Deals for mom, Memorial Day and more in May

Discuss online: ajc.com/go/bargains. Our Deal Spotter section in Thursday’s AJC is full of great local deals and exclusive offers.

Mom may take center stage when it comes to shopping in May, but with other important events looming — Memorial Day, graduations, weddings and Father’s Day — there are lots of other people to shop for and plenty of deals to go around.

“Mother’s Day is the main driver for gift giving,” says Brent Shelton, spokesman for Fatwallet.com, a consumer shopping website that gives cash back on purchases, “but May is also a big time for retailers to move what is on the floor and bring in the new stuff.”

That is particularly true of home goods and decor, Shelton says, though other categories have seen growth as well. In the past two years, Fatwallet data revealed an 80 percent increase in Mother’s Day purchases of mobile technology, Shelton says.

Retailers are supporting that trend with discounts. Looks for deals on laptops, tablets and smartphones when shopping for mom. Shop early, compare prices and price watch so you can jump on it when you’ve found a good deal, Shelton says.

Mother’s Day also brings discounts of 30 to 50 percent off traditional gift items such as flowers, crafts, books and some jewelry. Combine these deals with other offers to save more. FatWallet, for example, offers a three-week cash back Mother’s Day sale and exclusive coupons to help shoppers save additional money on gifts for mom.

May also brings savings on sports and outdoor equipment with deep discounts on items for camping, fishing and golf. “For those who don’t necessarily have the newest stuff, it is a good time to bargain shop,” Shelton says. “They will be able to find clearance sales on last year’s models, and for some people, that is an upgrade.”

Looking to take a trip this summer? You may find good travel deals depending on your destination and timing. “You can get good discounts if you go as soon as the kids are out of school,” Shelton says. “Later in the summer, when it is hotter, hit the Gulf Coast or the Caribbean. You can get excellent deals on packages.”

Those deals could include bonus nights for a certain number of nights booked, as well as traditional discounts as high as 50 percent off depending on your destination.

And finally, there is Memorial Day. As with any holiday, retailers take advantage of their captive audience by offering deals. Traditionally, mattresses and refrigerators perform the best during Memorial Day sales, Shelton says. “It is really about moving inventory. Memorial Day is the last chance for retailers to get you to spend your tax refund,” he says.

But be sure to do your homework. Scan the sale ads — many of which are released early — to help you research and prepare, then look for the best bargains. “It is not a good time to impulse buy,” says Shelton, “but it is a good time to look for something you need.”