What to buy in July

Independence Day brought its own unique sales, but even with the holiday behind you, you can still find some great deals during the remainder of the month.

Some of the best things to buy in July are summer items as retailers begin to clear out old stock to make way for fall merchandise. Here, the trend watchers at RetailMeNot offer up some ideas on what to buy this month.

Look for big discounts on home and garden items in July, says RetailMeNot senior planner Joe Smyth. July will be one of the strongest months of the year to shop for patio furniture, in particular, which should have discounts of up to 60 percent off, Smyth says.


Shoppers at Target stores have probably already noticed the specialty aisles being transitioned to back-to-school shopping season. Check the perimeter aisles for home and garden items such as gardening tools, plant and bug sprays, gardening hats and boots at 50 percent off.

RetailMeNot business analyst Erin Hartman says July is the best month of the year to buy sporting goods with deals averaging 38 percent off throughout the month.

Clothing is another big category for July shoppers, according to Hartman, with sales in the range of 46 percent off at retailers like Lands’ End and Victoria’s Secret.

The sale racks at J. Crew, PacSun and other specialty retailers will reach discounts up to 50 percent off early this month, adds Smyth, noting that July will likely be your last chance to get deeply discounted clothing until January.

When is the best time this month to shop for clothing? The last week in July, say RetailMeNot analysts.

July shoppers should also keep their eyes open for back-to-school sales mid-month. Some of the best offers, up to 40 percent off, are geared to college students looking for items such as twin XL sheets, backpacks and storage solutions for dorm rooms. Check retailers like Bed, Bath & Beyond, Target, Office Depot and Staples for these items.

School- and college-age kids may also need a laptop, tablet or e-reader for school or homework. According to Hartman, discounts in July are in the range of $140 off compared to the November-December average of $120 off, so now may be a good time to invest. Don’t forget this year’s sales tax holiday starts July 31 (and runs through Aug. 1).

If your back-to-school shopping list includes themed items such as character backpacks or lunchboxes, it may be best to shop early, even if discounts aren’t as deep, say RetailMeNot pros. Waiting could mean missing out on the most popular items and having to settle for leftover stock.

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