July marks the middle of summer for many consumers, and in between the backyard barbecues, pool parties, and vacations (or staycations), there are plenty of opportunities to save. Shoppers everywhere know that July 4th sales are the big events to look forward to this month, but it's not all about the Independence Day savings.
Check out our guide below to learn what to buy in July, as well as the items it's better to hold off on for now. Then head to our guide on what to buy every month of the year, so you'll know the best things to buy during the rest of 2021.
The 8 Best Things to Buy in July
July 4th Sales
Probably the biggest savings event of the month will be July 4th sales, and you can expect there to be plenty to choose from! Look for electronics, clothing, and accessories to be the most popular discounted categories, with savings as high as 88%. Also watch for outdoor gear to hit discounts of up to 80% off at retailers like The House.
If you want to overhaul your backyard space, be sure to look for patio furniture deals reaching up to 60% off at stores like Wayfair and Build.com. Watch for Target to discount home and patio items during its July 4th sale, as well.
The convenience chain 7-Eleven normally hosts a Free Slurpee Day every July 11, but last year it had to cancel due to the coronavirus pandemic. This year, though, it's making a return in a big way!
To celebrate their 94th birthday, 7-Eleven is offering shoppers the chance to get a free small Slurpee anytime during the month of July. On the first day of the month, a coupon will be loaded into the accounts of all 7Rewards members, and shoppers can redeem it whenever they're ready. Even better, once they use the coupon, shoppers can then return to participating locations to get a small Slurpee for only $1 in the new Slurpee stay cold cup.
Additionally, customers can have a free small Slurpee delivered on July 11 to celebrate the chain's actual birthday observance.
National Ice Cream Day Freebies
July 18 is National Ice Cream Day, and while you could celebrate at home with your favorite pint, why not take advantage of some freebies and special deals instead?
Carvel: The well-known ice cream brand is releasing a special churro menu that includes Churro Crunchies, and those who purchase one of these new items on July 18 will receive a card with a surprise offer to be redeemed later (it'll be good through August 30). Potential offers include "buy one, get one free" soft serve sundaes, BOGO free soft serve cup or cone, free soft serve Jr. cone with $5 purchase, $1 off a Sundae Dasher, and one free topping with the purchase of any size ice cream. Feeling lucky? Enter on Carvel's website for the chance to win free ice cream for a year.
Dairy Queen: Download the DQ mobile app and then redeem a sweet offer to treat yourself. Take $1 off any size chocolate dipped cone on July 18 at participating locations. The offer is good for one day only and excludes kid cones.
TCBY: Visit this yogurt chain and treat yourself to flavors like Limeade Sorbet and hand-scooped Birthday Cake froyo. TCBY is offering deals all summer long, so if you're a fan, download the app and join the loyalty program to receive new insider perks!
Yogurtland: Treat yourself to frozen yogurt at this chain on Sunday, July 18, and you'll receive three times the rewards points if you're a Real Rewards member. This offer is good for both in-store and online orders. Sign up for the free Real Rewards program if you aren't a member now, so you'll be ready for triple the points on National Ice Cream Day!
Labor Day Flights
If you're not ready to consider booking a summer vacation this year, you're not alone. In fact, in a recent survey we conducted, 49% of the 3,000-plus respondents outright said they wouldn't be planning a trip this summer.
But if you're not ready now, maybe you'll be ready to plan a Labor Day flight. If you think that's possible, do your booking during early July! Historically, we've seen data suggesting that the best time to book a flight is about six weeks before you intend to travel. However, results of a 2019 airfare study by CheapAir.com show that prices can drop to their lowest anywhere between four months down to three weeks before the actual trip.
If you need summer clothing to wear while the temperatures are hot, July is a good time to stock up. Watch for basic T-shirts to drop to as little as $3, while graphic tees could even be as cheap as $1. Polos will likely hit $5, meanwhile, and shorts should also be as low as $5. Shopping for swimwear? Look for swim trunks to start at $12, and for 1- and 2-piece swimsuits to cost as little as $10 each.
Spending time in the great outdoors doesn't have to cost a fortune, and this month should bring at least a handful of great deals on gear for outdoor activities. Expect to shop discounts of up to 75% off at a variety of retailers, including Dick's Sporting Goods, Steep & Cheap, and Cabela's. Additionally, stores like Field Supply and Backcountry could have similar discounts on select apparel and gear, and bikes and frames, respectively.
Even if you don't want to shop the sales in July, there should still be plenty of individual offers to suit your outdoor gear needs. For instance, last year shoppers could snag a HotHands 6-pack for only $2 from Amazon. While hand warmers might not be useful during the summer, it's such a good deal that they're worth stockpiling to have when the cooler months roll around.
Other individual deals we saw included a 120V air pump canister for $13, a Swiss Army multi-tool for $19, and a portable pop-up sun shelter for $30. Need a new tent? Look for 3-person models to be around $100 on sites like Woot! Plus, be prepared for sudden rainstorms with items like a waterproof packable pocket blanket for as little as $8, and a packable jacket from Eddie Bauer for $28.
Early Back to School Sales
The kids may have another month or more of summer vacation, but that doesn't mean you have to wait for great Back to School deals. Don't expect a ton in July, unless you happen to live in a region where school starts back in early August. Even so, retailers should start offering discounts on select school supplies.
If you want to get your shopping out of the way early, be sure to check out the promotions on DealNews. Shop throughout the month of July to find great deals on school supplies, tech, clothing and accessories, and even items for students who need to furnish their new dorm room or apartment.
July is the peak of summer and an ideal time to indulge in fresh produce. Jazz up your fruit salads with cheaper apricots, blackberries, blueberries, cantaloupes, kiwis, mangoes, peaches, plums, raspberries, strawberries, and watermelon. And if veggies are more your thing, expect to find plenty of ripe corn, cucumbers, green beans, kohlrabi, lettuce, okra, peppers, summer squash, Swiss chard, tomatoes, and zucchini.
Want to support your local farmers? Check out the Seasonal Food Guide site, which allows you to search by state, month, and produce preferences to see what's readily available in your area.
6 Things NOT To Buy in July
|Item||Don't Buy||When to Buy||Why?|
|Electronics||In July||In November||The summer isn't a great time to shop electronics, with a few exceptions around holidays like Father's Day, Prime Day, or Back to School sales. Instead, wait for November, when a ton of savings will arise via Black Friday events.|
|Patio Furniture||In July||In August, September, or October||Yes, there will probably be some patio furniture deals in July 4th sales, and while the savings might be okay, you'll see way better discounts if you wait until the end of the season.|
|Grills||In July||In September or October||This is another item that might appear in July 4th sales, but you'll likely see better savings in September or October, when the summer season is over and retailers are trying to make way for new fall gear.|
|Lawn Mowers||In July||In August or October||Like other summer-centric products, lawn mowers should see the best discounts when the summer is over. Unless you need one before then, it's best to wait until at least August to shop for a new machine.|
|Sunglasses||In July||In September||Sunglasses are sort of a weird item because they're obviously high on the list for summer accessories, but they can — and are — used year-round. Because of that, prices may jump due to demand in the summer, but they tend to drop somewhat when summer winds down, so expect discounts during September.|
|Amazon Devices||In July||In October or November||Amazon devices are a huge feature of Prime Day, but with the event falling in June this year, that means we don't expect to see the same discounts in July. Instead, hold off until October, when new devices often get rolled out. Or even better, wait to shop in November, when we'll see Black Friday deals on these gadgets.|
Want to start shopping? Check out the best deals you can get right now!