Bargain Shopping: Winter Months

Bargain Shopping: Winter Months

Shop Smart to Save Big

January

Frozen Foods and Canned Goods:  Grocery prices tend to follow a sales cycle, and the winter months are the time to fill your freezer and pantry for less.  Look for sales on frozen foods and canned goods, and stock up.

Linens and Bedding: Ever since the first “white sale” occurred in 1878, January has been the best month to get bedding and linens.

Winter Apparel: Clothing deals dominate the After-Christmas sales, and winter fashions are deeply discounted to make room for spring stock.  If you can hold out until January to buy your winter wear, you can score a whole wardrobe for 40%-70% off. 

Christmas Décor: Shop clearance sales to get next year’s wrapping paper for up to 75% off.

Fitness Gear:  Looking to start the New Year with a new physique? Retailers are offering discounts on sports and fitness equipment.  This is also a good time to get deals on gym memberships; look for gyms to reduce or even waive sign-up fees.  If they don't offer, ask for it!

Jewelry:  Shop early for Valentine’s day by taking advantage of post-Christmas sales at online jewelry stores.

Interior Decorating:  If you have been wanting to redo your home, January is a great time.  You can find deals on flooring or carpeting, furniture, paint, and the services of professional painters.

Houses: The winter is a notoriously slow season for real estate, but buyers take note: Time Magazine says that January is the ideal time to make an offer on that home that’s been on the market for a while.

February

Electronics: There are always TV sales before the Super Bowl, and during Presidents Day sales, there are excellent sales on digital cameras. Video games that debuted for the holiday season will likely be discounted by mid-February.

Mattresses: President’s Day is traditionally a big sales day at mattress stores.  It’s not just one day, though: sales start as early as the first of the month and can last all month long.

Power Tools: If you’re a DIY-er, check out the President’s Day Sale ads.  Recently, there has been an increase in good deals on power tools.

Tax Software:  Beginning in February (or occasionally in mid-January) you will begin to see discounts on tax preparation software.  Look for promotions that slash at least 30% to 50% off.

Steaks: If you’re a meat eater, grab some prime cuts of steak after Valentine’s Day.  Bonus: The same goes for chocolate lovers, too.

March

Smartphones: If you're interested in a new phone, you should wait until manufacturers release their new models (typically in the spring) so you can get a deal on the prior model.

HDTVs: If you were unable to get a new HDTV during the Super Bowl, March is a good second chance to find a bargain.  Because the fiscal year in Japan ends on March 31st, Japanese televisions are discounted in the month of March to make yearly sales quotas.

Thrift Stores: As people begin spring cleaning, you’ll notice a big increase in inventory at your local thrift store.  Much of it is high quality merchandise, so give thrift shopping a chance!

Vacuum Cleaners: Retailers will clear out current models of vacuums starting in March to make room for the summer release of new models.

Luggage: During the time of year between the Holidays and Spring Break, luggage sales are slow and you can find some excellent discounts.  If you are planning a vacation this year, consider buying your luggage early.

Golf Clubs and Accessories: Warmer weather means the arrival of this year’s newest golf clubs. Retailers start offering clearance discounts March; you can typically get 30-40% off of last year’s models.

Snowboards, Skis, etc.: As the temperatures start to rise,  the demand for new snowboards, skis, sleds, boots, and such drops dramatically.   Retailers will offer steep discounts in order to avoid storing these items all year long.

Bargain Shopping Warnings

Bargain shoppers know how to find a deal, but they are also more likely to fall victim to some of these shopping pitfalls. To save yourself, keep these tips in mind:

  • Just because an item looks like it's marked down, you shouldn't assume it’s a bargain. Do your research! Try comparison shopping online to get a feel for prices, then visiting your local stores to buy the items.
  • Buying something you don't need is never a bargain, no matter how low the price is.
  • Even an item that's steeply discounted won't end up being a bargain if you put it on a credit card and don't pay it off right away. Don’t fool yourself into thinking you got a deal; accrued interest will very quickly offset your ‘discount.’
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