The Best Time to Buy Things in 2019: The Ultimate List
If you plan your shopping right, you’ll almost never pay full price for any purchase — whether it’s as major as a house or as minor as a new pair of shoes. Different items are known to be on sale at different times of the year, and the best deals of the year aren’t exclusive to Black Friday. GOBankingRates scoured consumer sites and talked to shopping experts to determine the best month to buy everything you could want.
Click to get information on the best things to buy any month of the year:
- Things That Will Be Cheaper in 2019
- The Best Time to Buy Airline Tickets
- Tips on How to Get the Best Deal Any Time of Year
Gym Memberships and Fitness Equipment
With big sales in the first month of the year, there’s no financial excuse to abandon your New Year’s fitness resolutions.
“Even though weight loss resolutions are at an all-time high and you’d assume supply and demand would increase prices, shoppers can find discounts on fitness equipment and gym memberships,” said Chelsea Hudson, personal finance, shopping and travel expert at cashback site TopCashback. “Some fitness and big-box retailers will give major discounts on equipment to entice buyers to purchase their own products versus signing up for a gym membership.”
Some gyms drop their enrollment fee for those who join in January, and Amazon has sold fitness equipment for up to 50 percent off during previous January sales.
Bedding and Linens
January is the perfect time to refresh your bed.
“You’re going to see a lot of bedding on sale this month,” said Michelle Madhok, online shopping expert and founder of deals site SheFinds. “Bedding, towels and other home goods will be about 30 percent off — but if you shop around, you might be able to do even better.”
If you can hold off a few weeks into the new year, you can score discounted calendars, planners and agendas. Expect to see calendars go on sale at the end of the month, as reported by Coupons.com, during which you can save about 25 percent on your calendar purchase.
TVs and Other Electronics
Retailers discount televisions in the weeks leading up to the Super Bowl, according to Consumer Reports. In January 2019, Best Buy sold smart TVs for up to $500 off the original retail price.
Food processors and humidifiers will also be on sale in January.
New video games tend to be released in the fall ahead of the holiday shopping rush, so they often go on sale after the holidays are over. For example, the Steam Winter Sale offered deep discounts on over 15,000 games from mid-December through early January with as much as 85 percent off retail price, PC Gamer reported.
Clothing retailers slash prices after Christmas, making for some of the best deals available, especially on coats and suits — though you might have to wade through the crowds to score these deals, Time reported. If you’re planning to revamp your wardrobe in 2019, January is a great time to take advantage of post-holiday sales.
Tablets and TVs
TV sales carry over from January into February, and you can expect to see sales on tablets, too.
“There’s a big electronics show that happens in January, CES, and that’s when they announce all the new models, so all the old models are now discounted,” said Madhok. “You can get things like TVs for a great deal.”
Take Advantage: 20 Awesome February Sales on Products You Actually Want
Winter and fall are usually slower months for Broadway, so you can score discount tickets in February. In 2019, you can get two tickets for the price of one to all Broadway shows — excluding a few of the most popular shows such as “Hamilton” — through Feb. 10, 2019 as part of N.Y.C.’s Broadway Week.
Winter Coats and Other Winter Items
“In February and March, rock-bottom prices can be found on seasonal clothes such as winter outerwear as stores clear the racks for spring inventory,” said Hudson. “This also applies to winter sports gear such as skis, snowboards and equipment.”
Looking to get a better night’s rest? February is also one of the best times to buy a mattress.
“Consider switching out your old mattress since big-box stores have mattress sales throughout Presidents Day weekend,” said Hudson. “Macy’s and JCPenney typically offer 65 to 75 percent off name-brand mattresses.”
Winter is the best time to give your living room, dining room, kitchen or bedroom a fresh new look — interior paints will be on sale in February, per Consumer Reports.
If you’re headed on a winter holiday getaway to avoid seasonal blues, you’re in luck.
“With multiple holidays like Spring Break around the corner, stores drop their prices on luggage in March,” said Hudson. “Don’t forget to stack coupons, deals and steals, and shop via a cash-back site to get the best bang for your buck on luggage.”
In previous years, JCPenney offered 50 percent off select luggage in March, and Macy’s has also had great luggage deals.
Chocolate and other candies will go on sale after Valentine’s Day, said Hudson — and just because they’re heart-shaped doesn’t mean they won’t make for good gifts after Feb. 14.
“You can re-purpose clearance items for Mother’s Day or an anniversary,” she said. Just make sure to store the chocolate in a cool, dry place so you don’t give mom a gift so melted it hardly resembles a heart.
It might seem early to start thinking about summer camp, but enrolling your kids in March will not only ensure they get a spot before camps fill up, but you can also score early enrollment discounts, MarketWatch reported.
“[Companies] start pushing things for the summer this month,” said Madhok. “In some parts of the country, March is when spring starts, so that’s why you’ll start seeing those things on sale in March.”
Replacing old floors can be a major undertaking — an expensive one at that. Fortunately, flooring tends to be sold at a discount during March, according to Consumer Reports.
Changing out the countertops in your kitchen and bathroom can give the whole room a fresh look, and March might be the best time to do it. Consumer Reports reported that countertops are often on sale this month.
To find the best deals, look for promotions on the Home Depot and Lowe’s websites. Both retailers have offered 20 percent off custom countertops.
Shoes and Sneakers
People buy fewer shoes in the winter, so shoe stores try to entice shoppers to start buying again by dropping prices in April, Valpak reported. Sneakers, in particular, will be on sale, as warmer weather means more people will be running outside again, and they’ll be in need of new sneakers at a reasonable price before hitting the pavement, as reported by Time.
Car Parts and Tires
April is National Car Care Month, during which many businesses offer free car care events and clinics, including free vehicle inspections. You can also score deep discounts on tires and other car parts in recognition of the holiday, reported Cheapism.
Tools and Home Appliances
Items to improve, repair and clean your house go on sale in April. “April is spring cleaning, so you’re going to see things like vacuums on sale,” said Madhok. In past years, Amazon has sold vacuums for over $100 off the retail price during April.
“The [cruise] industry typically sees a drop in bookings in March and April, so you’ll find extra promotions to incentivize bookings,” said Hudson. “Experts recommend purchasing cruise packages at least six months in advance. Book smart and look for lowest-price-guarantee policies to ensure you’re getting the best deal.”
Find Out: 30 Cruise Secrets Only Insiders Know
Windows and Window Furnishings
Replacing the windows in your home can add curb appeal, while also making it more energy efficient and secure. If you’ve been thinking of switching out the windows in your home, wait until April when they tend to be on sale, per Consumer Reports. You can also get discounts on window treatments this month.
“It’s a time to refresh your house in general, so drapes and those kinds of things will be on sale,” said Madhok.
Money Crashers pointed out that new refrigerator models roll out during the summer months, so retailers offer discounts on the old models in May to make room for the new inventory. During Memorial Day sales, some refrigerators will be marked down as much as 50 percent, the MintLife blog reported.
Kitchenware and Small Kitchen Appliances
“The most popular items to purchase in May include home appliances, especially around Memorial Day weekend,” said Hudson.
You can score great deals on coffee makers, blenders and more during this month. Last year, Best Buy offered up to 40 percent off appliances.
If you missed the Presidents Day weekend sales, you have another chance to buy a mattress at a steep discount in May during the Memorial Day weekend sales. Mattresses are discounted up to 60 percent at some retailers, Dealsnews reported.
Desks, shelving units, padded chairs and other office furniture will be on sale in May, Dealnews reported. You’re likely to find the best deals on these items at OfficeMax, Staples, Office Depot and Walmart.
Replacing or repairing a roof is no easy task, but at least you can get discounts on the materials to do it during May, per Consumer Reports.
May is the unofficial start of summer, so it’s the perfect time to fix up your deck — or add a new one — so it’s ready for outdoor entertaining during the warmer months. Decking materials will be discounted in May, according to Consumer Reports, so it’s the best time to tackle this project for both price and weather reasons.
If you’re looking for a deal on exterior paint, it will heavily be discounted in May, per Consumer Reports. A fresh coat of paint can do wonders for your curb appeal, so if you’re thinking of selling in the near future — or just want a fresh, new look — stock up on outdoor paint this month.
The best time to buy a grill is May, particularly during Memorial Day weekend. You can get discounts of 50 percent or more if you shop wisely, according to Consumer Reports.
Dishware and Cookware
June is the start of wedding season, and many couples will include dishware and cookware on their registries. Because of this, many retailers will put these items on sale for 25 to 50 percent off, reported Real Simple. So whether you’re getting married or are just ready to upgrade your kitchen, plan to buy new cookware at the beginning of summer.
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Restock your toolbox in June, when tools will be discounted during Father’s Day sales. The best places to shop for discounted tools are Lowe’s, Sears, Home Depot and Walmart, as reported by Dealnews.
The combination of Father’s Day and the start of outdoor camping season makes for the ideal time for retailers to slash prices on tents, camping gear and other outdoor equipment. Camping and outdoor gear is discounted an average of 24 percent in June, though you can score discounts of up to 50 percent, CNBC reported.
Related: 101 Ways to Save Money This Summer
Many people see June as a time to get back in shape, and retailers capitalize on this by selling smart watches at a discount to entice buyers.
“In the beginning of the summer, people try to put on their clothes from last year and they’re too tight. That’s when athletic wear and equipment will be on sale,” said Madhok. “Smart watches come out with new versions all the time, so you can get the old version or a refurbished one for up to 50 percent off — sometimes more.”
“Victoria’s Secret has their semi-annual sale in June, so a lot of other lingerie stores will try to compete with them,” said Madhok. The competition means more deals on lingerie and undergarments for consumers. “It’s a good time to refresh your top drawer.”
During Victoria’s Secret semi-annual sale, you can find bras and pajamas for as little as $9.99 and panties for just $3.99.
From Victoria’s Secret to Zara: 20 Annual Sales to Add to Your Calendar
One of the major furniture trade shows is held in April, so by July retailers are clearing out their current stock to make room for the new models, reported FurnitureBrains.com. Expect to see clearance prices on furniture at this time.
The best time to buy console games is in January, but PC video games will be on sale in early July when the Steam Summer Sale typically is held, per PC Gamer. In the past, games have been discounted anywhere from 25 to 67 percent. Plus, once you start making millions as a professional gamer, you can write off your purchases as business expenses.
“Thanks to Amazon Prime Day, noteworthy discounts are available on Amazon products,” said Hudson. “Prime Day is the day to get popular items like Fire TV devices, Fire tablets, Echo speakers and Kindle e-readers for cheap. To compete for sales, you’ll find large discounts at big online retailers such as Target and Walmart as well.”
Last year, Amazon sold the Kindle Paperwhite for $40 off the regular price, the Echo for $30 off, the Fire HD 10 tablet for $50 off and Fire TV for $35 off. The exact date for Prime Day 2019 has not yet been announced, but in the past, it’s been held in mid-July.
Washers and Dryers
July is also the best time to buy a washer and dryer. Laundry appliances will be discounted during the month, according to Consumer Reports. Expect to find discounts of up to 46 percent on washers and dryers during the Fourth of July sales.
May is the best time to get refrigerator deals, but other large kitchen appliances — including freezers, over-the-range microwaves and dishwashers — will be on sale in July, per Consumer Reports. You can find savings of up to 45 percent on microwaves and up to 50 percent off dishwashers at retailers like Home Depot and Sears.
People tend to purchase jewelry tied to specific holidays, but there are no occasions in July that warrant a jewelry purchase. Retailers mark jewelry down in July to entice shoppers who aren’t shopping for a particular celebration, CNBC reported. Plus, there’s no need to feel guilty about your purchase because jewelry is among the many luxury items that don’t lose their value.
Computers and Other School and Office Supplies
August is the best time to buy a computer or laptop thanks to back-to-school sales. “New computers will start going on sale in August, so you can start shopping for those at that time,” said Madhok. “Stores move their back-to-school sales earlier and earlier because they want to make sure that they get your dollars.”
Plus, you might be able to avoid paying sales tax. “Throughout August, some states offer sales tax holidays or tax-free weekends,” said Hudson. “This is great timing for those who are planning back-to-school purchases. Shoppers can buy things like clothing and computers without paying sales tax.”
Office furniture is often grouped in with back-to-school discounts, so August is the best time to buy a new desk or office cabinet. Big-box office stores, Amazon, Walmart and Meijer usually all offer great deals on these products during the month, as reported by Ben’s Bargains.
Summer Clothes and Swimsuits
Give your summer wardrobe an affordable refresh by waiting until the end of the season to purchase clothing and swimsuits. “August is the best time to purchase summer apparel since stores are looking to clear their inventory to make room for fall items,” said Hudson.
The last weekend in August is a particularly good time to buy, as you can benefit from upcoming Labor Day weekend sales.
Car model years typically end on Labor Day, with new models being stocked in September and October, per Kelly Blue Book. That means that beginning in September, dealers are incentivized to clear their stock of old models, especially if it’s a car that hasn’t sold well or has been redesigned. You can save thousands of dollars if you purchase the older model, the site reported.
You can thank Apple for September smartphone sales. “Historically, Apple announces new iPhone models in September, so you’ll start to see discounts on older models,” said Hudson. “Those who don’t mind missing out on the newest update can save hundreds of dollars on previous years’ models.”
Lawn care equipment, including lawn mowers, tractors and leaf blowers, will be available at deep discounts in September, reported Consumer Reports. That’s because retailers will be clearing out summer and fall maintenance items for winter ones.
“Labor Day sales and summer clearance collide at the beginning of this month, making it one of the best times of year to spring for big-ticket items for the home,” said Brittney Mayer, credit strategist at CardRates. “Shoppers will find major appliances on sale for 30 to 40 percent off.”
Like cars, bikes also come out with new models every year, typically in the fall. That means this is the best time to get a good deal on an older model, according to Bicycling.
September is the start of the fall harvest season, so you can find the widest variety of wines at this time, reported Forbes. You might be able to catch some great bottles on sale, too.
Summer is peak homebuying season, so homeowners that haven’t sold their homes by October tend to reduce their prices this month, according to The List TV. Home prices have dropped 3 percent on average between September and October, which could save you big time on mortgage payments and interest. Of course, where you live has a huge impact on dropping home prices.
“October is the height of fall shopping,” said Madhok. “All the back-to-school shopping is over, so you’re going to see a lot of things on sale.”
Jeans for both kids and adults will be on sale in October, she said, noting that most retailers will sell denim for about 30 percent off.
“It depends on where you’re shopping,” said Madhok. “At Barneys, you may only get 20 percent off, but you’ll see bigger deals at the Gap. I’ve seen Gap do 50 percent off, so that’s a good place to go.”
Outdoor furniture will be deeply discounted in October. “If you didn’t take advantage of summer sales in September, you’ll find those items on the ultimate clearance rack in October,” said Hudson.
As with patio furniture, retailers are eager to get rid of their remaining outdoor supplies and tools in October, so you can score gardening tools at a heavy discount this month.
November means Black Friday sales, so you can get some of the biggest discounts of the year on home appliances — both big and small.
“Many stores do a whole week, so you can really start shopping these deals in mid-November and really look around for the price you want to pay,” said Madhok. “You can get items up to 70 percent off, but you really have to be a ninja about it. You have to really know what you’re going for and how to stack your deals. A lot of places will have timed coupons.”
Formal Wear and Wedding Gowns
Wedding season is over by this point, so you can get wedding dresses and other formal wear for major discounts in November. The time between Thanksgiving and Christmas is the best time to shop for these items because sales have lulled and the new styles that are introduced during the holiday season haven’t been released yet, as reported by Coupons.com.
Last year, BHLDN sold wedding dresses for as low as $99 during its Black Friday sales, and The Black Tux offered $20 off tuxedo rentals.
TVs and Other Electronics
As with home appliances, televisions and other electronics are once again majorly marked down during Black Friday sales.
“Due to every store and online retailer fighting for your sale, there is no doubt you’ll find unbeatable deals on electronics,” said Hudson. “From doorbuster deals on TVs to cameras and so on, every category of gadgets is discounted.”
This is an especially good time to purchase a smart TV — you might be able to buy one for up to $500 off the retail price.
“We saw huge, sustained drops in pricing across a range of tech items in November , but in particular smart TVs,” said David Mercer, shopping expert at RankTracer. “Smart TVs dropped their prices earlier and by more than other items leading up to, and after, Black Friday.”
Beauty Products and Fragrances
Black Friday sales are the best time of the year to stock up on these items.
“Beauty and fragrances almost never go on sale, but if you stack discounts you can get these items at about 30 percent off,” said Madhok.
“All seasonal items go on sale as soon as the peak buying period is over,” said Hudson. “Consumers should stock up on anything they can get their hands on for next Christmas, such as wrapping paper, tags, ornaments, decorations and lights. Anyone who is in the market for seasonal items and looking to score a deal should purchase these items sooner rather than later. The more you procrastinate, the slimmer pickings you’ll have in the clearance section.”
Hudson said decor will be marked down up to 90 percent. “The selection will be more limited, but you can find amazing goods for pennies,” she said.
Champagne is in high demand in December with holiday celebrations and New Year’s Eve on the calendar, so champagne suppliers compete with each other by dropping prices on bubbly this month, per Vivino.
The hottest toys won’t be on sale in the weeks leading up to Christmas, but you can get big sales on general categories of toys, such as games or athletic equipment, said Madhok.
“You’ll see up to 50 percent off games at Amazon,” she said.
Golf clubs are discounted during the winter months when it’s not golf weather in most places. You can get especially good deals on golf clubs around the holidays, reported Livestrong.
Digital Cameras, Smartwatches, Tablets, Headphones and Other Personal Electronics
A whole range of electronics will be on sale leading up to the holidays, per Consumer Reports. But if you want to score the best deals, it could pay off to wait until after Christmas.
“The day after Christmas is always a good day to find sales,” said Madhok.
After-Christmas electronics sales have included 40 percent off clearance products at Best Buy, $300 off Dell computers, and up to 60 percent off JBL speakers and headphones.
Although the cost of living generally rises every year, certain products will actually be cheaper to buy in 2019 than they were in 2018. Expect to see savings on all of the following:
- Groceries: Prices for pork, other meats, fats and oils, processed fruits and vegetables, and nonalcoholic beverages could potentially decrease in 2019, saving you money on groceries, according to research from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
- Gas: The average price of gas was $2.73 per gallon in 2018, and it’s projected to be $2.47 per gallon in 2019, per the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
- Healthcare: This will vary from state to state, but the cost of healthcare through the Affordable Care Act is expected to decrease in 19 states in 2019, with eight of those states seeing decreases of 10 percent or more, reported Consumer Reports.
- Solar panels: From January 2018 to January 2019, the cost of solar panel systems dropped more than 2 percent, and it’s expected to continue to decrease throughout the year, according to EnergySage.
- iPhone XS and XS Max: Experts speculate that these iPhone models will likely be retired and replaced this year, which means you’ll be able to score them for discounted prices once the new models are released.
- Computer memory: Prices for dynamic random-access memory could drop 15 to 25 percent in 2019, per DRAMeXchange.
Travel is a category of its own, because the best time to buy airline tickets depends on when you want to travel. According to CheapAir’s 2018 airfare Study, the best day to book your trip varies by season:
- Traveling in winter: Book flights 62 days in advance
- Traveling in spring: Book flights 90 days in advance
- Traveling in summer: Book flights 47 days in advance
- Traveling in fall: Book flights 69 days in advance
No matter when you’re shopping, there are ways to save money on your purchases:
- Search for coupons on online coupon sites, retailers’ sites and mailed circulars
- Make purchases using a cash-back credit card
- Purchase items through a cash-back site or app
- Sign up for emails from your go-to retailers to be alerted of sales and get exclusive discounts
- Join a store loyalty program or open a store credit card to get points for future purchases
- Shop at stores that offer price-match guarantees
You can also save on certain categories of products by shopping on certain days of the week and at specific times of the year.
- Appliances: You can find the best deals on appliances on Sundays. That’s because it’s the most common day for shopping for these items, CBS News reported. Prices will be $12 lower on average compared to prices on Mondays and Tuesdays.
- Computers and other electronics: Shop on Monday to get the lowest prices. Manufacturers notify retailers about their rebates and discounts early Monday morning, so retailers then lower prices for their consumers, reported CBS News.
- Entertainment venues: Amusement parks, and other attractions like museums, tend to hit a lull during the middle of the week, so you can often find discounted tickets during these times.
- Gas: Gas prices rise toward the weekend, and are generally the lowest on Mondays, reported GasBuddy — so fill up then to save.
- Jewelry: Discounts are the most plentiful on Wednesdays, which is when shopping for jewelry tends to spike, CBS News reported.
- Holiday candy and decorations: “After about a week of any holiday, you can find any remaining seasonal decoration marked down to 90 percent off,” said Hudson.
- Books: Buy books on Saturday to save an average of $2 over midweek prices, per CBS News.
More on Shopping
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Methodology: GOBankingRates determined what to buy every month of the year by looking at a wide variety of sources, research and data in order to find the cheapest times to purchase various items throughout the calendar year. Sources include Consumer Reports, CBS News, The Budget Diet and a number of experts.