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Best things to buy in May

(MoneyWatch) Mother's Day, graduations and spring nuptials make May a great time to snag deals on a wide variety of items, according to the folks at

"Basically anything that would make a good graduation or wedding present is going on sale this month," writes savings expert Jeanette Pavini.

That means shoppers should be able to score deals on cookware, china and small kitchen appliances such as blenders or coffeemakers, she says. Prices may drop throughout the season, however, so hold on to receipts and take advantage of price match guarantees and adjustments.

In an entirely different category, mattresses go on sale in May, especially around Memorial Day weekend. "Not only are stores making room for new inventory, they are also banking on graduations and weddings to increase business which means they need to stay competitive," Pavini says.

But don't automatically purchase the box spring paired with a mattress in the store, Pavini advises, since a high-end mattress on a lower-priced box spring will probably work just fine.

Then, of course, there's Mother's Day, which is like Valentine's Day all over again, as treats, flowers and jewelry all go on sale ahead of the holiday.

Lastly, Memorial Day weekend marks the unofficial start of outdoor grilling season, Pavini notes, so be on the lookout for coupons and store sales on condiments, soda, charcoal and other BBQ essentials. Shoppers should also be alert to savings on party decorations and disposable dining products like cups, plates and tablecloths.

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