This July, many of us are looking forward to the return of the pool parties, cookouts and fireworks-watching we skipped last summer.

One tradition that will be missed this month, however, is Prime Day, after Amazon pushed up their annual deal days to June. But there’s no need to worry. “While we may not see some of the typical items that tend to go on sale this month, we do expect several categories will offer good deals,” says Nathan Burrow, deals editor at Wirecutter.

So if you have items on your summer shopping list, here are some of the best things to buy in July — and a few you should skip for now.

WHAT TO BUY IN JULY

School and Office Supplies

Classes may have just ended for most kids, but Burrow says Amazon has already started its back-to-school promotions, many of which you can find via its Today’s Deals landing page. “We anticipate other back-to-school sales cropping up as well, including good deals on Wirecutter’s backpack picks for kids,” Burrow says. Amazon is already running some small office supply sales as well — and for items such as pens, dry-erase markers and highlighters, the deals “usually come in the form of $10 off when you spend $30, or a similar promo,” he adds.

Summer Apparel

Speaking of returning to the office, if you need to freshen up your wardrobe, you’ll find a variety of sales on summer clothes in July. Burrow anticipates seeing deals this month on workout gear and rain jackets and jeans for men, as well as white sneakers and accessories like shoe trees. “Macy’s July sales will include apparel and Nordstom’s Anniversary sale happens this month, so some designer items may be discounted,” Burrow says. “Even though many of us are considering a return to work, we are expecting to see sales on options from our work-from-home clothing guide, particularly from Uniqlo and Athleta.”

Home Décor

If being stuck at home for the past year and half has inspired you to make some home improvements, you’ll find deals in the home décor category. “We’ve historically seen sales on our area rug and dining table picks during July,” Burrow says. “Just keep in mind that due to supply chain issues, you might see delays depending on what you purchase.”

‘Everyday Carry’ Items

If you are planning a return to your office, you’ll likely want some of what Burrow calls “everyday carry” items. “I use that as a general term to encompass water bottles, backpacks and even over-the-shoulder briefcase style bags, which will all see solid sales this month,” he says. “Unfortunately, in the electronics realm, we probably saw the very best sales in June, but you can still find good deals on earbuds and headphones for your daily commute if you're a subway or bus rider.”

WHAT TO SKIP IN JULY

Grills and Patio Furniture

Having a cookout and relaxing outdoors are quintessential July activities — which is why you shouldn’t buy these items now. “You’re unlikely to get the best prices of the year for these items, even though you’ll see numerous advertisements,” Burrow says. “If you need them, they’ll be around, but you likely won’t save much. The same holds true for patio furniture: “Coming off this year of heightened demand, even if it’s available, the sales will be relative to the elevated pandemic pricing we saw.”

Amazon Devices

As mentioned above, Amazon held its Prime Day sales event in June, so if you’re seeking Echo speakers or Show smart displays, Fire tablets or Kindle eBook readers, you likely missed your window this year, Burrow says. “The best sales were during June’s Prime Day,” he says. “We aren’t likely to see discounts as good again this year.”

Lawn Mowers

This is the time of year when your lush lawn needs frequent trimming, but you won’t find many good deals on new mowers. “It’s the middle of the season, and lawn mower discounts have been small at best this year,” Burrow says. “Our picks have seen $50 discounts but typically on models that go for between $500 and $650, so that’s 10 percent off or less. If you can wait, you might have better luck toward the end of the season, but it may be worth trying to get another year out of your mower if you can. Eventually, we hope to see the elevated pricing normalize a bit.”

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