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What to buy -- and what not to buy -- in August

If you're looking for a a grill, the deals will be red-hot. But if you're thinking of a tablet, delaying your purchase is likely to save you money.

By MSN Money Partner Jul 29, 2013 11:43AM

This post comes from Lindsay Sakraida at partner site Dealnews.


Dealnews logoDuring the last few weeks of summer, it can be fun to indulge in a happily lazy routine, perhaps lounging poolside with a cold drink in hand. But as appealing as that may sound, don't let that carefree attitude extend to any of your shopping excursions; there are still clear lines in the sand about what you should, and should not, buy this month.


Man handing cash to a woman (© Image Source/Getty Images)For example, this month grills and patio sets will see red-hot discounts, but it would be smart to avoid buying a new tablet. For more eve more money-saving tips, here's our analysis of what you can expect from deals in August.

Back-to-school shopping heats up

According to our deals from the past two years, August is the best summer month to get discounts on back-to-school items. While a number of sales that began in July will continue into August, expect more stores to cut prices even further.

For example, apparel retailers like American Eagle Outfitters and Abercrombie & Fitch slashed an extra 30% to 50% off sale items last year, and we anticipate seeing similar trends in 2013. That said, keep in mind that last year the best time to buy jeans was July through mid-August; after that, discounts from popular jeans brands dropped off.

Also keep an eye out for cheap dorm furniture from retailers such as Wal-Mart -- which offered futons for as little as $89 last year, as well as computer desks for $29 -- and special sales on backpacks and computer cases for as little as $10. As for back-to-school laptops, consider taking advantage of special promotions that bundle your purchase with gift cards, gaming consoles and printers.

Summer apparel on clearance

As we near the end of the summer season, even retailers who don't care to back-to-school crowds will begin to get even more aggressive with their clothing discounts as they try to make room for autumn apparel. In fact, in the final days of July, we saw numerous Editors' Choice deals trickle in that offered enormous stacking coupons, and we expect to see much of the same in August. Look for base sales that take 40% to 70% off.

Last chance for swimwear

Although swimwear falls into a general summer apparel category, it's important to note that after August, you'll be hard-pressed to find any swimwear deals. For the past three years, swim sales have significantly decreased come September, suggesting that most stores clear their inventory in August. As such, now's a great time to look for sales that take up to 60% off or more from department stores and retailers like Victoria's Secret.

The best patio deals arrive at the end of August

Although you might have already seen sales for summer patio furniture, if you truly want to pay the absolute least amount of money for a new set, wait until the end of the month -- or even September, if you can stand it. Retailers like Sears and Home Depot will be exceptionally eager to clear out any remaining stock at this time, and discounts can reach as high as a staggering 90% off come September. Keep in mind, however, that the longer you wait, the less of a selection there will be.

Hold off on the Kindle Fire -- and the Google Nexus 7

For the past two years, Amazon has debuted a Kindle Fire tablet in early September: there's a very good chance that the retailer will do the same again next month, too. With just a few weeks between now and then, August is not a smart time to purchase the current Fire tablet; you'll soon be able to get a brand new model for roughly the same retail price, or, you'll find reseller deals on the previous generation. Either way, you'll get more for your money by waiting until Amazon's announcement.

Even if you're considering the Google Nexus 7 -- Amazon's biggest rival in the extremely-cheap tablet market -- it's still worth waiting for the Kindle Fire release; Google surprisingly introduced the second-generation Nexus 7 recently for $229, which is slightly more than the previous generation's price point of $199. All eyes will then be on Amazon to see if the store does the same. If the new Fire is cheaper, and the slightly pricier Nexus tablet doesn't sell like Google hopes, then we might see special promotions for the Nexus 7 that bundle the tablet with a media credit for music, videos, or books.

Grill deals are red-hot in August

If you've waited patiently to buy a grill this year, you may be rewarded this month with significant savings. Last year, we listed grill deals that slashed as much as $200 off entry and mid-tier models. Yet, this past July we saw no sales that came close. It follows then, that retailers will begin taking more widespread cuts this month. Look to vendors such as Ace Hardware, Home Depot, Lowe's and Sears for the best deals.

55-inch 3-D HDTVs hit rock bottom

July was the most exciting month we've seen for big-screen HDTV deals since November, as the once prohibitively expensive 55-inch 3-D TV hit an unprecedented low of $549. That's 23% cheaper than the best deal we've seen this entire year! Chances are slim we'll see a repeat of that specific deal in August, but regardless, it's still a great time to jump on the 3-D bandwagon. Look for 55-inch 3-D TV deals in the $549 to $659 price range, the latter being the average price we've seen this summer. Retailers like Fry's, Wal-Mart, and Dell Home will offer the best sales; in fact, Dell Home  has regularly been bundling big-screen HDTVs with $100 or $200 gift cards.

Wait to buy 32-inch HDTVs

If you're going back to school and need a 32-inch set for the dorm, wait until September to buy one. Current sets are priced higher than normal, with prices ranging from $230 to $280, but if this year is anything like last year, then September may offer the best 32-inch  of the year, beating out even Black Friday's offerings. Next month prices should dip below $200.

August means more back-to-school laptop deals

The last-minute back-to-school crunch has arrived! August is your last chance to score a laptop deal before classes begin. Although prices in July didn't drop as low as we expected, we're still recommending shoppers look for deals on 15-inch Core i5 Ivy Bridge laptops with prices ranging from $299 (the all-time low we've seen) to $323, which was June's best laptop deal.

Alternatively, 15" AMD dual-core laptops have remained comfortably below $300 this summer, averaging $237. Likewise, quad-core 15-inch AMD systems have been hovering around the $375 price point for the same time period. If you can't wait until September to see if Intel prices plummet to $299 again, an AMD system can save you a few dollars -- or in the case of the quad-core systems, provide more power than a dual Intel notebook of the same price.


More from Dealnews:

Jul 31, 2013 4:52PM
If you want a good grill buy a Weber...yes it is a little more expensive but you will get 15-20 years out of it & it cooks great.  The other ones like Charbroil, Brinkman & Shinerich can be rolled to the curb after 3 years as they rust out, burners don't work & getting parts is almost impossible.  Just passing on the info as I have been there & learned from experience.
Jul 31, 2013 5:33PM
Have a charcoal Weber I still use 27 years alter (did replace the grill and wheels though).   
Jul 31, 2013 6:30PM
I still have that same piece of chain linked fence that I cut into a square and set on two cinder blocks and it still works fine after 20 some years , , , the food tastes sooooo good . . . the only way to cook.
Jul 31, 2013 5:42PM
You can also save a whopping 100% if you don't buy any of this crap. Who would of thought?
Jul 31, 2013 7:19PM
Weber is the way to go and Cast Iron Grates is what you want in it!
Jul 31, 2013 4:11PM
As far as grills go, get a Char Griller. they are made in Sea Island, GA. and are wonderful. High quality and great price.
Jul 31, 2013 7:02PM
Big Green Egg for me, size large.  Cooks, smokes, seers, makes pizzas ... I love it.
Aug 1, 2013 2:24PM
This also tends to be a good time of year to buy flip flops & sandals.  In our part of the country, I can still wear them into November.  It is also a good time for sheets and towel sets because of all the college back to school sales.  
Aug 1, 2013 2:05PM


Well aren't you just a ray of sunshine?! 

Aug 3, 2013 3:52AM
this is for those saying charcoal grills are unsafe and gas grills are safer "Everything that burns a fuel--such as electric generators, cars, trucks, motorhomes, fireplaces, cooking appliances, gas refrigerators, water heaters and furnaces--produces carbon monoxide," Greiner said. "To protect yourself, have equipment serviced yearly by a qualified service contractor, install fire and carbon monoxide detectors in sleeping areas, and NEVER use charcoal to cook or provide heat inside enclosed areas. Carbon monoxide poisoning CAN be prevented." Notice the "EVERYTHING" part there! Gas grills are NOT safer than charcoal. Charcoal grills do NOT deposit Carbon Monoxide on food any more than gas grills do. Do a little more research and you will stop looking so stupid!
Aug 1, 2013 4:10PM
I'm tired of hearing about the environment.  Stop it!!  Buy what you like, to hell with everyone else. I like the taste charcoal cooked food.  I have a weber and it's great.  I'm on the way to buy the green egg.  We,ll see how great it is.  Stop worrying about other people and take care of yourself.  that's what life is about!!
Aug 1, 2013 9:09AM

I custom build trailer mounted competition roaster grills, they are convection, indirect heat and wood fired, 14 square feet of cooking surface and will do everything from steam vegitables, smoke sausage, I can roast a whole stuffed hog up to 250 pounds, or I can cook 15 - 20 pound turkeys at the same time.

of couse they are made to order, and never go on sale


the grill i have i purchased from costco about 6 years ago and the burners and electrodes were detorating and when on the internet and bought new parts and is as good as brand new
Aug 1, 2013 12:31AM
I have my little charcoal grill that I use - yeah it over cooks in some places and maybe under cooks in others but I love it and it's what I use
Jul 31, 2013 5:43PM
     Duh4489  Millions use gas grills safely all the time...It does not deposit carcinogens (cancer causing agents)  on your food.  You are not too smart, and should probably do some research on your computer instead of just going in to places to shoot off your not-too-educated mouth!
Aug 1, 2013 11:24AM
If you need any back to school pot wait until Septemebr as the summer crop will be plentiful
Jul 31, 2013 4:58PM

I see a post that say's charcoal produces carbon monoxide and there for a bad deal,

but listen up, how many times have you heard of people being gassed with monoxide

from space heaters using propane, whole family's found dead in their homes.

at lease most charcoal is used out side.

Jul 31, 2013 4:36PM
Charcoal produces carbon monoxide which is on the food you cook with it, so to d4489, I will take my chances with the gas grill!!
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