July is one of those weird months as far as retail goes. On the weekends, you'll find packed beaches and empty shopping malls. It's a bit too early to go back-to-school shopping, and your kids probably wouldn't dare let you suggest it. And it's hot out, which makes going on a leisurely shopping trip and trying on clothes sound about as enticing as mowing the lawn.

On the other hand, it may be the savvy idea to hit the stores while July lasts. Retailers desperately want to draw people to the checkout line right now, which means a range of limited-time deals. Here's some reasons you might want to reconsider that shopping trip over the next few weeks.

Laptops

This month is a sweet spot for those in the market for a new laptop. July is couched between the Father's Day and graduation gift rush of June and the back-to-school frenzy in August, so retailers have huge selections of laptops right now. You can find good deals on new PC models, and even better deals on those that are just a bit older. I tend to check out the models listed on dealnews.com pretty frequently, because they rank devices by their price and quality.

Lawn and garden

I hate to bring up mowing the lawn again, but weed trimmers, mowers and other gardening supplies will be cheaper now than they have been so far this year.

The prices will keep falling until after Labor Day, but if you want to get some good use out of these products while they're still in-season, you may want to scoop the deals by the end of the month.

For example, a Greenworks cordless battery-powered lawn mower is on sale for $349 right now on the company's website, http://bit.ly/VL7gSL.

Patio furniture

Again, prices on these outdoor items will keep falling through the end of the summer, but there are some notable specials to check out right now. World Market has marked down its outdoor decor and patio furniture to 50 percent off, which means its Pawleys Island-style hammock is about $65. Walmart also is slashing prices on outdoor furniture.

Swim gear

With less than two months left of summer, retailers know there's a small window to get rid of items such as beach towels, swimsuits and sunscreen. Now through the end of August is the best time of year to shop for this stuff if you hate forking out close to $60 for swimsuits and at least $15 for sunscreen.

Target and Victoria's Secret have good deals on bikinis, and drugstores will be your best bet for marked-down sunscreen. Try Walmart for extra-cheap pool toys and towels.

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