Best and Worst Buys of May

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Bargain hunters will find deals on plenty of items in May, especially at the end of the month when retailers have Memorial Day sales. You can expect big sales at department stores and home stores, such as Pottery Barn and West Elm. To get the best deals, look for coupons (of which there should be plenty) to lower the price on already discounted items.

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Here's what you can expect to find on sale in May -- 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.

What's on sale this month ...

Clothing. Retailers discount spring apparel by as much as 75% this month. Hold out until Memorial Day sales, though, for the best deals.

Gym memberships. As the weather heats up and people head outside to exercise, gyms often have promotions to lure cutomers back inside. They usually offer discounts on initiation fees or the first few months of membership. But dealnews.com recommends haggling to get even more discounts.

Mattresses. For the past two years, dealnews.com has seen deep discounts on mattresses in May. A mattress can be a good gift for a college grad, who will appreciate a real bed to sleep on rather than a worn out futon (see 10 Smart Gifts for College Grads ).

Outdoor gear. Retailers such as Altrec, Gander Mountain and REI mark down camping, fishing and hiking accessories in May.

What a little longer to buy ...

Grills. Even if you're planning a big cookout on Memorial Day, you should hold off on buying a grill until June or July to get a better price. For deep discounts (50% to 75% off), wait until the end of summer.

Home office furniture. You'll see discounts on desks, chairs and shelving units in May, but the real deals are in June.

What not to buy...

Jewelry. You should consider buying your mom or wife something other than jewelry for Mother's Day because prices spike before this holiday (and you won't find deals after it).

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.



This article appears in: Personal Finance , Insurance

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