Is one of your New Year’s resolutions to save money and smarten up your spending habits? If so, understanding the retail sales calendar is one of the best things you can do to save money all year long.
Retail sales coincide with holidays, and the biggest shopping days of the year are Memorial Day, Labor Day, and Black Friday. Use this handy guide to help plan big purchases in advance and learn ways to save on all sorts of stuff.
January is a great time to buy just about anything. Consumers are less inclined to spend money post-holiday, so retailers do everything they can to draw you in with mega clearance sales. Semi-annual sales are most popular during the months of January and July.
A new year indicates a new start, new sales, and new deals to be had! Items that go on sale in January include:
- Bedding and linens. Department stores and other retailers often host “white sales” this month. You’ll find deeply discounted towels, sheets, comforters, and other bedding items.
- Fitness equipment. Retailers want to capitalize on your New Year’s resolution to get in shape and mark down exercise machines, weights, and workout clothes.
- Shampoo and conditioner. Stock up on jumbo-sized bottles of salon brand shampoo and conditioner during ULTA’s Jumbo Love Liter Sale in January. No coupon necessary!
- Semi-annual sales. Retailers like Macy’s, Bath & Body Works, Victoria’s Secret, Williams-Sonoma, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Yankee Candle host huge semi-annual sales during the month of January. Target’s semi-annual toy sale is also this month.
- Kitchen and bathroom upgrades. Home Depot’s annual Kitchen & Bath Event runs from mid-January to mid-March. If you want to revamp these spaces in your home, this is the time to do it. You could save up to 40% on fixtures, finishes, and other relevant products.
Even though you might be thinking about showering the ones you love with flowers, chocolates, and other goodies for Valentine’s Day, it might actually be a better time to shower yourself with some love! Here’s what goes on sale in February:
- TVs and electronics. In the spirit of a certain Sunday night football game, big box stores often put TVs, sound systems, and other electronic equipment on sale in the weeks leading up to the main event. February is one of the best times of year to buy a new TV, with the exception of Black Friday.
- Winter wear. As retailers receive new shipments of spring merchandise, they slash prices on winter apparel, boots, and other cold-weather items to make room on the sales floor. Such is the case at sports outfitters like REI.
- Home goods. You can count on retailers to offer great deals on home goods over Presidents Day and the preceding weekend.
- Nike Friends & Family Sale. Pro tip: Download the Nike app to access a special coupon and save an extra 30% during Nike’s Friends & Family Sale.
Although there aren’t any major shopping holidays in March, that doesn’t mean there aren’t any opportunities to save. Get ready for summer — and save big! — before spring gets here.
- Grilling equipment. In the market for a new grill? Prices spike the closer you get to summer, so get your grilling goods in March to avoid paying more than necessary.
- Golfing equipment. Need a new set of clubs? Get your golf gear now before retailers jack up prices for Father’s Day.
- Tax software. It might not be the most exciting purchase, but if you prepare your taxes yourself, you can usually save on tax software in March. Retailers like to discount tax items in March before Tax Day in April.
- Beauty and personal care products. ULTA hosts their 21 Days of Beauty Sale throughout the month of March, where one item is offered for up to 50% off for one day only, and new items are featured every day for 21 days.
- Gap Friends & Family Event. Savvy shoppers can save up to 40% on everything in stores during Gap’s Friends & Family Event in March.
Spring is here, and with it comes plenty of ways to save:
- Vacuums. Not in the mood to spring clean your home? Perhaps a majorly marked down vacuum cleaner could change your mind. Look for sales online, in stores, and directly from manufacturers.
- Jewelry. Take note: the worst time to buy jewelry is right before big holidays like Mother’s Day and Christmas. However, April is the best time to buy jewelry, when stores are slow and retailers are looking to get rid of inventory.
- Beauty and personal care products. Members of Sephora’s Beauty Insider program, which is free to join, can save 10% during the makeup retailer’s semi-annual sale in April. VIBs (customers who spend more than $350 a year at Sephora) can save 15%.
- Macy’s Friends & Family Sale. Save on regular and sale items during Macy’s twice-annual Friends & Family event.
- Target Car Seat Trade-In. Trade in your old car seat or booster seat, and Target will give you a 20% off coupon for a new one.
- Easter candy. The day after Easter, expect to see marked-down candy, décor, and more.
- Many retailers and restaurants offer Tax Day freebies, discounts, and other offers.
Any month with a shopping holiday like Memorial Day is a great time to snag a few deals. So, what can you expect in May?
- Spring apparel. All that warm-weather clothing that went on the racks while it was still cold outside is still hanging there, and retailers want to get it moving. Come May, savvy shoppers can save big on spring clothing.
- Furniture. Memorial Day and Labor Day are two of the best times of year to buy furniture. If you’re in the market for new furniture or home décor, you can take advantage of some serious savings. Don’t be afraid to negotiate on sticker price or offer a bundle price for multiple items, either. Many retailers are happy to grant you a good deal if you buy a bunch of things at once.
- Small kitchen appliances. Things like coffee makers, blenders, toasters, and other small kitchen wares usually go on sale over Memorial Day. Equip your kitchen with some new gadgets, or stock up on gifts for all those weddings you’ll be attending later this year.
June marks graduations, Father’s Day, and the start of wedding season. While you’re scoring deals on gifts for other people, don’t forget about yourself! Here’s what on sale this month:
- Gym memberships. Gyms are usually slower in the summer and eager for new members. If you want to work on your beach body, sign up and save with a special promo offer.
- Semi-annual sales. Stores like Nordstrom, Victoria’s Secret, The Body Shop, Williams-Sonoma, Yankee Candle, and Bath & Body Works host their infamous semi-annual sales during the month of June.
- Father’s Day gifts. There’s something to be said for waiting until the last minute! Get good deals on gifts for the dad in your life the closer you get to Father’s Day.
Summer might be slowing down, but retailers are ramping up for Christmas in July sales. Remember the semi-annual sales that abounded in January? They’re back this month.
- Summer clothing. Can’t wait for the end-of-summer sales? You don’t have to! Shop now for better deals than you’d get at the start of the season.
- Swimwear. By the time summer is over, on-sale swimwear has been picked over and it’s hard to find your size. But in July, you can usually snag a pretty good bargain since swimwear has been on the floor for a few months.
- Bicycles. Dick’s Sporting Goods offers great discounts on bicycles and cycling gear over the Fourth of July weekend.
- Shampoo and conditioner. If you missed out on ULTA’s Jumbo Love Liter Sale in January, you’ve got another shot to save in July when the sale returns.
- School supplies. Target, Walmart, Staples, Office Depot, and other retailers offer back-to-school sales on all sorts of school supplies in July.
- Amazon Prime Day. Prime Day usually falls mid-July. Expect deals in every nearly every category!
- Christmas in July sales. In an effort to compete with Prime Day, retailers like Macy’s, JCPenney, Best Buy, and Kohl’s usually offer huge doorbuster savings on home goods, small appliances, and electronics.
- Semi-annual sales. Macy’s and Bath & Body Works have semi-annual sales, Target has its semi-annual toy sale, and Nike’s Friends & Family Sale is this month.
School is almost (or already!) back in session. Here’s where you can save during the month of August:
- School supplies. The longer you wait to shop for school supplies, the more you’ll save on everything from pencils to pricey laptops.
- Outdoor products. It may not feel like it now, but cooler weather is on the horizon. Seasonal outdoor equipment — everything from lawnmowers to patio furniture — goes on sale this month.
Labor Day weekend is a huge shopping holiday for retailers. If you’re in the market for a big-ticket item, such as a new mattress or kitchen appliance, September is a fantastic time to buy it.
- Mattresses. September — Labor Day weekend, specifically — is the best time of year to buy a mattress. Imagine how much better you’ll sleep knowing you got an incredible deal!
- Appliances. Labor Day weekend is a great time to upgrade appliances large and small.
- iPhones. Apple announces the newest iPhone models at the company’s annual keynote in September, which is usually followed by a price drop for old models.
- Semi-annual sales. Bed Bath & Beyond’s semi-annual sale and ULTA’s 21 Days of Beauty are back this month.
- Target Car Seat Trade-In. Target’s semi-annual car seat trade-in event returns in September.
Temperatures are finally starting to cool off, but the deals this month are warming up!
- Outdoor furniture. The colder it gets, the harder it is for retailers to sell outdoor furniture. Look for deals on patio furniture and other outdoor living products this month.
- Fall clothing. Back-to-school shopping dies down come October, which makes it a great time to stock up and save money on all that fall clothing (jeans, in particular) that has been sitting on shelves for the past few months.
- Candy. No surprise here! Halloween is fast approaching, which means you can stock up on discounted bags of candy for trick-or-treaters.
- Cars. Car dealerships have sales quotas, which usually break down into monthly, quarterly, and yearly sales goals. All three goals converge at the end of the year, giving you a better chance to get a great deal on a new car.
November marks Thanksgiving, which means Black Friday and, in recent years, Cyber Monday — some of the biggest retail days of the year! If you’re in the market for a big-ticket item, November is the month to get it.
- Electronics. Smart shoppers can save BIG on tech this month. Laptops, tablets, gaming systems, smartphones, and activity trackers are major Black Friday draws, and you can usually score a great discount.
- Home appliances. Planning a major home appliance purchase this year? Black Friday and November, in general, is a good time to buy a new refrigerator, dishwasher, washer, dryer, etc.
- Tools. Got home improvement projects lined up? If you’re not afraid to do it yourself, you can save big on tools, storage, ladders, and other home improvement equipment this month.
- Boots. Kohl’s hosts an annual boot sale every November, where shoppers can save as much as 70% on a new pair of boots.
- Artificial Christmas trees. Michael’s offers as much as 60% off of artificial Christmas trees the week before Thanksgiving.
- Semi-annual sales. Sephora’s Beauty Insiders semi-annual sale and the Gap Friends & Family Event are back in November.
- Cars. The year is winding down, and car dealerships are eager to meet their sales goals.
With the year coming to a close, many retailers are anxious to reach sales goals. December is when you’ll see lots of semi-annual sales and other blowout shopping events where you could score sweet deals on clothing, cars, and more.
- Toys. As the holiday season draws nearer, stores tend to slash prices on toys.
- Holiday décor. Once the holidays are over, you can pick up decorations, ornaments, artificial trees, wrapping paper, and other festive trimmings for dirt cheap — usually 50% off or more!
- Semi-annual sales. ‘Tis the season of the semi-annual sale! The Macy’s Friends & Family Sale, Victoria’s Secret Semi-Annual Sale, and The Body Shop Winter Sale are all this month.
- Cars. The end of the year is the best time to buy a car, especially during the last week of December. By now, dealerships are desperate to make sales.
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