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In many places, August heralds the end of summer and the beginning of the school year for students and parents alike, which means end-of-season sales on outdoor items and office supplies from a wide range of stores. The retail landscape is also changing significantly: While Walmart’s been slashing prices to clear out excess inventory, we’ve also seen price increases due to inflation. And though most surveyed Americans think a recession is likely within the next year, the National Retail Federation reports they’re still spending money.
With big words like “inflation” and “recession” at the top of mind, shoppers should think smartly about their purchases. “Bundling items and buying in bulk can certainly be a smart money-saving tactic for bigger families or groups of friends that divvy up items, from value packs and 2-for-1 promos,” said Vipin Porwal, consumer savings expert and founder of cashback browser extension Smarty. While some Americans are still shopping, others may opt to reuse backpacks or wait until holiday sales to buy new technology, thanks to inflated prices, Porwal said. He predicted those that do shop will be creative with how they take advantage of deals this month.
With that in mind, you — like many shoppers — may be hunting for deals, bulk sales and discounts before making a purchase. To give you an idea of the best sales and discounts during the month ahead, we consulted retail experts on what sales and items are worth considering, as well as what’s not worth shopping for right now (if you can wait).
Best August sales
We chose the sales below because we think you’ll find them interesting — they typically include multiple deals and, of course, not every single product in a sale will be the best deal around.
- Nordstrom: Up to 70% off select clearance styles during the Designer Sale
- Macy’s: Up to 65% off home goods and furniture during the Big Home Sale through Aug. 14, up to 60% kids apparel, and up to 25% off activewear brands
- Best Buy: Up to 60% off select Amazon smart speakers and displays, up to $300 off select HP laptops and up to $100 off Samsung Galaxy Tab tablets
- Office Depot: Up to 60% off select school supplies, up to 50% off select furniture, and deals on technology
- Girlfriend Collective: Up to 60% off select sale styles, and 20% off sitewide for students and teachers
- Bed Bath and Beyond: Up to 50% off college essentials, as well as up to 25% off select coffee makers and select food storage
- Dick’s Sporting Goods: Up 50% off select items during the Back-to-Class event through Aug. 6
- Nike: Up to 50% off select bras and through Aug. 6, get an extra 20% off sale items with code SCORE20
- Crate and Barrel: Up to 50% off select outdoor furniture and up to 30% off outdoor decor and more
- Adidas: Up to 50% off sale shoe and apparel styles
- Pottery Barn: Up to 50% off outdoor furniture while supplies last
- Dormify: Up to 50% off sitewide
- Flybird Fitness: Up to 47% off sitewide
- Society6: Up to 40% off weekly deals on tapestries, backpacks and more through Aug. 24
- REI: Up to 40% off kayaks, paddle boards and accessories
- Knix: Up to 40% off last call bras, apparel and underwear
- Walmart: Up to 40% off select college picks, up to 20% off patio and garden items, and up to 10% off fans
- Rifle Paper Co.: Up to 35% off select sale products like notebook sets, puzzles and more
- Aerogarden: Up to 30% off select garden kits
- The Company Store: Up to 30% off during the Semi-Annual sale through Aug. 28
- Columbia: 25% off select gear during the Summer Sale
- Target: Up to 25% off furniture and home décor through Aug. 8 and 20% off bedding through Aug. 13
- Skinstore: 25% off select best selling beauty items
- Home Depot: Up to 25% off storage, bedding and furniture
- Madewell: 20% off for college students and teachers through Aug. 29
- Dyson: Up to $120 off select Dyson products
Best August deals
We rounded up the best ongoing deals on highly rated products Select readers have shown an interest in or that we think you should know about. We relied on price tracking tools like Honey and CamelCamelCamel to note the value of each discount.
Under-bed storage is a dorm essential and we’ve recommended this Dormify option (with wheels) at full price before. The rolling storage bin is 24-inches long, 15-inches wide and 8.5-inches high with a transparent top so you can easily see whatever you’ve stored inside. It zips open and shut, too. The storage piece has handles on its sides so you can easily maneuver it (in and out from) under your bed.
OXO’s glass containers are some of our favorite meal prep containers, and this 16-piece set comes with differently-sized round and rectangular containers to easily hold whatever you’re storing. OXO says they’re microwave-, oven-, freezer- and dishwasher-safe. The brand also says the glass containers easily stack for compact storage.
This Echo 8 is available at Best Buy for its lowest price ever. With Alexa, the smart device can play music or stream podcasts, as well as control compatible devices like lights or smart thermostats. You can also use the Echo 8 to video chat with friends and family who have the Alexa app (or a compatible Echo device). The Echo 8 also turns into a digital picture frame with Amazon Photos.
What to buy in August
August should be about upgrading the whole family — even as sales target students — according to Porwal. Experienced shoppers know there are big savings during Back to School and end-of-season sales this month, he said, which include deals on school supplies but also home items. These deals may include traditional school supplies like backpacks and pens, or technology like tablets and laptops for student usage. Traditionally, dorm décor and necessities like pillows, shower curtains, and trash cans go on sale around this time of year, too.
Porwal also noted there are some “savings opportunities that get overlooked” around this time. He said to anticipate “deep discounting” on dark-horse categories like musical instruments, prescription eyewear and exams and home and office technology like printers, computer monitors, software packages, and internet networking gear.
End-of-season deals have historically included discounts on outdoor equipment like tents, grills, hammocks, and camping chairs, as well as patio furniture. During the last week in August, Porwal advised, shoppers will likely see pre-Labor Day sales, with discounts up to 50% off sporting and outdoor items, swimwear and yard supplies, as well as other seasonal outdoor items.
What to skip in August
If you’re looking for video game consoles, TVs and other electronics, Porwal suggested waiting until early Black Friday deals, “when nearly every retailer features these items at their lowest prices.”
Additionally, Porwal mentioned that jeans and denim products may be discounted this month but should be at lower prices as the seasons change.