Looking For More Ways To Save? Here Are the Best Things To Buy in August

Wondering how to get more bang for your buck in August? You’ll find great deals on laptops, back-to-school essentials, and outdoor furniture, plus a lot more.
Kids are headed back to school, which means it's a great time to stock up on classroom essentials.
Kids are headed back to school, which means it's a great time to stock up on classroom essentials. / SDI Productions, E+ Collection, Getty Images
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As we bid farewell to July and welcome the month of August, we face the inevitable end of summer, too. Whether you’re gearing up for back-to-school season or just looking to save a few extra bucks on end-of-summer clearance items, it’s a good time of year to take advantage of deals.

Plus, several states—including Florida, Texas, New Jersey, and others—typically host tax-free holidays throughout the month, so you can use those windows to grab big-ticket items like grills, laptops, and major household appliances for significantly less than you’d usually have to spend.

Below, check out our guide to the very best items to buy in August and which retailers to watch for upcoming sales events.

1. School Supplies

Blue schoolchild backpack table
For those headed back to class this fall, school essentials are a great investment this month. / Igor Sava, 500px Collection, Getty Images

There’s no need to break the bank when it comes to school supplies. Many retailers are offering hefty savings this month on all kinds of essentials, from basic items like pencils and pens to tech gadgets like tablets.

Even though Amazon Prime Day is over, the site is hosting a new savings event on back-to-school gear. You can get up to 44 percent off items from their Amazon Basics line, plus nearly 40 percent off supplies from popular brands such as Sharpie and Paper Mate. 

However, Amazon isn’t the only retailer worth checking out; Walmart is offering some pretty unbeatable deals right now on classroom must-haves. With prices as low as $0.50 on mainstays like composition notebooks, Elmer’s Glue sticks, and more, you’re likely to save a bundle. You can also target your search to your child’s school, so you’ll be able to cross everything off your shopping list with minimal stress.

That said, Staples is another worthwhile store to consider. Not only can you access school-specific shopping lists online, but you can also earn rewards to give to a local teacher or school, plus up to 5 percent back in Staples Rewards.

Speaking of teachers, Target’s Teacher Appreciation event is currently underway. Through Saturday, August 26, teachers can save 20 percent on a single online or in-store purchase; you just have to join their Red Circle rewards program. Students can also take advantage of the same deal, through the same end date.

2. Dorm Room Essentials

College student using laptop in a dorm room.
You can also stock up on everything you need for dorm rooms, from bedding to electronic gadgets, and more. / Peathegee Inc, Tetra Images Collection, Getty Images

Whether you’re an incoming freshman or an upperclassman who just needs some newer essentials, college dorm room necessities are also hot commodities in the month of August.

Target has some of the best deals for dorm room shopping, including dinnerware starting at under $1 and up to 20 percent off Becky Cameron bedding. You can grab comforters, sheets, and sherpa reading pillows for under $20.

Amazon offers excellent discounts, too. Through the site’s college essentials hub, you can find bathroom accessories, storage solutions, and other top-rated stuff on markdown. Students can also take advantage of a free six-month Amazon Prime trial (if they haven’t joined already) and get all the perks that come with being a Prime member, plus free food delivery with Grubhub+, discounts on flights, a three-month free trial on the Calm app, and other benefits.

You might not need much furniture if you’re living in a dorm, but if you’re headed into your first off-campus apartment this fall, you might want to check out Wayfair’s back-to-college section. It’s loaded with deals on everything from rugs to desks, computer chairs, bookcases, and beyond.

3. Laptops

Woman chooses a laptop.
Need a new laptop? Early Labor Day sales can help. / 97, E+ Collection, Getty Images

Although Prime Day and Black Friday are typically the best time to purchase big-ticket items, you can find a lot of bargains on laptops in August, thanks to early Labor Day sales (and tax-free holidays). Many students want one ahead of the new school year and retailers tend to drop prices because of it.

Best Buy is offering some of the best laptop deals right now, with savings of up to $650 on select HP laptops, as well as up to $500 off on select Intel models and up to $300 off on select Lenovo versions. MacBooks are even going for as low as $750. With Best Buy’s anniversary sale kicking off on Saturday, August 5, you definitely want to watch out for those savings as well.

4. End-Of-Summer Fashion (And Winter Essentials)

Flat lay of summer vacation accessories on pink background
Summer is winding down—which means you can find a lot of sandals and swimsuits on clearance. / Neustockimages, E+ Collection, Getty Images

If you are looking to upgrade your wardrobe—whether it’s for the upcoming school year or not— you’re in luck. The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is still going strong and runs through Sunday, August 6. During this annual event, you can shop huge markdowns on leading brands like Sam Edelman, Kate Spade New York, Free People, and others. 

On top of that, Nordstrom Rack—the retailer’s discount chain—has some amazing flash deals that are often too good to pass up, many of which include swimwear for men and women. Most offers last for about 72 hours, so it’s a good idea to check the site regularly so you don’t miss out on any must-have items.

As most retailers are leaning into fall fashion right now, you can find end-of-summer clearance sales on shorts, tanks, sandals, and more at other spots as well. Macy’s and Walmart in particular are offering a lot of bargains on swimsuits; it may surprise you to learn that even Victoria’s Secret has some excellent sales on swimsuits, with prices starting for as low as $5 on select clearance items.

Beyond summer styles, August can also be a good time to grab cold-weather clothing on clearance, as a lot of a lot of retailers want to clear out last season’s inventory. While it might seem odd to buy a winter jacket in the middle of a heatwave, you’ll be reaping the rewards. For example, you can get fleece coats from The North Face for 50 percent off at Nordstrom, and shop closeout deals on winter apparel at Macy’s. Come October, you’ll be glad you planned ahead and saved some money in the process.

5. Outdoor Tools & Furniture

Dog and good book outdoors in the garden.
Your dream patio space, but for less. / PhotoLife94, E+ Collection, Getty Images

Buying outdoor furniture, tools, and décor might not be on your mind right now, but you have a chance to save big on these items during the month of August. That’s because a lot of brick-and-mortar retailers only offer these seasonal products for a limited time, and once autumn rolls around, they want to clear out that inventory to make way for new displays.

For the average consumer, you can really save a bundle on patio furniture, grills, and more this way. The catch? You might have to actually purchase a display model that’s been on the floor all summer, or you may have to sift through deals in the actual store.

But you can also find markdowns online. For instance, Wayfair also has some incredible clearance sales on outdoor rugs, chairs, cushions, and more.

In terms of everything else you might want to take with you to the beach or poolside, Target has end-of-summer deals on portable chairs, like this one from Costway that’s been marked down by more than 50 percent.