What to Buy In July—And What You Should Probably Skip

Between Fourth of July sales and Prime Day deals, there are plenty of ways to save more this month.
Scoop up some sweet deals this month.
Scoop up some sweet deals this month. / DNY59, E+ Collection, Getty Images
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Summer is in full swing, but this isn’t just the season for cookouts and camping trips: July kicks off with massive sales right off the bat thanks to Fourth of July weekend and doesn’t really let up. Even after the holiday is over, shoppers can take advantage of tons of great discounts during Amazon Prime Day, which starts on Tuesday, July 16, and runs through Wednesday, July 17. Other major retailers, like Nordstrom and Walmart, are running their own sales events during this period, too, so if you're trying to save some extra bucks, this is one of the best times of year to do it.

Apart from major sales events, there are other ways to get more for less this month. On Thursday, July 11, you can get one free Slurpee at participating 7-Eleven stores in honor of the brand’s 97th anniversary. Later in the month, you can also expect to find other freebies because of National Ice Cream Day. Below, check out more of what’s worth buying during the month of July, plus what you can probably skip.

What to Buy in July

Buy: Summer Clothing and Swimwear

Red bikini on a clothesline
Even though it's still in season, swimwear tends to go on sale during these mid-year sales because they're getting ready for fall. / Vstock LLC, VStock Collection, Getty Images

Want to add to your summer wardrobe? Now is a good time to do it because clothing usually gets marked down about six to eight weeks after a season begins. While summer hasn’t lasted quite that long yet, you can usually still find deals on apparel because many retailers want to clear out their inventory ahead of fall and offer mid-year sales.

The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, which opens to the general public on Monday, July 15, and runs through Sunday, August 4, is one of the best chances to save. Shoppers can expect significant bargains on brands like Madewell, Free People, Halogen, and others. Additionally, Nordstrom cardholders can get a head start on the deals, as exclusive early access for them begins on Saturday, July 13.

Beyond Nordstrom, Old Navy’s Red, White and Whoa! sale is another excellent way budget shoppers can stock up and save. You can snag clothing and accessories for you and the kids for upwards of 60 percent off, plus get flip-flops and other accessories starting as low as $2.

You can find good deals on swimsuits right now, too, even though this is their peak season. If you’re gearing up for a long-awaited pool party, you can find comfortable swimwear at Aerie Swim and get up to 50 percent off select styles. Not only that, but popular brands like SummerSalt are running sales promotions as well: at SummerSalt, you can get 30 percent off everything on the site when you use the code SPF30 at checkout.

Shop: Fourth of July Sales

American flags for sale in a Megastore.
Flags and other patriotic gear tend to get marked down after the holiday, too. / Juanmonino, E+ Collection, Getty Images

Like many other holidays, the Fourth of July has become a major sales event over the last several years. If you’re on the fence about grabbing a major appliance or grill, you’ll find some great values over the long weekend, as virtually every single retailer—small or large—pulls out all stops to guarantee maximum savings during the event. However, most of these deals expire after the first week of the month, so you’ll have to act fast.

Over at Lowe’s, you can shop from major brands like Weber, Char-Broil, and Napoleon during their holiday savings event, plus get up to 40 percent off select major appliances like refrigerators, chest freezers, and more through Wednesday, July 10. At The Home Depot, you can also enjoy comparable Fourth of July savings, including up to 25 percent off storage and organization accessories, plus $850 off select washers and dryers when you spend about $3000. You can even get up to $400 off on select dishwashers from the likes of LG, Bosch, KitchenAid, Samsung, and more.

Buy: Amazon Devices

Kid with an Amazon Fire tablet in his hands.
Expect Amazon devices to be on sale for upwards of 50 percent off during Prime Day. / Amazon

This year’s Amazon Prime Day marks the 10th anniversary of the sale, which began in 2015 to celebrate the brand’s 20th birthday. The event lasts 48 hours and will run from Tuesday, July 16, at around 3 a.m. EST until Wednesday, July 17, at 11:59 p.m. PT.

While still a few weeks away, Amazon’s official blog has already listed some of the best early Prime Day deals you can shop now if you’re a Prime member. This includes limited-time deals on Audible and Kindle Unlimited subscriptions, coupons for shopping at Amazon Fresh’s outlets, and huge markdowns on Amazon devices.

For example, this three-pack Amazon eero mesh Wifi system is down to $100, or 53 percent off, its lowest-ever price on the website. If you want to set up a home security system, this Blink Outdoor 4 (4th Gen) and Blink Mini 2 combo deal will get the job done for just $50. That’s $90 lower than its usual $140 price, so grab it while the offer lasts. (And for more specific deals, be sure to stay tuned for our coverage of the event.)

Buy: Luggage and Travel Accessories

Passengers with luggage waiting in line at airport.
Your next vacation will roll a lot smoother with a reliable suitcase. / izusek, E+ Collection, Getty Images

Investing in good-quality luggage can make the travel portion of your summer vacation much less stressful. Fortunately, there are several stellar deals on suitcases and assorted travel accessories right now. Samsonite, maker of top-rated luggage like the Cosmolite 3.0 2-piece set, is offering 30 percent off across the site, plus free shipping.

You can also find ample discounts at Away, as all their best sellers are on sale for up to $150 when you use the promotional code GETAWAY at checkout. This includes everything from packing cubes to toiletry bags, rolling duffles, and the ever-popular Carry-On suitcase. As the brand rarely offers any deals at all, this is a rare opportunity for shoppers to splurge and still save a bit on their items.

Shop: Ice Cream Deals

Two ice cream cones being held by person.
You can treat yourself to some cool freebies. / Sonic, 500Px Plus Collection, Getty Images

Unlike 7-Eleven’s Slurpee Day, National Ice Cream Day isn’t exclusive to one retailer. As such, many brands get in on the action. Last year, both Baskin Robbins and Dairy Queen offered deals in honor of the big day: Baskin Robbins lovers got $5 off all orders of $20 or more with the promo code SEIZETHEYAY in their app, while Dairy Queen offered $1 off any dipped cone purchased via their app. However, there were other offers that took the cake and bakery (or shall we say, ice cream and factory).

While we’re not entirely sure just yet which discounts will be available this time around, we expect the perks to be pretty sweet. And if you were feeling lucky enough, you could enter Bruster’s National Ice Cream Month sweepstakes now through Wednesday, July 31, and potentially win free ice cream for a year, up to a value of $300. 

What Not to Buy in July

Skip: Lawn Mowers

A young man mowing the grass on a property, tending the garden, using a petrol lawnmower.
The deepest discounts really don't come until fall. / Tim Pannell, Mint Images, Getty Images

Your backyard deserves some love, especially in these months, but we’d suggest holding off on buying a lawn mower for the time being. Contrary to popular belief, the best time to purchase these mowers isn’t in peak summer—it’s in early fall. That may seem counterintuitive, but during the fall months, lawn and garden maintenance items like gardening tools and lawnmowers are usually cleared to make way for winter items, like shovels and snowblowers. As such, waiting until around when the leaves start to fall can be a great way to save, and your wallet will thank you later. 

Skip: Back-to-School Items

 Shopping for school supplies in a store.
School just ended, but by the start of next month, expect sales on class supplies to start dropping. / Philippe Lissac, Stone Collection, Getty Images

For many students around the country, school just ended. But some budget-conscious shoppers may be tempted to start picking up back-to-school essentials now to beat the rush that will hit once Labor Day weekend draws closer.

However, we’d suggest holding off until at least late July. Experts have suggested that the best time to buy school items is mid-to-late summer, largely because of sales tax holidays in early August. While it’s not exactly a bad idea to buy things right now, you stand to save more if you just wait it out a few more weeks.

Skip: Major Electronics

Woman shopping for laptop.
You can take advantage of back-to-school sales and sales tax holidays if you hold off for a month. / 97, E+ Collection, Getty Images

While you can definitely save on Amazon devices this month during Prime Day, you may want to hit the brakes on buying tech gadgets from most other brands, like Samsung and Apple. The reason being, August and September tend to be launch periods for newer smart devices, including tablets, smartphones, and earbuds.

As a result, you may see major price reductions on older iterations of popular models in the coming months—and discounts on wearables and smartphones will only get more attractive as we enter the final quarter of the year, thanks to Black Friday and the holiday season. If you miss the bus on tech offers this July, just wait it out until September or late August.

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