bbq grills en-US The Best and Worst Things to Buy in August <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-best-and-worst-things-to-buy-in-august" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="school supplies" title="school supplies" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>While efficient bargain shopping is often dictated by the economic tide, many merchants faithfully follow certain annual sale trends. Better understanding of these trends means a steady stream of savings for consumers.</p> <p>So, at dealnews, we've mined our extensive archives of sales, coupons, and individual products from the past few summers to find patterns that can guide your buying experience in August. Here's what we found. (See also: Shopping Calendar: <a href="">The Best Time to Buy Anything</a>)</p> <h3>Back to School Shopping Heats Up</h3> <p>According to our deals from last year, August is the best summer month to get discounts on <a href="">back-to-school items</a>. Numerous deals that we saw in July will continue in August, with most offering even deeper discounts. For example, college-friendly apparel retailers like <a href="">Aeropostale</a> and <a href="">Abercrombie &amp; Fitch</a> offered their best sale of the year (up until that point) during the month of August, and we expect to see similar trends in 2012.</p> <p>Also keep an eye out for <a href="">dorm furniture</a> from retailers like <a href="">Walmart</a> &mdash; which offered futons for as low as $89 last year, as well as computer desks for $34 &mdash; and special sales on backpacks and computer cases for under $10. As for back-to-school laptops, consider taking advantage of special promotions that bundle your purchase with gift cards, gaming consoles, and printers.</p> <h3>Carnival Cruises Come in at Fantastic Prices</h3> <p>Savvy shoppers looking to book a vacation would do well to consider a cruise, specifically one from Carnival Cruises. We have consistently seen from Carnival some of the lowest prices possible on tropical routes to locations like the Caribbean. In fact, <a href="">41% of cruise deals this year have been from Carnival</a>. If you're browsing for a cruise, you'd do well to start with the provider that <a href="">caters to travelers looking for a party-like atmosphere</a>.</p> <h3>Summer Apparel on Clearance</h3> <p>As we near the end of the summer season, retailers will begin to get even more aggressive with their <a href="">clothing discounts</a> as they try to make room for autumn apparel. In fact, in the final days of July, we saw numerous Editors' Choice deals trickle in that offered enormous stacking coupons that took an extra 30% to 50% off already-discounted sale items. We expect to see much of the same in August; last year, <a href="">Eddie Bauer</a>, <a href="">Converse</a>, <a href="">French Connection</a>, <a href="">Dickies</a>, <a href="">Patagonia</a>, <a href="">Nautica</a>, <a href="">Kenneth Cole</a>, and <a href="">Old Navy</a> offered among the best sales of the month.</p> <h3>Last Chance for Swimwear</h3> <p>Although you can lump this into the general summer apparel category, it's important to note that after August, you'll be hard-pressed to find any <a href="">swimwear deals</a>. For the past two years, the number of swim sales have significantly decreased come September, suggesting that most stores do a good job of clearing their inventory in August. Look for sales that take up to 70% off or more from retailers like<a href="">Victoria's Secret</a>, <a href="">Lands' End</a>, and <a href="">Kohl's</a>.</p> <h3>Wait Until September or October for Patio Sets</h3> <p>We mentioned last month that although you will see many sales for summer patio furniture, a savvy shopper would benefit by waiting until September or October for the best deals. Several <a href="">patio sets and gardening items</a> from <a href="">Sears</a>, Amazon, and other merchants hit their lowest prices in October, as they were available for significantly less than we had seen them at over the summer.</p> <h3>Hold Off on the Kindle Fire</h3> <p>There are rumors that <a href="">Amazon</a> will be releasing the <a href="">Kindle Fire 2</a> in the coming weeks. This means that it's not a smart time to buy the current Fire tablet. As we postulated earlier this month, Amazon will likely debut the updated Fire for $199, to remain competitive with the new Google Nexus 7, but keep the original around at a lower price. We predict <a href="">it will drop to at least $169</a>, if not lower.</p> <h3>Wait for Discounts on Older iPhones</h3> <p>Speaking of rumored tech releases, here's another to keep in mind: Supposedly, <a href="">Apple is releasing the iPhone 5</a> in late September or early October. If you're an <a href="">Apple fan</a> that always needs the latest and greatest, you'll want to hold off on an iPhone purchase for the time being. But even those who don't mind an older model should hold tight; after the last update to the <a href="">iPhone 4S</a>, Apple kept its 3GS and 4 around at reduced prices. This time around, the now-free 3GS will probably be discontinued, but it's very likely that the 4 and 4S will stick around and see newly-reduced starting prices.</p> <h3>iPhone Dock Accessories Provide Good Deals for Some, Bad Ones for Others</h3> <p>If you are in fact considering buying the iPhone 5, you'll want to hold off on buying any new dock accessories as well. Although in the past these have generally been universal use across iPhone models, the newest Apple smartphone is rumored to have a <a href="">smaller, 19-pin dock connector</a>. Although Apple will likely sell an adapter, you can bet it won't be cheap. Plus, there's a possibility that <a href="">other brands will be forced to buy a chip from Apple</a> in order to make their own accessories and adapters compatible, so who knows if stores like <a href="">Meritline</a> will have the typical uber-cheap alternatives?</p> <p>If you have no interest in upgrading to the iPhone 5 though, and you're content with your older model (or if you plan to buy one of them at the aforementioned lower prices), then the coming months will actually be a great time to take advantage of retailers that are trying to clear out their stock of soon-to-be-outdated accessories.</p> <h3>Grill Deals Are Red Hot in August</h3> <p>If you've waited patiently to buy a grill this year, you may be rewarded with a much larger pool of deals to choose from. The number of <a href="">grill deals</a> we saw last year in August was 30% higher than that of July, suggesting that retailers begin taking more widespread cuts this month. Look to vendors like <a href="">hhgregg</a>, <a href="">Ace Hardware</a>, <a href="">Home Depot</a>, <a href="">Lowe's</a>, Sears, and Walmart for sales and discounts.</p> <h3>46&quot; HDTVs Remain at All-Time Lows, 3D Shows Some Promise</h3> <p>The final weeks of summer generally don't see many notable <a href="">HDTV sales</a>. However, if you're shopping for a new HDTV this August, there are two categories you can't afford to miss. First, <a href="">name-brand 46&quot; 1080p LCD HDTVs</a> are at an all-time low. In July we saw a 46&quot; Samsung hit $449. That's a $51 drop from June's best deal for a TV this size and the least-expensive 46&quot; name-brand TV we've ever seen. Shoppers should look for deals at or below $449.</p> <p>Likewise, <a href="">55&quot; 3D HDTVs</a> also experienced a price dip in July, dropping to $999 (a price we hadn't seen since Black Friday 2011). As a result we recommend TV shoppers look at 55&quot; 3D LCD HDTVs at or below $999.</p> <h3>Take Advantage of Back to School Laptop Bundles</h3> <p>Even if you're not going to college, your chances of scoring a <a href="">laptop bundle</a> in August are pretty high. While some deals may require a valid .edu email, others (such as deals from newegg, <a href="">OfficeMax</a>, and the <a href="">Sony Store</a>) do not require any credentials. Keep your eye on laptop and console bundles as well as laptop and printer bundles. These deals will stretch your dollar further and get you two products for the price of one. If you prefer an individual laptop, Ivy Bridge-based systems hit a new low in July ($548), so we recommend looking at 14&quot; to 16&quot; Ivy Bridge systems from Lenovo, Dell, and HP in that price range.</p> <p>As far as standalone notebooks go, Sandy Bridge-based desktop replacements deals have been stagnant for the last two months (with prices at $800), so we wouldn't be surprised if these systems took a slight dip in August in preparation for back to school sales. And lastly, Apple's <a href="">MacBook Air</a> (Sandy Bridge model) has seen some aggressive discounts this summer. If you don't mind having last year's model, look for prices on the 11&quot; MacBook Air 2011 model starting at $740. If you've had your eyes on the <a href="">new Retina MacBook Pro</a>, deals on that machine have hit as low as $1,999, though they typically sell out fast, so jump on the first Retina deal you see.</p> <p>Set up an <a href="">email alert</a> with dealnews now to keep abreast of any and all of these best buys in August. And for more price trend information, check out our <a href="">consumer shopping research page</a>.</p> <p><em>This is a guest post by </em><a href=""><em>Dealnews</em></a><em>.</em></p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> What sale trends will help you save money this month? Read through for the best and worst things to buy in August. </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Dealnews</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Shopping back to school bbq grills laptops summer clearance tvs Thu, 02 Aug 2012 10:24:55 +0000 Dealnews 947339 at The Best and Worst Things to Buy in July 2012 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-best-and-worst-things-to-buy-in-july-2012" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="fireworks" title="fireworks" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The dealnews staff published more than 6,000 deals last July, which we've analyzed so that we can offer our readers a bit of advice while planning purchases this month. And it's a particularly important month to do so, since a number of sales will appear to be better than they are. So in order to protect your wallet and spend your money wisely, be sure to read through our July buying guide below for everything you need to know to shop smart this month. (See also: <a href="">Shopping Calendar: The Best Time to Buy Anything</a>)</p> <h3>Black Friday in July</h3> <p>Beginning in July, we start to see Black Friday-labeled sales. While this trend appeared to have lessened in 2011, as compared to 2010, there were still a few offenders. <a href="">Target</a> once again offered its &quot;Back in Black Friday&quot; sale in the middle of July, with other retailers following suit later in the summer. While enticing, be leery of the labeling; few of these Black Friday sales actually feature the rock-bottom pricing consumers come to expect from the &quot;darkest&quot; of shopping days.</p> <h3>A Few Choice Sales Bursting With Savings on the 4th</h3> <p>During <a href="">Independence Day weekend</a> last year, some vendors like <a href="">Saks Fifth Avenue</a> and <a href="">bebe</a> offered their best sales of the year so far, while most stores (like <a href="">Macy's</a>) mainly peddled middle of the road discounts. As usual, a discount is still money saved, but don't be tricked into thinking these are fleeting offers; many will reappear, or could potentially get better if you carefully keep an eye out for a <a href="">coupon</a>.</p> <h3>First Chance for Sizable Sandal Sales Mid-Season</h3> <p>As per usual with seasonal <a href="">apparel items</a>, the longer you wait this summer to buy sandals, the better the price you're likely to get. However, mid to late July is when we start to see some notable discounts on <a href="">footwear</a>. Look for flip flops for under $5 and sales on popular brands like <a href="">Steve Madden</a>, <a href="">Polo Ralph Lauren</a>, <a href="">Crocs</a>, and <a href="">Teva</a>.</p> <h3>Mixed Messages on Sunglasses</h3> <p>Many people crave a new pair of <a href="">sunglasses</a> in the middle of summer, but according to our deals last year, the best storewide sales (from retailers like <a href="">Sunglass Hut</a> and <a href="">6pm</a>) popped up in September, November, and December. That said, as far as individual shades styles go, we fairly consistently see Editors' Choice deals from <a href="">Oakley</a> and <a href="">Ray-Ban</a> throughout the year. So, if you're not picky about the style and you just want a great price on one of these top two sunglasses brands, set up an <a href="">email alert</a> and wait for an Editors' Choice deal to roll in at any time.</p> <h3>Grill Deals Slowly Sizzle</h3> <p>Post Independence Day sales at department and hardware stores tend to discount summer-friendly purchases, like <a href="">grills</a>. However, if you can wait until August, you will likely see a greater selection of appealingly priced options; there were 30% more deals in August of last year than there were for July. That said, June this year already saw a greater number of grill deals compared to last year, and hopefully that trend will continue throughout July and into August.</p> <h3>Wait Until September or October for Patio Sets</h3> <p>We saw a large spike in <a href="">patio and garden items</a> in September of last year, but October brought the best markdowns. Several patio sets and gardening items from <a href="">Sears</a>, <a href="">Amazon</a>, and other merchants hit their lowest prices in October, as they were available for significantly less than we had seen them at over the summer. If you can wait to replace your existing patio set, cooler months will offer better deals on outdoor goods than July.</p> <h3>Digital SLRs Are Trending Hot</h3> <p>Typically, we see a huge spike in the number of Editors' Choice <a href="">DSLR camera deals</a> during November and December, as well as new markdowns on old models once new cameras are released in the first quarter of the year. But lately we've been seeing a surprising number of all-time low deals on consumer DSLRs. For example, May saw more than twice the number of Editors' Choice deals, and June has continued to pump out a slightly above-average number for this time of year. <a href="">Digital cameras</a> are a good category to keep an eye on for belated graduation gifts.</p> <h3>A Month to Tinker With Tool Deals</h3> <p>Does your arsenal of DIY tools need a few new items? Or do you need to tend to repairs while the weather is warm and relatively manageable &mdash; heat excluded? July happens to be one of the best months of the year for top-shelf <a href="">tool deals</a>, matched only by November and December. Look for sales on tools sets, accessories, and tool storage units.</p> <h3>Retina Display Takes the Spotlight, But the MacBook Air Brings the Deals</h3> <p>Throughout the month of June, no laptop received as much media attention as Apple's new <a href="">MacBook Pro Retina</a>. And while we did see one deal shave $105 off the Retina's list price, chances are any deals we see in July will be modest. But fear not Apple fans, for July is bound to ring in an abundance of <a href="">laptop deals</a> on Apple's much-loved <a href="">MacBook Air</a>. We've already seen Sandy Bridge-based MacBook Airs hit new lows with prices starting at $740. So if you don't mind having a generation-old MacBook Air (which is still just one year old!), July is your month to buy.</p> <p>On the Windows front, <a href="">Ivy Bridge-based systems</a> will continue to see new lows as 15&quot; Ivy Bridge systems continue to flirt with the $600 mark (as they did in late June). So $600 is the price to beat if you want an Ivy Bridge Windows machine. Meanwhile, desktop replacements continue their plateau at $800, so any deals you see under that price will offer the most savings.</p> <h3>46&quot; HDTVs Are the Ones to Watch</h3> <p>HDTV prices have generally remained the same for the past few months and we predict we'll see little to no price differences in <a href="">TV deals</a> throughout July. However, not all news is bleak. Last month we mentioned brand-name <a href="">46&quot; HDTVs</a> hit new lows, and we expect those lows to remain through July. So if you're in the market for a new HDTV, we recommend looking at 46&quot; to 47&quot; brand-name models and to look for prices in the $500 range. Anything at or below $490 is an all-time low for this category.</p> <p>Set up an <a href="">email alert</a> now to keep abreast of any and all of these best buys in July. And for more price trend information, check out the <a href="">consumer shopping research page</a> at dealnews.</p> <p><em>This is a guest post by <a href="">Dealnews</a>.</em></p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Potect your wallet and spend your money wisely in July! Read through for the best and worst things to buy this month. </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Dealnews</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Shopping bbq grills black friday electronics sales Wed, 04 Jul 2012 10:24:17 +0000 Dealnews 938262 at How to Buy a BBQ Grill <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-buy-a-bbq-grill" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>This is a guest buying guide written by the editors of</em></p> <p>For many Americans, a summer night just isn&rsquo;t complete without a nice cut of meat sizzling on the grill. Grillers spend thousands on models made entirely of stainless steel or built into customized outdoor kitchens. But a cheap grill is all you need to bring the delectable scent of barbecue to your backyard. The first decision to make is whether to go with gas or charcoal.</p> <h2>What Is a Gas Grill?</h2> <p>Gas grills are convenient because they fire up more quickly and give you more control over cooking temperature than charcoal grills. They are easy to use, and cleanup is a simple matter of switching off the burner and brushing off the grate. However, you won&rsquo;t get the flavor you would from a charcoal grill.</p> <h2>What Is a Charcoal Grill?</h2> <p>Charcoal grills deliver the smoky, char-grilled flavor associated with a meal prepared outdoors. They tend to cost less up front, but buying bags of briquettes can add up more quickly than refilling a propane tank. Charcoal grills also take longer to heat up and the temperature is harder to control, even with adjustable grates.</p> <h2>Grill Features That Matter</h2> <p>No matter which type of grill you prefer, keep an eye out for a couple of key features.</p> <p><strong>Grate Composition</strong></p> <p>Experts recommend cast-iron grates because they heat quickly and evenly and last a long time. Another thing to look for is a porcelain coating to keep food from sticking. While porcelain-coated cast iron is ideal, it&rsquo;s a rare find amongst budget grills and especially in a <a href="">cheap gas grill</a>. Cast-iron grates can also be oiled to prevent sticking.</p> <p><strong>Cooking Surface</strong></p> <p>The size of your outdoor space will help determine the size of the grill you buy. Charcoal grills tend to be smaller than gas grills, making them better suited to, say, an apartment with a small balcony. Either way, the cooking surface should be large enough to meet your family&rsquo;s needs. The cooking surfaces on both gas and charcoal grills generally fall between 200 and 700 square inches. Keep in mind that manufacturers often include extras such as a warming rack in the total surface area.</p> <h2>Grill Features That Are Just Hype</h2> <p>When shopping for a grill, look for quality and durability &mdash; cast-iron grates, for instance &mdash; rather than extra features you might not use very often.</p> <p><strong>Rotisserie</strong></p> <p>One feature that gets more and more common as grills go up in price is a rotisserie burner. But unless you plan to cook a lot of large roasts and whole chickens, you won&rsquo;t need it. You can always pick up a rotisserie kit later if you find yourself cooking for large groups or feeling more adventurous.</p> <h2>Grill Special Features</h2> <p>If you&rsquo;re thinking about a cheap charcoal grill, here&rsquo;s one feature you might not want to skimp on.</p> <p><strong>Cleaning System</strong></p> <p>Charcoal grills can get messy, so a little help with cleanup goes a long way. Look for an ash-collection pan or even a more elaborate cleaning system such as the Weber One-Touch, which drops ashes into a removable catcher with the flick of a switch.</p> <h2>Best Time to Buy</h2> <p>Naturally, the best time to shop for grills is in the off-season, from fall through winter. When the temperature goes down, so does demand &mdash; and price.</p> <p>See our shopping calendar for more tips on the <a href="">best time to buy anything</a> and our other buying guides.</p> <h2>Recommended Grills</h2> <p>Here are two grills that stand out for their features and value.</p> <p><strong>Best Value Grill</strong></p> <p><strong><a href="">Char-Griller Wrangler 2123</a></strong>: For $99, this charcoal grill offers cast-iron grates, adjustable grate height so you can control the heat, and a warming rack, which you don&rsquo;t often see on a charcoal model. It also features 435 square inches of cooking surface, a lot for a charcoal grill. A hinged door and removable ash pan make it easy to add more charcoal and clean up after cooking.</p> <p><strong>Best Special Features Grill</strong></p> <p><strong><a href="">Char-Griller Grillin&rsquo; Pro 4001</a></strong>: This gas grill starts at $199 yet boasts porcelain-coated, cast-iron grates, which are usually found on far more expensive models. The grill&rsquo;s four-burner primary cooking surface measures 580 square inches; the total surface area is a whopping 834 square inches, including a side burner and warming rack. Throw in some utensil hooks, and you&rsquo;ve got far more features than you&rsquo;d usually find at this price without sacrificing quality.</p> <p><em>This buying guide comes courtesy of the team at <a href="">Cheapism</a>, which researches the best available products in the budget price range. For more information, check out Cheapism&rsquo;s in-depth guide to buying a <a href="">cheap grill</a>.</em></p> <SCRIPT charset="utf-8" type="text/javascript" src=""> </SCRIPT> <NOSCRIPT><A HREF=""> Widgets</A></NOSCRIPT><a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="How to Buy a BBQ Grill" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Brooke Kaelin</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="">Shopping articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Shopping bbq grills buying guide Fri, 03 Jun 2011 10:24:17 +0000 Brooke Kaelin 559728 at