Best Times to Make Major Purchases

When you buy can be just as important as what you buy.

If you’ve got a big-ticket item on your shopping list – perhaps a TV or computer, or new appliances for the kitchen – you can score substantial savings by purchasing them at certain times of the year. As long as you’re not in a rush to replace something critical that’s broken, you should always plan to make major purchases when prices are likely to be at their lowest levels.

Here are some of the best times of the year to make major purchases, according to shopping experts.

Lawn mowers

With the start of spring, many retailers will cut prices on their selection of lawn mowers and higher-end lawn equipment. Keep in mind that these deals tend to peak in April, with savings of at least 30%. With retail prices on self-propelled gas mowers ranging from $300 to $1,000, the savings can really start to add up. You can also score discounts of about 20% on mowers during Father’s Day sales in June. Or, you could even wait until Labor Day clearance sales start to pop up in September, but by then the selection will be limited.

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May is usually the best month to buy a new refrigerator. Manufacturers introduce new models in spring, so retailers tend to cut prices in May on the previous year’s models by as much as 50% to make room for new inventory. And to drum up interest in the latest appliance releases, stores will often mark down new models by up to 25% during their Memorial Day and Mother’s Day sales.

Other appliances

Household appliances other than refrigerators tend to be cheapest in September and October, when new models of dishwashers, stoves and such are released. If you can wait, keep in mind that appliance retailers hold sales on select brands and models during just about every three-day holiday weekend, from Presidents’ Day in February to Veterans’ Day in November.


In the market for a new mattress? You’ll find the biggest discounts and the best selection in May – typically during Memorial Day sales. Mattresses can be discounted 60% to 90% over the long holiday weekend. The best strategy to get a deal on a mattress is to visit stores before Memorial Day to test several brands. Get to know the store clerks, then come back during the actual sale to negotiate an additional discount or upgrade.

Check out our complete list of the best times to buy big-ticket items including cars, computers, furniture, TVs and more.

Andrea Browne Taylor
Contributing Editor

Browne Taylor joined Kiplinger in 2011 and was a channel editor for covering living and family finance topics. She previously worked at the Washington Post as a Web producer in the Style section and prior to that covered the Jobs, Cars and Real Estate sections. She earned a BA in journalism from Howard University in Washington, D.C. She is Director of Member Services, at the National Association of Home Builders.