Jens Mortensen

Why: As people emerge from their winter cocoons, retailers start offering discounts that will lure customers outdoors and shed their last-season inventories before the end of the summer, says Butler. If you can't find what you're looking for in May, shop when the seasons change or after a natural disaster. Oddly enough, these events cause retailers to extend sales or reduce discounted items even further. The reason? Some people will wear out their shoes during storm cleanup, and those who are unaffected invest in more durable pairs in the event that destructive weather hits in their ZIP code.

Your savings: From 30 to 60 percent.