Memorial Day is an annual holiday reserved for remembering those who died while serving in the country's armed forces. But, like most holidays, it's turned into a day for retailers to unload their merchandise in hopes to see a spike in sales.
As we head into the long weekend, with holiday deals galore, it's important to be mindful of what to buy and what not to buy from Memorial Day sales. Oftentimes, what seems like a steal now will just feel like a rip-off later if patience isn't put into practice.
Check out our guide to smarter shopping-- your bank account will thank us.
WHAT TO BUY
Spring clothing - Seems twisted with summer right around the corner, but stocking up on spring clothing is the way to go. Summer clothes have just recently hit the racks, meaning the savings will be modest. Twenty to 40 percent off that maxi dress might sound like a steal, but that has nothing on the almost 90 percent discount retailers will put on spring fashions (check out stores such as Old Navy, Macy's, Kohl's and JC Penney). The best time to buy summer clothes is (you guessed it) at the end of the summer.
Appliances - Are you in the market for a new dishwasher? You're in luck! Memorial Day weekend is a great time to score a deal on appliances. Retailers such as Sears, Home Depot and Lowe's are offering deals on major and minor appliances, with 25 percent to 60 percent off the original price.
Mattresses - Believe it or not, May is one of the best times to purchase a new mattress. Shoppers can expect to see sales ranging from 40 to 80 percent off (check out stores such as Sears and JCPenney, as well as online retailer Overstock). As you know, shipping can get pricey but most mattress sales this month offer free shipping.
Car - Ride into the summer with a new car by taking advantage of Memorial Day sales. Car dealerships are looking to make room for their 2016 models, meaning 2015 vehicles are coming with huge deals. Keep a lookout on low- and no-interest financing, as well as cash back offers that will keep a few extra dollars in your pocket.
Travel - Think ahead and plan for a getaway. Online travel sites are known for posting Memorial Day deals to destinations around the world. If you're looking to book a trip in the coming months, now is a great time to lock in your flight/hotel and countdown until your vacation.
WHAT NOT TO BUY
Electronics - Just say no to electronics. Retailers will try to lure you in with "deals," but in reality Memorial Day is a terrible holiday to purchase laptops, TVs and such. You're better off waiting until back-to-school sales for a new computer and the beginning of the football season for a new television. Sorry, but them's the rules.
Gas grills - Much like summer clothes (see above), you would think now is the perfect time to buy a gas grill. But you'd be wrong. You're likely to see some discounts on gas grills this weekend, but that's nothing compared to the 40 to 75 percent off you'll see toward the end of the summer. If you absolutely need a grill, consider buying a tabletop gas grill.
Fitness gear - We encourage getting your sweat on, but forget about buying workout clothes this weekend. Instead, wait until June when stores begin to put their older products on sale.
Patio furniture - Once again, your patience will be rewarded if you can hold off on buying patio furniture until later in the summer. Retailers begin to put the merchandise on sale during late July or early August. But don't fret, that still leaves plenty of time for summer soirées and a final Labor Day celebration.
(Photo: Fred Thornhill/Reuters/Corbis)