After the Fourth of July, retailers start setting their sights on fall, which makes July a good month to snatch up deals on certain summer items. July is also the height of fruit and vegetable season and has been designated the official month for a couple of classic summer foods. Here's a look at what's best to buy in July -- and a few items likely to be cheaper at the end of the season.
What to Buy in July
Come August, the second semi-annual wave of new furniture models will hit stores. To make space on showroom floors, furniture retailers must clear out current inventory. Look for big discounts in July.
Like Memorial Day and Labor Day, Independence Day is a fine time to take advantage of sales and take home a cheap mattress.
New computer models come out in June, meaning July brings a plethora of discounts for consumers who don't mind buying last year's model. The big back-to-school shopping season also kicks off at the end of July, so shoppers who wait until later in the month could score big savings.
With the December holidays and Valentine's Day half a year away, jewelers are experiencing the summer doldrums. Eager to draw in buyers, they drop prices and run sales in July. Keep in mind that jewelry bought now makes a welcome gift any time of year.
Like the weather, tool deals heat up in July. With Father's Day over and done, retailers such as Lowe's and Home Depot offer tool sets, large tools, and accessories for less. Time to complete some outdoor projects.
Who wants to paint in the heat of summer? Not many people, so home improvement stores try to entice consumers to buy paint in July with hefty discounts. Even if you don't want to take on this chore now, take advantage of the specials and put the paint in storage for a while.
As soon as Fourth of July celebrations come to a close, retailers begin discounting summer apparel to make room for back-to-school items. This means July is the time to find the best selection of low-priced swimsuits. August and September bring clearance sales too, but selection is smaller and more picked over.
Much like grills and summer apparel, air conditioners start to drop in price about halfway through the summer. Even in July, there's plenty of hot weather still to come this year, and many households would welcome a new AC unit at a discount.
This month is the prime growing season for many fruits and vegetables. Fresh fruits to buy in July include blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, cantaloupe, watermelon, peaches, apricots, plums, and kiwi. Vegetables that ripen this month and sell for dirt-cheap prices include corn, green beans, cucumbers, tomatoes, summer squash, and lettuce. To be really frugal and enjoy fresh produce for months to come, stock up now and freeze fruit and vegetables for later.
July is National Ice Cream Month. Scoop up sweet ice cream coupons and look for promotions at the grocery store. While the entire month is focused on the creamy frozen treat, deals and freebies are especially likely on July 17, National Ice Cream Day, from local ice cream shops and chains such as Baskin-Robbins, Graeter's, Cold Stone Creamery, Marble Slab Creamery, and Maggie Moo's Ice Cream and Treatery. Shoppers might even come across deals for in-home ice cream makers.
July is also National Hot Dog Month. Look for coupons and discounts on hot dogs leading up to National Hot Dog Day on July 23. Sonic, 7-Eleven, and QuikTrip have offered free or discounted franks to commemorate the holiday in the past.
The first Amazon Prime Day, on July 15 last year, broke sales records and promised more deals than Black Friday. Amazon has confirmed that the event will be held again this year in mid-July, although no date has been announced yet. The deals require Prime membership and not all shoppers were impressed with the selection, but Dealnews predicts respectable discounts on the company's branded products and other items. Look for Walmart to mount a similar sale with potentially better deals.
Along with grills, ACs, and summer apparel, outdoor furniture and yard decor will start displaying discounted prices after July Fourth. Still, for the best deals, wait until later in the summer and into fall. September and October typically see the best prices.