Picnic Supplies

What To Stock Up On In May

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This is my monthly series on What To Stock Up On In May. I started my monthly bargain tips in January a few years ago and now I add NEW stuff to them yearly. Here’s the deal, we all want to stock up on items when they are priced well below the regular price.

This year is probably the first year that we may not be able to get everything we need on our want or need list. I have never seen so many grocery store shelves so empty. I believe the shelves will be even more sparse in the coming months.

If you see something you need, please grab it, you may not see it next week, or the week after that. What shortages have you experienced, or what items are you having trouble getting this year? We can’t get Ball/Kerr canning lids here in Utah, and canning supplies have doubled or tripled in price.

The price of gas to fill our cars or trucks is through the roof, literally. Bacon, my beloved bacon, is so darned expensive. Please tell me your shortages and items where the prices have gone up more than ever before.

Every month, stores have sales based on items coming in or going out. This is a perfect time to buy items you may have listed on your “needs” list.

If you think about it, the stores are continually buying new stock to beef up their inventory. It could be some new popular colors, new styles, or new and improved designs.

What To Stock Up On In May

What To Stock Up On In May

Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables

Raspberries in season

Watch for the best strawberries this month!! And don’t forget to watch for raspberries, rhubarb, artichokes, spinach, garlic, and snap peas. Don’t you love fruit and vegetables that are in season? They taste the very best, right?

Mexican Food

Mexican Food Supplies

Oh, my gosh, it’s the Cinco de Mayo celebration early this month! Watch for sales on taco shells, salsa, taco sauce, corn husks, tortillas, and your favorite Mexican seasoning. It’s a great month to stock up for the year so you can enjoy Taco Tuesday every week at home! You may see coupons in the mail or online to save 20-30%. I literally could eat Mexican food every night.

What To Stock Up On In May

Picnic Supplies

I absolutely LOVE the month of May because it’s party time. So that means I can stock up on party supplies that go on sale for the summer activities almost every week this month.

This is the time to buy red, white, and blue plates, cups, plasticware, tablecloths, and holiday decorations. Life is awesome when we have a festively decorated table, and at a discount, too!

Don’t forget that Memorial Day is in late May each year and tends to be the holiday to set the stage for outdoor activities all summer. I’ll never forget the Memorial Day holiday Mark and I left home for a week and traveled to Durango, CO. We saw so many different and new things, but the highlight was the train trip up the canyon to Silverton, CO.

What To Stock Up On In May

Just think about beach parties, pool parties, lake parties, and backyard get-togethers. You can have plates, trays, cups, and candles in just the right colors priced below retail.

You can stock up the day after Memorial Day to get paper plates, cups, and plasticware at up to 75% off at some stores. Score! This makes them cheap enough to stock up for emergencies when we don’t want to use water to wash dishes or fuel to heat the water.

What To Stock Up On In May

Barbecue Supplies

Barbecues on Sale

It’s a great month for buying a barbecue grill because the stores have just discounted the snow blowers and snow shovels. If your barbecue grill has seen better days, this may be a great time to pick one up when they discount them during the month.

The prices go up just before July 4th and then go back down again after the big holiday.

What To Stock Up On In May

Outdoor Furniture

What To Stock Up On In May

May is a great month for outdoor furniture. The box stores have just sold off their space heaters and want to sell as much of their outdoor furniture as possible. This is when the sales prices will show up in your mailbox, emails, and newspaper ads.

At the first of the month, they want to get you excited to paint your deck, replace your patio railings, and deck your patio with the finest new colors in outdoor furniture.

The replacement pads, pillows, and chair pads will be advertised at discounted prices to entice you to have barbecues outside and enjoy your family and friends around the pool or picnic table.

Read More of My Articles  15 Frugal Ways You Can Save Money Today

If your lounge chairs are broken beyond repair, this is the month to replace them at drastically reduced prices. If your glass top table has broken one too many times, grab a new table at bargain prices.

Home Decorations

Mother's Day Gift

I love finding some deeply discounted home decorations for my home. It’s amazing when one or two little potted plants sitting on my living room side tables bring me joy, or at least they make me smile.

I’m not a big knick-knack person because I don’t like to dust. Thank goodness Mark has taken on that job.

Anyway, this month is great for looking at discount stores like TJ Maxx, Ross Dress For Less, or HomeGoods. Some stores have merged together, but you get the idea. You can get gifts for mom to give her on Mother’s Day at huge discounted prices at these stores this month.

Memorial Day Artificial Flowers

What To Stock Up On In May

This month we honor those who have died protecting our country and the freedoms we enjoy. It’s a great day to thank the Veterans we have lost in the various wars over the years.


I have to laugh because it seems like mattresses are always on sale, right? Well, when a holiday weekend comes around you will see deep discounts on regular mattresses, foam mattresses, twin, queen, or king size.

Watch for coupons in the mail, online, or in the newspaper. If you have time to check out the mattresses before you decide to buy one, go scope them out. Then wait for the best price. I have seen them drop 50%. You can do it, I promise.


May is the best month to look for a house. Most people want their kids to finish out the school year and want to find another home to move into when the summer starts. They want their kids to settle into the new neighborhood before they start school in August or September.

Sellers may be more willing to negotiate the sales price this month. May is a perfect time to buy or sell before vacation time starts. The weather is good and many kids are out of school, or close to being so. Some people are buying bigger, or they may be downsizing, depending on their family situation.

All indications are that homes will be priced higher this year. Who knows when things may return to more normal pricing, but you may want to talk to the real estate gurus to see if now is the best time.

Vacuum Cleaners

Vacuums on Sale

Watch for flyers in the mail this month to purchase vacuums at deep discounts. You may also see ads online for the vacuum you have been wanting for a very long time. We know we have these babies for years, so why not get one that is discounted significantly? A clean house is an awesome house, right?

Here again, go look at vacuums at different stores after you have done some research online. See if the weight is okay for you to push and pull around, and how well it cleans. Then look for the sales. You can see discounts of 25-40% off some brands.


What To Stock Up On In May

You may think Black Friday has the best deals on refrigerators, think again. Often on holiday weekends, people tend to go stroll through furniture stores or large box stores. I have seen them marked down close to or below Black Friday prices.

It’s a really good idea, to scope out the stores or go online to find the refrigerator you may want. THEN watch for the best price. If the new models are coming in, consider opting for last year’s models to save some money. It’s all about saving money on the one you want and not just purchasing based on a low price. I always tell my readers to buy right the first time rather than settling for cheaper products.

Cookware & Kitchen Tools

Cookware on sale

We all know someone getting married or graduating in June, right? This is why you will see 20-40% off some small kitchen appliances, as well as some really good name-brand cookware.

It’s great to give a gift that will last many years to a young couple getting married and starting out on life’s journey. We’ll see kitchen tools, toasters, toaster ovens, stand mixers, can openers, and more marked down drastically.

What To Stock Up On In May

Office Furniture

Office furniture typically goes on sale this month because the new colors and designs will be coming into the stores around July and August. You’ll find swivel chairs for pennies on the dollar this month.

The stores usually stock up on these for the previous year-end purchases. Now, they want to unload them as soon as possible. If you need a new padded office swivel chair this is the month to buy it.

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Thrift Stores

Thrift Stores

Okay, thrift stores are overloaded in May because people have done their spring cleaning and decluttering big time. Therefore, your local thrift stores will have clearance prices on the “new” items people just dropped off.

It’s a great time to find some even better deals on some slightly used items at thrift stores in your neighborhood. I found some really cute plates the other day at a fraction of the original cost. Yay!

Athletic Apparel

What To Stock Up On In May

This month the stores will discount their athletic apparel because they know people are back to walking after a cold brutal winter in many locations, or the beautiful summer days are just around the corner.

Bring on the exercise clothing and let’s strengthen our bodies. Look for shorts, airy slacks, lightweight jackets, and sweaters. Don’t forget the walking shoes.

Summer Clothes

Holiday Apparel

Here’s to buying some new fresh colors in summer clothes at huge discount prices. You may see great buys on Memorial Day and July 4th clothing to celebrate the holidays!

Check for leftover Easter dresses, hats, shoes, and gloves. You may find just the right Sunday dress for you or your children at deeply discounted prices.

May is perfect for shopping for summer clothes when you see the ads in the paper or online specials. Every dollar we save can be put in the bank or saved for a rainy day.

What To Stock Up On In May

Star Wars Products

Star Wars on sale

May 4th is Star Wars Day and celebrates George Lucas’ Star Wars series of great movies. It’s a super month to pick up the Star Wars memorabilia you’ve been waiting to buy when it goes on sale.

You can pick up costumes, hats, mementos, one-of-a-kind items to be ready for that special day.

You can also pick up party favors, plates, cups, and plasticware at a discount to celebrate your Star Wars party. I’m sure you may have heard: “May the Force be with you.” Sometimes you can see autographed items at 50-60% off.

What To Stock Up On In May

If you want to give a special Star Wars gift for Christmas or birthdays grab them in May to save money. May the Force be With You!


Swimwear on Clearance

May is one of the best months to buy your swimwear because the price soars in June and July. If you think about it, the best ones start coming into the stores this month and then become scarce.

Well, when people are still going on vacation and swimming in June and July they need swimwear. Plus, if your little ones have outgrown their suits from last year, they need a bigger one this year. Sometimes the beach towels get a little ratty from wear and tear. It may be time to replace them too.

What To Stock Up On In May

Mother’s Day Gifts

Mother's Days

Mother’s Day is this month, so watch for things other than chocolate, flowers, or jewelry because they will be priced at a premium. Look for other things that are more personal like pictures, artwork, pretty notepads, or boxes of notecards.

The closer we get to the holiday the higher the price goes up for those most wanted items. Once we get past the holiday, look for a number of “mother” related gifts to go on sale.

Unique May Holidays

  • May 1: Herb Day
  • May 2: Baby Day
  • May 3: Garden Meditation Day
  • May 4: Star Wars Day
  • May 5: Cinco de Mayo
  • May 6: Beverage Day
  • May 7: National Day of Prayer
  • May 8: No Socks Day
  • May 9: Lilac Sunday
  • May 10: Clean Up Your Room Day
  • May 11: Eat What You Want Day
  • May 12: School Nurses Day
  • May 13: International Hummus Day
  • May 14: Dance Like a Chicken Day
  • May 15: National Chocolate Chip Day
  • May 16: National Sea Monkey Day
  • May 18: No Dirty Dishes Day
  • May 19: Plant a Veggie Garden Day
  • May 20: Pick Strawberries Day
  • May 21: National Bike to Work Day
  • May 23: World Turtle Day
  • May 24: Victoria Day in Canada
  • May 25: National Brown Bag It Day
  • May 26: World Otter Day
  • May 27: Sun Screen Day
  • May 28: National Hamburger Day
  • May 29: Learn About Composting Day
  • May 30: Water a Flower Day
  • May 31: Memorial Day

May is also Date Your Mate Month and National BBQ Month!

Final Word

Thanks for stopping by today, it means the world to me. I hope this post about What To Stock Up On In May encourages you to buy only those things that you really need.

It’s all about saving money for the unexpected. Thanks again for being prepared. Hard times are coming my friends, we must be prepared. May God bless this world, Linda

What to Stock Up On During Other Months:

Copyright Images: Deposit photos_38637003_m-2015, Memorial Day Deposit photos_113355162_s-2019, Hot Dogs Adobe Stock,

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  1. AH – Cinco de Mayo! This is the time to learn or relearn how to make tortillas! I have everything to make flour tortillas but not corn tortillas! So, I will be making tacos with homemade tortillas!

    As for “stocking up”, I will be stocking up on non-perishables for the most part. As for the other items on the list, I don’t have a need or want for those! So, I’ll save my money for my pantry!!

    1. Hi, Linda –
      Just FYI. The JUNE link on What to Stock Up On goes to What to Plant. I’ve been downloading about everything on your site, have your book and LOVE it. What a resource for my kids and grandkids too.
      Thanks much.
      Linda in Oklahoma

          1. HI Linda, thank you so much, I just found two others that needed to be fixed. I have two series “What To Plant In—-” and “What To Stock Up On In —-“. I’m checking every link, thanks again for letting me know. I love it!! Linda

        1. My local WinCo in Northern Utah was well stocked earlier this week with canning jars and wide mouth lids. No regular lids, though.

          1. Hi Marlena, good news on the Winco jars. Walmart is out in South Jordan, Utah. They have a limit of 2 cases of jars online per order. No lids, regu8lar or wide mouth. Linda

  2. You mentioned things for Cinco de Mayo. I was able to get shredded cheese on sale for 1.99. I stocked up on it since its over 2 or 3 dollars a bag. We need to stock up on any meat we can find of sale too. Prices are going to sky rocket.

    1. Hi June, wow that’s a good buy on cheese! I found some salsa on sale and I stocked up!! I can make some but the jars were cheap! I agree prices are going to skyrocket. Stay well, Linda

  3. This one of the few “general mailing’s that i will keep.
    These are very good suggestions about food storage planning. We do have several shelves in our garage with canned goods, water, bags, etc. but your list has given us much to work with.
    Thanks again!

    1. Hi Salvatore, thank you for your kind words. I try really hard to help others be prepared for the unprepared. Keep stocking, you ill be glad you did. Thank you, Linda

    2. Not my business. But be forth warned. If SHTF your supplies are not safe. That is the first place they will look even before heading into the house. Plus unless you have a alarm set up. They can empty it while you sleep. Be safe and find some places that are safe.

      1. I was thinking about your warning JC and Linda’s previous posts. Our food storage is in a pantry closet in the kitchen and in an extra closet off the front hall. Soaps and cleaning items are in the first floor laundry room and broom closet. Paper products, light bulbs, batteries and extra tools. are in the basement. Nothing is visible unless you start opening doors. Is that good, or do you have a better idea??

        1. Hi Chris, I would do just what you’re doing. If someone is looking for something in YOUR house they will get it whether we have the stuff locked in a safe or an open closet. Just my two cents. I can’t be afraid someone is going to rob me. I do everything to protect what we have but I will not live in fear. Linda

  4. Hi Linda, I have a recipe for “mexican ‘enchiladas'” which I think you would find you like very much.
    They are made from from ‘street size” flour tortilla, placed into muffin pans and then filled with a bean and cheese concoction. My recipe makes 24 of these little gems. They are not only delicious, but can be frozen for future meals. I serve mine with salsa, cheese, sour cream, guacamole, and any other topper that you would like.If you would send me your direct email, I’ll be happy to share the recipe with you. I think you’ll love it. My family asks me to make it often.
    Take care and be safe

  5. Suzanne, I would also love the recipe, especially if they can be made vegetarian. My oldest daughter is vegetarian and has an adorable newborn daughter and is always looking for things that can be cooked and frozen. Can you post it in the messages here? Is that ok Linda?

  6. Linda,

    Jane and I enjoy tacos at least weekly but the thin, corn, taco shells (Kroger Brand) we normally get aren’t in stock. Guess we’ll have to learn to make our own.

    1. Hi Ray, I love tacos!! So many items are in short supply, it’s crazy! OR, if we can find the items we want or need they are so much more expensive now. Linda

  7. My 10 year old grandson is autistic and loves chickens nuggets but not just any chicken nuggets. Those nuggets had better be Tyson brand or he won’t eat them! Tyson nuggets were $4.69 at Walmart two months ago and now they’re $7.69! Three dollars higher! That’s just Crazy!

  8. Linda,
    My list of things to stock up on in May, June, July, etc. is anything that we might need in the next several years. Everything will keep rising in price and be harder to find as time goes by. Thank goodness we have most of it already, just filling in holes now. Keep up the good work. I see more and more folks waking up to what is happening. Unfortunately, not enough of them yet. They will suffer if they don’t. Have a great weekend.

    1. Hi Harry, thank you for your kind words, my friend! I’m with you I will keep stocking up when I find what I may need as prices keep rising. I sure hope the people start seeing what’s going on in the world. If not, they are snoozing through life. Happy weekend to you too! Linda

  9. Oh Linda, I hear you on the price of bacon. My usual brand I buy has been in the $3.50 range but last week had jumped to $7! I almost fainted as I had planned on getting 3 or 4 to put in the freezer but ended up getting only one package. Our grocery shelves have been pretty well stocked for the past month and canning jars and lids are in good supply now. I don’t know how long that will last and they always sell out in the summer anyway.

    1. Hi Paula, good news on the canning jars and lids. They are scarce here in Salt Lake City, Utah. The bacon, oh my gosh, the bacon. We cooked a batch today for Saturday brunch but I won’t be buying any for some time now. Unless I see a really good price, then I will have to buy it. Linda

  10. I love all your lists. I finally found my favorite socks with Aloe. Kohl’s stopped carrying them last year. I finally found them at Bed, Bath and Beyond, but only online and in colors/patterns from two years ago. I splurged and ordered 8 pair, since I think they are being discontinued. Not exactly needed when TSHTF, but sometimes a girl just needs to treat herself. It is the start of garage sale season here. I have several storage items on my list, including a small grill for use with charcoal in case our natural gas grill is not working. A heads up ladies, again not critical, but Bath and Body Works prices are inching up. So far, special promotion prices are good, but I wouldn’t expect that to last long.

    1. Hi Chris, oh I love hearing you found your favorite socks! It’s the little things that make us happy! I need to go to Bath and Body Works! I love garage sales! Linda

  11. I will forgo the Mexican foods. The only one in my family who eats Mexican is my daughter. I am working on the things in my food pantry. I will also start getting paper plates and stuff along with plastic silverware and plastic & paper cups.
    I am not worried about toilet paper and paper towels as I have a lot of old washrags that we can use in case of emergency. I can remember using newspaper for toilet paper as a young wife and using a outhouse for the bathroom and a big animal aluminum water pan that was used for bath’s so it won’t bother me that way. I will stock up on those things but I won’t be anal like I see on some of the survival shows on TV because I will use what I have and let it go at that.

  12. I have found some supermarkets don’t have any or have very little can cat food. When I find some I buy as much as I can. I see dry food, but my Niles Kitty likes then both. The price has gone up, too, from 75 cents to $1.39 per can. Crazy!

          1. It’s strange. Around here some of our meat prices have gone down from their highs earlier this year. But everything else has gone up. Butter in particular used to be between one and two dollars per pound. Now it’s more than double that–though Safeway has Challenge butter on sale this week (limit of 2).

            Oh, I bought the Cuisinart 4 slice toaster.

          2. Hi Ray, I hope you enjoy it. I actually gave my old one to a granddaughter and ordered a new one for the new house. I will have to check our meat prices and butter prices again. Thanks for the heads up! Linda

  13. Hi Linda,
    Talk about shortages, I have not been able to find recycling bags anywhere. Target, Stop’n’Shop, Key Food, they haven’t any in months. They have plenty of garbage bags but no recycling bags. My Son brought me some of what he had, I thanked him, but don’t want to take away from what he has because he may not be able to find any. What’s going on with not being able to find what you need never mind what you want? Have a great and blessed weekend.

    1. HI Mildred, wow, I hadn’t heard that one about the recycle bags! I will check it out, thanks for the heads up! Anyone else see shortages on those recycle bags? Please let us know, Linda

  14. I’ve gotten a few emails where seed companies are offering sales on garden seeds. If you haven’t stocked up, you might want to!

  15. You still can’t find canning supplies? Last time I went past them at Walmart the shelves were full. I’ll have to look again.
    I’ve been finding bacon on sale for $2.99. I usually buy 2 or 3 maybe I should buy more. They also are selling cases of bacon.

    1. Hi June, I will check Walmart the next time I go. I just looked on Walmart.com and they have some. It may have been the day I went that they were out. I always look for them to give to those who have trouble finding them. I won’t buy off brands, I’m an old dog and only use Kerr or Ball. My canning days are over if this oxygen deal I have going is still 24/7. I’m on oxygen 24/7 and have to remove the hose to cook anything. The oxygen in the tubing is highly flammable. My life is about to change forever. They are selling cases of bacon??? WHAT? At Walmart? Thank you, Linda

      1. Wide mouth pints are 15.44 and wide mouth quarts are 16.44.
        I just sold all my regular mouth pints and quarts (except those filled with foods of course) and replaced with wide mouth. I gave her extra lids since I’m going to wide mouth and had shoe boxes of them…still have plenty if I need them.
        Getting ready for tomatoes this August.

        The lady that bought my jars is giving me cut-off corn for my extra freezer.
        She is handicapped, just had foot surgery and this summer is having stomach surgery. Crashed in a helicopter in service.
        She has too much corn and now realizes it.
        She has two sons with no wives and they together have I think 8 kids. She is doing all she can to help them.
        She is in my prayers. Oh, she broke her back in the crash.
        I am blessed and I know it.

        1. HI JayJay, oh that corn is so good! I’m praying for her speedy recovery, she’s had a rough time. Yes, jars are so expensive, glad you can trade for the ones you want. I prefer wide mouth as well. That first red tomato will be the best one ever! Linda

  16. I am not having problems finding what I want, but the prices!!! Our youngest son is feeding three teenage boys, so I pick up extras for his freezer whenever I can.
    One small alert….. we are now required to sign a release for doctors, requiring us to cover pre authorizations that the insurance company decides not to cover. My knee injections are $1600. PER knee every 3 months….. and I still can’t walk without pain. Insurance companies are delaying payments.

    1. Hi Chris, WHAT? Oh my gosh, $1600 per knee every 3 months?? Oh my gosh, that’s terrible! And you still have pain, I’m so sorry to hear this!!! My two hospital visits with an ambulance ride to get to the other hospital is asking me to fill out a review….I’ve never done a negative review in mmy life. My complaint is with the second hospital. Not acceptable. I feel bad, but they need to know. I’m not sure how you can remedy your situation. Linda

  17. Linda, I have a great deal of sympathy for Chris. Bad knees make walking miserable. But at $3200 every 3 months, I’d think getting those knees replaced is a viable option. yeah, the rehab won’t be fun, but everyone I know who has had it done is glad they did it. I’m looking at getting my bad right knee replaced as soon as I can take the time off from caring for Jane. Meanwhile, we all have to tough it out.

    1. Hi Ray, I have talked to Chris about it. I had both of my knees replaced two weeks apart. I have 10 inch scars on the from of each knee. There is a new knee replacement and the two ladies I know were shopping “slowly” but they were walking two weeks after one knee was done. It took me nine months. Mine were done about 12 years ago I think. They no longer do that type of replacement. Thank goodness for improved medical procedures. Please don’t wait but check out who is doing the “NEW” replacements. My knees were bone on bone and so were these two ladies that had theirs done. Linda

    2. HI Ray, if you can get right in to the knee doctor, he may not be as good as the one you have to wait 3 months to get an appointment. Make sure he/she is Board Certified and check their infection rates. My doctor was worth the wait. Just FYI. My Southernn Utah neighborhood had so many problems with their knee replacements, But they all went to the doctor they could get into in 2 weeks. I did my research and waited 3 months to get in. It was the best decision in my life. Besides marrying Mark! LOL! Linda

      1. Yeah, my right knee is bone on bone and you know how good that feels. Making certain you have a good surgeon is vital. My insurance is excellent so I’ll wait to get a good one. Right now I can’t afford to take even two weeks off to get it done–and I know there’s weeks of rehab after. Jane keeps bugging me to get it done, saying she’ll be able to cope–and she would, but she’s facing another abdominal surgery (hernia repair) and I’m going to wait until after she gets that done. Some things are simply more important than pain.

  18. Linda, speaking of new procedures, one of the companies I have stock in builds a knee replacement robotic surgeon and so far the results have been excellent with far fewer complication such as post op infections. So, my surgeon may end up being a robot.

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