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What to buy and not buy in May

What to Buy and Not Buy in MayMay is a big month for bargains, beginning with Mother’s Day and ending with Memorial Day. If you’ve been waiting on a great bargain, there’s a good chance it’ll pop up in May.

Check out this guide from on what to buy in May, as well as the items you’ll want to wait until later to purchase:

Nontraditional Mother’s Day gifts

When it comes to Mother’s Day, the most popular gifts tend to be flowers and mom-themed jewelry. However, flowers will probably go up in price early this month, and you can expect the selection of mom-themed jewelry to dwindle quickly. But if you think outside the box, you can still get a great gift for mom.

Instead of rushing around to find traditional gifts by May 8, consider options such as magazine subscriptions that will gift your mom more than once. If your mom enjoys reading eBooks, be sure to check out Amazon and watch for May sales on top Kindle eBooks; last year, it offered up to 80 percent off on some eBooks.

If your mom likes music, watch for Amazon to offer free Music Unlimited upgrades again this year. Also check Groupon to if it has any an Apple Music family subscription plan for free for a few months and SiriusXM to see if it has a three-month free trial offer.

If your mom likes watching programs, see if Amazon will offer discounted rates for specialty channels on Amazon Prime.

Large appliances and kitchen gadgets

With Memorial Day being huge for sales in May, it’ll probably be a good time to purchase large appliances, as well as small kitchen appliances and gadgets. Compare prices at retailers such as Home Depot, Lowe’s, and Best Buy.

For small kitchen appliances, check Target, Macy’s, and Nordstrom Rack.


If you’re looking for a new mattress, May is a great month to find a deal. Compare prices at Macy’s and Kohl’s, online sellers such as Purple, and stores devoted to mattresses and bedding. Remember, it’s difficult to compare prices on mattresses because the same models have different names at different stores. See my article “How to Buy a Mattress” for helpful details.

In-season produce

The choices for fresh produce pick up in May. Expect to find artichokes, asparagus, lettuce, okra, radishes, rhubarb, spring peas, Swiss chard, and zucchini at their peak. For fruit for snacks, lunches, and summery desserts, look for apricots, cherries, mangoes, pineapples, and strawberries.

On what not to buy in May, don’t purchase grills, athletic apparel, lingerie, and perennial plants.


Any grill deals on sale this time of year will probably only be a modest discount. You can expect a much better selection and more savings later in the year, September or October.

Athletic apparel

Retailers know more people are looking to get in shape as summer begins, and so there will be more deals on activewear in June than in May.


Victoria’s Secret usually has its summer Semi-Annual Sale in June, and Frederick’s of Hollywood will likely hold its own sale to compete.

Perennial plants

Perennials can be planted in spring or fall, so there’s a good chance nurseries will be trying to clear out inventory as fall grows closer. Look for bargains in August or September.


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