Buy This, Not That: Summer Essentials


What to spend on, and what to skip over.

By Kendal Perez for

Summer is here and there’s no better time to hit the outlets and shopping malls for a little retail therapy. You know you can find summer chic on the cheap, but some buys are better than others during the warm season. Knowing when to purchase and when to wait can be challenging, so consider the following “buy this, not that” guide for summer essentials.



Furniture retailers get new inventory in February and August, making January and July the best time to find sales on last season’s stuff. If you’re in the market for a recliner or new living room set, hit stores July 1 for Independence Day sales and the commencement of month-long deals. Since furniture will set you back, consider these tips for buying big purchases on a budget.

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Gym membership

Fitness fanatics ditch gyms for outdoor workouts during the summer months, making gym floors much less crowded. This also means fitness clubs are eager for new recruits and more amenable to waive initiation fees and other silly add-ons. If there are several gyms in your area, take advantage of free passes to thoroughly vet each facility and get some complimentary workout time.

Broadway tickets

New York City dwellers prefer to catch Broadway shows in the fall, making early summer a great time to score tickets for less. Popular shows sell out fast, so make plans as soon as you can. Check out this article from TripAdvisor for a few more tips on tracking down cheap tickets.



According to USAToday, the cost of beef is skyrocketing this summer, making your afternoon barbecue a bit more costly. With the cost of steak averaging close to $5 per pound, you’re better off serving chicken! There are several ways to save on groceries, but sometimes substitution is your best bet. If beef simply must be on the menu, opt for less expensive cuts like brisket or chuck eye steak.


Coasting along the boardwalk on your brand-new cruiser may sound like your idea of summertime bliss, but the pricetag will immediately crush your dreams. Hold off on purchasing that new bike until September, when new models are released and the old ones are offered for deep discounts.

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Thanks to pleasant temperatures and relaxed schedules, summer is the most popular time to get married. Due to high seasonal demand, wedding vendors increase their prices accordingly. If you’re recently engaged and considering a wedding date, skip the summer months and plan for an early spring or late autumn ceremony. Then, make sure you read up on budget-friendly wedding tips to keep costs down.


You’d think tools would have been great in June because of all the Father’s Day sales. In actuality, deeper discounts are available in October and November. So, don't feel bad about not getting Dad his wish list last month and tell him you're holding off until the holidays for that table saw or mechanic’s tool set. Otherwise, compare prices of tools between Lowe’s and Home Depot. Each retailer will price-match one another with an additional 10-percent off.

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Kendal Perez is a frugal fashionista and bargain shopper who helps fellow shopaholics find hassle-free ways to save money. As the marketing coordinator for Kinoli Inc., site manager for a family of money-saving websites, Kendal has the resources to be an extreme couponer but prefers a less complicated approach to staying in-budget. Kendal has been quoted in such media outlets as People StyleWatch, TIME Business & Money, FOX, ABC, and Kiplinger Personal Finance.

This article was originally published at . Reprinted with permission from the author.