Every change of season has its merits, but the feeling of renewal that spring ushers in seems particularly powerful — and more welcome than ever — this year.
Of course, looking to save on retail purchases is one thing that never changes. Here are the best things to buy in April and the categories you should skip.
WHAT TO BUY IN APRIL
Easter falls on April 4 this year, which means you’ll be able to find discounts on those Cadbury crème eggs earlier in the month than usual. Smart shopping expert Trae Bodge of TrueTrae.com says you’ll find the deepest discounts if you can wait until Easter Sunday or later. “You’ll see some deals before the holiday, but the longer you wait, the better,” she says. “Stores are going to be discounting candy as well as baskets and bunny toys deeply, so if you can dash out before your kids are awake in the morning and stock up, you’ll get clearance-level discounts.”
Toys and Games
Springtime is always a good time to refresh your playtime options, because “we don’t really see a lot of sale activity in this category earlier in the year,” Bodge says. “I’m seeing good deals on both indoor and outdoor toys, although not a lot of activity around video games. Look for board games or STEM-related games, and outdoor items like volleyball nets.”
Earth Day Items
Retailers have so many sales tied to celebrate Earth Day on April 22 that it will be more like Earth Month, Bodge says. “We’ll see lots of eco-friendly deals out there,” she says. “Plus, a lot of the companies are contributing to Earth-friendly-related nonprofits.”
Bodge says she is seeing mainly smaller brand names embrace these types of promotions. “For example, Elouan Wines is doing an ‘Enjoy a Bottle, Plant a Tree’ initiative and Ahimsa, which makes stainless steel dishes for kids, gives back to the Patachou Foundation, which serves healthy meals to children struggling with poverty and hunger,” she says. “Sometimes eco-friendly products are little bit more expensive, so it’s nice to take advantage of those discounts right now and maybe live a little greener at the same time.”
Sara Skirboll, shopping and trends expert at RetailMeNot, adds that several beauty manufacturers will also be honoring Earth Day. “Many environmentally friendly brands will offer discounts,” she says. “We can expect other beauty brands to follow suit to help shoppers transition their winter beauty routines for the warmer months ahead.” She recommends looking for deals on skincare and makeup from brands such as Sephora and Ulta.
Spring brings new buds on the trees — but kids grow like weeds all year long, so it’s a good time to stock up on children’s shoes. You can expect an average savings of 23 percent, Skirboll says. “Promotions on shoes tend to decrease in the winter, so retailers start offering big discounts in the spring,” she adds. “Expect great deals on last season’s styles, as retailers are working to add more seasonal items to stores.”
Outdoor Tech and Furniture
As the temperatures warm up, the great outdoors beckons everyone who has been homebound for months. “There are deals on hiking, backpacking and camping gear, but also screens, outdoor projectors and related tech items,” Bodge says. “It’s not surprising given that we still can’t really entertain indoors yet.” She also expects to see teaser deals on patio furniture and rugs. “The caveat is that the great deals in this category come later in the summer — but if you need them now, it’s a good time to find some deals.”
WHAT TO SKIP IN APRIL
More than a year of remote working and learning has meant we’re all more plugged in than ever. But if you don’t really need new electronics, Bodge recommends holding off until July to take advantage of July Fourth and Amazon Prime Day sales.
Spring is not a good time to shop for new bling. “I would avoid jewelry right now,” Bodge says. “We’re coming into Mother’s Day next month, and that’s when we’ll see some nice discounts.”
If your refrigerator or washer/dryer is on its last legs, try to hold off until next month. “Of course, you can’t always decide when you have to replace your appliances,” Bodge says. “But hold off until Memorial Day, if possible, for the best deals in this category.”