The best month of the year to buy everything

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Best Times to Make Major Purchases

Sometimes when you buy matters as much as where you buy.

"There really is a best time to do just about anything and everything, and that's especially true when it comes to buying things," writes Mark Di Vincenzo in his book, "Buy Ketchup in May and Fly at Noon."

Using tips from Di Vincenzo, along with time-tested advice from sources like DealNews and Mint, we highlighted the best times to buy just about everything, broken down by month.

Megan Durisin contributed to an earlier version of this post.


JANUARY:

Bicycles

Bike lanes stay pretty empty in January, making stores roll out the deals on their stock of Schwinns.

New models will start coming in by the middle of the next month.

Pools and hot tubs

The winter is the best time to purchase warm-weather luxuries, when prices are the lowest.

Plus, it's smart to give yourself several months to regrow the grass in your yard after it gets torn up during pool installation.

Suits

Since this isn't prime suit-shopping season, you're likely to get a good deal.

If you're looking for something a little less fancy, January's a great time to stock up on most types of clothing.

Take advantage of post-Christmas shopping deals.

Christmas decor

The timing isn't ideal, but you can get great prices on Christmas decorations in January — according to DealNews, stores like Home Depot, Sears, and Crate and Barrel will cut up to 70% off the seasonal inventory.

Plus, it'll be one less thing to worry about when the busy holiday season rolls around.


FEBRUARY:

Cameras

This is the time new models typically hit stores.

That means it's a great time to buy one of last year's models or take advantage of a President's Day markdown on a newer one.

Prom dresses

Most of the year's frilly frocks have made their way into store aisles by now, and retailers are in prime competition to get you to buy your gown from them.

Tax software

It's not the most exciting purchase ... but you'll have to buy tax software eventually if you're doing your own taxes, so you might as well get it discounted.

According to DealNews, programs like H&R Block and Turbo Tax will slash prices by 30% to 50%. Keep in mind that the closer you get to April, the smaller the discounts will be, so you'll want to jump on these deals when you can.

Plus, it never hurts to get a head start on filing your taxes.

Broadway tickets

February is one of the slow months for the theater world, since tourists don't typically flock to New York in the winter.

Catch the latest five-star show for a discounted fare.


MARCH:

Perfume

Now that Valentine's Day is over, it's easier to find your favorite scent for a steal.

Grab a flowery fragrance for your mom before Mother's Day gets closer.

Chocolate

The same post-Valentine's Day logic applies for sweets.

If your significant other forgot to grab you a box of your favorite chocolates last month, grab one for yourself now at a steep price cut.

Frozen foods

Didn't know March was National Frozen Foods Month? Neither did we.

But the campaign promises a host of deals and sweepstakes to promote the food in the freezer aisle.

Luggage

Spring break is on the horizon and it's a good time to grab a new carry-on.

Updated luggage styles will be arriving in anticipation of summer travel, so March is the time to buy last year's suitcases.


APRIL:

Tropical vacation

If you're looking for a tropical trip, mid-April is the end of the tourist season for the Caribbean, so you can save a buck on getting there.

Plus, Di Vincenzo says this month is one of the best times for ocean visibility if you're planning to scuba dive to check out the area's marine life.

Flea market items

Di Vincenzo recommends spring as the best time of year to take advantage of flea markets and thrift stores.

Many are just opening after the winter and are chock full of spring-cleaning wares.

He also advises going at the end of the day — sellers are more likely to give you a steep markdown so they don't have to haul their goods back home.

Raincoats

April tends to be scattered with rainy days, so stores stock up on wet weather gear.

However, retailers have a small window of time to sell gear, as sunnier days are right around the corner. In order to move their inventory quickly, they'll offer enticing discounts.


MAY:

Mattresses

Memorial Day mattress sales are not at all uncommon. They can be the best time to stock up on mattresses and box springs.

DealNews says not to settle for anything less than 50% off.

Spring clothes

Stores will try to lure you into buying summer clothing, but the best savings during April will actually be on spring apparel — according to DealNews, you should wait to buy summer apparel in August and September.

Look for the biggest discounts on spring clothes during Memorial Day weekend.

Barbecue supplies

Snag barbecue essentials — chips, crackers, ketchup, and relish, to name a few — by late May. You should be able to find markdowns on marinades and dressings as barbecue season heats up.

These supplies tend to last for at least a year, so don't be afraid to buy a lot while they're cheap.

Athletic apparel

As people start to get out of their winter hibernation routine, stores will start to lure customers in with sales in hope of getting rid of last season's merchandise.

Stock up early so you'll have incentive to work out as soon as the temperatures start to spike.


JUNE:

Lingerie

Typically, lingerie comes at a steep price, but you can score deals in June when Victoria's Secret unveils its semiannual sale, which typically lasts three to four weeks. The sale starts with most items 50% off, and after a few days, you'll find things for up to 75% off.

You won't be limited to Victoria's Secret, as many other lingerie stores follow suit during this time.

Textbooks

If you know which ones you'll need during your next college semester, don't wait to buy them.

Prices are lowest right after everyone sells them back.

Laptops and other school supplies

Although many students are finishing up classes or graduating in June, a bunch of retailers launch their back-to-school sales this month.

According to DealNews, the Apple Store typically offers an everyday educational discount, which can save you up to $200. And remember, stores like Best Buy and Amazon will generally match (or beat) Apple's prices, so you could walk away with a good deal.

If you're definitely going to buy a Mac, wait until after Apple's annual Worldwide Developers Conference, which kicks off June 13 — the company is expected to introduce a new line of MacBook Pros, meaning older models will see price drops.


JULY:

Bottled water

Retailers often lower prices on bottled water when it's hottest.

Outdoor picnics and barbecues are common, and many people will buy a case of water before they head to the park.

Furniture

It's a common theme for prices to drop the month before the latest furniture arrives.

August is when stores get their new models, so expect to see deals in July.

Fresh fruit

Obviously, fruit is at its best when it's in season — usually that means summertime.

Different varieties are best all year round, but July is the prime time for berries, melons, peaches, plums, and watermelons.

Air conditioners

If you've lasted until July without an air conditioner, kudos to you.

But if your box fan isn't going to get you through the heat of the summer, you're in luck — air conditioners will be cheapest in July, DealNews says.

RELATED: The best cities for saving money

16 PHOTOS
The 15 Best Cities for Saving Money (Unlisted)
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The best month of the year to buy everything

15. Garland, Texas

  • Population: 235,501
  • Median income: $51,997
  • Unemployment rate: 3.7%
  • Median home listing price: $160,000
  • Median monthly rent: $1,350
  • Average gas price: $1.678
  • Average cost of groceries: $36.77
  • Sales tax: 8.25%

This suburb of Dallas is more affordable than its much larger neighbor, which is in the No. 49 spot in this ranking. Although the median income in Garland is slightly below the national median income of $53,482, housing costs are relatively low. Plus, Texas is one of seven states that doesn’t have an income tax, so residents can keep more of their paycheck and stash it in a savings account.

Photo credit: Andrei Tudoran/Shutterstock.com

14. Colorado Springs, Colo.

  • Population: 445,830
  • Median income: $54,228
  • Unemployment rate: 4%
  • Median home listing price: $269,900
  • Median monthly rent: $1,325
  • Average gas price: $1.704
  • Average cost of groceries: $29.41
  • Sales tax: 7.63%

Colorado Springs ranks as one of the best places for outdoor lovers, but it’s also a great place for savers. Just 60 miles south of Denver, Colorado Springs offers a more affordable alternative to Colorado’s capital, which is 69th on GOBankingRates' list of the best places for saving money. The median home list price and median rent in Denver are more than 35 percent higher than in Colorado Springs. That means residents of Colorado Springs have more room in their budgets to save.

Photo credit: photo.ua/Shutterstock.com

13. Oklahoma Cita, Okla.

  • Population: 620,602
  • Median income: $47,004
  • Unemployment rate: 3.3%
  • Median home listing price: $195,000
  • Median monthly rent: $1,195
  • Average gas price: $1.687
  • Average cost of groceries: $33.99
  • Sales tax: 8.38%

Even though Oklahoma City is the largest city in Oklahoma — and the capital — it doesn’t have a big-city price tag. Relatively low housing, gas and grocery costs leave residents more room in their budgets to save.

Photo credit: Henryk Sadura/Shutterstock.com

12. Austin, Texas

  • Population: 912,791
  • Median income: $55,216
  • Unemployment rate: 3.1%
  • Median home listing price: $359,000
  • Median monthly rent: $1,480
  • Average gas price: $1.557
  • Average cost of groceries: $30.91
  • Sales tax: 8.25%

The capital of Texas is known for its live music scene, trendsetting restaurants and South by Southwest festival. But Austin isn’t just a place for music lovers, foodies and techies — it’s a great place for savers. Gas and grocery costs are low, and housing costs are manageable in a city with a median income that tops the national median income.

Photo credit: iStock.com/David Sucsy

11. Arlington, Texas

  • Population: 383,204
  • Median income: $53,055
  • Unemployment rate: 3.7%
  • Median home listing price: $186,560
  • Median monthly rent: $1,395
  • Average gas price: $1.655
  • Average cost of groceries: $33.35
  • Sales tax: 8%

This city makes GOBankingRates' list of best places for savers for the second year in a row. Arlington is another Dallas suburb that’s more affordable than its bigger neighbor. Its relatively low housing costs and daily expenses along with a median income that’s on par with the national median income give the city’s residents a better ability to save.

Photo credit: iStock.com/Aneese

10. Tulsa, Okla.

  • Population: 399,682
  • Median income: $41,957
  • Unemployment rate: 3.9%
  • Median home listing price: $136,900
  • Median monthly rent: $975
  • Average gas price: $1.627
  • Average cost of groceries: $32.31
  • Sales tax: 8.52%

Like Oklahoma City, the state’s second-largest city is a great place for savers. Although the median income in Oklahoma City is higher, lower housing costs in Tulsa offset the difference and land it higher in this ranking.

Photo credit: iStock.com/Davel5957

9. Omaha, Neb.

  • Population: 446,599
  • Median income: $48,751
  • Unemployment rate: 3%
  • Median home listing price: $169,700
  • Median monthly rent: $1,100
  • Average gas price: $1.841
  • Average cost of groceries: $33
  • Sales tax: 7%

Notoriously frugal billionaire Warren Buffett lives in this Midwestern city that ranks as one of the most affordable places to live. It has the lowest unemployment rate on this list. Despite low housing costs, the median income is relatively low, which is why Omaha doesn’t rank higher on this list of best places for savers.

Photo credit: iStock.com/DenisTangneyJr

8. Fort Wayne, Ind.

  • Population: 258,522
  • Median income: $43,994
  • Unemployment rate: 4.4%
  • Median home listing price: $97,900
  • Median monthly rent: $650
  • Average gas price: $1.827
  • Average cost of groceries: $31.64
  • Sales tax: 7%

Fort Wayne returns to the No. 8 spot in GOBankingRates' ranking, the same spot it earned in 2015. It has the cheapest median rent and cheapest median home list price among the best cities for savers. However, a relatively low median income leaves residents with less to save and prevents this city in northeastern Indiana from ranking higher.

Photo credit: iStock.com/Davel5957

7. San Antonio, Texas

  • Population: 1,436,697
  • Median income: $46,317
  • Unemployment rate: 3.5%
  • Median home listing price: $229,000
  • Median monthly rent: $1,136
  • Average gas price: $1.527
  • Average cost of groceries: $31.02
  • Sales tax: 8.25%

Although bigger than Austin and Dallas, San Antonio boasts a lower cost of living, which means residents can afford to stash more in savings. You can even soak up the culture of this city for free by strolling along the top tourist destination in Texas — the San Antonio River Walk.

Read: 35 Secrets to Saving Money in 2016

Photo credit: iStock.com/H 1photo

6. Virginia Beach, Va.

  • Population: 450,980
  • Median income: $67,001
  • Unemployment rate: 4.5%
  • Median home listing price: $264,900
  • Median monthly rent: $1,600
  • Average gas price: $1.552
  • Average cost of groceries: $32.24
  • Sales tax: 6%

Virginia Beach has the lowest sales tax among the top 15 best cities for savers. Housing, grocery and gas costs also are relatively low in this city on the Atlantic Coast. Plus, a median income that’s well above the national median income helps make it easier to save in Virginia Beach than in many other cities.

Photo credit: iStock.com/Imagesbybarbara

5. Chandler, Ariz.

  • Population: 254,276
  • Median income: $72,072
  • Unemployment rate: 4.7%
  • Median home listing price: $310,990
  • Median monthly rent: $1,495
  • Average gas price: $1.497
  • Average cost of groceries: $34.67
  • Sales tax: 7.8%

Housing costs in this suburb of Phoenix are actually higher than its much larger neighbor. But the median income is more than $25,000 higher in Chandler than in Phoenix, which ranks 31st on GOBankingRates' list. Higher wages help offset slightly higher housing costs, giving residents more ability to save in this city that has a strong high-tech employment base.

Photo credit: iStock.com/ubu-ibmee

4. Kansas City, Mo.

  • Population: 470,800
  • Median income: $45,376
  • Unemployment rate: 3.8%
  • Median home listing price: $134,900
  • Median monthly rent: $825
  • Average gas price: $1.689
  • Average cost of groceries: $31.98
  • Sales tax: 8.35%

Kansas City is known for its barbecue and jazz, but it also offers affordable living. Fort Wayne, Ind., is the only place among the top 15 best cities for savers that boasts lower median rent and home list prices than Kansas City. But Kansas City’s median income is higher, giving its residents a better ability to stash more in savings.

Photo credit: iStock.com/Davel5957

3. Lubbock, Texas

  • Population: 243,839
  • Median income: $44,139
  • Unemployment rate: 3.1%
  • Median home listing price: $179,500
  • Median monthly rent: $1,050
  • Average gas price: $1.603
  • Average cost of groceries: $28.34
  • Sales tax: 8.25%

Home to Texas Tech University, Lubbock is called the Hub of the Plains. Although the median income level is lower than the national median income, the unemployment rate is low, as are housing costs. An affordable cost of living makes it easier to save in Lubbock.

Photo credit: iStock.com/DenisTangneyJr

2. Plano, Texas

  • Population: 278,480
  • Median income: $82,944
  • Unemployment rate: 3.7%
  • Median home listing price: $320,000
  • Median monthly rent: $1,895
  • Average gas price: $1.678
  • Average cost of groceries: $32.28
  • Sales tax: 8.25%

Plano is a better city for savers than some of the better-known Texas cities on this list. Although Plano has the second-highest median home list price and highest median rent among the top 15 best cities for savers, it also has the highest median income, which means its residents have more to set aside in savings. With several major corporations headquartered in Plano, it’s been named America’s No. 1 city to find a job and the third hardest working city in America by Money Magazine.

Photo credit: iStock.com/olddays

1. Gilbert, Ariz.

  • Population: 239,277
  • Median income: $81,485
  • Unemployment rate: 4.7% (phoenix metro area)
  • Median home listing price: $300,000
  • Median monthly rent: $1,400
  • Average gas price: $1.497
  • Average cost of groceries: $34.67
  • Sales tax: 7.8%

Once known as the Hay Capital of the World, Gilbert is now a booming suburb of Phoenix with one of the highest median incomes in the state of Arizona. In fact, nearly 34 percent of the city’s population is characterized as “boomburbs” with a median household income of $105,000, according Gilbert economic development data.

Although housing costs are higher in Gilbert than in many of the other best cities for savers, they’re not the highest. And the high income there helps propel Gilbert to the top of this list.

Photo credit: iStock.com/Bob Balestri

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AUGUST:

Flip-flops

No one is going to buy these in the cooler months.

Stores don't want shelves of sandals in the winter, so they'll give you a deal if you'll buy their stock now.

Patio furniture

If your patio needs a remodel, August is the time to buy new outdoor furniture.

DealNews saw discounts ranging from 50% to 75% at stores like Target, Pottery Barn, and Sears.

Plus, you should be able to get some good use out of your new patio furniture for at least another month or two.

Grills

While you're sprucing up your patio with new furniture, consider adding an outdoor grill. August tends to offer various charcoal- and gas-based grills at a hefty discount.

You have time to shop around — many of the sales on grills and grill accessories will spill over into September, DealNews reports.

Plants and flowers

The prices of flora and fauna start to fall around Labor Day.

Be sure not to wait to get them in the ground.


SEPTEMBER:

Swimsuits

These are bound to be on the clearance rack by the time leaves start to change color.

If you don't buy them now, you'll pay much more when you head on a winter or spring trip.

Wine

Grape growers are busiest around this time, meaning winemakers typically are getting ready to put out their best product.

You might find a markdown on your favorite Merlot.

Sunglasses

These accessories see their biggest price spikes in the summer, but you're bound to need a pair all year round.

Shop now to grab some aviators while the discounts last.


OCTOBER:

Car leases

You're likely to find the best rates of the year in October, since it signals the start of the model year and dealerships will be eager to clear their 2015 inventory.

Prices will start to climb as fall rolls on, so don't wait too long.

Jeans

Look for jeans sales well after the back-to-school season ends.

Once demand tapers, retailers discount their supplies.

Camping gear

Fall is a good time to restock on outdoor essentials, as people start to spend more time indoors than outside.

Thanksgiving is also a good time to purchase new tents and sleeping bags.

Bushes, trees, and bulbs

You should have no problem finding something to spruce up your yard this late in the year.

And if you plant bulbs now, you'll have one less thing to worry about in the spring.


NOVEMBER:

Halloween candy

If you didn't get your sugar fix in October, jumpstart the holiday season with discounted Halloween candy throughout November.

Your options may be limited, but the price tag is hard to beat.

Cookware

Thanksgiving always involves time in the kitchen, and November is the time to stock up on pots and pans — according to DealNews, all kitchen appliances, including high-end devices, will be at their absolute lowest prices.

Wedding dresses

Bridal shops buy more dresses ahead of the holiday season engagement frenzy.

But if you start looking around Thanksgiving, you can beat the rush and find a more affordable gown.

Electronics

The hype that Best Buy gets for its Black Friday discounts isn't unjustified.

Stores often give TVs and electronics huge price slashes to lure in Christmas shoppers.

Major appliances

You can score on things like laundry units, vacuums, dishwashers, and refrigerators in November, particularly during Black Friday week.

DealNews recommends keeping an eye out at stores like Sears, Best Buy, Home Depot, and Lowe's.


DECEMBER:

Apartment lease

People don't like to move when there's two feet of snow on the ground, driving prices on new leases down.

Celebrate the new year in a new abode.

Boats

Jennifer Polland /Business Insider

Welcome to winter boat show season.

Grab your next pontoon or speedboat now before summer sets in.

NFL tickets

A good chunk of the teams will have poor records by now, and the drop in the demand could help you score cheap seats.

Premium tickets to Europe

Business travelers usually take up the bulk of these airlines tickets on flights overseas.

But during the holiday, more of them are staying home, leaving cheaper seats for everyone else.

RELATED: 9 secret ways to save money at Sam's Club

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9 secret ways to save money at Sam's Club
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The best month of the year to buy everything

1. Save Money on a Membership

Shoppers can purchase an annual membership for $45 or a Sam’s Plus membership for $100. The latter offers consumers $10 cash back for every $500 spent, extended warranty coverage and extra savings for travel, pharmacy and business services.

Before purchasing, look for a Sam’s Club membership deal on a daily deal site such as Groupon, said Mary Hoover, creator of the money-saving blog MissiontoSave.com. Typically, the membership price is the same with these offers, but they include Sam’s Club gift cards and coupons. However, consumers can sometimes find discounts on memberships along with the gift card and coupon offerings.

According to Regina Conway, a consumer expert with Slickdeals.net, Groupon recently offered a 10 percent discount on a $45 Sam’s Club membership. If you’re shopping for a membership, Conway recommends setting a “Deal Alert” on Slickdeals.net. You’ll receive an email notification when a deal matching your criteria becomes available.

Photo credit: gpointstudio/Shutterstock.com

2. Tap Into Military or Student Incentives

Sam’s Club regularly offers special incentives for military personnel as well as student memberships, Conway said. For example, active and former U.S. military members who renew or join by April 30 can get a $15 gift card with a basic membership purchase. Additionally, the Sam’s Club Collegiate Membership includes a $15 gift card incentive for new purchases and renewals.

Photo credit: iStock.com/vgajic

3. Get Free Samples and Products

Loyal Sam’s Club customers know they can score almost a full meal by shopping at times when food samples are offered. However, they might not realize that they can collect product samples as well. According to Maria Tiongco Ramos, creator of the money-saving blog ASavingsWOW.com, shoppers can get free product samples simply by scanning their membership cards at the “Freeosk” kiosks located in stores.

The samples sometimes contain coupons. In other cases, you can get free, full-sized products, such as personalized photo mugs or photo books.

Photo credit: Kzenon/Shutterstock.com

4. Take Advantage of Free Health Screenings

Throughout the year, Sam’s Club hosts several free health screening events for members and non-members at its stores with pharmacies. So far in 2016, the warehouse club has hosted three events — in January, February and March.

The screenings are valued at $150 and include blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose testing. You can get details about upcoming screenings at SamsClub.com, or in the store’s bi-monthly wellness magazine, Healthy Living Made Simple.

Photo credit: iStock.com/bluecinema

5. Get Free Prescription Drugs

Sam’s Club offers no-cost prescriptions for certain medications, a benefit that could add up to hundreds of dollars in savings per year, Ramos said. You have to be a Sam’s Plus member to get the five free prescriptions that the Sam’s Club pharmacy offers, however.

Additionally, members can save up to 8 percent on name-brand medications and 10 percent to 30 percent on qualifying prescriptions purchased without insurance coverage.

Photo credit: iStock.com/Yuri_Arcurs

6. Hunt Down Clearance Items

Sam’s Club has a tendency to clear out seasonal items and products that the retailer is not planning to restock. Said Conway, buying items on clearance is “a great way to save some cash.”

Clearance items can usually be found in the back of the store, Roe said. She recommends asking your store’s associates to find out when certain items will be marked down for clearance.

Photo credit: iStock.com/Juanmonino

7. Get Deals With 'Shocking Values' and Auctions

SamsClub.com and the Sam’s Club app both feature limited-time deals called “Shocking Values.” For example, a Blendtec Classic 475 Blender with a list price of $299 was recently marked down to $199.98 — the same product goes for $235 at Amazon.com.

Sam’s Club also holds online auctions, with the bidding price starting at $1 for most items. Recent auction items included a Fitbit fitness band, an LG 55-inch LED Smart HDTV and a Dell Chromebook. To keep track of new auctions and those that are closing soon, you can sign up for text alerts.

Photo credit: Dragon Images/Shutterstock.com

8. Save on Prescription Glasses

Sam’s Club offers members $40 off each additional pair of prescription eyeglasses purchased when you buy one pair at regular price from the optical center. The warehouse store also offers discounted sunglasses.

Additionally, Sam’s Plus members can get $50 off a regularly priced pair of glasses when they buy a one-year supply of contact lenses.

Photo credit: iStock.com/Dangubic

9. Buy Floor Models at a Discount

Sam’s Club will often sell display items such as furniture when it needs to make room for new inventory, according to Roe.

“One of my best finds at Sam’s Club was a dining room table that had been the display model,” she said. Roe saved more than 50 percent on the original price.

So, if you see something you like, always ask if you can buy the floor model.

Related: 20 Ways to Pay Less at Costco

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