What to Buy (and Avoid Buying) in July

by Paul Michael on 1 July 2014 4 comments

It feels like Easter was only a few weeks ago, and yet we're already halfway through the year. July is here, and with it some decent savings are also arriving. If you also have decent weather, you may get to enjoy many of your deals in the sunshine. Here's hoping. (See also: Shopping Calendar: The Best Time to Buy Anything)

First, What to Buy in July…

There's a big, big holiday at the start of the month. Independence Day will bring a bunch of savings to the websites and retail stores. Here's where you can expect to save some money this July.

Mattresses

For some reason, the usual Memorial Day sales are going to continue into Independence Day. That's good news if you didn't bag a cheap mattress in May. For instance, Sears is currently dropping the price of its mattresses by 60%, with additional savings when you finance and an extra 10% off mattresses over $599. Mattress Firm, Macy's, and other retail stores are also slashing prices. These are great deals that you definitely won't be losing any sleep over.

Patio Furniture

As always, the stores are ahead of us by a month or two. You are going to see some significant savings on patio furniture at the end of July. Target and Sears have already begun slashing the prices of umbrellas, tables, chairs, and hammocks by 25-60%. If you've you've been holding out for a deck box or a new patio set, now is the time to start looking. Remember, the discounts get bigger the closer we get to fall, but right now you have the pick of the litter. Later on, the deals are big, but the choice is small.

Grills

Some people haven't even fired up their grills yet, and they already going on sale in the stores. Don't expect amazing deals just yet, but you will see around 25% reductions on big name brands like Char-Broil, Weber, Coleman, Kenmore, and Brinkmann. While you shop for grills, don't forget grill accessories like covers, tools and floor mats. They are often discounted to get you looking in the grill aisle.

Back to School Items

Clothing. Supplies. Shoes. Backpacks. By the end of the month, you'll see a lot of these items heavily discounted from stores like Target, Walmart, Kohl's, JCPenney and Old Navy. Of course, once the kids are actually back in school, you'll see bigger reductions on things like backpacks and pencil cases. But don't let that stop you; there are great deals out there now.

Big Screen TVs (But There's a Catch)

Isn't every month a good month for a big screen TV these days? Well, yes and no. This month, you're not going to see a lot of deals on the big brand name sets from the likes of LG, Sony, and Philips. And if you're looking for something over 60", you can forget it. But if you're okay with lesser brands like Magnavox, RCA, Coby, Sanyo, Insignia, and TCL, you should find yourself some sweet savings. Just check out the reviews before you throw down any cash.

Laptops, Again

Will they be giving laptops away with cereal boxes soon? Well, maybe that's extreme, but the deals just keep on coming for laptops, and July is a great month to pick one up for a lot less money. You can get yourself an incredible system for less than $400 now, and if you up your budget to $600, expect 1080p widescreen displays, impressive speed, and bags of storage. Touchscreen systems will be discounted the most, but be warned. They're cheaper because they're not selling well, and that indicates that consumers aren't interested in a touchscreen laptop. This is not a tablet.

Tools and DIY Gear

June kissed goodbye to another Father's Day, and now retailers want to shift a lot of tools, paint, and other DIY supplies. You'll see a lot of Father's Day branded items at 70%-90% off, including a lot of dad-inspired clothing, cups, plates, and other goodies. The nice weather means people can do a lot of projects around the home, but are often tempted to sit by the pool and grill up BBQ instead. Great deals on DIY products may have you thinking a little different.

Vacations

This is not the month to take a vacation, but it is definitely the month to start planning one. You'll find good deals for late August and early September, and if you get in there now, you can save money and have better seats and hotel rooms. Of course, if you really want to save some cash, book a holiday at unexpected times and places. Vegas just after Christmas is a ghost town, and you will see massive reductions on high-end hotel rooms.

And, What to Avoid Buying…

July can also trip you up on so-called "deals" that are simply too good to be true, or not worth your time yet. Here is a list of the July landmines to avoid.

Air Conditioners and Swamp Coolers

The high heat brings high prices on cooling aids. You won't find many great deals out there on A/C systems, window air conditioners, and swamp coolers. If you are really short of cash but need some cooling down, use a few tactics to keep your home cooler:

  • Use window treatments that block out the sunlight.
     
  • Install a window fan to suck the hot air out during the day, and pull in cooler air at night.
     
  • And you could even repaint the home with a lighter, more reflective color to help keep things cool.

The Stripped Down Apple iMac

People complain about the price of Apple products, and most would agree that you get way more bang for your buck when you buy a competitor's brand. Apple must be feeling the pinch, because they've brought out a cheaper iMac. But Apple being Apple, they have stripped down some major features, including storage space and graphics capabilities. Don't bother with this one.

Swimwear

Although grills and patio furniture are going on sale, the swimwear for summer is not benefiting from the same "logic." People are only just starting to take the plunge in community pools, vacation spots, and water parks. Next month, you should see a sharp drop in prices as retailers make way for fall clothing. And you'll still have a few months of good weather to enjoy them.

Sunglasses

You know the score. High demand equals high price. Everyone's out and about in the sunshine, and they need eye protection. Wait a month or two and you'll find some great deals on cool shades. By the way, do you know which state leads America in sunglasses sales? According to a study by the P.E.O., it's Seattle. Perhaps they're always losing them because they rarely need them!

Do you have any purchase plans this month? Please share in comments!

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Guest's picture

Great article. I find it very interesting that now is a great time to buy laptops, but a bad time to buy desktops.

Guest's picture

Perfect! I have been planning on buying patio furniture for some time but really haven't had the time to go out and look. I always appreciate this list. It makes me feel more confident in purchasing choices and I am somebody who can't just drop a bunch of money on a whim.

Guest's picture
Alexa

Really useful article! I've always kept in mind that buying something when it's NOT seasonal can save a lot of money. Thinking this way in general is useful because it helps you plan your budget and save in the long run!

Guest's picture

My wife's been trying to get me to agree to buying a whole patio furniture love seat kinda thing. I've resolved to try to make one myself out of extra lumber we have after building a kids playset. I figure I can save about $500-$600 and have a nice conversation piece if I can find the spare time to design and build it!