June marks the official start to summer, which for most people means spending more time outdoors. However, with graduation ceremonies and Father's Day on the horizon, June can quickly turn into an expensive month. To ensure you don't blow through your summer budget in the first few weeks of the season, we've created a buying guide of items you should and shouldn't purchase this month.
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Warmer Weather Means Hot Deals on Lingerie
June has traditionally been a great month for lingerie sales, and few stores can rival the Victoria's Secret Semi-Annual Sale, which typically lasts three to four weeks. The sale takes an impressive 70% off a variety of items and as we noted in our analysis, discounts get better toward the latter half of the sale.
As a result, we encourage shoppers to wait a few days and take advantage of the more aggressive discounts that come later in the month. The merchant's shipping threshold, for instance, gets lower as the sale progresses, starting off with free shipping on purchases of $100 or more and later changing to free shipping on $25 or more. In terms of purchases, we recommend looking at deals that offer low per-unit prices when you buy multiples, such as three bras for $19.98 ($6.66 each).
Although the Victoria's Secret Semi-Annual Sale will offer the widest selection of items, it's by no means the only retailer to offer lingerie deals this month. Last year, Target offered BOGO bra sales and packs of six underwear for $20. For standard everyday styles, Sears took up to 80% off select undergarments, including those from Maidenform, which started at $8. Likewise, Spanx offered its best sale of the year, taking an extra 25% off sale items, many of which were already discounted by 60% off. Finally, expect Frederick's of Hollywood to jump start its Fourth of July Sale in late June with up to 70% off select items. Aerie by American Eagle will also take 50% off items.
Treat Dad to an Unconventional Gift
Although Father's Day sales don't get as much hype as Mother's Day sales, retailers will still offer a variety of deals on gifts for your dad. You should avoid buying predictable gifts like grills and shirt-and-tie combos, which won't offer much in terms of savings. Instead look for deals on non-traditional gifts such as free entrees at select restaurants, which is a popular deal amongst nationwide chains such as Boston Market, Chili's, and Outback Steakhouse. Various museums and zoos across the nation will also offer free admission for dads, sometimes also for accompanying children as well.
Get Your Free Donut
June 5 is National Donut Day, and no matter which chain you side with — Krispy Kreme, Tim Horton's, or Dunkin' Donuts — your chances of scoring a free donut on this day are very high. Last year, all three chains offered their customers a free donut — some required another purchase, but Krispy Kreme didn't! You can expect to see similar donut sales again this year. The offer will be valid for one day only, and quantities may be limited. But if you're lucky enough to live near all three chains, you could have your donut fix for the week in one day.
Avoid Any Grill Purchases
Nothing evokes thoughts of summer like a backyard BBQ, but as tempted as you may be to purchase a new grill this month, our research shows that the best time to buy a grill is in August and September. That's when you can find discounts that take up to 50% off your favorite name-brand grills. If you can, make due with your current grill and upgrade at the end of the season.
Stock Up on Outdoor Gear
With warmer weather on the horizon, more people will want to exercise outdoors rather than inside a gym. The good news is that June is traditionally a good month for fitness apparel and accessories. Expect to see clearance sales from the likes of adidas, 6pm, and Puma. Discounts will range from 50% to 73% off items such as fitness shoes, apparel, and accessories.
Be Cautious With Your Apple Purchases
June is traditionally a busy month for the folks at Apple and that means consumers should make Apple purchases with caution. On June 8, Apple will commence its annual Worldwide Developers Conference, where its rumored to launch a variety of new products, from a redesigned Apple TV to its new music streaming service, Beats Music. While most of Apple's computer hardware has already been updated, you should still wait on your Apple purchases because various back-to-school retailers are bound to discount Apple gear, including the Apple Store itself.
Likewise, if your iPhone is starting to show its age, you'll want to wait until at least August before making the leap to a new iPhone. September is traditionally the month when Apple refreshes its iPhone line and that means you'll find the year's best iPhone 6 deals during the months of August and September.
Pass on the TV Purchase
If there's one thing you should avoid buying in June, it's a new TV. The summer months are traditionally bad for TV deals in the sense that you don't see many deals, and prices are higher than usual.
However, if you must buy a new set, we recommend sticking with 55" TVs. These deals have hit $500 every month since the start of the year, making them reliable and easy to find. If you don't have room for such a set, 42" TVs have plateaued at $300, although these deals aren't as numerous as the deals on 55" sets. Alternatively, we recommend looking at TV deals from Dell Home, which bundles generous gift cards with many of its TV deals.
Back-to-School Laptop Sales Begin
Although June is traditionally when students wrap up their school semester, many retailers use this month to launch their back-to-school sales. The Apple Store kicks things off with its back-to-school education discount, which last year bundled a $100 or $50 Apple Store credit with the purchase of a Mac computer or iPad/iPhone, respectively. Apple rarely experiments with its sale, so it's likely we'll see the same discount again this year. Just remember that stores like Best Buy and Amazon traditionally match, if not beat, Apple at its own game, so you'll want to compare prices before committing yourself to a sale.
On the Windows front, we're extra excited about this year's back-to-school sales because on July 29 Microsoft will officially launch its new operating system, Windows 10. While the free upgrade may not directly affect deals, it could lead to trade-in incentives as we've seen in the past from retailers like the Microsoft Store, which offers a store credit when you trade-in an older Windows machine for a newer one.
As far as June prices are concerned, May was a blockbuster month with excellent deals on mainstream 15" laptops with Intel's latest processor, codenamed Broadwell. These machines sold for as low as $349. We expect deals on mainstream machines to remain within the same $349 to $399 range for most, if not all, of June.
Just keep in mind that back-to-school sales won't begin until late in the month, and in the weeks to follow, you'll be able to find laptops with discounts that take an extra 6% off the above-mentioned prices. Moreover, our data shows that the best sales traditionally arrive in August, so if you can afford to wait, we recommend holding off on any deals you see in June.