The 8 Best Things to Buy in May

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Gene J. Puskar/APAppliances, and refrigerators in particular, see a drop in prices during the Memorial Day holiday weekend.
The two primary holidays in May -- Mother's Day and Memorial Day -- prompt many of the bargain buys for this month. Other factors include the change in season and manufacturers rolling out new products. If you're in the market for any of the following goods, now's the time to pounce.

Mattresses. Mattresses may seem a strange "best buy" for the month of May, but it kind of makes sense. The summer months see a lot of traveling, which may entail visitors to your home who are looking for a comfy place to sleep. It's also a prime month for spring cleaning and general "house rejuvenation." Look for discounts of up to 70 percent off at mattress retailers. You can sweeten the bargain by pairing in-store specials with coupons or deal websites such as Groupon or Living Social.

Apparel. With changing seasons comes changing store displays, especially where fashion is concerned. "You'll find deals at the department stores like Macy's and Kohls," says Phong Vu, CEO of DealScience.com, a platform that helps consumers shop more intelligently. "Specialty retailers like Gap will have coupon codes on top of already reduced prices. Look for 40 percent off at Gap during Memorial Day weekend. Ann Taylor and Express have also traditionally had sales during the Memorial Day weekend with discounts up to 40 percent."

Refrigerators. Memorial Day makes for some major bargains across the board. Appliances, and refrigerators in particular, see a drop in prices during the holiday weekend. That's partly because of the sales, and partly because manufacturers release new refrigerator models during May. The two forces coming together means you'll find discounts as high as 80 percent, especially if you're shopping last year's inventory.

Camping and Outdoor Gear. "The beginning of summer is also the beginning of camping season for most of the country," notes Vu. "Historically, DealScience.com has seen an increase in discounts for these items at Sears and Walmart. In addition, REI and Dick's Sporting goods will have discounts up to 25 to 40 percent off camping gear."

Health and Beauty. From sunscreen to perfume to creams, May is the best time to buy all of the above. Your best bet is to seek out coupons that are available both online and in inserts or newspapers. Also, don't forget to check out social media pages for discounts of up to 25 percent off, especially around Memorial Day weekend. In the past, stores such as Ulta, Target, Bath & Body Works and Sally Beauty Supply have offered such coupons.

Jewelry. After the Mother's Day jewelry buying frenzy, retailers put themselves into recovery mode. This entails getting rid of excess Mother's Day inventory. Offers.com says that shoppers can expect to save up to 70 percent off fine jewelry as long as they wait until after Mother's Day. Your best bet is to get there in the days and week or two after.

Patio furniture. "Consumers tend to replace patio furniture at the beginning or end of the outdoor season," explains Vu. "While our data suggests the best time to buy these items is at the end of summer during clearance events, there should be plenty of deals on outdoor furniture in May." He says that stores such as Sears, Walmart and Target will feature nice discounts on patio furniture in the week ahead of Memorial Day, and that markdowns will range from 10 to 35 percent off retail.

Caribbean Vacations. Because the month of May is considered the "middle of the Caribbean's shoulder season, or the period of time between a peak and lull in tourist traffic," prices are at their lowest. Not only will you find discounts on cruises and transportation, accommodations are also very cheap. Expect deals ranging from 50 to 65 percent off, says Offers.com.
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