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August is an excellent time to shop, thanks to its many tax free days, back-to-school sales, and events to close out the summer season. To help you out, we've put together a list of all the things you should look for this month — plus the items to get later.
Check out our August buying guide below, then sign up for the DealNews Select Newsletter to get the best deals delivered to your inbox every day.
While a few states host tax holidays at the end of July, most of these shopping events occur in August. Whether you have kids or not, these tax free weekends (or weeks!) are a great opportunity to stock up on clothing, school or office supplies, and computers, all while skipping the sales tax. However, you'll still want to do research and weigh your options — just because something is tax free doesn't mean it's the best deal!
National Root Beer Float Day happens on August 6, and this food holiday is an awesome time to celebrate summer winding down. Watch the social media accounts of your favorite restaurants to see if they'll be celebrating this sweet day and how you can participate. If you're near an A&W location, you can head over and snag a free root beer float that day — A&W has already announced plans to give away floats!
August is one of those rare times when you can find seasonally appropriate clothing at noteworthy prices. While there will be a ton of sitewide coupons offered at stores like Belk, Gap, and Old Navy, warm-weather necessities will easily fall below $20 or so. We expect women's shorts to start at $4 and men's shorts to start at $8. Dresses will be between $5 and $7 at their lowest, while men's T-shirts will drop to $4 and women's will fall to $5.
Shopping for swimwear? We expect women's suits to hit $8. Men's swim trunks may be more expensive, only dropping to around $21; however, you could save more if Macy's offers a hefty discount. In 2018, it took 50% to 70% off men's swimwear. For denim, men's jeans will be super cheap at $15, but women can expect to pay roughly $10 more — we saw women's jeans start at $28 last year.
Kids' summer clothes will see serious savings, as well. Look for items to be as cheap as $2 each at stores like The Children's Place. Shorts could hit a low of $7, dresses will fall to $5, and T-shirts could be as cheap as $8 each in bundled sets. Meanwhile, swim items will drop to $13, and jeans will be as low as $7 per pair.
We still recommend waiting until Black Friday to shop for laptops, as that's when we see the absolute best offers. However, if you just can't wait that long, the abundant back-to-school sales in August are a decent time to snag deals.
Watch for new Chromebooks to be as cheap as $140, while 15" entry-level machines could fall to under $400. And better 2-in-1 machines will be as low as $475. Look for Lenovo to host a variety of sales, taking as much as 33% off in some cases. And Dell will likely offer coupon codes that'll provide notable discounts on a number of different models.
Students, parents of students, office workers, and stationery lovers alike can — and should! — take advantage of the office supply deals that pop up this month. Thanks to back-to-school season, we'll see plenty of items drop so low, they'll cost less than a buck. At those prices, how can you not stock up?
It doesn't always pay to shop out of season for seasonal items. August is traditionally a good month for buying patio furniture, and picking up products now means you can enjoy them while the weather's still warm.
We expect to see better deals on things like deck chairs, hammocks, umbrellas, fire pits, and tables, plus more deals overall. Last year, we saw chairs for as little as $10, hammocks for $7, and umbrellas for $18. Stores like Walmart and eBay will have notable discounts on individual items, and Target, Amazon, and Home Depot will take up to 40% off patio furniture as a whole during this time.
Outdoor toys is another good seasonal category to shop in August. It can apply to a multitude of products, so we've narrowed the field down: look for drones, trampolines, playhouses, backyard playsets, sandboxes, bubble machines, and electric ride-on toys.
Amazon and Walmart will both have a fair amount of toy deals, but don't overlook Target and Best Buy. Bubble machines will drop to as little as $10, sandboxes will be $100 or less, and water toys will range from $19 to $40 on the affordable end.
Labor Day falls on September 2 in 2019, but you won't have to wait that long to shop for deals. Last year, the first Labor Day sales kicked off a full two weeks before the holiday, and this year we expect the same. That means we could see events as early as August 19. In 2018, The North Face, Home Depot, and Fry's Electronics were the first retailers to kick off the season with sales. Later that week, Overstock.com, Sam's Club, Lenovo, and REI launched their own events.
SEE ALSO: What to Expect From Labor Day Sales 2019
And while some of the discounts will be modest, that won't be the case for all of them. The North Face might only knock off 25%, but Overstock.com will be one of the retailers boasting much bigger discounts — last year, it took up to 70% off furniture, bedding, decor, and outdoor items.
Want to snag deals on this tasty holiday? Then you'll likely have to look more to local than national chains. For instance, don't expect Waffle House to celebrate — in the past, it's used August 24 as a day to promote Waffle Week, which falls during the first week of September. Still, it can't hurt to check out the social media pages of your favorite restaurants to see if they're celebrating!
In 2018, White Castle handed out free Belgian waffle sandwiches with any purchase. Meanwhile, Jamba Juice celebrated with $1 sweet Belgian waffles all day long.
If you'd rather celebrate by making your own, check out this recipe from SprinkleBakes. The blog writer provides an excellent dry mix recipe, plus directions for how to turn that mix into delicious, crispy waffles.
Fresh, seasonal produce will still be at its prime this month. Enjoy better prices on sweet fruits, including apples, apricots, blueberries, cantaloupe, figs, kiwi, mangoes, peaches, plums, raspberries, strawberries, tomatoes, and watermelon. As for veggies, this is an ideal month to buy acorn squash, butternut squash, corn, cucumbers, eggplant, green beans, kohlrabi, lettuce, okra, peppers, summer squash, Swiss chard, winter squash, and zucchini.
And if you want to shop local, check out this site to find the produce that's in season near you. You can choose your state and search by early- or late-month time frames, or by a particular type of produce.
You might think that back-to-school season is a good time to snag a deal on the latest iPhone, but that's not the case. Apple will almost certainly hold another event in September, which is where they'll introduce the latest iPhones. The prices on last year's models will really drop once the new ones are announced and hit shelves. And prices will likely drop even further around Black Friday. Even if they don't, you can typically count on the phones being bundled with hefty gift cards.
Samsung's next phablet will be the Galaxy Note10. Based on invitations that have been sent out, it seems the device will be officially announced at an event on August 7; it's expected to be in stores by August 23. As it'll be a brand new release, this is not the month to upgrade.
Whether you're seeking clothes for layering or toasty outerwear, know that fall apparel is just going to be hitting the shelves in August. Sweaters and hoodies won't be part of the sales this month, so if you need warmer apparel, don't expect price drops on it until October at the earliest.
If you must buy cold-weather wear this month, look for sitewide coupons at department stores like JCPenney and Macy's. These savings will help soften the blow of paying almost full price for jackets, sweaters, scarves, and other items.
August isn't the month to replace or upgrade your major appliances. Whether you're eyeing a new refrigerator or a washer/dryer combo, you'll find better prices if you can wait until Black Friday.
If you need to shop now, at least wait until Labor Day sales start to surface — just don't expect them to be exceptional. For instance, last August, Home Depot only took up to 35% off one brand of major appliances. With such serious restrictions, you might not have much luck finding a good deal.
If you're hoping to send your kid off to college with a new TV, you should know this isn't the best month to shop for one. In August 2018, we listed plenty of deals — 158 total for TVs. However, only about 30% of those were good enough to earn our badge for the "best of the best." Meanwhile, last November we listed even more deals, with 49% of those earning our Staff Pick designation.
You could find a great deal this August, but it might be on a refurbished model. If you're searching for a brand-new TV and don't want to spend more than you have to, hold off until Black Friday. You'll definitely see better deals then.
Readers, what are you shopping for this August? Let us know in the comments below!