February Bargains: The Best Things to Buy This Month
When considering what to buy in February, remember that winter is half over and retailers want to clear out seasonal merchandise. Presidents Day also falls in February, giving many people a three-day weekend and extra time to shop. Taken together, these trends promise deals galore.
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With Black Friday and Christmas long past, retailers are eager to sell leftover electronics to make room for new gadgets. January's Consumer Electronics Show and Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 5 this year) spur deals on TVs, home theater systems, and other components. GPS systems, digital cameras, and audio equipment also see February discounts.
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New video games are usually released in early winter, just in time for holiday gift giving. By February, though, even the newest and hottest video game titles are usually discounted. (For savings year-round, check eBay or Craigslist.)
Presidents Day weekend means big department-store sales. Couple that with winter coming to an end and warm clothing can be snapped up for a song. Shoppers will find loads of deals on coats, outerwear, gloves, scarves, hats, and sweaters. Cold-weather accessories are especially good buys, because styles don't change much from year to year.
Presidents Day sales also include reduced prices on bedding, towels, and other linens. Set aside time to shop over the three-day weekend if you're freshening up a bathroom or setting up a guest room. It's also a good time to stock up if you have a student who will be college-bound in the fall.
The winter off-season and midwinter boat shows make February the right month to shop for a boat if you're in the market. Dealers may offer discounts and deals to entice buyers, so be ready to bargain, whether at a boat show or on the showroom floor.
Jewelry, perfume, and flowers are in high demand ahead of Valentine's Day, so don't expect any deals before Feb. 14. For shoppers who hold out, sales likely will pop up once the holiday has passed and demand plummets.
Chocoholics can satisfy their cravings on the cheap after Valentine's Day. Look for discounts on high-end chocolates that don't go on sale often. Shoppers can also raid the candy aisle to find enticing deals on mid-range Valentine's Day packages as retailers try to sell off the holiday stash. And don't be afraid to stock up -- chocolate lasts for several months when stored in a cool, dry spot.
Related: 10 Chocolate Meccas Across America
Between National Margarita Day (Feb. 22) and National Tortilla Chip Day (Feb. 24), this is the month to go out for Mexican. Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville restaurants celebrate with specials on margaritas and related products. Last year, some Salsarita's Fresh Cantina locations gave out free chips and salsa. Check for deals at a favorite local Mexican restaurant, as well as specials on bags of tortilla chips at grocery stores.
Eat seasonally, the food gurus proclaim. Even in February, consumers can find fresh and reasonably priced foods, including beets, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, celery, clementines, cauliflower, grapefruit, kale, lemons, onions, oranges, pears, sweet potatoes, and tangerines. Check Epicurious' seasonal ingredient map to see what's growing locally and try out new recipes.