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Smart Buying

Best and Worst Buys of August 2014

You'll find deeply discounted summer and school-related items this month.

August is a great month for bargain hunters. You'll find lots of sales on summer-related items this month as retailers try to make room for fall inventory. And as kids head back to school, there will be plenty of sales on school supplies along with back-to-school sales tax holidays in 15 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.

 

What’s on sale now …

Dorm furniture. Look for big-box retailers to mark down furniture for students heading off to college. For example, Walmart offered futons for as little as $89 and computer desks for $29 last year, according to DealNews.com. Even if you or your child aren’t heading off to school, dorm sales are a great time to find deals on storage items and bedding, in addition to furniture, says Howard Schaffer, vice president of Offers.com.

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Grills. Department stores, home-improvement stores and big-box retailers will cut prices on grills by as much as 50% this month and September, according to DealNews.com. Look for coupon codes to be released by retailers on their sites around Labor Day to score even deeper discounts.

Laptop computers. August is one of the best months of the year (next to November) to find deals on laptops. Look for prices on mainstream 15-inch laptops to be as low as $380, according to DealNews.com. Even Apple is offering discounts for students on its Mac laptops.

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Patio furniture. Typically the best deals on patio furniture don’t show up until late August or early September. But DealNews.com reports that many retailers already are discounting outdoor furnishings. So if you wait until September, the pickings might be very slim.

School supplies. Several retailers started advertising back-to-school sales in July, but prices tend to drop even more in August. According to RetailMeNot.com, you should be able to find 10-cent pencils and 25-cent packs of notebook paper at stores such as Office Depot, Office Max, Staples, Target and Walmart. These sales also are a good opportunity to stock up on supplies for a home office.

Summer apparel. With summer clearance blowouts, back-to-school sales and tax-free weekends, there's a huge opportunity to save money on warm-weather clothing, Schaffer says. Look for discounts of at least 40% to 70% -- as well as coupons you can use to lower the price even more.

Wait a little longer to buy …

Apple phones and tablets. Apple typically releases new models of its iPhone and iPad in September or October, according to DealNews.com. So wait until then to find deals on current models when new versions are released.

Fall apparel. Fall fashion is just hitting the stores, which means the prices are at their highest, Schaffer says. Steer clear of cool-weather clothing for as long as you can. The sales will begin in a couple months.

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