Personal Finance

The 6 Best Things to Buy in April — and 4 to Avoid

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Spring has sprung, deal-seekers, and with it comes a flood of new savings.

Whether you’re hoping for breezy new apparel for warmer weather, or items to refresh your indoor and outdoor spaces, plenty of great deals will be available online in April. Not every deal will be worth blowing your stimulus check on, though.

Check out our guide to the best things to buy in April for the top categories to shop, and the ones you should probably hold off on for now.

Also read up on what to buy every month of the year in 2021, so you’ll know the ideal time to shop for different items.

What to Buy in April

1. Spring Apparel

If you need to stock your closet with fresh, spring-suitable layers, this is a good month to do it.

We expect to see a fair amount of April sales on clothing, though they may not all be branded for spring — in fact, some might be classified as winter sales. Names aren’t important — what’s important is the kind of deals you can expect.

For instance, we’ll likely see dress shirts for as little as $6 at stores like JCPenney, while polos should be as cheap as $9 at retailers like Belk.

When it comes to covering your lower half, jersey shorts will probably fall to $6 at Hanes, and Belk could have Columbia cotton shorts that cost as little as $8 and are perfect for hiking.

It’s not all about the spring clothing, though — we expect plenty of shoe deals, as well.

Stock up on flip-flops for as little as $3.50 a pair at stores like Macy’s. Women’s sandals, meanwhile, could go for as little as $8 at retailers like Kohl’s.

And if you’re shopping for kicks for the kids, we expect those to fall to $12 at Crocs and The Children’s Place, to name just a couple of stores.

Don’t forget about accessories either.

If you’re wanting to refresh your look, keep an eye out for designer handbags to be discounted between 50% and 78% off at stores like Belk and Nordstrom Rack. Watch for the Kate Spade Surprise Sale to pop up this month, as well — it’ll likely take up to 75% off select items.

And if you’re interested in watches and other wearables, look for April deals at eBay to be at least 60% off, while Fossil’s outlet sale could resurface and take up to 70% off.

2. Garden Items

In April 2020, many of us were settling into some form of quarantine, whether self-imposed or required due to lockdown orders. Because people were stuck at home, we saw a bigger demand for things related to that, including gardening gear.

Even though life is slowly returning to normal in 2021, we can still expect to see some good gardening deals. If you want to make over your backyard, April might just be a good time to start.

Expect part of the wave of green deals to be due to Earth Day on April 22.

To celebrate the eco-conscious holiday last year, Arm & Hammer offered a free plantable seed card of wildflowers. They also partnered with the Arbor Day Foundation to give away free tree seedlings to the first 10,000 people to sign up at a special link.

Even if you don’t take advantage of Earth Day freebies like these, you can still score great savings.

Look to stores like eBay to have deals such as 500-plus perennial wildflower seeds or 151-plus beefsteak American heirloom tomato seeds for $4. That seems to be the magic price, as we also saw Walmart offer indoor liquid plant food for, you guessed it, $4.

If you’re less interested in planting and more interested in just making over your backyard, we expect to see those kinds of garden items on sale, too.

For instance, last year Target offered a Project 62 solar LED spotlight for only $6. You could also snag a 15-foot garden hose for $8 from Northern Tool. As for other garden tools, we saw a Black + Decker lopper and pruner set for $10, and a pair of micro-tip pruning snips for $11.

3. Clearance Easter Goodies

Easter falls on April 4 this year, which means you can expect clearance Easter goodies to appear on April 5.

Hit up the seasonal aisles at stores like Target and Walmart first thing on Monday for the best selection. Discounts typically are around 30% to 50% off early on, and can include everything from spring-themed candies like Reese’s Eggs, to toys featuring chicks and bunnies.

If you wait, discounts get even better but the selection will seriously dwindle, so shop early — unless you really love those generic jelly beans.

4. Discounted Vacuums

Many of us are probably well into our spring cleaning routines already, but if you need a new vacuum before you can check off your list, we have good news.

Some vacuum models will likely fall under $100, including more-affordable stick models starting around $75.

But discounts on higher-end units should pop up, as well. We expect select Dyson vacuums to fall below $200. Also keep an eye out at stores like Bed Bath & Beyond and Target for hefty discounts on Shark vacuums.

5. Secondhand Treasures

If you spent last year — or at least the last few weeks — cleaning out your closet and donating items you no longer need, you’re not alone. Thrift stores often see a huge influx of donations around the start of the year, and then when everyone begins spring cleaning.

What does that mean? Well, April is a particularly good month to thrift shop and check out consignment stores.

An increase in donations means a larger selection to shop. This could mean finding designer goods for way less than list price, or antique furniture that has more character than the cheap pressed particleboard stuff you’ve had since college.

If you’re wondering when to shop, consider checking early in the week. Many people make their donations over the weekend, so with any luck, the best stuff will hit the sales floor before Wednesday each week.

6. In-Season Produce

April is the first full month of spring, and so what could be a better time to buy fresh green produce?

Check out your local farmers market for bright artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, leeks, lettuce, and spring peas. It’s not only green veggies, though — watch for cauliflower, mushrooms, radishes, and rhubarb to be in-season, as well.

Want a sweeter option? Pineapples should see some great deals in April, and are a great way to usher in warmer weather.

Curious about what you can find in your area? Be sure to check out this site for the specifics on what to buy locally at the beginning and end of the month.

What Not to Buy in April

April brings some good discounts, but it’s not a deal-filled free-for-all. If you want to get the best prices, consider buying the below items later in 2021.

1. Summer Apparel

Buy: In late summer

Why: Late summer brings sales on these items, as retailers try to clear shelves and make room for fall apparel.

2. Large Appliances

Buy: In May

Why: Memorial Day sales should take up to 40% off large appliances at stores like Lowe’s, Home Depot, and Best Buy, so hold off for now.

3. Grills

Buy: In May at the earliest

Why: Summer can bring a number of grill deals, though we’ve often seen better prices when summer is over, in fall months like September and October.

4. Mattresses

Buy: In May

Why: Memorial Day sales will undoubtedly include plenty of mattress deals, so it’s best to shop then.

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