May is a good month for frugal families because it is dominated by sales and bargains. If you know what to look for and when to shop, you can score some great deals on the spring and summer necessities (and luxuries) that your family needs most.

1. Make a Mother's Day gift from the heart.

Instead of splurging on the traditional jewelry, flowers or brunch, create a more heartfelt gift for Mom. Giving her a handmade card or the opportunity to sleep in will be easier on your wallet — and probably appreciated more too. If you want to buy Mom a gift, search Groupon for discounts on massages, winery tours, and other activities that Mom will enjoy.

2. Take advantage of Memorial Day sales.

Memorial Day sales are popular every year, thanks to the extended 3-day shopping weekend. And many retailers even offer Memorial Day deals in the weeks leading up to the holiday. Look for coupons and advertisements that will save you a bundle on home furnishings like mattresses and patio sets and appliances like refrigerators and stoves.

3. Stock up for summer.

According to, "May equates to a very solid month of savings on things we need for summer fun." Pick up the picnic goods (think paper plates and plastic utensils) that you will need for summer now to get the best prices, and take advantage of deep discounts on sports and outdoor gear this month (instead of waiting to purchase them at higher prices later on).

4. Shop for spring clothes.

Spring apparel has been on shelves for a while now, which means it's finally time to start buying it. Prices on spring clothes will drop this month to make room for newer summer styles, but you can still stock up on short-sleeved shirts and capris for those cool summer nights.

5. Plan your summer vacation NOW.

Don't procrastinate any longer if you're planning a trip or vacation this summer. Prices are only going to go up, so save your family from rising travel costs (not to mention all of the headaches associated with last-minute scrambling) by booking your trips in early May. Believe it or not, the lazy days of summer are just around the corner, and with the kids home for summer vacation looking to be entertained, you will very much appreciate the extra cash you have managed to save.