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Originally published July 22, 2012 at 6:56 PM | Page modified August 13, 2012 at 12:15 PM

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Now's best time to shop for lawn mower, furniture deals

Summer's a great time to get necessities and splurge on select items, including electronics and furniture.

The Washington Post

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Economics 101 taught us the laws of supply and demand: Buy when there's no demand, and sell when there's a lot of it. But we don't always apply this logic to our spending habits.

Retail patterns don't change over the years, and timing your purchases means saving money.

When it comes to sales, never buy the things you don't need. But if you're planning ahead, summer's a great time to get necessities and splurge on select items, including electronics and furniture.'s Best Time to Buy Guide and Consumer Reports weigh in on what you should buy in the coming months:

• Paint: When spring approaches, people flock to home-improvement stores, meaning that, by summer, serious repairs and upkeep have probably been done. Demand for paint decreases in the summer — who wants to paint outside in this heat? — so if you're thinking about trying a new color, buy it now.

• Maintenance: Lawn mowers and air conditioners are typically bought in spring, so Consumer Reports says you should buy in August.

• Swing sets: When the kids head back to the classroom, it's the perfect time to get a deal on big-ticket toys for the backyard. Retailers mark down swing sets and other large items to make room for wrappable holiday gifts, so buy big outdoor toys in August.

• Furniture: Like clothing, furniture follows a strict retail schedule and arrives the same months each year: February and August. For stores to make room, furniture is deeply discounted in January and July. Consumer Reports says July is the best month for indoor and outdoor furniture.

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