5 Things to Buy in May: Flowers, Mattresses, Restaurant Gift Cards, More

In May we make the transition from spring to summer. And the transition into a whole new host of smart seasonal buys.

After a spring sales lull, May packs a punch, with two major sales holidays: Mother’s Day and Memorial Day. To help you take full advantage of the best May savings, we used our internal discount data to calculate average discounts May shoppers can expect in popular categories – and zero in on the Top 5 categories to shop this month.

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5 Things to Buy in May: Flowers, Mattresses, Restaurant Gift Cards, More

The 5 Smartest Things to Buy in May

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

1. Fast Casual Restaurants (Average Discount: 20% Off)

May brings a number of reasons to dine out with the family – Mother’s Day meals, graduation parties, Memorial Day and the first summer road trips. And restaurants will try to entice diners with special summer menus, patio happy hours, brunch specials and even BOGO offers. 

But perhaps the best way to save on dining out in May is to take advantage of the many bonus-gift-card specials that national chain restaurants offer throughout the months of May and June. Often tied to Mother’s Day and graduation, these offers usually entail buying a certain amount of gift cards (or spending a certain amount on food) at a restaurant and then getting a free bonus gift card to use later. These bonus cards tend to range from $5 to $20 in value, depending on the offer. So they’re a great way to gift someone a celebratory meal or gift card and get a gift card to tuck away for yourself later.

2. Flowers (Average Discount: 19% Off)

In early May, take advantage of all the Mother’s Day flower delivery deals being offered. Online flower delivery companies know that many will be in the market for flowers leading up to May 8. In fact, our survey found that flowers are the top gift for Mother’s Day 2022. So check for promo codes and deals, including:

To save the most on your Mother’s Day flower delivery, be flexible: Consider having your flowers dropped off a couple days before Mother’s Day to save yourself the higher holiday delivery surcharge.

3. Fine Jewelry (Average Discount: 19% Off)

Right after Mother’s Day is the time to shop fine jewelry. If retailers don’t sell the sentimental pendants, sparkly earrings and engraved bracelets by May 8, they’ll mark them down to offload them (considering there won’t be any more major jewelry-gifting holidays until, well, the holidays). 

So consider buying up anything engraved with “I Love You, Mom” on super-sale (and save it for her birthday or the holidays). There will be plenty of less-Mom-centered jewelry marked down, too, including tennis bracelets and minimalist heart jewelry that could be a perfect fit for someone’s birthday, for your sweetheart or bestie next Valentine’s Day … or for you … right now …  just because. 

Check out retailers like Kay’s, Macy’s and Kohl’s for some of the best post-Mother’s Day loot.

4. Baby Retail (Average Discount: 18% Off)

Memorial Day is an absolute sales juggernaut, and practically every retailer will offer a sale – including baby retailers. And Memorial Day sales aren’t just on the holiday weekend – expect retailers to kick off their sales as soon as two weeks early. 

Baby clothes will be on sale for sure. But if you want to save the absolute most, concentrate on those big-ticket items – car seats, monitors, strollers and nursery furniture. For reference, check out some of last year’s best Memorial Day sales on baby products. Major players tend to be Carter’s, buybuyBaby and Amazon.

And did you earn that 20% off coupon from Target during its car seat trade-in event? That coupon is good for 20% off select car seats, strollers and other baby products until May 14.

5. Home and Garden (Average Discount: 15% Off)

May brings an almost constant stream of Outdoor Blowout Sales early in the month from the likes of Overstock and Wayfair

Then, the back half of the month is dominated by Memorial Day sales, which start as early as two weeks before Memorial Day. And Memorial Day sales are dominated by home and garden deals. You’ll find savings on everything from indoor furniture, to patio furniture, to grills, to fire pits, to coolers and absolutely everything you need to get your entire life ready for summer. 

And don’t forget those big-ticket home items like appliances and mattresses. Three-day weekends (including Memorial Day) are absolute magnets for appliance bundle deals and king-for-a-queen mattress sales. So if you’ve been “meaning to replace” your old mattress or fridge, Memorial Day weekend is the time to do it. 

Make sure Memorial Day heavy-hitters like Lowe’s, Home Depot, Mattress Firm and Best Buy are on your shopping list. 

Honorable Mention: Spring Clothing

You know the drill: When the weather changes, so do the clothing racks. So May is the time to head to the clearance section to shop everything spring. Memorial Day sales are a particularly good time to do that. And be sure to take advantage of retailers’ rewards programs. Old Navy, for example, lets you earn Super Cash on clearance merchandise. So consider shopping spring clearance, rack up the Super Cash and spend it on your summer wardrobe.

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