When May hits, it can trigger the impulsive shopper in all of us. The warm weather might encourage us to go buy new spring clothes or sandals. All the celebrations coming up means we may be tempted to splurge on party favors or lavish gifts.

I'm here to remind you to stay focused. Yes, the warm weather is exciting, especially amid all these fun springtime events. But you can enjoy all that this month has to offer without breaking the bank, it just takes some self-control. Here are some pointers.

New clothes for less

It's tempting to go for all the new summer items showing up on the shelves this month. But remember, spring goods are introduced at the beginning of February, which means clearance racks and sales sections will be packed with spring items that are still perfectly wearable in the summer.

For example, DSW Shoes has dozens of spring sandals on sale for up to 80 percent off right now.

For swimsuits, see the clearance sale at Quicksilver.com. With the code "EXTRA40" at checkout, 40 percent will be taken off the already marked down price of clearance items.

Party prep

If you're celebrating Cinco de Mayo next week, there's no reason to overspend on the food.

Grocery stores such as Bi-Lo and Harris Teeter advertise Cinco de Mayo sections in their circulars this week where you'll find deals on traditional Mexican fare such as beans, salsa, tortillas and imported beers. Bi-Lo also has a sale section geared toward graduation parties this weekend.

And if you're getting a head start on Mother's Day gifts, don't forget stores such as TJ Maxx, Marshalls and online deal sites like Zulily.com for jewelry and home decor. I'll elaborate on that subject next week.

Know the sales

If you're feeling flush with cash this month, that still doesn't mean you should spend it on what's here-and-now. Instead, invest in things you may need later this year that are only going to be marked down this month.

When Memorial Day approaches, retailers have been known to offer especially low prices on marked-down clothes, outdoor equipment and kitchen wares. It's also one of the best times of year to buy a new mattress.

Reach Abigail Darlington at 937-5906 and follow her on Twitter @A_Big_Gail.