Knowing what to buy in July, and what to avoid purchasing, can save you money at the cash register or online. Check out these great deals — and rip-offs.
What to buy in July
Groceries: You know you should use coupons to save money but, let’s face it, clipping and sorting them is a chore. That doesn’t mean you can’t save money when you go shopping, though. Time your purchases properly, and you can save money even when you leave your coupons at home. Of course, for even bigger savings, stack those coupons on top of sales.
- National Ice Cream Month – Just about every brand is on sale now.
- 4th of July/BBQ Sales – Soda, hot dogs (National Hot Dog month), hamburgers, ground beef, ribs, brats, buns, baked beans (National Baked Bean month) BBQ sauce, condiments, charcoal, salad dressings, chips and dips.
- Peak butter season – June and July are the best months for butter production, and with so much supply available, stores are marking it down to keep the inventory moving. Butter freezes wonderfully, so stock up when you see a low price.
- Seasonal produce (varies by region) Asian and Bartlett pears, green beans, blueberries, black berries, cantaloupe, cherries, corn, cucumber, eggplant, figs, garlic, grapes, nectarines, red onions, Valencia oranges, peaches, peppers (most varieties), plums, summer squash, tomatoes, watermelon.
Free food! July features several food-related “holidays” like National Fried Chicken Day (July 6), national pecan pie day (July 12), National Ice Cream Day (July 20), and National Cheesecake Day (July 30). Check your mailbox for flyers for chains offering freebies — they usually don’t announce them before July 4 to reduce demand.
- Back to school sales start – The best selection is available now, but to save money hold off for another month. Clothing sales get into full swing in August, with the steepest discounts at the end of August and early September after most schools have already started.
- School supplies – As with clothing, you’ll start to see back-to-school sales this month and the selection will be good, but better sales take place in August when when the selection starts to get thin.
- Men’s suits – Stores need to make room for the latest fall fashions, so last year’s suits get steep discounts.
- Furniture – Manufacturer’s are getting ready to roll out their fall lines, so stores are marking down their inventory.
- Air Conditioners – Most people who’ll want one for the summer bought theirs already, which means demand is down. If you’ve been thinking about replacing your system, or getting a window unit, do it this month.
- Big Appliances – Prices are dropping on microwaves, stoves, and refrigerators.
- Mattresses – Mattress makers offer discounts around holidays, and the 4th of July is no exception.
- Paint – Most people prefer to open windows when they’re painting, but in most parts of the country July means closed windows and AC. With demand low, paint is a good buy now. Don’t worry about it separating: just take your cans back to the store to have them machine-shaken when the weather has cooled off.
- Grills and outdoor furniture – After mid-July prices drop as stores seek to unload summer-related items to make room for fall decor.
- Older computers – Electronics stores need to clear older model computers off their shelves to make way for the latest stuff, so this month launches big deals on office and school electronics.
- Video stuff– As with computers, new models are coming out. Digital cameras and video cameras are on sale now.
- Sunscreen, insect repellent, First Aid supplies – With the burn/bite/injury season halfway over, stores need to clear their shelves.
- Shaving needs – When summer ends, many of us ditch shorts — and shaving our legs. Not surprisingly, stores markdown shaving gear and wax strips to clear the excess inventory.
- Swimsuits – Look for steep discounts this month. Just remember, it’s not a good deal if you won’t fit in it next year!
Note: This post originally appeared in July 2012. It is updated and re-posted annually to keep up with sales trends and provide you with the latest information about what to buy in July.