The first two months of the year are almost gone, but sales don’t seem to go away. You might have gotten something special for President’s Day or another holiday, or you’ve seen something at the store on sale and bought it on impulse. But like Black Friday in November or holiday sales that occur once a year, there is a time of year to buy almost anything for the best price you’ll see all year. Why is it important to know when things are at their lowest prices? How do you know? What are the purchases you should make in March that’ll save you money over buying any other time of the year? And what should you NOT buy in March?
It seems there’s always something you need at the last minute. You wouldn’t buy a new hot water heater just to have on hand in case your existing one goes bad. You don’t keep a spare engine on hand in case your car’s motor dies. Those are items you definitely have no choice to buy except when they’re absolutely needed. Other buying decisions are based on what you see in the ads or when you walk into a store. Those are more impulse buys, although you would shop for the best deal on a new bed or rugs for your living room.
Planning your purchases around the calendar makes dollars and sense. Manufacturers and retailers have times when they’re inventories are higher than others and when they want to get rid of last year’s inventory before new models come out. Choosing to buy something that’s last year’s model may seem like you’re losing out on the latest and greatest, but really, it’s just smart buying. If you can wait to buy, you’ll definitely find a better deal in March on these items.
March is the best time to buy:
- Chocolate. You don’t want to delay buying chocolate when the need (and yes, it is a need) arises, but if you can wait until the end of February or beginning of March to buy it in bulk, you can take advantage of post-Valentine’s Day sales that run into March.
- Cell phones. March is when cell manufacturers release their new spring models; some will also release new models in the Fall. With cell providers having a big inventory of last year’s models, they’re more likely to offer a new phone for much less or even for free if you sign up for a new plan. If you can wait until those newer models start showing up in the news or in ads, that’ll be the best time to grab a great deal on a phone that will do everything you need and is still supported with the latest software.
- Laptops. March is a fantastic time to take advantage of sales on laptops before the new model processors hit the market. You’ll see more sales on laptops in March than almost any other time of year (other than back-to-school) because, again, retailers are holding inventory of last year’s models and need to make room for the newest technology.
- Frozen Food. Frozen fruits and vegetables are known to have more nutrients than canned, so they’re a good second in line to fresh. Because March is Frozen Food Month, it’s time to stock up on the frozen versions of your favorite foods to have on hand. Don’t know what to do with all that frozen food? Here are some easy recipes to take advantage of the sales.
- Luggage. Get ready for spring break or your summer travel buy picking up new luggage while it’s on sale in March.
- Travel. Pick up your tickets for summer travel now to find your best rates on airfare and hotels. For extra savings, travel on Tuesdays or Saturdays and buy on Tuesdays at around 4:30 in the afternoon.
- Winter clothes. If you go into almost any department store, you’ll be met by racks and racks of spring/summer clothes ready for you to pick up at premium prices. But be on the lookout for those clearance racks filled with winter clothes; there’s nothing wrong with buying at the end of winter for next winter’s fashions unless you’re a runway model.
- Televisions. Well, the holiday entertaining is over as is the Super Bowl, so now’s the time to pick up a new television, when sales die down and even head into a bit of a slump. This year, smart TVs are going to be your best bets in March, especially with more and more people cutting the cable cord.
For more information on what’s cheapest in each month, check out Consumer Reports’ checklist. Better yet, check back here near the end of March for what your April deals are going to look like.