(MoneyWatch) Need to update your wardrobe? There are few better times than the month of May, when retailers are so anxious to put out their summer lines that they launch Memorial Day sales to beat the band, according to DealNews, an online discount shopping site.
Here the top things to buy -- and avoid -- in May.
Apparel: Clothing discounts can go as high as 75 percent off in May, DealNews reports.
Housewares: Department stores also run Memorial Day sales that can provide steep discounts on housewares and indoor and out furniture.
Gym memberships: May is also a great time to haggle for a better deal on a gym membership. Why? It's the beginning of outdoor exercise season, so the typical gym has to compete with, well, Mother Nature -- your propensity to dump the membership for running trails and the beach. These deals may not be advertised, but DealNews says many gyms are willing to waive the registration fee, and some will provide a discount on the first few months of membership too.
iPhones: T-Mobile's new pricing plan provides a nice discount on the iPhone 5 for people who don't want to suffer through a long-term contract with the likes of AT&T. The T-Mobile deal either allows consumers to buy their iPhone outright for $580, which is about $70 less than the no-contract price you'd get elsewhere, or you can put $100 down and finance the remaining price over a 24-month period, by adding $20 a month to your phone bill. The no-contract deal could save hundreds over the typical two-year contract, according to DealNews.
3D TV: The price of 3D television sets continues to decline, with some big screen 3D sets selling for as little as $1,200.
Mother's Day gifts: A number of florists are providing discounts on the traditional Mother's Day bouquets, but DealNews cautions that you need to beware of the delivery fees that can be particularly steep when you want flowers delivered Sunday. Teleflora, for example, offers a beautiful bouquet for just $50. But the catch is that if you want it delivered on Mother's Day, the delivery charge could add 50 percent -- $25 -- to the purchase price. If you want to give flowers, consider delivering them yourself. The site suggests you'll find better deals on less traditional gifts.
Laptops and computers: With tablet computers all the rage, the cost of traditional laptops and computers are plunging. DealNews says some can be had for as little as $300.
However, if you're thinking about buying a video game console or video games, the site suggests waiting a month until June when Microsoft's latest Xbox is likely to hit the stores, putting the current Xbox versions on sale. The same holds true for the games to plug into these consoles. As the new versions come out this summer, the old versions will get discounted. You'll save a fortune if you wait.