10 Things to Buy in August (Including Laptops!)

Back-to-school sales and tax free days make August a great time to shop, but don't upgrade your TV or grill just yet.
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buy laptops in August

Back-to-school sales, end-of-summer clearance events, and tax free weekends make August a great time to shop. We've put together a list of the discounts you should definitely seek out this month — as well as the purchases you should skip.

Check out our buying guide below, then sign up for the DealNews Select Newsletter to get the best deals delivered to your inbox every day.

10 Things to Buy in August

Tax Free Goods

Tax free weekends began in July, but most states host theirs in the first couple weeks of August. On these dates, you can (legally) dodge the sales tax on items like laptops, school supplies, and clothing. You should still compare these reduced prices to those online, though — especially if you're buying something pricey like a laptop!

SEE ALSO: When Is Your State's Tax Free Weekend in 2018?

Summer Apparel

Whether you're shopping low-cost threads for the kids, or stocking up on summer shorts for next year, you can expect huge price drops on summer apparel in August. Expect to see Editors' Choice sales at The Children's Place, Gap, Hanes, and Kohl's — many of which hosted best-of-the-year sales last August. You'll also be able to shop clearance apparel at stores like Walmart and JCPenney, where shorts should start at $2, T-shirts from $4, and sleepwear should sell for as little as $3 apiece.

Shoes

Sandals, sneakers, and stilettos will all see big price drops this month. Start your search for quality leather shoes at Clarks, and then shop sneakers at Famous Footwear and DSW, as these stores flaunt the best Editors' Choice discounts of the season. You can expect to shop PUMA adult sneakers for just $25, while adidas kicks could start at around $24 at stores like Tillys.

You won't see this many top shoe deals again until November, when Black Friday season comes around.

Those shopping for budget-friendly shoes should check Academy Sports & Outdoors and Charlotte Russe for $3 sandals. Know that you won't see this many top shoe deals again until November, when Black Friday season comes around.

Laptops

If you can't hold out for Black Friday (when laptop deals are at their best), August's back-to-school sales will provide you with the next best opportunity to shop.

Between July and August of last year, we saw up to an 11% drop in prices on select builds at Dell and Lenovo. You can expect to see entry-level 11.6" laptops priced from just $130, while 15.6" models should go from $280 in sales like B&H Photo Video's daily deal.

School Supplies

Whether you're a student, office manager, or stationery lover, you should take advantage of the office supply deals this August. We'll likely see more offers in this category than in any other month of the year.

SEE ALSO: What to Expect From Back to School Sales in 2018

Stock up on markers, scissors, and pencil cases for less than a buck, thanks to Walmart's and Target's back-to-school sales. You can also take advantage of Staples' and Office Depot and OfficeMax's discounts on Sharpies, notebooks, and tissues.

Patio Furniture

You don't always get the best prices with out-of-season shopping, and that holds true for patio furniture deals. Outside of May, this month is the best time of year to shop deck chairs, patio tables, and hammocks. Last August, stores like Home Depot and Walmart offered twice as many Editors' Choice patio deals as in July. Last year, we saw fire pits selling as low as $56, patio umbrellas for around $20, and 3-piece patio sets for under $70.

Wine

September is when many vineyards harvest their grapes, and there's anecdotal evidence that they clear out old inventory to make space for that upcoming harvest. This results in cheaper wine! A good place to start is eBay, which knocked 20% off bottles over $25 last year. Otherwise, look for bundle deals at the likes of Wine.com, which will likely offer a cost-cutting coupon or seasonal sale.

Early Labor Day Sales

Labor Day doesn't happen until September 3 this year. In 2017, however, we listed nearly 100 Labor Day sales over the last two weeks of August. Expect to shop some of the best sitewide offers of the year at Kohl's, Home Depot, and Dick's Sporting Goods, with many outlets hosting their last big sales before the Black Friday season.

Labor Day doesn't happen until September 3 this year. In 2017, however, we listed nearly 100 Labor Day sales over the last two weeks of August.

Secondhand Stuff

National Garage Sale Day falls on August 11, so bargain hunters should keep their eyes peeled for secondhand swag. It's also a great time to consider selling your own unwanted tools, furniture, and knickknacks. That way, you can make more room for all those bargains from Labor Day sales.

Free Root Beer and Waffles

If you're more interested in satisfying your stomach than nabbing an old lamp, mark your calendar for National Root Beer Float Day and National Waffle Day. In celebration of these sweet events, lots of restaurants will dole out freebies or discounts. A&W traditionally offers a free root beer float to customers on August 6. And come August 24, check with your favorite waffle establishment to see if it's offering any deals or coupons.

4 Things NOT to Buy in August

Grills

If you can get one more month out of your grill, hold out until September. That's when Labor Day sales and out-of-season savings should lead to a massive increase in the number of Editors' Choice-worthy grill and smoker deals. You can expect to shop charcoal grills from just $44, while 4-burner gas units could start as low as $87.

TVs

August isn't necessarily a bad month for TV deals — back-to-school sales can drop prices on dorm-friendly models. But if you're thinking of dropping hundreds of dollars on a pricey TV upgrade, hold out until the Black Friday doorbusters hit your inbox.

SEE ALSO: Is VR Worth Buying Yet?

Do you have to make a TV purchase this month for your college-bound kid? Then shop Walmart for your basic 32" or 40" 1080p units, where they should be as low as $120 and $200, respectively.

Apple iPhones and iPads

Apple will likely announce its next generation of gadgets this September, which makes August a poor time to upgrade your iPhone or iPad. Any Apple mobile device on sale today — regardless of its current price — should be significantly cheaper in the weeks to come.

Fall Apparel

While summer-friendly shorts and dresses reach all-time lows in August, new lines of sweaters and jackets won't see major discounts until October. If your student needs cool-weather essentials, the best way to save on new arrivals is to make use of sitewide coupon offers at Macy's and JCPenney.

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Content Editor

A former Fashion Editor and Boggle champion, Donna Doyle spends her time writing for DealNews, re-reading Harry Potter, and living in denial.
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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3 comments
rampo
Why would prices have to be increased? It's the states, NOT the stores, that are offering tax free days.
w1_m2
re: "Gosund Smart WiFi LED Light Bulb for $12"

This vendor is scamming Amazon. If you look at the ratings and the questions about the product, it's all about a flashlight. This of course is a lightbulb. The scammers kept the same ratings for the flashlight to scam Amazon shoppers re: this bulb. I filled out a report form for Amazon to have the scammer removed.

Um... I had to hitch this comment onto any other comment anywhere where someone else commented first. If there's no comment previous to mine, I can't comment because the comment button is grayed out. Great job dealnews!
Allyson
Tax free? They must increase prices somewhere/somehow in order to have tax free every year.