What to Buy in May
Hey, good deal hunters, here is a list of what to buy in May from RetailMeNot, put together by one of my favorite writers, Donna Freedman.
Great May buys include party supplies, lawn mowers, sports equipment and camping gear.
First, the parties
Here comes party season! With graduation parties, wedding rehearsal dinners and outdoor birthday celebrations, don’t wait until last minute to realize that you don’t have enough supplies.
Party City offers a rainbow of disposable, eco-friendly dinnerware.
Today’s party supplies are nice enough to use at a grown-up party or even a wedding rehearsal dinner. They come in myriad patterns and colors like berry, coral, plum, aqua, cream, gold, kiwi and lavender. Some of it looks so much like porcelain you have to tap the plate to be sure you’re actually eating off plastic.
Saving on celebrations
All these products make entertaining easier, so why not stock up now? Especially since some pretty sweet coupons are being offered:
Target: Take $5 off a purchase of $50 or more sitewide for items bought online. Make it even easier on yourself and ask that they be shipped to the store. The products will be waiting for you to conveniently pick up, which is really helpful if you’re shopping with kids.
Party City: Quite a few options here, including $5 off $50 sitewide, 20% off custom grad invitations, banners and thank you cards through June 30 and free shipping on orders of $65 or more sitewide.
Oriental Trading Company: Get up to 50% off party supplies, plus free shipping on orders of $49 or more. Watch for sales on grad- and summer-themed party supplies, RetailMeNot home and garden specialist Nathalie Darilek says.
Celebrate Express: Get 20% off party packs—enough plates, dessert plates, utensils, napkins, beverage napkins and cups for two dozen guests, and the store will even throw in a tablecloth.
Shindigz: Through June 30 you can get $10 off graduation offers or free shipping on orders of $99 or more.
Birthday Express: Get 15% off any regularly priced merchandise.
Oh, and count yourself lucky if you’ve got kids with summer birthdays. Outdoor parties let them run around like crazy beasts without a problem. And yes, it will be funny to have a Frozen-themed party in steamy July. Consider renting or buying a snow-cone machine to further the illusion.
No more green feet
Some new homeowners dread the idea of mowing their own lawns. Maybe that’s because they’re flashing back to memories of hot, sticky summer afternoons spent shoving a gas-belching monster across an endless yard and raking up wet green clods afterward.Stop sweating and save on a new self-propelled mower.
But that was then. This is now: Self-propelled models that need only a light touch to guide them, that collect or mulch the clippings and that may run on electricity or batteries. I sometimes do a friend’s lawn and the mower practically pushes itself— and the collection bag means no more green feet.
Consumer Reports recommends a self-propelled gas mower for most lawns, and a push-gas or electric model for smaller and flatter areas. Its “best buy” picks are:
Personal Pace Recycler 22-inch Gas Lawn Mower (model 20332) ($359 at Home Depot)
3-in-1 Variable Speed Self-Propelled Gas Mower (model HRR2169VKA) ($399 at Home Depot)
Key Start Self-Propelled Gas Push Mower (model TB-280ES 12AGA26G) ($347.95 at Lowe’s)
TriAction Rear Wheel Self-Propelled Walk-Behind Mower (model TB-320 12AVC35U) ($329.99 at Troy Bilt)
Gas Propelled Mower With Side Discharge, Mulching, Rear Bag (model SP80 12AVB27W) ($277 at Walmart)
Home Depot is an obvious choice for mowers and garden items, according to Darilek. The merchant carries the exclusive Honda and Toro brands, and offers free shipping to your home or store. Home Depot offers periodic sitewide promo codes that you can usually stack with product or Memorial Day sales for additional savings.
A reel mower is an affordable option for small yards.
Sears has a great selection of self-propelled mowers, according to RetailMeNot’s Joe Smyth. Through July 5 Sears is offering $20 off lawn and garden purchases of $200 or more and a $35 off $300 sitewide coupon good through January 2015. (Hint: It’s easy to spend $300 if you’re buying a lawn mower.)
Smyth notes that Kmart has a sizable selection of reel mowers, that is, the human-powered kind that are great for small yards. No noise, no cords, no need to store gas and a little bit of exercise for the yard owner. Bonus: They start every time!
A few other good deals:
Tractor Supply Company: Get up to $50 off outdoor power products.
Gettington: Through May 10, get $25 off your purchase of $100 or more when you sign up for a Gettington credit card.
The great outdoors
Parents playing catch with kids: an iconic summer memory. So everybody put down the smartphone or the game controller and go outdoors, already. Whether in organized soccer leagues or pickup softball games in the park, look for wallet-friendly deals on sporting apparel and shoes at retailers like:
Baseball Express: Get 10% off on orders over $99.
Sports Authority: Get up to 50% off kids’ Mizuno and Rawlings baseball gloves. Through June 20 you can get free shipping on orders of $49 or more. See the circular here.
SportsKids.com: Get up to 25% off your order plus free shipping.
If you want a real summer memory, go camping. This doesn’t have to be a wilderness ordeal; in fact, some cities have campgrounds for visitors, so why not be a tourist in your own town? Campgrounds have water sources and bathrooms (although the latter may just be glorified Porta-Pottys), and maybe even fire pits. Set up a tent, sing some songs, make some s’mores and pretend you’re roughing it.
Once you’re experienced enough to put the tent up quickly (hint: the sun doesn’t shine all summer), you can go further afield. For a list of state parks, visit AmericasParks.com; for state-by-state info on national parks, forests, campgrounds and other public places, check out the Recreation.gov site.
May is a good time to buy tents, air mattresses and other camping gear. The savings are big and the memories you’ll make are priceless.
The (nearby) great outdoors
Sound too exhausting? Then go camping in your own yard. Seriously. Sleeping outside will be a novelty for young ones, especially if you light a grill or fire pit and make a hot-dogs-and-s’mores supper. Afterward, lie on your back and look at the stars. Tell ghost stories with a flashlight under your chin. And for heaven’s sake turn off the phones and the tablets!
Get a great price on the equipment you need from merchants like:
Cabela’s: At this time of year the retailer has consistent discounts on tents, air mattresses and other camping accessories, Smyth says. Through May 10, get up to 45% off North Face items. Be on the lookout throughout May because last year Cabela’s offered discounts of up to 35% off near Memorial Day.Is going camping too much of a hassle? Set up a tent in the backyard.
Bass Pro Shops: Get free shipping on purchases of $50 or more—a really good deal, Smyth notes because “Shipping is expensive with these outdoor merchants, so the savings there are big.”
Sears: A great selection of tents. Through January 2015, get $35 off a purchase of $300 or more sitewide.
One more summer memory: When I was a kid our dad bought a pup tent from Sears and set it up in the backyard. That inexpensive piece of canvas became not just a place to get out of the sun but also whatever we wanted it to be: a cave, a rocket ship, the Little House in the Big Woods. Consider leaving a tent up for your own kids, or at least pegging out a tarp from the deck. They’ve got the rest of their lives to be glued to computer screens, but childhood summers are fleeting.
To find the promo codes you need to save even more, be sure and visit RetailMeNot!