What to Buy in February
Knowing when to purchase what can mean big savings throughout the year. Savvy shoppers take advantage of two major, and related, trends: seasonal shifts and post-holiday efforts to clear out inventory. In February, with winter halfway over, retailers want to get rid of their seasonal merchandise -- anyone who needed a winter coat has probably already bought one, right? Also, stores usually have a lot of electronics left over from the holidays and need to make room for new gadgets, so now is a good time to upgrade. Read on for a full rundown of February deals.
Photo by .A.A.
TVs and Home Theaters.With Black Friday and Christmas long past, retailers advertise cheap LCD TVs and home theaters for yet another national "holiday": Super Bowl Sunday. Game day couples with January's Consumer Electronics Show to spur retailers toward February deals on things like HDTVs, speakers, surround-sound systems, and other components to clear out inventory and make room for new models shown at CES. Snap up a 3D TV on the cheap and make your Super Bowl party the hottest ticket in town.
Digital Cameras.Like TVs, point-and-shoot digital cameras see a round of price cuts in February after the holiday rush and CES. Amid technological advances and a wave of new models, retailers will be itching to sell off the old ones. If you're a budding photographer who has always wanted to own a digital SLR, look for February deals on our picks for best cheap DSLR camera.
Video Games.Video games are usually released in early winter, just in time for holiday gift-giving. Wait until February, though, and even the newest and hottest video game titles should be discounted. For savings year-round, check eBay or Craigslist.
Coats and Cold Weather Gear.With winter coming to an end, now's the best time to scoop up coats, outerwear, gloves, scarves, hats, and sweaters. Cold weather accessories are an especially good buy because styles don't change much from year to year. This far into the season usually means huge markdowns on coats and jackets, so take advantage of February deals and pick up next winter's coat today.
Air Conditioners and Humidifiers.Who wants an air conditioner when it's freezing cold out? Well, smart shoppers do. The winter months are the best time to buy a budget air conditioner because no one needs more chill in the air. Low demand for AC units leads retailers to offer February deals to move units out the door. Another bargain worth snapping up is a cheap humidifier to counteract the skin-drying effects of winter air and indoor heating. One easy-to-find cheap pick is the Crane EE-5301 Cool Mist Humidifier.
Bicycles and Motorcycles.Slick streets and icy winds deter most people from hitting the road on two-wheelers, so sales of bicycles and motorcycles slow during winter. Take advantage of the lull and buy your bike at the best prices you'll see all year. Already have a bike? February is also a good month to get it serviced for cheap.
Photo by skippyjon
Boats.Just in case you're yearning for a yacht, the winter off-season and mid-winter boat shows make February the right month to buy a boat. Dealers may offer discounts and deals to entice buyers, so be ready to bargain, whether at a boat show or on the showroom floor.
Foods in Season.Eat seasonally, proclaim the food gurus. And what a feast you can find this time of year. Winter fruits and vegetables include oranges, grapefruit, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, and sweet potatoes. Enjoy these February deals while they're plentiful, fresh, and reasonably-priced. Check Epicurious's peak-season map to see what's freshest in your area and try out new recipes, like Rachel Ray's Brussels sprouts with bacon or the Korean spicy fermented cabbage dish called kimchi.
Chocolate.Like a kid in a candy store, chocoholics can satisfy their chocolate cravings on the cheap after Valentine's Day. Raid the candy aisle to find enticing February deals on Valentine's Day packages as retailers try to clear the holiday stash. And don't be afraid to stock up -- chocolate lasts for several months when stored in a cool, dry spot. Our picks for best cheap chocolate: Cadbury Royal Dark Chocolate and Lindt Lindor Truffles.