The Best Stuff to Buy in May

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December may be known as the holiday season, but May could easily rival it. Mother’s Day, Memorial Day, high school and college graduations plus the beginning of grilling season all add up to make this a month full of fun events and a bunch of great deals, if you know where to look. Here is our roundup of stuff that is either in season or traditionally cheaper to buy this month. Make sure you consult this list before you go on any spontaneous spring shopping sprees.

Party Supplies

If you’re running low on plastic silverware, or just want to stock up in time for all the graduation parties and summer barbecues, then this is the month to do it. AOL Shopping reports that party supply stores tend to offer better deals on these goods now that summer is near, but will gradually ratchet up prices as we get further into the season.

Condiments

As long as you’re grabbing paper plates and party goods, you might also want to stock up on condiments. According to Forbes, retailers hope that consumers will want to buy enough of these goods to last the season, so there are usually “deep discounts” on condiments and salad dressings starting in mid-May and running through early June. But be careful, just because there are great deals on these goods doesn’t always mean you should buy them in bulk. As we’ve mentioned before, no human being should finish a huge tub of Mayo on their own, so make sure you can actually use all of this stuff before making that purchase.

Athletic Apparel and Shoes

Earlier this year, our friends at Consumer Reports decided to analyze “industry surveys and publications” to figure out when certain products are at their cheapest. One thing they found is that athletic apparel and shoes tend to be on sale in May. Consumer Reports doesn’t offer a reason why, but RealSimple.com has a theory: “As people emerge from their winter cocoons, retailers start offering discounts that will lure customers outdoors and shed their last-season inventories before the end of the summer.”

Cookware

According to MSN Money, there are two times every year when you can expect to find deals on cookware. One is around November in advance of the holiday season and the other is in April and May, just in time for the graduation and wedding season. So if you want to buy something other than plastic plates, you can do that this month too.

Vacuums

Not only is this spring cleaning time, but according to FreeShipping.org, new vacuums are released in June, which means older models go on sale around now. The only downside is that now you’ll have less of an excuse to have a dirty room.

Mattresses

There is some debate about whether there actually is a best time to buy a mattress. Several sites like Bankrate.com argue that mattresses are pretty much always in season, in the sense that retailers offer deals and promotions throughout the year. However, if there is one best time to buy, it seems to be in May. Kiplinger reports that new mattress models arrive this time of year, which leads to bigger discounts and promotions like free delivery.

One thing all these sites agree on is that, deal or no deal, you should never rush into buying a mattress. It is arguably the most important purchase you make… well, besides your first home and your first iPad.

DVD and Blu-Ray Players

If you’re like me, you’ll probably spend a lot of time during the next few months watching movies and waiting for the next TV season to start. So now may be a good time to upgrade your DVD or Blu-Ray player. AOL Shopping notes that new models are hitting shelves right now, which means last year’s models will go on sale.

Camping Gear

Camping season varies depending on where you live, but according to Consumer Reports’ analysis, camping gear is cheapest during this month in particular. Check out Overstock.com’s wonderfully comprehensive buying guide before you take advantage of these deals. And if you’re looking for a way to use that camping gear, check out our recent story on 10 cool outdoor getaways.

Fruits & Veggies

Now that the weather is warmer, there are plenty of delicious foods in season this month. Forbes notes that blackberries, blueberries and melons are all in season in May. But of course, if you’re looking for a balanced diet, then you’ll need some veggies too. Luckily, asparagus and potatoes are both in season now too.

Refrigerators

In general, spring is the best time to buy a refrigerator, as new models usually come out in the early summer. (And once you’ve bought it, you’ll want to read this story about how to keep your fridge from becoming germ-infested.)

Real Estate

As we mentioned in our roundup last month, the spring is also a great time to buy real estate since more houses are for sale. But if you’re looking for good deals on homes, you should probably wait until the colder months, when fewer people are going house hunting. Before you do search for the perfect place to live though, make sure you check our list of the best new house-hunting tools.

—For a comprehensive credit report, visit the BankingMyWay.com Credit Center.

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