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What to buy and not buy in August

Boy-Backpack School Books Red ShirtAugust marks the beginning of the end of summer, as well as a new school year. While it may seem like it’s only a good time to buy pencils, notebooks, and backpacks, August is much more than back to school sales. It brings tax free shopping, deals on summer clothing, garden tools, and much more. offers the following tips on what to buy and not buy in August.

National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day

It’s Aug. 4. Look for freebies or delicious deals.

Back to school

While inflation has affected school supplies, you can still expect lots of savings on these items, especially on basic, standard school supplies without flashy designs.

Back to school sales are well underway this year, so there are already school supplies on sale starting at only 25 cents from stores such as Target. Look for deals “up to 40% off” at Staples and on eBay and Amazon. You also may find sales up to 70 percent off at Staples and Target.

Tax free items

Eighteen states host tax free holidays every summer, with most taking place over a weekend. These events offer opportunities to buy items such as clothing and school supplies without having to pay sales tax. Spending limits are typical on eligible items. For example, some states offer tax free purchases on clothing as long as each item is under $100. The exemptions vary state by state, so check out what kind of event yours is holding.

Summer clothing

Expect lots of summer clothing sales in August, but watch for especially great offers such as an extra 20 percent off or even up to 75 percent off. Count on casual clothes seeing significant discounts.


Expect sales on laptops at back to school promotions. Expect to find Chromebooks for as little as $119, and basic laptops could start at $209. Check a variety of stores for the best August deals, including eBay, Lenovo, Staples, and Best Buy.

Patio furniture

The winding down of summer means there should be quality discounts on patio furniture. Compare prices at Kohl’s, Macy’s, and Home Depot.

Garden tools

Look for lawn and garden sprayers to be as little as $12, and for garden irrigation systems to go for only $14. Keep an eye out for great deals on axial blowers, too.

Retailers will also be holding August sales on plenty of other outdoor items. Look for deals of 40 to 50 percent off on leaf blowers, trimmers, pressure washers, and other tools. Home Depot could take up to $50 off outdoor power tools.


With summer ending and vacation opportunities coming to a close, expect to see decent sales on luggage. These offers may be useful if you’re sending a kid off to college, and they need suitcases.

Air conditioners

Look for deals on portable air conditioners, personal air coolers, and window units.

Early Labor Day sales

Early Labor Day sales will likely start popping up around mid-August and will definitely be worth checking out. 

Expect the big items in these sales to be clothing, major appliances, and mattresses, plus grills and patio furniture. Watch for home decor items to see discounts as large as 80 percent off, mattresses to be up to $800 off, and major appliances to be up to 35 percent off.

Perennial plants

Perennials are plants that live longer than two years, and grow and bloom during the warmer spring and summer months. They do die back when it cools down in the fall and winter, but they return when temperatures warm up. Nurseries often try to sell off perennial stock in August because of the blooming cycle, so if you have room to plant them, do so now, so that they’ll have time to take root before temperatures begin to cool. This is dependent on your area, so check what zone you’re in to ensure you’re only planting items that can thrive where you live.

What not to buy in August

Skip buying mattresses and major appliances in August. September will offer better deals.

For the latest iPhone, September, October, or November are better months.

For fall clothing, big-brand android phones, and TVs, you’ll find lower prices in November.


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