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What to Buy in April: Spring Apparel, Outdoor Furniture, and More

Spring is in the air, and so are some big sales.

This April, retailers are waving their discount wands over items across a number of categories including apparel, jewelry, furniture, fitness gear, and cleaning products. Savvy consumers should be on the lookout for sales on tax software, tax services, as well as for "tax day freebies" — limited time offers that pop up around April 15 from all sorts of vendors looking to bring shopping joys to a stressful time of year. And with Mother's Day on May 8, we're seeing some mom-friendly discounts, too.

Here's a look at some of the best deals out there, and some we can expect to see as the new month kicks off. Unless indicated, these deals have no listed end date, and while many expire quite early in the month, experts say we can expect them to be extended or to see similar deals ushered in.

Spring clothing

Many retailers have been pushing spring clothing since winter, and are now slashing prices to make room for summer inventory. Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst of the NPD Group, points out that a great portion of shoppers don't even start buying spring wardrobe essentials until now, which was the right move if they're looking to save.

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"43 percent of consumers tell us that they don't even start shopping for their spring wardrobes until April," Cohen said.

"Spring dresses, lightweight jackets and sweaters, and bright and vibrant colored handbags and other accessories have been [in many stores] more than 4 to 8 weeks now, and retailers are looking to move them," said Cohen.

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RetailMeNot is offering an extra 20 percent off your purchase from Banana Republic through April 3, and an extra 20 percent off your order from Kohl's. ValPak has a few Kohl's-related coupons, including $15 off orders amounting $100 more, while other ValPak coupons can save WalMart shoppers up to 80 percent on clearance items, and provide free delivery on orders $50 or more. Also via ValPak, consumers can save $25 or more, plus free shipping on orders of $50 and up at Old Navy, and up to 75 percent off clothing, handbags, and accessories at Dillards.

Fitness wear and shoes

"Because of rising temperatures and longer days, we're seeing big discounts on fitness items such as yoga pants and sneakers," said Sara Skirboll, savings expert at RetailMeNot.

Under Armour has a number of decent deals hosted on RetailMeNot, such as as free shipping on orders over $40 through April 30. But more impressive is the offering of an extra 20 percent off one sale item at DC Shoes, and at Macy's, savings of up to 40 percent off plus free shipping, as well as up to an extra 30 percent off select regular, sale, and clearance priced women's shoes through April 3.

Brent Shelton, online shopping expert at FatWallet.com, said to look for big discounts on running and hiking shoes, along with activewear and gear for outdoor sports.

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A Sears spokesperson added that shoppers can find deep discounts on athletic footwear starting at $19.99 from April 10 to 16. And don't forget to keep an eagle eye out for fitness gear at hugely reduced prices. At Sears, for instance, all fitness gear is on sale — from April 3 to 9, the NordicTrack C 700 Treadmill will be offered for the deeply discounted price of $699.99, down from $1199.99.

Mother's Day jewelry and sunglasses

Rather than waiting until the last minute to shop for mom, consider hopping onto Kmart's website between April 3 and April 9, when you can nab the Diamond-Accent Pendants in Sterling Silver for its online sale price of $19.99 (down from $99.99), a Kmart spokesperson confirmed.

Sunglasses are another marked down accessory that may please the mother in your life. One of the bigger sales in this category comes from Macy's, which is offering up to $75 off your regular price sunglass purchase via RetailMeNot. At Sears, take up to 40 percent off sunglasses April 10-16.

"Buying Mother's Day gifts that coincide with spring sales can save you a lot of money, or allow for buying mom something much more extravagant in lieu of savings you'll be getting," said FatWallet's Shelton.

Patio furniture and garden gear

'Tis the season to spruce up your outdoor space, and shoppers will find no shortage of significant savings on lawn furniture and garden maintenance items.

On Fatwallet Amazon is offering 25 percent off lawn mowers through April 4; Sears is offering its BCP Outdoor Patio Propane Firepit w/ Lava Rocks & Stone Base for $189.99 (down from$399.99) with free shipping through April 9, as well as its Black & Decker Deluxe Heavy Duty Adjustable Trigger Nozzle $2.99 (was $10.99) with free in-store pickup; Lowe's has its Garden Treasures Driscol 7 piece Patio Dining Set on sale for $199.00 (down from $250) with free truck delivery and no expiration date listed.

Target's is touting up to 20 percent off select outdoor living items, and up to 20 percent off grills and firepits, plus free shipping on all orders of $25 or more.

Vacuums and cleaning products

If you're looking to push back your spring cleaning for just a few more days, you're in luck. Courtney Jespersen, retail expert at NerdWallet.com, says that April is the perfect time to buy a vacuum.

"Consumers have cleaning on the mind, which means retailers are offering an incentive to get them to buy," said Jespersen. "Shoppers can find discounted cleaning products from department stores like J.C. Penney or Kohl's, but it also can pay to buy directly from the manufacturer."

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At Kmart, from April 10-16, you can get the Navigator Light Upright Vacuum for $99.99, marked down from $129.99, and at Target you can save 38 percent on the Dyson DC50 Ball Compact Allergy Upright Vacuum, priced at 249.99, down from $399.99, plus free shipping.

Tax software, services, and Tax Day freebies

If you haven't filed your taxes yet, you have approximately two weeks left to do so, and providers are sharpening their competitive edge with slick deals.

"The majority of tax software retailers like H&R Block and Turbotax are offering some of their best discounts of the year for April filers, including up to 40 percent off on both desktop and online tax software deals for both personal and small business tax," said Shelton. RetailMeNot users can access $25 off in-store tax preparation for new clients at H&R Block through April 30.

And while April 15 is a day of dread for some, many retailers take advantage of the tax filing deadline to extend a fun promotion.

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"We're expecting lots of tax day freebies again this year," said Benjamin Glaser, features editor with DealNews, who adds that these deals have yet to be advertised but will be announced shortly.

"Many sit-down restaurants offer a free dessert, appetizer, or drink with purchase of any entree, or they cut a flat rate off your bill, but some fast food restaurants offer a free item even without purchase," said Glaser. "Other freebies we see most years include Staples' annual free paper shredding, a free massage at Hydro Massage, a free cookie from the Great American Cookie Co., and a free burger from Hard Rock Cafe if you 'sing for your supper.'"

Lisa Scopa, SVP, Business Services at Staples, confirmed that indeed, Staples' annual tax day freebie will be happening this year.

"The 5 lbs. free shredding on April 18 is in-store only and the customer doesn't need to bring anything besides their papers to shred," said Scopa, "The store associates have a coupon they'll use at the counter."