May Is the Worst Month To Buy These 7 Things

Be kind to your wallet by steering clear of these seven purchases this May.
Updated May 8, 2024
Fact checked
having problems shopping online

We receive compensation from the products and services mentioned in this story, but the opinions are the author's own. Compensation may impact where offers appear. We have not included all available products or offers. Learn more about how we make money and our editorial policies.

While spring cleaning might have left you itching to refresh your home, May isn't the ideal month to snag deals on certain items.

With Memorial Day sales on the horizon, it's best to wait a bit before making some purchases. Here are 7 items to avoid buying in May to help you keep more cash in your wallet.

Earn cash back on everyday purchases with this rare account

Want to earn cash back on your everyday purchases without using a credit card? With the Discover®️ Cashback Debit Checking account (member FDIC), you can earn 1% cash back on up to $3,000 in debit card purchases each month!1

With no credit check to apply and no monthly fees to worry about, you can earn nearly passive income on purchases you’re making anyway — up to an extra $360 a year!

This rare checking account has other great perks too, like access to your paycheck up to 2 days early with Early Pay, no minimum deposit or monthly balance requirements, over 60K fee-free ATMs, and the ability to add cash to your account at Walmart stores nationwide.

Don’t leave money on the table — it only takes minutes to apply and it won’t impact your credit score.

Apply for a Discover Cashback Checking account today

Summer clothes

Floral Deco/Adobe feminine summer fashion composition

Stores start to put seasonal clothes on their shelves a few months ahead of the season itself. Prices on these items stay high until the very end of the season when stores tend to mark down slow sellers so they can begin to stock next season’s looks.

It might be hard to resist the temptation to buy new summer clothes in anticipation of warmer days. However, if you can be content with last summer’s wardrobe this year, you’ll be able to build next year’s summer wardrobe at the end of August at a fraction of the cost.


Alina/Adobe classic-black-underwear-set

Victoria’s Secret is well known for its semi-annual sales, one of which takes place from June to July. Some competitors also throw semi-annual sales to lure the Victoria’s Secret crowd their way. So, if you’re on the lookout for some new lingerie, hang in there for another month:

Next month, you can acquire the same items for as much as 60% off — as long as you hit up your local Victoria’s Secret early in the sale. Items tend to fly off the shelves during the semi-annual sale, so sign up for the store’s newsletter to stay on top of the latest deals.

Grills and barbecues

Lukas Gojda/Adobe barbecue flaming grill

In the lead-up to Memorial Day, you’ll probably see a big push for customers to buy grills and barbecues before the weekend. 

But while Memorial Day discounts on outdoor cooking tools might seem like a good deal, the price of a grill or barbecue is higher right now than it will be at the end of the summer. 

If your old grill or barbecue is still functional, see if you can hang on to it through this summer, then nab a new model at discounted prices around Labor Day.

Get a protection plan on all your appliances

Did you know if your air conditioner stops working, your homeowner’s insurance won’t cover it? Same with plumbing, electrical issues, appliances, and more.

Whether or not you’re a new homeowner, a home warranty from Choice Home Warranty could pick up the slack where insurance falls short and protect you against surprise expenses. If a covered system in your home breaks, you can call their hotline 24/7 to get it repaired.

For a limited time, you can get your first month free with a Single Payment home warranty plan.

Get a free quote


Akira Kaelyn/Adobe photography concept on wood background

You’ll definitely see some deals on home electronics pop up this Memorial Day, so if you’ve had your eye on a new laptop or iPhone upgrade, you might find it at a reasonable price this month. 

However, the best electronic discounts usually happen at the end of the year (specifically, during Black Friday sales in November). You’ll probably get more bang for your buck if you hold off on purchasing electronics until the winter holidays.

Out-of-season fruits and vegetables

irishmaster/Adobe colorful fresh fruits and vegetables

We associate spring with planting and growth, but it takes a while for those seeds to grow. Once crops are ready to be harvested, you’ll actually find more fresh fruits and veggies on grocery shelves in the summer and fall. 

Thanks to a larger supply, that’s also when you’ll see prices start to fall for in-season foods.

Out-of-season fruits and vegetables can vary based on where you live, but you’re likely to see higher prices on off-season foods like peaches, apricots, raspberries, peppers, and beans this month. 

Buying frozen fruits and veggies is an affordable alternative to buying out-of-season produce right off the shelves.


Maksim Shebeko/Adobe spring bouquet on table

With Mother’s Day around the corner, you’ll start to see flower bouquets and arrangements at just about every store. 

If the mothers in your life are set on receiving flowers this year, you’ll probably end up buying them regardless of price — but because demand is so high, flower prices will be too.


NicoElNino/Adobe couple enjoying beach vacation holidays

Swimwear and poolside toys will start to hit the shelves this month, but just like other summer apparel, swimsuits are likely to be priced higher in May than they will be during end-of-summer sales.

If you need a swimsuit, you need a swimsuit, but consider at least holding out until summertime proper: The Victoria’s Secret sale in June extends to swimwear. 

Plus, many clothing brands will be looking to move summer-specific merchandise off their shelves by June or July. Waiting until summer to buy a new swimsuit might actually yield better savings than buying one in May.

Bottom line

Vadim Pastuh/Adobe teenage girl making online transaction

While we definitely recommend holding off on buying these seven items until later in the year, May is honestly a fantastic month for buying plenty of other things. 

Memorial Day and Mother’s Day sales can help you stretch your paycheck further, so don’t be shy about taking advantage of any deals you find this month.

Discover®️ Cashback Debit Benefits

  • Earn 1% cash back on up to $3,000 in debit card purchases each month1
  • No minimum deposit, no minimum balance, and no account fees
  • Access your paycheck up to 2 days early with Early Pay
  • 60K+ fee-free ATMs and make cash deposits at Walmart stores nationwide

Author Details

Michelle Smith Michelle Smith has spent a decade writing for and about small businesses. She specializes in all things finance and has written for publications like G2 and SmallBizDaily. When she's not writing for work at her desk, you can usually find her writing for pleasure near large bodies of water.

Want to learn how to make an extra $200?

Get proven ways to earn extra cash from your phone, computer, & more with Extra.

You will receive emails from Unsubscribe at any time. Privacy Policy

  • Vetted side hustles
  • Exclusive offers to save money daily
  • Expert tips to help manage and escape debt