Dining outdoors and sleeping under the stars is what many of us love about May. It’s a month to sit back, relax and celebrate our surroundings—especially after all that spring-cleaning. Whether you’ll be celebrating Memorial Day or a recent grad, you’ll find discounts to make it all doable. If you’re interested in grilling, you’ll be happy with the savings on outdoor entertaining, cookware and camping gear. If chilling is more your style then sales on mattresses will help you do exactly that.
If you’re one of the 40 million Americans who like to sleep under the stars, take a few minutes to ensure that all your gear is in tip-top shape. Smyth found that camping gear was a prominent feature of Memorial Day sales last year at outdoor retailers like Cabela’s, Sears and Bass Pro Shops, with discounts of up to 50% on tents, coolers and more. My tent is perfectly fine, but I’m more than a little tempted to get the Lightspeed Outdoors Instant Setup Tent ($109.73 at REI), which pretty much assembles itself. Wouldn’t you rather spend your time enjoying the scenery than figuring out how to pitch a tent?
Sure, money makes a great grad’s gift—it’s easy, and you know they’ll like it—but we can’t always rely on our beloved grads to spend that money wisely (keg party, anyone?). Put your dollars to good use between May 6 and 9 when discounts on general gifts, like home decor and small appliances, reach up to 90% off. One popular deal from 2014 was 20% off one home appliance at Best Buy. The discounts became less compelling as the month wore on last year, so shop early!
Simply stated, grilling is what we do in this country. According to a 2013 study by the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association, 80% of us own a grill or a smoker, and 97% of us have used it in the past year. If your grill has lost its spark, consider buying in late May, when grill deals start sizzling. Smyth says that some models should be discounted as deeply as 40%.
Retailers assume you’ll be hosting outdoor parties, especially for the grad in the family, so look for discounts in the 15 to 50% off range from stores like Target, Party City and Oriental Trading. Hartman found that in 2014, there were a lot of deals in the entertaining category throughout May, peaking in the last two weeks with an average of 37% off. So stock up on useful supplies like colorful melamine pitchers and cups and citronella candles.
Rather sleep inside? Many a savvy shopper knows that Memorial Day is the time to buy a mattress. Discounts of up to 60% off are common before and during the three-day weekend. But take note, sleepy shoppers: Hartman found the strongest deals in 2014 were leading up to Memorial Day weekend, averaging 45% off with a high of 70% off.
And though no one really likes shopping for a mattress—it’s right up there with car shopping—lots of companies are making it easier for you. Casper mattresses gives customers a 100-day trial; Sleepy’s has free next-day delivery and setup; and Mattress Firm has a 100-day “happiness guarantee.” Note: Mattresses have come a long way, too. I’m intrigued by the new hybrid mattresses, which are a combination of the popular memory foam and the traditional spring versions.