March is typically the middle ground between shivering under layers of sweaters and mild spring weather, and it’s hard to think of this awkward month between “bitter winter” and “holy crap, is that spring?” as anything other than 31 days of waiting for something better to roll around. If the thought bores you to tears, why not take advantage of the month’s best deals and have a shopping day instead?
We had our monthly chat with DealNews‘ (a consumer’s dream website that hunts down the bargains for you) Features Editor, Benjamin K. Glaser, who knows better than anyone what will be a hot buy and what just won’t be worth it this month. Seriously, you guys. It’s his job.
Sweet, glorious chocolate
Not that there’s ever really a bad time to buy chocolate, but if you’re cheap and addicted like us, you’ll want to take Glaser’s advice and snatch up all of the treats the marrieds were foolish enough to leave on the shelves now that Valentine’s Day is but a fading memory.
“As always after a holiday, themed sweets go on sale at any store with overstock,” Glaser told SheKnows. You can hit up department store clearance sections and do a full sweep of whatever is left from last season, or go a slightly more decadent route. “This month, look for treats that haven’t been gobbled up and you’ll find discounts of up to 50 percent off at places like Godiva.”
Be right back, you guys.
iPhones, iPads and previous generation smartphones
Sure, there’s nothing like the newest model of your favorite gadget, but if you buy every single upgrade that comes out when it comes out, you’ll be broke in no time. Really, there’s typically not a whole lot that’s different in newer generation phones, so an older model device can be a really wise buy.
If you’re just looking for a new browsing tablet, stick with Apple, Glaser says. “Reliable sources have it that Apple will release a new iPad Air and a 4-inch iPhone, dubbed the ‘5se,’ on March 15. That means the two previous generations of iPad Airs will drop significantly.” That’s especially good news for consumers, as iPads tend to hold up well both in resale value and performance over a few generations.
If you’ve got your eye on a snazzy new phone, there are definitely deals to be had, as long as your definition of “new” is a little flexible. Late-February new model reveals from Samsung and Microsoft mean that “a slew of 2015 models became previous-generation, and will very soon see discounts both on and off-contract.” With the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge officially on their way, Glaser expects the still very snazzy S6 models to drop in price, too.
Amazon Prime is a treasure, especially for homebodies and important busy people with better things to do than go to the store. People like you. Unfortunately, with Amazon recently announcing a 40 percent higher bar to clear for free shipping for people who don’t have Prime, “the arithmetic of you Amazon shopping might have just changed,” Glaser explains. “It’s time to either pay for a $99 a year Prime membership, or seek alternatives to Amazon.”
Better buy it later:
Your spring wardrobe
With spring so close, it’s tempting to replace off-trend clothing or stuff that’s seen better days, if for no other reason than to have something to look forward to. Pump the brakes, says Glaser. Instead, “a good rule of thumb is to wait at least two to three months into a season in order to score the best discounts on weather-appropriate apparel.”
On the other hand, that does mean there’s no better time to grab thermals and boots, though!
A new phone with all the bells and whistles
Again, with brand new models expected soon, it’s better to grab older generations if you’re bargain hunting. If you really must have a new phone, though, all is not lost if you’re not compromise-averse. If you don’t mind buying a slightly less conspicuous model, for instance.
Glaser explains, “It’s worth checking out phones from other manufacturers like HTC, Motorola and LG.” They might not have the star power of Samsung and Apple but “these brands consistently make well-reviewed handsets.” That’s good news. Want some even better news? They also debuted new phones, so if you don’t mind grabbing a lesser-known brand and getting last generation’s iteration, you can really save some money.
Unlike chocolate, leftover teddies and pantyhose aren’t really a thing. There might be a few sparse deals here or there, but Glaser says the real savings are in the summer months. “Wait for June and July,” he explains. “That’s when Victoria’s Secret unveils its famed Semi-Annual Sale, and last year around the same time, we also saw excellent markdowns from a plethora of other retailers like Frederick’s of Hollywood, Maidenform and Bare Necessities.”
Up in the air:
Flat screen TVs
March isn’t exactly prime TV-shopping season, but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing out there for savvy shoppers. It’s just that you’ll have to dodge brand loyalty like you would for a cheaper phone. Another off-season TV-hunting tip? Pay attention to the size.
“55-inch sets are again providing the best value and most discounts,” Glaser confides. “The best deals for a name-brand 1080p set have hovered around $400. But we’ve even seen name-brand 4K flirting with the $500 range. If you don’t care so much for brand names, you can knock $150 or so off your price tag.”