October is a great time to buy a new grill or patio furniture. / Juanmonino / Getty Images
Even though that Fourth of July barbecue is a distant memory, fall is still a great season for grilling burgers at football games and serving up hot dogs on the sidelines of kids’ soccer matches. But for retailers, it’s time to make room for winter supplies like heaters, shovels and snow blowers.
So now is a perfect time to negotiate a deal on a new grill. You may find more wiggle room on the price at local, independent dealers; big- box stores like Lowe’s will have sales this month, but prices are probably set. Do your homework; some brands are more reliable than others, and there are pros and cons to gas and charcoal versions.
While you’re shopping for that ultimate outdoor appliance, how about a furniture upgrade? Patio chairs and tables are on sale in stores including Target and Walmart early this month. How much you’ll save depends on the materials: Plastic frames and vinyl seats are the cheapest option. They’re light and easy to stack, but they’re also less durable and not always as attractive. Wood frames (teak and cedar are good choices) with canvas cushions are on the pricier end, but if you maintain them properly by applying wood protector twice a season and sealant, they can last a lifetime.
If you don’t have the budget for a complete patio set replacement, consider giving your outdoor living space a facelift with new sun- and water-resistant cushions and a matching sun umbrella.