13 Things to Buy or Not to Buy in May

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As the warm weather moves in and the school year winds down, May is the time to stock up ahead of summer celebrations. Prepare for graduation parties and Memorial Day barbecues by finding deals on household goods and entertaining essentials, among other bargains.

Related: The Best Time to Buy Almost Anything in 2016


Cookware and small kitchen appliances are promoted heavily in May as retailers target college graduation and wedding season. Wrap up a set of pots and pans for a grad's first apartment, or shower newlyweds with cookware that will last for years. For more discounts, keep an eye out for Mother's Day promotions -- kitchen gadgets make welcome and practical gifts for mom.


New models of many large appliances are rolled out in the fall, but manufacturers introduce refrigerators for summer. That means spring is the prime time to scoop up an old model for a cool price.


Party supply stores gear up for summer, when graduation parties, wedding events, and pool parties take the country by storm. Stock up for the next shindig, whether it's a luau or a bridal shower.


For anyone who enjoys hosting backyard grill fests or casual weekend barbecues, May is the time to buy charcoal and grilling tools, paper plates, condiments, napkins, plasticware, and the like. Retailers see Memorial Day as the start of grilling season and offer coupons on these items throughout the month of May. Even with no celebrations on the calendar, fill the larder now for the rest of summer's picnics, cookouts, and dinner parties.


Although May is a good time to pick up grilling supplies, the best time to buy a grill is after July Fourth, when retailers begin to look toward fall and start discounting this backyard staple. The same rule applies to patio furniture. Consumers are better off waiting until summer begins winding down to snag bargains on these items.


May is the best time to sack an old, saggy, or lumpy mattress. Take advantage of mattress deals this month as retailers try to clear inventory ahead of receiving new stock. Mattresses are also deeply discounted for Memorial Day, so check the offerings during those sale events.


With spring on its way out and summer easing in, retailers are antsy to clear out spring apparel and display new summer duds. May is the best month to scoop up spring clothes for cheap. Wait until mid-month, when sales begin and prices continue to drop through Memorial Day.


With Mother's Day on May 8, jewelry stores attract plenty of customers without offering promotions. A necklace or earrings might have been nice for mom, but it's time for plan B -- such as the cookware and small appliances that are deeply discounted this month.

Related: 50 Mother's Day Gifts She'll Love for Less Than $50


Looking to furnish or update a home office? May is a good month to do so. Sales and coupons for these items start to pop up after tax time and continue through back-to-school season.


With school letting out, now is not the time to buy a laptop. Waiting only a month, until late June, is likely to save a bundle. That's when retailers including the Apple Store usually start running back-to-school sales, and laptops will be included in the discounts.


Spring cleaning yields lots to choose from at the local thrift shop. Sales abound as secondhand stores hustle to move merchandise. It's a win-win: Sell your old stuff and replace it with new (to you) thrift store finds.

Related: Buy These 14 Things Secondhand and Save


For a Memorial Day barbecue, stock up on the foods in season in May. Vegetables at their peak include asparagus, spring onions, peas, and rhubarb. Summer vegetables such as okra and zucchini also begin to appear at market. Fruits in season in May include cherries, apricots, early blueberries, and strawberries.

Related: 20 Recipes That Celebrate the Bounty of Cheap Spring Produce


May is National Hamburger Month, when discounts on ground beef crop up just in time for grilling season to heat up. While you're at it, grab some chips and salsa or make a fresh salad on the side -- it's also National Salad Month and Salsa Month.