Our month-by-month guide will help you know when you'll get the best deal on everything from electronics to wedding dresses.
Know when to buyTake the guesswork out of bargain hunting. Retailers offer deals around the same time every year. By planning your purchases accordingly each month you’ll be able to put the savings back in your pocket.
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January: Best month to buy
White sales: Hit stores and online to find the largest savings of the year on table linens, bedding and towels.
HDTVs: Watch for deep discounts just before the Super Bowl. Not in the budget now? They also go on sale in March and December.
Fitness equipment: Retailers are cashing in on New Year's resolutions—take advantage of huge price cuts to jump on a new treadmill or a set of light weights.
Holiday leftovers: Wrapping paper and ornaments are slashed by up to 75 percent—be ready for next year.
BARGAIN TIP: The bigger the chain, the bigger the savings. Department stores such as Macy's and JCPenney have been known to discount their linens up to 60 percent during white sales.
February: Best month to buyFragrances: Get your favorites for less during Valentine's Day promotions.
Electronics: New models of MP3 players, DVD players and digital cameras are announced at the annual International Consumer Electronics Show in January. Take advantage of this moment to grab last year's models at a huge discount.
Humidifiers: If you're suffering from a lingering cold or the drying effects of indoor heat, humidifiers are marked down this month and next.
BARGAIN TIP: Look for Presidents' Day sales! Compare and track discounts in your area at presidentsdaysales.com.
March: Best month to buy
A freezer full of meals: Look for a special coupon insert promoting Frozen Food Month in Sunday circulars, then stock up. Visit nfraweb.org for more details.
BARGAIN TIP: Whenever a new product is released, look for the old model on sale. Afraid you're buying second best? Ask the sales rep to explain the new model's upgrades—you may never need or use them anyway.
April: Best month to buy
Digital cameras: They go on sale again for families taking off for
Warm-weather clothes: Browse now for spring fashions as they begin
to move to sale racks this month. If you wear a common size, hit the stores early.
BARGAIN TIP: When buying online, try to get free shipping. Before you check out, visit freeshipping.org and search by store for coupons and codes.
May: Best month to buy
Picnic supplies, outdoor furniture and pantry staples: It's National Barbecue Month! Watch for discounts to get you eating outdoors.
Athletic apparel: Save on last year's sneakers before next season's models roll in.
BARGAIN TIP: In the market for a big-ticket item? Some stores, such as Sears, have reinstated interest-free layaway policies. So if you want it, buy now and pay later!
June: Best month to buy
Swimsuits and summer wear: Cash in as prices drop.
Lingerie: Look for the semi-annual sale at Victoria's Secret.
Dairy days: It's Dairy Month—time to serve up milk shakes, sundaes and cheese platters. Get details at nationaldairycouncil.org and plan a school's-out ice cream social on the cheap!
BARGAIN TIP: You've spotted a sale item with an unbeatable price, but the store's across town. Find out if your preferred store has an ad match policy and will match any local price (such as Walmart does).
July: Best month to buy
Furniture: Deals abound as stores make room for new lines, according to the American Home Furnishings Alliance.
Month-to-month gym memberships: Negotiate now, as health clubs try to keep up quotas throughout the summer.
BARGAIN TIP: Take a break from bargain hunting and let someone else do the work. Probargainhunter.com lists deals and coupons, and posts news about discounts.
August: Best month to buy
Air conditioners, lawn mowers and yard equipment: As the heat index drops, prices do, too, so stores can clear shelves for incoming fall items.
BARGAIN TIP: Look for back-to-school sales! Buy basics like pencils and paper in advance, but wait to purchase pricier items until teachers send out their list of required supplies.
September: Best month to buy
Cars: As new models hit the showroom floor, older vehicles are the ones to buy. Before you shop, visit edmunds.com to find out the market value of different types of cars.
Perennials, shrubs and trees: Keep your thumb green for less during fall. According to Consumer Reports, prices on greenery at this time of year can't be beat.
Bikes: Reduce your carbon footprint with a new two-wheeler. Deals on bikes begin now and continue through autumn.
BARGAIN TIP: Look for Labor Day sales! Also, before you finish a purchase online, visit retailmenot.com, a free coupon Web site that publishes coupon codes for more than 20,000 online retailers.
October: Best month to buy
Grills: Prices drop as dinner moves indoors.
Auto supplies: It's Fall Car Care Month—you'll see discounts on tires and car supplies.
Winter gear: Take advantage of early discounts on coats, hats and scarves.
BARGAIN TIP: Look for Columbus Day sales! Also, know your discount lingo. A "sale" item can return to full price; "clearance" is the lowest it will go and is often a final sale—no refunds.
November: Best month to buy
Stereos, TVs and clothing: These and other major items can be found for a steal on Black Friday. Get a head start on bargain hunting at bfads.net, which has Black Friday circulars from most major retailers.
Wedding dresses: Look for a gown between now and Christmas, when boutiques are empty and clearing out inventory. Salespeople are hungry!
BARGAIN TIP: Look for Black Friday sales! Not up for the post-turkey stampede? Take advantage of Cyber Monday, three days later. Finish up your holiday shopping online—in your jammies. Visit cybermonday.com for more info.
December: Best month to buy
Toys, electronics and more: 'Tis the season to save.
New-model cars: Dealerships want to meet year-end goals—haggle.
BARGAIN TIP: Look for pre- and post-Christmas sales! Note price adjustment policies. At Target, if you buy something (excluding clearance items) that costs less the following week, you'll get the difference back.