JUNE: Gym Memberships
Health clubs get a wave of new sign-ups around the first of the year, but business tends to drop in the spring and summer before picking up again in the fall. Shop around for cut-rate promotions during the lull - you might score a lower monthly rate or get your enrollment fee waived. And don't be afraid to haggle with sales reps. They may be willing to deal while things are slow.
New furniture hits showrooms in August, according to the American Home Furnishing Alliance. That means you can save 10% to 50% in July as retailers make room for the new inventory. (See Winter for another good time to buy.)
JULY: Soda, Beer and Condiments
Stock up on drinks, ketchup, mustard and barbecue sauce around the July 4th holiday. Sales abound.
JULY: Broadway Tickets
The official Broadway season kicks off in the fall, so summer is a good time to see the outgoing year's hits at cheaper prices. In New York City, the first ten days of July are particularly slow -- and prone to discounts, according to Applause Theatre & Entertainment Service (www.applause-tickets.com). When things are slow, theaters would rather offer cut-rate prices and have a full house than charge full fare and have empty seats. Look for discounts of up to 50%.
Not in the Big Apple? Check out your city's consolidated ticket booth to snag a last-minute deal on theater admission year-round.
AUGUST: Patio Furniture
Buy outdoor furniture in August as summer wraps up and retailers clear out their inventory. You'll still have a couple months of nice weather to enjoy your purchase -- not to mention you'll be ready for next year. Retailers usually start marking down pieces around July 4 (we've seen deals around 25% off), but the big discounts roll in during August (up to 50% off).
AUGUST: Outdoor Toys
August is the best time to buy swimming gear, swing sets, beach toys and other items for outdoor fun as retailers make room on their shelves for fall and winter merchandise. Look for discounts of 30% to 75%.
AUGUST: School and Office Supplies
Even if you don't have a student in your household, you can benefit during the back-to-school shopping season, when retailers offer some of the year's lowest prices on pens, pencils, paper and notebooks. Several states also have sales-tax holidays in August, which will save you even more money on school supplies. You can also find bargains on staplers, printer paper, file folders and other home-office necessities.
The August/September back-to-school shopping season is also a great time to buy swimwear. Families' minds -- and wallets -- shift from summer to fall, so retailers clear out bikinis and replace them with coats.
ALL SUMMER LONG: Produce
From strawberries and peaches to tomatoes and corn, fruits and vegetables abound in June, July and August. This glut of supply makes for a good time to stock up. You can freeze, can or dry the bounty for eating in the leaner months ahead. See FruitSeasons.com to find out what's in season.
See Best Buys of Summer as a SLIDE SHOW.