Spring is all about new beginnings — and as far as we’re concerned, it’s also the beginning of a new sale season. Some of April’s best buys will help you refresh your routine, but not all of them are smart purchases. Here’s what’s worth buying now, and where patience can save you the most.
WHAT TO BUY IN APRIL
A Gym Membership. New season, new workout routine? Gyms and health clubs are desperate for traffic now that people have ditched their January 1 resolutions. So now is a good time to sign up for a new membership at a discount. Consider negotiating beyond your monthly rate, says consumer shopping expert Andrea Woroch — a waived signup fee, a free month, extra guest passes, personal training sessions or free child care could make your membership more worthwhile. Remember to compare amenities across a few different gyms, and take advantage of trial periods before committing to a contract.
Gardening Supplies. You know those home improvement projects you’ve been dutifully Pinning to your #apartmentgoals board for months? It’s time to finally roll up your sleeves. Home improvement stores will start advertising sales on items like plants, fertilizer, soil, shovels and other gardening tools. And if you live in an area where there’s still snow on the ground, you might be able to pick up a snow blower or winter shovel on (deep, deep) clearance.
Thrift Shop Finds. Marie Kondo mania has reached critical mass. With households across the country decluttering their closets, not to mention the usual spring cleaning purge the season brings, it's a fantastic time to shop something new-to-you at your local thrift shop. Inventory of clothes, accessories, housewares, books and furniture will be particularly well-stocked if you're ready to swap out for something that will spark joy in your home.
Easter treats. The holiday falls on April 21 this year, so stores will be discounting all kinds of Easter basket goodies near the end of the month. Look for major markdowns on chocolates, sweets, pastel decorations and even Easter dresses, suits and accessories.
WHAT TO SKIP IN APRIL
Running Shoes. Warmer weather means people are getting their sweat on outside, and athletic shoes are full price. If you’re in need of new sneakers this month, expect to pay up. If you can wait until June, you can get new running shoes at 10 percent to 30 percent off around summertime sales, Woroch says.
A Weekend Getaway. Time your next budget vacation for early May — the travel slump between spring break and summer vacations — and you can book a hotel for cheap. If you live near the mountains, check if ski resorts in your area have room discounts during their shoulder season between winter skiing and summer hiking crowds. Depending on your location, there might still be enough snow to hit the slopes.
Mattresses. You might be ready to deep-clean your digs for spring, but one thing you shouldn’t toss yet? Your mattress. Hold out until Memorial Day weekend, the next big retail holiday, when Woroch says they’ll be discounted an average of 20 percent off. Plus, stores will likely sweeten the deal with free delivery or discounts on other furniture and appliances. Waiting a few weeks could mean hundreds of dollars in savings.