The 5 Best Things to Buy in May (Including Memorial Day Sale Items!)
May is a big month. Mother's Day and Memorial Day bookend it, and many people consider it to be the unofficial start to summer. If you've been waiting on a great bargain, there's a good chance it'll pop up in May.
Check out our guide below on what to buy in May, as well as the items you'll want to wait until later to shop. Then read up on what to buy every month of the year!
Top Special Offers to Shop in May
Fleming's: Purchase $100 in gift cards and receive a $20 bonus card. Alternatively, purchase $200 in gift cards and receive $40 in bonus cards. This long-running offer is valid through June 19.
FlexiSpot: The standing desk company will be having a big anniversary celebration this month. Look for the following May deals:
- Pro Plus Standing Desk for $529.99
- Comhar All-in-One Standing Desk Bamboo Texture Top for $369.99
- Home Office All-in-One Desk Bike for $299.99
These offers are valid on May 25. Additionally, you can take 10% off the E8 Standing Desk every Monday until May 30 via the coupon code "MONDAYE8".
IHOP: Buy $25 or more in gift cards and receive a $5 bonus card. This offer is valid through July 17, and the bonus cards must be used by August 21.
Kenyon: Save up to $500 off select grills and up to 25% off grill accessories. This offer is good through June 1, while supplies last.
Maytag: Shop for select major appliances and receive up to $200 in rebates via a prepaid card by mail or instant rebate. This offer is valid through June 1.
Noodles & Company: Noodles Rewards members can get $3 off pickup orders or free delivery. This offer is valid May 10 through May 16.
Proof: Save 20% on purchases via coupon code "MAMA20". This offer is good through 2:59 am on May 9.
Red Lobster: Spend $50 on gift cards in-restaurant or online, and receive a bonus coupon for $10 off orders of $30. Gift cards must be purchased between now and June 26, and the bonus coupons are redeemable from June 27 to August 31.
TCBY: Treat your mom to free froyo for Mother's Day. Stop by a participating location and get the first 6 ounces of frozen yogurt for free. This offer is valid only on May 8.
The Cheesecake Factory: Purchase a $50 gift card online for The Cheesecake Factory or their sister restaurant Grand Lux Cafe and you'll receive a $10 bonus card. This offer is good through May 8, and the bonus card can be redeemed May 9 through June 9.
Whole Foods: Pick up a bouquet of 15 single-color tulips for $9.99 while supplies last from May 4-10. Additionally, participating stores will be offering 200 complimentary DIY planting kits on May 7 between 10 am and 12 pm local time. Check with your local store to see if they'll be participating before you head out!
Yogurtland: Purchase a $25 eGift card and receive a $5 bonus card via email. This offer is valid May 2-7, and the bonus card can be redeemed on visits from May 8-31. You can receive a maximum of four bonus cards per order.
5 Things to Buy in May
Our infographic shows five of the best items to buy in May. Below that, you can learn more about the deals and discounts to expect during the month.
Star Wars Items
May 4 is known as Star Wars Day — think "May the Fourth Be With You." And plenty of retailers will likely have special promotions to celebrate. In fact, last year about 47% of the Star Wars deals we listed during May were for May 4. Watch for stores like Amazon to take up to 30% off, while retailers like Nintendo could take 50% off Star Wars games. And stores like Chewy could host fun themed sales — last year, the pet supplies retailer had a "Shop Now, You Will" sale with discounts on Star Wars pet products.
Nontraditional Mother's Day Gifts
When it comes to Mother's Day, the most popular gifts tend to be flowers and mom-themed jewelry. However, flowers will probably jump in price early this month, and you can expect the selection of mom-themed jewelry to dwindle quickly. But if you think outside the box, you can still pick up the perfect gift for the mother figure in your life.
Instead of rushing around in a panic trying to find traditional gifts by May 8, consider options like magazine subscriptions that will gift your mom more than once. Last year, DiscountMags offered subscriptions from around $5 to celebrate Mother's Day. Does your mom enjoy reading eBooks? Be sure to check out Amazon and watch for May sales on top Kindle eBooks; last year, the retailer offered up to 80% off select titles.
If your mom is more into music than reading, watch for Amazon to offer free Music Unlimited upgrades like they did last year. That's not the only service to watch, though — look for Groupon to have offers to help you celebrate Mother's Day, too. Last May, the site had an offer for a 4-month Apple Music family subscription plan for free. There's also a chance SiriusXM could offer up another 3-month trial for free, as well; that'll give your mom plenty of time to see if she likes the service enough to buy a full subscription.
Does your mom prefer watching over reading or listening? Consider checking to see if Amazon will offer discounted rates for specialty channels via Prime. Last year, the retailer had offers for AMC+ on Prime Video for 99 cents per month for two months, along with Paramount+ commercial-free for one month for 99 cents. Other premium networks could have promotions, as well. Last year, Starz offered a 3-month subscription for only $5 per month. And if she's interested in Paramount+ but not Prime Video, watch for the service to offer another 1-month free trial.
Large Appliances and Kitchen Gadgets
With Memorial Day sales being a huge focus this month, it'll be a good time to purchase large appliances, as well as small kitchen appliances and gadgets. Be ready to shop stores likes Home Depot, which could take up to 52% off select appliances, while Lowe's could take up to $500 off. Best Buy will also likely include large appliances in its Memorial Day sale, although discounts may vary. Stores like Wayfair may get in on the action, too, and take up to 50% off appliances in their big sale.
If you're looking for small kitchen appliances in May, you'll have plenty to shop. Last year, Target cut up to 30% off a selection of these items, while Macy's cut up to 60% off kitchen gadgets and up to 50% off Cuisinart small appliances. Vitamix could once again take up to $100 off new blenders this year, plus Nordstrom Rack could offer up to 82% off BergHOFF kitchen items.
Another huge part of Memorial Day sales will be mattress deals, so if you're looking to upgrade your bed, May is a great month to do so. We listed a decent amount of mattress offers in May 2021, and about 33% of those earned our Staff Pick badge — the one we reserve for the deals that are the "best of the best."
While stores devoted to mattresses and bedding will of course have their own events, those aren't the only ones you should be checking out. Macy's could take up to 70% off mattresses again this year, while Kohl's could take between 20% and 50% off during its own May sale. Look for online retailers like Purple to take up to $450 off select mattresses, while Tempur-Pedic could take up to $500 off, and US-Mattress could knock up to 40% off select brands.
The summer season will offer plenty of fresh fruits and veggies, and May is when the list of in-season produce starts to outpace the previous months' offerings. Expect to find artichokes, asparagus, lettuce, okra, radishes, rhubarb, spring peas, Swiss chard, and zucchini at their peak. And if you want to grill fruit or incorporate it into fresh summery desserts, look for apricots, cherries, mangoes, pineapples, and strawberries to be the best options.
Prefer to shop local? Be sure to check out the Seasonal Food Guide site, as it allows you to choose your state and the month — select either early or late time frames — and you'll be able to see the produce available in your state at that time.
4 Things NOT to Buy in May
|Item||When to Buy||Why?|
|Grills||September or October||Any grill deals we see at this time of year will probably offer modest discounts at best. You can expect a much better selection and more savings later in the year.|
|Athletic Apparel||June||Retailers know there's a resurgence of people looking to get in shape as summer begins, and we tend to see more deals on activewear in June than in May.|
|Lingerie||June||Victoria's Secret typically has its summer Semi-Annual Sale in June, offering plenty of deals on lingerie and other items, and Frederick's of Hollywood will likely hold its own sale to compete.|
|Perennial Plants||August or September||Perennials can be planted in spring or fall, so there's a good chance nurseries will be trying to clear out inventory as fall grows closer.|