What to buy in February (and what not to)
With the holiday season well and truly behind us, shopping probably isn't very high on your radar. Unless you have a high-priority purchase to make this month, you're probably giving the deal-hunting part of your brain a rest.
That's why we chatted with Benjamin K. Glaser, Features Editor of DealNews, a deal-aggregating, coupon-clipping website that takes the labor out of comparison shopping. Glaser gave us the short list of what deals can't be missed in February, and which ones aren't worth rolling out of bed for.
Coats and outerwear
Great news for anyone who held off on buying a coat because of the freakishly warm winter we've been having that is only now beginning to send us all running for our blankies and firesides: Coats and winter wear are going to see pretty deep discounts this month. According to Glaser:
"Outerwear deals are amazing this year. Winter apparel always goes on clearance starting in January, but due to the mild weather early in the season, sales were slow and inventory will be discounted even more than usual now. Look for discounts of up to 70 percent."
Tax season is no one's favorite time of year, but at least you can save some money before you give a sizable chunk of it to Uncle Sam. Even though that April deadline is still a ways off, there's no reason to not get a head start on the unpleasantness before it becomes a stressful time crunch.
"There are tons of deals on tax software, available even right now," says Glaser. "Look for H&R Block and TurboTax for around $25, which is about half off. Be sure that you're getting a version that includes both free federal and state filing."
Presidents' Day sale items
We had to know: Are those huge Presidents' Day sales that we always see advertised on TV with a heavy-handed use of bald eagles and Mount Rushmore really worth it? Glaser says they are, actually:
"Presidents' Day is definitely worthwhile for sitewide and storewide sales, especially at department stores with their wide range of inventory. Coupons and discounts might be modest, like 25 percent off home goods, or 40 percent off apparel. Discounts will be deeper on clearance items, but these might be final sale." Also, if you held off on a furniture purchase last month, you may be in luck: "Presidents' Day sales are good for furniture and home goods at both specialty and department stores."
Better buy it later:
Electronics and other big-ticket items
"February isn't particularly good for big-ticket items like electronics or travel," Glaser told us. "[It's] not the best time for popular electronics like laptops, TVs and cellphones. However, if you absolutely need one of these items, there are always deals available if you do your research."
Up in the air
Valentine's Day purchases
Tsk, tsk, procrastinators. Last month would have been the ideal time to snap up an early V-Day present, but you might still be able to pick up a few discounts on seasonal items, even if the deals aren't anything mind-blowing. Glaser told us what shoppers can expect at the jewelry counter and florist this year:
"Valentine's Day sales on items like jewelry and perfume and discounts on pre-orders of flowers and candy are better... at the end of January. Sales in February are modest leading up to V-Day, but they do exist. Look for 20 percent to 25 percent off these items."