With inflation easing across many sectors of the U.S. economy, Americans are starting to feel a bit of relief in their wallet.
By no means is everything cheaper, but there are some noticeable price drops. Bargain hunters: take note!
Some Things Are Getting Cheaper: What Can I Buy for Less Right Now?
Money expert Clark Howard says retailers in some key industries — including vehicles, electronics and more — are willing to sell much of their inventory for less right now and you should take advantage.
“Retailers are generally in a down cycle for them in sales in a lot of stuff,” Clark says. “They are pretty much at the best price they have ever been – if you shop around.”
1. Back-To-School Items
Clark says this back-to-school season is an opportune time to score a deal. When it comes to school supplies, Walmart has sales on things like markers, pencils and folders, but there are other items you can get for less as well.
“If you have a kid going off to college and they have to do the dorm-buying type of stuff, the prices are much better on things like a dorm refrigerator, a dorm microwave,” he says.
Keep in mind the best places to buy small appliances. Also keep an eye out for doorbuster prices into the fall.
“If you want electronics, there’s such a fantastic fall coming and even here in late summer, the deals are already great,” Clark says.
“We’re going to see deals on all kinds of TV sizes. Prices are going to be incredible on the most popular size TVs – 55 inches.” Clark says. “And these deals are going to continue into the fall.”
As an example, this 55-inch Insignia LED 4K Smart Fire TV is on sale for about $270 at Best Buy.
Best places to shop for TVs:
Laptops and Tablets
“And it’s not just TVs. You name an electronics item – a computer, a tablet, anything like that. iPads are at all-time low prices. And it’s because the market now has too much inventory on all these things.”
Best places to shop for laptops and tablets:
3. Used Cars
The crazy vehicle market is starting to get better, but results for now are uneven.
If you need a car right now and can’t fix your current one, then Clark suggests these car-buying steps:
Expand Your Car Search
“When you widen your search for a particular make and model and you’re willing to go outside the local market, the difference in savings is thousands of dollars. And one-way tickets are cheap enough that you can go see America, fly somewhere to where that vehicle is and buy it and bring it back.”
Consider a Used Vehicle
While the average price of new vehicles continues to be in the stratosphere, used car prices are on the decline — and that’s great for your wallet. “Used vehicle prices are going down. But on new vehicles, we’ve got this disconnect,” Clark says
Best places to find used cars:
“Airfares have clearly started a trend downward. And I’m seeing much better offers on fares as I look into the fall and again this is a repeat pattern: Fall airfare travel for leisure travelers is much cheaper than summer, but what I’m seeing starting to pop up is deals after Labor Day, the fares are significantly lower than the normal seasonal shift would call for.”
How to find cheap airfare:
- Find cheap flights on Google Flights or a similar site.
- Sign up for fare alerts on Going.com or the Dollar Flight Club.
- Select your flight and pay for it with a travel credit card.
Before you choose a destination, follow Clark’s #1 Travel Rule to save money.
5. Amusement Parks
According to CNN, attendance is down at the nation’s premier amusement parks, which typically see big crowds for the summer season.
“And what’s following?” Clark says. “The prices are coming down. The daily admission costs are now more affordable at the parks. If you’re planning a fall trip, which is always a down cycle on attendance and cost at the parks, this fall the decline is going to be greater than normal.”
Clark says during the COVID-19 pandemic, small businesses like pool installers were booming as more people stayed at home. But now as people are going out more, the price of pools is much cheaper than it has been.
When it comes to hiring a pool company, Clark has some shopping tips:
- Check the company’s record with the Better Business Bureau.
- Comparison shop based on the design and type of tool you want.
- Get referrals from neighbors who have gotten pools installed more recently.
Spending less requires some patience and research, but can pay off big time.
“You can still spend a fortune on the latest greatest, or you can do what I do: When I buy something, I always buy what’s current, never what’s aspirational,” Clark says. “And what’s really great right now is that you can buy the unloved, unsold stuff. You will find great, great deals for your wallet.”
Another thing Clark wants you to do is comparison shop. “And there are lots of ways to do that at the websites and apps of the particular, individual stores. You can look at ClarkDeals and see what the best deals are right now.”
Want more buying tips? Read our guide on how to get the best deal shopping online.