Best Things to Buy in August
August is a traditional month when next year's models are rolled out, and the rush to sell last year's inventory heats up. For instance, General Motors promoted Chevrolet sales with a “Love It or Return It” campaign that allowed customers to return new cars within 60 days of purchase. GM's no-haggle equivalent was called “Total Confidence Pricing.” Cars were offered at about the same price GM gave its employees. Consumers can expect these and similar programs and specials this month.
2. Back to school supplies
Whether you're shopping for pre-K or collegiate living, back to school sales are your best friend. Many stores have already cut prices on supplies by up to 30 percent and are offering buy one, get one deals now. Department stores like Kohl's and Target, and office supply stores like Office Depot and Staples, are among those that have great seasonal savings. Some of the best savings on back to school goods are at office supply stores. Shop online for the best prices.
3. Summer clothes
If you live where it stays hot, now's the time to take advantage of summer clearance sales. Of course, you can shop for next summer's wardrobe, too. Expect to find deals on sandals, tanks, swimwear, shorts and dresses online and in stores.
4. Fall clothes
If you live in a cooler climate and buying summer duds at this time of year doesn't appeal, don't fret. Loads of retailers start fall promotions at the end of July and run them for several months. Stores like Lucky Brand, Levi's and Lee offer up to 80 percent off before the summer is even over, so now is the time to purchase that new pair of jeans. Gap and Old Navy often cut prices on school styles by 40 percent. Check for specials on outerwear, boots, scarves, cardigans, denim and even belts.
5. Mainstream laptops
According to experts, mainstream laptops are at rock bottom prices. You could find a notebook for under $400 with a 15" to 16" screen, at least 4GB of RAM, at least a 500GB hard drive, and Intel's Haswell Core i5 processor, which is the company's mainstream chip capable of handling everything from HD movie streaming to casual gaming.
6. 42-inch LCD TVs
Last month, brand-name 42" LCD HDTVs hit their lowest price of the year, coming in at an impressive $299, which is roughly $40 under 2014's average for this size category. Meanwhile, off-brand models of the same size hit $250. Prices may continue to drop in August and -- perhaps -- through November.
Linens are a hot buy for both dorm-dwellers and newlyweds. With an uptick in both during August, retailers have blankets, sheets, pillows, shams, duvets, towels and washcloths marked down.
Wine grapes are typically harvested in early through late fall, which means that wineries all over the world are putting last year's bottles on sale to make room for the new stuff. Subscribe to your local wineries' newsletters and Facebook pages to stay up to date on specials. Wineries, grocers and major retailers often provide a discount when you buy at least six bottles at a time.