Best of Summer: Memorial Day Deals!

May 19, 2020

My oh my, it’s a great time to buy! A “day of remembrance” holiday is coming up and with it, all kinds of things for your home and for your life are being offered at deep discounts during Memorial Day sales. And what are the best bets of summer? We checked in with Consumer Reports and found that the month of May is a shopping bonanza for lots of items available through online retailers and also brick and mortar retailers like home improvement stores, grocery and big box stores, most if now all with curbside pick-up. Take a look!

Sunscreens and Speakers

Of the five sunscreens tested by Consumer Reports (CR), the top score went to Trader Joe’s Spray SPF 50+ (sun protection factor) with a 100 rating and priced at about $6. Earning a perfect score in CR’s tests is rare and this fairly inexpensive Trader Joe’s spray “does a superb job at protecting users from the sun.” It reportedly has a very slight beachy aroma (?) and leaves an oily sheen on the skin. 

Second on the list was Coppertone’s Ultra Guard Lotion with an SPF of 70 and a retail price from $12 to $17. This lotion was rated “excellent” for its SPF and protection against ultraviolet A rays. CR notes that it leaves a slight film on the skin but has no noticeable fragrance. It also contains the compound retinol palmitate, which pregnant women may want to avoid.

Another item that goes on sale during the latter part of May are speakers both wireless and Bluetooth. The best systems on the market retain optimal sound quality with the convenience of going wireless. But you will pay a premium for that benefit—the tested models range in price from $200 to $700. 

Competition is stiff between the tested models, and the two top-rated speakers (with a 74 rating) are the Edifier S1000DB which sells for $350 and the Denon Heos 7 HS2 which goes for about $450, All the tested models offer stereo sound and two of them are designed for portable use and can run on battery power.

When You Need Shut-Eye

Now is the best time of the year to buy both mattresses (Costco’s are on sale right now) and air mattresses. If you’re in a new home in Southshore, it’s unlikely you’ll need an A/C unit, but for camping out this summer even if it’s just in the backyard, a blow-up mattress might fill the bill. According to Consumer Reports, the highest rated single-height air mattress is the Aerobed Classic Inflatable which sells for about $120 with no discount. It’s a queen size and comes with a detachable pump. It was rated an 81 out of 100 and so was the Simmons Beautyrest Hi Loft air mattress, which CR also recommends. The Simmons is a double-height queen air mattress and costs about $68. 

Regular mattresses for your bedroom are also on sale and Consumer Reports recommends both the Avocado Green (inner spring with latex foam) which “hits it out of the park” on durability tests, and the Casper Hybrid (springs and foam), which also scores well on the durability scale. The Casper has a softer (firmness) rating – 3 out of 10 and is billed as “excellent for a back sleeper”. These are both considered beds-in-a-box and retail for about $1200.

Grillin’ and Chillin’

If you find yourself in need of cold storage for make-ahead food to freeze, now’s a good time to shop for freezers. It’s also the beginning of grilling season and grills will be on sale during Memorial Day sales. Chest freezers are slightly cheaper and more energy efficient and less likely to cause freezer burn! Uprights take up less floor space but take a long time to manually defrost. Of the 52 different freezers tested, two self-defrost upright GE freezers scored the best, with one considered a “best buy”. And among the manual-defrost chest freezers, GE took top honors again.

If Lowe’s is your go-to home improvement store – five minutes from Southshore and still open as an essential business – you can score a great grill there from Broil-King and Char-Broil – two brands that are very popular with CR members. But don’t just buy one based on a familiar brand name – not all models fared the same in the CR tests.

Check the inventory at the store online before you go in-store shopping, and got to CR to suss out the grill ratings (gas, charcoal, Kamado and pellet) to compare models. The Weber Genesis II E-310 ($750) scored best in mid-sized gas grills, and the Dyna-Glo performed best of the charcoal models ($230). Lowe’s will deliver an assembled grill to your home free of charge if it costs $499 or more – otherwise you’ll pay a delivery fee. 

Great Time to Buy in Southshore

With mortgage loan interest rates at historic lows, now is a great time to buy a brand new home in Southshore . The location of the master-planned community – next to the Aurora Reservoir with summer activities in, near and under the water – makes it ideal for outdoorsy types. Set up an appointment to tour the stunning models built by Colorado’s finest home builders –  Taylor Morrison, Richmond American Homes and Toll Brothers. Life at the Lake offers floor plans for ranch and two-story designs, priced between the $400s and the $700s and super close to all the essentials you’ll ever need.