Best Things to Buy in April

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It's officially spring and retailers are preparing for warm weather and hotter sales. In April consumers will find deals on everything from travel to jewelry, as well as some leftover March deals on winter items. Although the selection will be even slimmer on last season's goods, prices may be deeply discounted. There are a few things it's best not to buy this coming month, as well.


April is National Car Care Month, so auto parts stores and service centers will be running promotions to sell car accessories. It's a good time to take a vehicle in for a tune-up and shop for discount tires.


Dealers stock up on inventory in April in anticipation of warm weather and spring car sales. Beat the crowds for a better selection of used cars and hunt around for dealers willing to negotiate.


Spring is one of the best times of the year for travel. Sandwiched between the peak winter and summer travel seasons, April offers pleasant weather and lower travel-related costs throughout much of Europe and Asia. Take advantage of the shoulder season to enjoy flight and hotel deals, thinner tourist crowds, and cheap cruise vacations.


Bling is the thing to buy in April. With the Valentine's Day bump a distant memory, jewelers eagerly compete for tax-refund money with low prices to get customers in the door. Early April is also the moment to get a head start on Mother's Day shopping. Wait until May, and prices will be higher.


With spring in the air, many do-it-yourselfers are ready to tackle some projects they let slide over the winter. Home Depot offers "Spring Black Friday" discounts in April, making this the month to stock up on home improvement supplies. Look for end-of-season sales on snow blowers and other cold-weather provisions.


Sneakers are a must for people gearing up for a charity walk/run or aiming to shed winter pounds before swimsuit season. Retailers anticipate this surging interest with deals and discounts.


With spring apparel in stores since February, retailers are ready to move it out to make room for summer duds, landing spring clothes on sale racks.


Retailers feature April promotions on pots, pans, and cooking tools in time for bridal showers, weddings, and college graduations. And don't forget that Mother's Day is just around the corner on May 8.


Eating fruits and vegetables in season is a win-win -- the best flavor and the best prices. Foods to buy in April include zucchini, asparagus, and artichokes, and spring vegetables such as rhubarb, lettuce, mushrooms, and peas start showing up in markets. Fruits such as limes, oranges, pineapple, and mango also are ripe for the picking.


Keep in mind that spring cleaning yields loads of donations to thrift stores, so take a break from your own chores to check out the new array of secondhand clothing, home decor, and other deals. Smart thrift store shopping tips include buying off-season for the best selection and being prepared to try on clothes. Vintage clothing is always in style, and thrift stores are excellent sources of cheap home decor and furniture that can be repurposed.


Forget about what to buy in April -- Tax Day (April 18 this year) is a good day to find freebies. Look for local restaurants to offer buy-one-get-one entrées and coffee shops to pass out free beverages. Last year we spotted coupons for a free massage and other treats.


As in most months, there are a few "don't buy" items in April. With spring cleaning on everyone's mind, it's perhaps not surprising that deals on vacuum cleaners are sparse (November is the best time to buy). Although outdoor temperatures are climbing and many people are itching to barbecue, waiting until July or August to buy a new grill pays off.