives with her husband, two children and a menagerie of pets. When she's not writing, she enjoys sports, breeding chocolate Labs and visiting the beach.