The Best Things to Buy in the Month of May — and What to Avoid

From Mother’s Day to Memorial Day, we tend to do a lot of shopping. Get in on the opportunities — on spring clothing, mattresses, TVs and more — and steer clear of this month’s purchasing potholes.

This post comes from Benjamin Glaser of partner site DealNews.com.

Spring clothing shines during early Memorial Day sales

In 2015, we saw retailers kick off their Memorial Day sales as early as 11 days before the holiday. Travel sites started their discounts even earlier, in the first or second week of the month. As such, we expect store sales to begin as early as May 19 this year, with travel promos throughout the entire month.
While many sales will attempt to tease you with deals on summer clothing, the best savings will actually be on spring apparel. (Summer apparel is always cheaper during the months of August and September, when retailers are trying to clear any inventory that consumers didn’t buy.)

Spring apparel will see its deepest discounts of the year during Memorial Day weekend, and we expect to see deals from Uniqlo, Macy’s, Amazon, Saks Fifth Avenue, PacSun, Sierra Trading Post, Gap and Eddie Bauer. Look for discounts of 20 percent to 90 percent off. Meanwhile, designer brands like Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein and Cole Haan will also offer discounts, which will range from 30 percent to 50 percent.

However, you won’t want to settle for a mere sale price, as most stores also will have coupons offering deeper discounts. Look for coupons taking up to an extra 40 percent off. Last year, Saks Fifth Avenue offered free shipping on some orders with a coupon, as did Eddie Bauer.

Memorial Day also brings great discounts on home goods

Last year, 27 percent of all Memorial Day weekend sales were focused on home items, including appliances, kitchen supplies and furniture.

If you want to prepare your home or yard for summer, Lowe’s and Home Depot will likely have discounts of up to 50 percent and 34 percent off, respectively. Meanwhile, Williams-Sonoma and Chef’s Catalog will be cutting prices by 60 percent and 70 percent, respectively. Also look for big sales from Sears, JCPenney and Cymax.

Save money by avoiding stereotypical Mother’s Day gifts

The longer you wait to buy your Mother’s Day gifts, the more you’ll pay. In previous years, our deal database has shown that jewelry deals tend to increase in price at the beginning of the month, which means procrastinators will pay a premium. Fortunately, this year, Jewelry.com has already posted its Mother’s Day sale and is knocking up to an impressive 80 percent off with additional “buy more, save more” discounts.

Our advice? Get your mom something that seems expensive, but isn’t. Designer clothes, especially from outlet stores, often see discounts at this time of year. For example, last year a Michael Kors handbag sale was the most popular deal of the season. Fragrances are another affordable luxury, and FragranceX is ahead of the game this year; it already posted its Mom’s Day sale weeks ago, cutting up to 80 percent off with an extra 15 percent off all designer scents.

Upgrade your mattress

Our deal archives show that spring is one of the best seasons for mattress shopping, and Memorial Day will usher in new deals this month. If you’re flexible on the specific type of mattress you buy, then don’t settle for anything less than 50 percent off. Also look for stackable coupons, which could take 10 percent to 40 percent off already-discounted items.

Retailers to follow include Sears, JCPenney, Overstock, Macy’s and US-Mattress.

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