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In April, we say hello to spring and bid good riddance to tax season. In addition to welcoming (probably?) some really nice weather, we welcome a new crop of smart seasonal buys.

While April doesn’t have any big blowout sales events, it does contain retailers’ spring sales and Earth Day, which means there will be plenty of clothing, home goods and sustainable products on sale. To help you take full advantage of the best spring savings, we used our internal discount data to calculate average discounts April shoppers can expect in popular categories — and zero in on the Top 5 categories to shop this month.

The 5 Smartest Things to Buy in April

Whatever you need (or want) to buy in April, there are plenty of sales to shop and smart buys to make.

1. Photography Services & Gifts (Average Discount: 45% Off)

Like clockwork, photo gift sites and photo printing services start gearing up for Mother’s Day in mid- to late-April. True, Mother’s Day isn’t until May 12 this year. But you’ll need a bit of lead time (a week or more) to create photo albums, photo calendars and other custom gifts — and order them early enough to avoid pricey rush shipping charges. Photo sites know, toward the end of April, shoppers are in Mother’s Day gift research mode, so they’ll start coming out with deals.

Photo gift services and sites know you have a lot of options these days, so expect to start seeing coupon codes (keep a special eye out for any “unlimited pages” photo book discounts). Here’s where to check:

2. Personal Finance: Tax Software (Average Discount: 27% Off)

Tax Day is April 15. And, if you are one of the 16% of Americans who plan to file in April, tax software companies will be competing for your business. If your tax return is complex enough that you don’t qualify for free-file services, check TurboTax and H&R Block for promo codes to defray the cost of filing:

Plus, check your email. If you used a service last year, it’s probably been sending you emails with discounts, encouraging you to return this year.

Once you’ve filed, reward yourself on April 15 — plenty of restaurants and retailers will be offering Tax Day specials and deals

3. Travel (Average Discount: 25% Off)

According to our recent consumer insights survey, 64% of Americans told us they plan to travel between March and August this year — and will be spending an average of $3,653 to get away.

Given this demand for travel, don’t expect the bargain-bin pandemic pricing you saw a couple years ago. Even so, travel providers know consumers are shopping around for spring and summer travel — so there are deals to be had, as well as cash back offers from RetailMeNot, whether you’re booking a list-minute spring escape or already planning your summer vacation:

Tip: If you’re reasonably confident in your plans, pay attention to pay-in-full discounts. These are special offers for those who can pay in advance for their hotel or rental car booking, and they’re offered on many travel booking sites. Note that these discounts will render your booking nonrefundable. But they’re a relatively simple way to shave about 10% off the price you pay.

4. Clothing (Average Discount: 25% Off)

Toward the end of April is when we’ll start to see transitional spring clothing making its way to the sale racks to make way for summer fashions. So keep an eye out for price drops on light jackets, floral dresses and spring-y blazers.

Plus, right after Easter (which falls on March 1 this year), head to the stores to pick up Easter clothing at a discount. Adults will be able to find price drops on brunch wear in the pastel spectrum, but some of the best discounts will be on kids’ Easter clothing festooned with bunny and carrot prints, as well as on Easter bonnets.

5. Home & Garden (Average Discount: 16% Off)

This is a wide category, but April is the height of Spring Black Friday season (the flurry of sales that retailers throw when the weather changes). Shoppers can expect discounts on anything outdoor-related, from patio furniture, to outdoor rugs, to gardening tools, to grills.

Retailers know everyone’s getting their outdoor spaces ready for spring, and that means the likes of Home Depot, Lowe’s, Target, Wayfair and Walmart will be coming on strong with sales. Pay special attention to vacuum cleaners during April as well — you’re sure to spot spring cleaning discounts as retailers try to coax you to upgrade.

Plus, Earth Day falls in April. During that time, retailers are known to offer discounts on energy-efficient appliances and bulbs. In particular, Amazon and eBay are known for offering deals on refurbished and open-box goods for those who want to save and shop sustainably. 

Note: Despite the sales, if you can hold off on your grill or outdoor furniture purchase, wait until the end of summer for even better clearance discounts. That said, April is still a sweet spot for the biggest selection and solid discounts if you need something for this season.

Honorable Mention: Easter Products

Any time a major holiday passes, it’s smart to snap up anything related to that holiday the day after. So, right after Easter (aka the first few days of April), it’s time to buy up all that plastic grass, those hollow plastic eggs, Easter baskets, egg-decorating kits, bunny ear headbands and chocolate at a deep discount. Enjoy the chocolate throughout spring, and stash the nonperishables for next year (you know … in case the Easter Bunny forgets until the night before to assemble the Easter baskets again).

The post Save the Dates: What to Buy in April appeared first on The Real Deal by RetailMeNot.

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