IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Now's the Time to Buy Swimwear, Back-to-School, and Wine

Retailers are scrambling to clear their shelves of summer inventory — which means consumers can expect rock bottom pricing on swimwear and other summer gear.
Image: Enjoying a glass of wine
A young woman drinking some red wineGetty Images

With fall on the horizon, retailers are scrambling to clear their shelves of summer inventory. As such, consumers can expect rock bottom pricing on swimwear, summer gear, and last year's wine. Also rolling in are a slew of Back-to-School sales, with everything from notebooks to laptops seeing substantial discounts. Additionally, a number of state tax holidays fall in August (depending on which state you live in), so shoppers should be on the lookout for items they may be able to buy sans sales tax.

Hello, Summer Clearance

The pool parties may be winding down, but now is the time to stock up on swimsuits and Hawaiian shirts.

“While retailers will be pushing fall fashions for back to school, budget-minded shoppers should stick to the sale and clearance racks featuring summer apparel and shoes,” advised Kendal Perez, savings expert for “Department stores and clothing stores will also provide site-wide and store-wide discounts throughout August that can be applied to sale merchandise.”

Lord & Taylor is cleaning out its summer inventory, slashing prices on swimwear by as much as 60 percent, and at Kohl’s, you can nab up to 80 percent off clearance items, with a fairly versatile array of products retailing for under $5. H&M is touting up to 80 percent off some fun summer looks like this breezy men’s pineapple shirt, which is now $7.99, down from $12.99. Perez expects Macy’s to continue its mega-sale through August, so shoppers can likely take an extra 20 percent off select Macy’s clearance items.

While the most predictable big discounts revolve around summer stuff, savvy savers should spend a little time poking around these sites for deals on fall and even winter apparel. At Kohl’s, the Women's ZeroXposur Colleen Hooded Puffer Jacket is priced at $36, down from $180; over at Macy’s, select versions of the Under Armour HeatGear Colorblocked Leggings are priced at $26.99, down from $49.99.

Back-to-School Bonanza: From Stationery to Laptops

Back-to-School sales spotlight tons of categories, but probably the most impressive savings can be found on laptops.

“One of the best times of year to score laptop deals is in August, with discounts rivaling Black Friday, like up to 40 percent off new or refurbished laptops,” said Brent Shelton, online shopping expert at FatWallet.

At Office Depot/Max, the Lenovo IdeaPad 110 Laptop, 15.6" Screen, Intel Core i5, 8GB Memory, 1TB Hard Drive, Windows 10 is selling for $379.99, down from $599.99; and the Dell Inspiron 11 3000 Series Laptop, 11.6" Screen, Intel Celeron, 4GB Memory, 32GB eMMC Drive, Windows 10 Home is on sale for $169.91, down from $299.99. At BestBuy, the Apple - MacBook Pro - 15" Display - Intel Core i7 - 16 GB Memory - 512GB Flash Storage is on sale for $2,649.99, down from $2,799.99. Students can save an extra $100 by setting up an account with Best Buy. Price match guarantees are pretty standard among these bigger electronics retailers, so definitely do your homework before making a big purchase.

Back to School basics may be small potatoes next to high-tech laptops, but pens, pencils, folders, and notebooks are seeing peak discounts at this time of year.

“While shoppers will certainly see deals from Target, Walmart, Amazon and even Costco, office supply stores like Staples and Office Depot should not be overlooked,” said CouponSherpa’s Perez. “In some cases, Staples' doorbuster deals offer better discounts than Walmart and Target, with some basic supplies being sold in-store for as little as 50 cents. In most cases, consumers have to spend at least $5 to receive these heavily discounted rates — but that's likely not a roadblock for parents shopping for back-to-school items. What's more, Staples' 110 Percent Price Match Guarantee means shoppers can receive a price match for identical items from competitors, plus an extra 10 percent savings.”

Retailers are likely to slash Back-to-School discounts even deeper as the month goes on, so you may want to hold out until the last minute. And don’t forget, you don’t need to be a parent or a student to enjoy these deals. Now’s a great time, for instance, to buy an office chair like the Best Choice Products Ergonomic PU Leather High Back Office Chair, on sale at Walmart for $79.94, down from $199.95. Or maybe you’ve been meaning to replace that printer: The HP OfficeJet Pro 8720 Wireless All-in-One Printer with Mobile Printing is on sale at Office Depot/Max for $199.99, down from $299.99.

Tax Holidays, Root Beer, and Wine

“Many states offer tax holidays in August, as a way to soften the blow of back-to-school shopping for parents,” said Lindsay Sakraida, director of content marketing with DealNews. “Clothing and computers are frequently included in these tax holidays, and obviously the bigger the purchase, the more you'll save on tax.

And for relaxing after that huge back-to-school shop, August is a great month for getting wine on the cheap.

“There will be great deals on last year’s wine to make room for the new year’s supply,” said Sara Skirboll, ‎shopping & trends expert at RetailMeNot." is offering $10 off purchases of $75 or more.

These are the states with tax holidays in August:

Arkansas: August 5-6

Connecticut: August 20-26

Florida: August 4-6

Iowa: August 4-5

Maryland: August 13-19

Missouri: August 4-6

New Mexico: August 4-6

Ohio: August 4-6

Oklahoma: August 4-6

South Carolina: August 4-6

Texas: August 11-13

Virginia: August 4-6

Be sure to check federal guidelines to see exactly what items are covered — the rules tend to be pretty specific.

Other retail holidays to keep on your savings radar this month are National Root Beer Float Day (August 6), National S'mores Day (August 10) and National Garage Sale Day (August 12).

"If you don’t mind shopping secondhand, bargain hunters can expect plenty of local deals," said Courtney Jespersen, retail expert at NerdWallet.

And if deals on root beer floats don’t quite cut it for you, note that International Beer Day is August 4.