By Jim Donovan: If you think there is no rhyme or reason to sales and discounts, think again. For instance in the supermarket cereal and soda go on sale like clock-work, at a department store I can predict with almost certain accuracy when the sheets will be sold at their lowest price, and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize the best time to buy Christmas wrapping paper is right after Christmas.

But some people track this type of stuff for a living. In fact my contacts at follow sale trends both in store and on-line and determine patterns so that shoppers can get the most bang for their buck.

So what are the best and worst things to buy in August:

1.) Swimwear – Over the past few years Dealnews has found that most stores will clear out their inventory by the end of August. If you wait until September you’ll find slim pickings. So look for sales of up to 70% off from retailers like Victoria Secret, Lands’ End and Kohl’s.

2.) Cruises – you’ll find a lot of deals right now to the Caribbean. During hurricane season many people avoid this area for vacations for fear that a storm will strike. But on the flip-side you can get some good discounts. For the most part, cruise ships offer more flexibility since they can change their ports of call when bad weather strikes. Dealnews says that right now Carnival is the most aggressive line in offering discounts. They say 41% of deals this year were offered by Carnival.

3.) Grills – Home Depot, Lowes, HHGregg are among the retailers offering deals. Dealnews finds that based on last years data, grill sales jumped 30% from July to August.

Not so fast……

Deal news says you may want to hold off on buying some other things.

1.) Patio Sets – Dealnews says a savvy shopper would benefit by waiting until September or October for the best deals.

2.) Kindle Fire – The release of Kindle Fire 2 is expected in a few weeks. The price is expected to be $199, the same price as the original Kindle Fire.

3.) iPhone – the iPhone 5 is expected to be released in September, so if you want the latest and greatest, it makes sense to wait. But each time a new iPhone is released, the older models are discounted. So again, you may want to hold off.

For more information from the retail experts at Dealnews visit:

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