Back-to-school season often means trips to the mall and big-box stores to get the kids ready for the year ahead. As the summer weeks dwindle, you might be considering purchases to prep for the new school season. But before you buy anything full price — or at a not-so-discounted sale price — make sure you know what items are the worst to buy in August in terms of cost.
Read: 10 Popular Products That Costco Doesn’t Sell Anymore
See: 25 Secret Money Traps at Target, Walmart and Other Big-Box Stores
Last updated: Aug. 2, 2021
Meet the Expert
To find out what not to buy in August, GOBankingRates spoke with Rebecca Gramuglia, TopCashback.com’s personal finance and shopping expert, who has a passion for finding the best and smartest deals.Recap: 31 Days of Living Richer
It can be tempting to stock up on fall clothes before the cooler temperatures hit, but you'll end up spending more than you need to."Even though there are back-to-school sales happening in August, items like heavier sweaters and winter coats will be closer to, if not, full price," said Gramuglia.Learn: Shopping Mistakes You’re Making and How To Stop
When to Buy: Labor Day, Columbus Day, Post-Holidays
"Your best bet is to buy (fall clothes) during a sale weekend like Labor Day or Columbus Day," said Gramuglia. "If you don’t care about the season’s latest trends, try stocking up on these items in the very late winter (think post-holiday) through the warmer months when any lingering cold-weather items get significantly marked down."Check Out: The 37 Mistakes We Make When Shopping at Costco, Amazon, Target and Walmart
If you're due for a phone upgrade in August, you probably can't wait to trade in your phone for the latest model. But you can nab lower prices by waiting just one month.Avoid: 50 Purchases Buyers Almost Always Regret
When to Buy: September
"New iPhone models are usually announced in September, so you'll start to see discounts on older models then," said Gramuglia. "Purchasing an iPhone before then means you’ll likely pay a much higher price on a model that will get marked down in a few weeks. If you don't mind missing out on the newest update, you can save hundreds of dollars on previous years' models by waiting until the fall."Find Out: 24 Ways To Make Money Off Your Shopping
Game consoles are high-priced items, so you're best off waiting for a good sale. And you won't find good deals on consoles in August.Read: 15 Times You Should Splurge, Settle or Skip When Shopping
When to Buy: Black Friday
If you don't immediately need a new game console, "it's best to wait for Black Friday in November to snag incredible deals," said Gramuglia.Learn: What Do Retail Sales Mean for the Economy?
Small Kitchen Gadgets
In the market for a new coffee maker, blender or other small kitchen appliance? Hold off on buying anything in August as you'll get better deals in a couple of months.See: 10 Useful Kitchen Tools You’ll Love for Under $30
When to Buy: Black Friday
As with game consoles, Black Friday sales are the best time to buy small kitchen appliances, said Gramuglia.Skip: 5 Kitchen Appliances That Just Aren’t Worth It
Unless your TV is broken, hold off on upgrading your set until the fall.Ways To Save: Cut the Cable Cord in 2021 With 3 Completely Free TV Apps
When to Buy: Black Friday, Super Bowl Weekend
You can score 50% off big-screen TVs during Black Friday sales, said Gramuglia. "You can also save big bucks on TVs during Super Bowl weekend," she added. Tips: 30 Things You Should Never Buy Without a Coupon
"The summer is a big travel period for many Americans, so the demand for luggage is higher," said Gramuglia.That means you likely won't be seeing any sales on luggage during August.Advice: 10 Money-Saving Summer Travel Tips Only Insiders Know
When to Buy: Fall and Winter, March
"You can likely score discounts when buying luggage during the off-season, in the fall and colder months," said Gramuglia. "New luggage collections typically come out during March, which is the pre-travel season, so plan for next summer and look out for discounts when retailers try to clear out the older inventory with slashed prices. Plus try stacking the savings while using a cashback site like TopCashback.com to earn a percentage back of the money you spend on qualifying purchases."Try: 5 Best Companies for Free Samples
If you buy a new mattress at the beginning of the month, you'll likely be paying too much."Keep your eyes peeled for sales starting toward the end of August," said Gramuglia.Discover: 12 Household Items You Should Be Replacing Regularly — And How Much It Costs
When to Buy: Labor Day
"With new inventory being rolled out in the earlier months of the year, summer holiday weekends are the prime time to get a new mattress," said Gramuglia. "One of the most popular times to buy a mattress is Labor Day, so if you can wait it out for a few weeks, you'll be able to score a solid deal."Find Out: The Worst Things To Buy on Amazon
August is the end of barbecue season, which means grills are in high demand and you likely won't find them on sale.Check Out: The 5 Best End-of-Summer Deals on Big Outdoor Purchases
When to Buy: Labor Day
"Summer is almost over so if you can get one more month out of your grill, hold out until September to buy a new one," said Gramuglia. "That's when Labor Day sales and out-of-season savings are huge and can save you a significant amount of money." Tips: 8 Bulk Food Items You Need To Be Buying at Costco This Summer
Hold off until September on buying refrigerators, washers, dryers and other major appliances to get the best deals.Research: The 6 Best Store Credit Cards Worth a Spot in Your Wallet
When to Buy: Labor Day
"In addition to grills and mattresses, Labor Day sales bring deep discounts on appliances," said Gramuglia. "As per previous years, you can expect to snag appliances at up to 30% off at Home Depot, Best Buy and Lowe's this Labor Day." Energy Drain: Unplug These Appliances That Hike Up Your Electricity Bill
You might already be seeing patio sets on sales in August, but prices will drop even lower after Labor Day, especially into fall, CBS News reported.Find Out: What Adds More Value to Your Home: Indoor or Outdoor Upgrades?
When to Buy: October
October is when patio set prices will be at their lowest, according to CBS.See: Best and Worst Things to Buy Generic
Best Things to Buy in August
While there are many things you should avoid buying in August, there are other items that will be heavily discounted this month.Computers, office supplies and school supplies: These are often marked down as part of back-to-school sales.
Office furniture: Big-box office stores, Amazon and Walmart tend to mark down office furniture as part of their back-to-school deals.
Summer clothes and swimsuits: Stores are looking to clear summer inventory to make room for fall goods, so these items will be marked down.
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This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: 10 Worst Things To Buy in August
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