The 12 Best Things to Buy in August (And 6 Things to Buy Later)

Celebrate National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day with free treats, plus stock up on summer clothing and patio furniture for much less.
Updated
student wears backpack outside of school

August is a big month for many people — it marks the beginning of the end of summer, as well as a new school year. Because of that, it may not seem like a good time for shopping anything other than pencils, notebooks, and backpacks. But August is much more than Back to School sales. It brings potential chocolate chip cookie freebies, tax free shopping, deals on garden tools, and much more.

Check out our guide on what to buy in August, as well as the items you're better off purchasing later in the year. Curious about the best time to buy those products? Read up on what to buy every month of the year!

Top August Offers You Should Shop

Carvel: Celebrate National Soft Serve Day with free delivery from participating Carvel locations! Through August 20, you can get free delivery when you place orders of $15 or more at the following locations:

Florida: Boca Raton, Davie, Palm Beach Gardens, Port Saint Lucie (west and east), and Sunrise

New Jersey: Fairlawn, Harrison, Lyndhurst, Nutley

New York: Baldwin, Bayside (two locations), Croton On Hudson, Deer Park, Flushing, Glen Cove, Hicksville, New Rochelle, New York, Plainview, Pleasantville, Rockaway, Smithtown, Stewart Manor, and Westbury

Be sure to call ahead if you have any doubts to make sure your store is participating in this offer!

The Cheesecake Factory: Buy $50 in gift cards online and receive a $10 bonus card for free. This offer is good through September 5, and the bonus cards are valid from September 6 through October 28.

Chewy: Celebrate National Dog Day for a whole week by shopping Blue Buffalo products at Chewy. Get a $30 egift card for free when you spend $100 on the entire Blue Buffalo dog lineup. This offer is valid August 22 through August 26.

Ibotta: Get cash back on necessities during the Back to School Essentials event at Ibotta. Save on a variety of items, including:

  • Snacks
  • Multivitamins
  • Notebooks
More items are part of the big event, so check out the site for more details and the specific brands available. The event runs through August 31, meaning you have plenty of time to take advantage of all the savings!

Marco's Pizza: Try the lighter side of pizza with Marco's new cauliflower crust. Take 25% off any cauliflower crust pizza every Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday via the coupon code "CAULI". This offer is valid through August 31.

Noodles & Company: Treat yourself to your favorite pasta dishes with free delivery all month long. This offer is valid for Noodles Rewards members who purchase a minimum of $15 through August 31.

Priceline: Treat yourself to a "Coastal Grandmother" getaway for less with this sale. Take an additional 10% off Hotel Express Deals to popular Coastal Grandmother destinations such as Palm Beach, FL; Hilton Head, SC; and Provincetown, MA, as well as others. Use code "COASTAL10" during checkout to take advantage of this deal which is from August 11 through August 14.

T-Mobile: This carrier is offering at least 10 free 5G smartphones as part of its selection of Back to School deals. Other offers include the Samsung Galaxy Watch4 or SyncUP KIDS Watch for free when you add a line to your plan. Check out all the available promotions on this T-Mobile page.

Yogurtland: Earn double points when you try the new Watermelon Sorbet; even better, Real Rewards members will earn double points every Wednesday in August. This offer is valid through August 31 at participating locations.

The 12 Best Things to Buy in August

Our infographic offers a look at five of the best items to buy in August. Check it out, then read more about the deals and sales you'll want to watch for this month.

what to buy in August

National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day Deals

People may like their chocolate chip cookies crispy and chewy or fluffy and cakey, but either way, almost everyone loves a good cookie. And National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day offers a chance to indulge. Retailers and restaurants are happy to celebrate this August 4 food holiday with freebies — or at least delicious deals!

SEE ALSO: What to Expect From Back to School Sales in 2022

Last year we saw offers from Lenny & Larry's for 25% off any variety with chocolate chips in it, while Foodstirs featured a "buy one, get one 50% off" promotion on chocolate chip cookie mixes and bundles. And for those who wanted fresh-baked goodness, Insomnia offered a free Chocolate Chunk cookie with each delivery order. Jacques Torres Chocolate, on the other hand, hosted a "buy one, get one half off" promotion on all chocolate chip items in-store and online for the sweet holiday.

Back to School Supplies

Inflation has touched basically every product category, and school supplies aren't immune. In fact, according to the National Retail Federation, 84% of shoppers expect to see higher prices during this Back to School season. While that may seem discouraging, you can still expect plenty of savings on these items, especially on basic, standard school supplies without flashy designs.

Back to School sales are well underway this year, so we've already seen school supplies starting at only 25 cents from stores like Target. Deals during this time don't just apply to crayons, notebooks, and folders, though; and "up to 40% off" might be the magic discount we see again this year. In August 2021, we saw Staples offer this discount on office chairs, while eBay knocked that much off "back to college" dorm essentials, and Amazon discounted hardcover planners by the same amount, as well. We could also see up to 70% off supplies in general at Staples, plus Target may knock up to 85% off school supplies overall in August.

Tax Free Items

A select number of states host tax free holidays every summer, with most taking place over a weekend. These events offer prime opportunities to buy items like clothing and school supplies without having to pay sales tax. Spending limits are typical on eligible items. For example, some states offer tax free purchases on clothing as long as each item is under $100. The exemptions vary state by state, though, so check out what kind of event yours is holding!

Summer clothing could see discounts of up to 75% off in August.

Summer Clothing

As mentioned above, August signals the beginning of the end of summer, which you may find disappointing. But the good news is that it also brings excellent savings on summer clothing. Expect a ton of clothing sales in August, but watch for especially great offers like an extra 20% off $25 at eBay, or up to 75% off at Allen Edmonds during its Last Call for Summer Sale. The latter event could be paired with additional discounts, like an extra 30% off and free shipping on orders of $100.

Count on casual clothes seeing really significant discounts. For instance, last year 32 Degrees had an athleisure sale with prices starting at only $9, Nike took up to 50% off plus an extra 20% off, and adidas knocked an extra 33% off and provided free shipping. Interested in designer goods? Watch for Coach Outlet to boast discounts of up to 70% off, as well as an extra 20% off and free shipping on $50.

Laptops

As August is big for Back to School promotions, it should come as no surprise that laptops fit neatly into those. Last year we saw plenty of great prices on machines for every budget, with about 14% of them being good enough to earn our Staff Pick designation, reserved for our "best of the best" offers. We expect more of the same this year, especially with the Back to School season seeming longer than usual.

SEE ALSO: Which Back to School Supplies Should You Buy? (And Which Ones Should You Skip?)

In 2021 we saw refurbished and used laptops starting around $100, so if you aren't needing brand-new tech, refurbs and used machines be a budget-friendly way to go again in 2022. But even if you do want a shiny new machine, you can still expect to find Chromebooks for as little as $119, and basic laptops could start at just $209. Check a variety of stores for the best August deals, including eBay, Lenovo, Staples, and of course, Best Buy.

Patio Furniture

The winding down of summer means we should begin seeing quality discounts on patio furniture. Last year, we saw individual items start as low as $40, while sales at Macy's took at least 50% off and Kohl's knocked up to 80% off. Look at home improvement retailers, too. Last year, Home Depot took up to $150 off select pieces during its own patio furniture event.

Garden Tools

While shopping for new patio furniture, you may want to check out the discounts on garden tools. Look for lawn and garden sprayers to be as little as $12, and for garden irrigation systems to go for only $14 at Amazon. Keep an eye out for great deals on axial blowers, too. Last year, our Staff Pick offers included one of these items from Greenworks for only $18.

Retailers should also be holding August sales on plenty of outdoor items. Look for eBay to cut up to 40% off leaf blowers, trimmers, pressure washers, and other tools; plus you could get up to 50% off products from the Worx Outlet on eBay. Home Depot, meanwhile, could take up to $50 off outdoor power tools.

Luggage

Luggage being one of the best buys of August may come as a surprise. After all, with summer ending, so are many vacation opportunities. But that might be precisely why we see a decent number of deals on different kinds of luggage. These offers may be especially useful if you're sending a kid off to college and they need something to carry all their belongings in.

Watch for luggage to be discounted by 50% or more at Macy's and Lands' End.

Last year, nearly 30% of the luggage deals we saw were good enough to be Staff Pick offers. We saw duffel bags and carry-ons for as little as $16 each at Lands' End and IKEA, for example, but plenty of other stores hosted promotions, as well. For instance, Victoria's Secret had a BOGO free offer on backpacks, while outdoor retailers like The House knocked up to 52% off backpacks suitable for hiking and more rugged activities. And Lands' End took up to 60% off a variety of bags, while Macy's knocked at least 50% off select pieces of luggage.

Air Conditioners

For much of the country, August brings uncomfortably hot temperatures, and some people may be looking for new air conditioners to feel better. Expect portable air conditioners or personal air coolers to go for $15 or $25, respectively, but look for window units that are on sale, as well. Last year, we saw 5,000 BTU models for as little as $140 at Ace Hardware. However, online retailers like eBay could offer up to 50% off certified refurbished fans and other cooling items. The same retailer could also take up to 50% off new heaters and air conditioners in another sale, as well as an extra 20% off via a coupon code.

Early Labor Day Sales

Early Labor Day sales will likely start popping up around mid-August and will definitely be worth checking out. The first one we saw last year kicked off on August 18 and was from Lowe's, but other stores started their sales on August 19, and then more sales rolled out in the lead-up to the holiday itself.

SEE ALSO: What's the Best Time to Buy Big-Ticket Items?

Expect the big items in these sales to be clothing, major appliances, and mattresses, plus grills and patio furniture should feature prominently, as well. Watch for home decor items to see discounts as large as 80% off, mattresses to be up to $800 off, and major appliances to be up to 35% off.

Perennial Plants

Perennials are plants that live longer than two years, and grow and bloom during the warmer spring and summer months. They do die back when it cools down in the fall and winter, but they return when temperatures warm up. Nurseries often try to sell off perennial stock in August because of the blooming cycle, so if you have room to plant them, you certainly can do so now, so that they have time to take root before temperatures begin to cool. This is dependent on your area, obviously; check what zone you're in, and ensure you're only planting items that can thrive where you're at.

In-Season Produce

While summer might be starting to wind down, that doesn't mean fresh produce is off the table. You should be able to find better prices on several fruits in August, including apples, apricots, blueberries, cantaloupe, figs, kiwi, mangoes, peaches, plums, raspberries, strawberries, tomatoes, and watermelon. As for tasty veggies to round out the last few backyard barbecues, consider picking up acorn squash, butternut squash, corn, cucumbers, eggplant, green beans, kohlrabi, lettuce, okra, peppers, summer squash, Swiss chard, winter squash, and zucchini.

Prefer to shop local? Check out the Seasonal Food Guide 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.

6 Things NOT to Buy in August

Item When to Buy Why?
Major Appliances September Labor Day sales are going to be an excellent time to shop for these items at 35% to 40% off. There's a chance the early events in August will have some deals, but you're more likely to find them next month.
Mattresses September Mattresses are another big Labor Day purchase, so check out early Labor Day sales during August, but be prepared to wait until September to shop just in case.
Latest iPhones September, October, or November Apple will probably host another big iPhone event in September and announce the latest iterations then. If you want a previous-generation iPhone, know that they tend to drop in price around that time, but if you want the latest iPhones, you're going to be better off waiting until Black Friday for discounts.
Fall Clothing November Seasonal items are cheapest when the season starts to wind down, so don't expect to see big discounts on fall essentials like sweaters and boots until then.
Big-Brand Android Phones November Big-name Android companies like Samsung and Google tend to announce and release their latest models by October, so we likely won't see discounts on them until Black Friday.
TVs November Black Friday has some of the best deals of the year when it comes to TVs and other electronics. If you want a new set, it's best to hold off until then.

Can't wait to shop? Check out the best deals available right now!


Julie Ramhold
Senior Staff Writer/Consumer Analyst

Julie's work has been featured on CNBC, GoBankingRates, Kiplinger, Marketwatch, Money, The New York Times, Real Simple, US News, WaPo, WSJ, Yahoo!, and more. She's extolled the virtues of DealNews in interviews with Cheddar TV, GMA, various podcasts, and affiliates across the United States, plus one in Canada.
DealNews may be compensated by companies mentioned in this article. Please note that, although prices sometimes fluctuate or expire unexpectedly, all products and deals mentioned in this feature were available at the lowest total price we could find at the time of publication (unless otherwise specified).

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