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Smart Buying

Best and Worst Buys of August 2013

You'll find school supplies, seasonal items and more on sale this month.

You'll find lots of sales on summer-related items this month as retailers try to make room for fall inventory. August also is a great time to get deals on school supplies and take advantage of back-to-school sales tax holidays in 16 states (see our list). Here’s what else you can expect to find on sale in August -- and what you should wait a little longer to buy, according to dealnews.com, which analyzes deals from past years to predict what will be discounted this year, and Deals2Buy.com, a site for discounts and close-out inventory offers.

What's on sale this month ...

Grills. Look for retailers such as Ace Hardware, Home Depot, Lowe's and Sears to have the best deals on grills. Dealnews saw price cuts of as much as $200 on low- and mid-priced models.

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Jeans. The best time to find deals on jeans is through mid-August, according to dealnews.com. After that, you'll find fewer discounts on popular brands.

Laptop bundles. As part of back-to-school promotions, tech retailers often offer laptops along with a gift card, printer, gaming console or other accessory at a price not much higher than what you'd pay for a laptop alone. Among the best bundles dealnews.com has seen are Amazon's laptop and $100 gift card for $430 and Best Buy's Hewlett-Packard laptop with a flash drive, laptop sleeve and Kaspersky Internet Security for $300.

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School supplies. Expect stores such as Kmart, Office Depot, Staples, Target and Walmart to cut prices on everything school-related: notebooks, pens, pencils, backpacks, computer bags and even dorm furniture. Last year, Walmart marked futons down to $89 and computer desks to just $29, according to dealnews.com.

Summer apparel. Retailers will dramatically mark down summer apparel as they try to make room for fall clothes. Look for discounts of at least 40% to 70%. And dealnews reports that you'll likely be able to find coupons, too, that will help you get an even lower price.

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Swimwear. Retailers will clear out their inventory this month, so expect department stores and retailers such as Victoria's Secret to have discounts of up to 60% on swimwear.

Wait a little longer to buy ...

Fall clothing. Don't be tempted to buy fall clothing while doing your back-to-school shopping this month because it will be marked down during Labor Day sales in September, according to Deals2Buy.

Kindle Fire. Amazon has released a new Kindle Fire tablet in early September for the past two years. So you'll likely be able to buy a new model for about the same price you'd pay now for the current model, or you'll be able to get the current model at a discount if you wait until next month.

Patio furniture. The best deals will appear at the end of the month and into September. Deals2Buy recommends waiting for Labor Day sales to buy a patio set at a dramatically marked down price. If you wait until the end of September, you may find discounts of up to 90%, according to dealnews.com, but the selection will be limited.

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