Best and worst buys of March 2014

Victor Paul Alvarez Yahoo Shopping

Xbox One Titanfall Bundle

Xbox One Titanfall Bundle

Spring is for cleaning. Spring is for March Madness. And for bargain hunters, it's also for shopping.

To help you save big with the best deals this month, Yahoo Shopping has teamed up with to hunt for sales, coupons, daily deals, and individual products from the past few years to guide you in your quest to make the most savvy purchases this month.

From chocolates to gaming consoles, here are the best and worst things to buy in March.

Treat Yourself to Chocolate

"Did you not get the sweets you hoped for on Valentine's Day? Well luckily you can peruse high-end chocolate shops for any lingering V-day treats. As always after a holiday, themed sweets go on sale at any store with overstock. This month, look for treats that haven't been gobbled up and you'll find discounts of up to 50% off at places like Godiva. Also check the gift section of department stores for other decadent ways to treat yourself on a budget," writes DealNews.

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Skip the Lingerie

It's intuitive, because you'd think that immediately after the most romantic day of the year, you'd see huge discounts on lingerie. "But, although we do indeed see some price cuts, it's not really the best time to buy underthings. Instead, wait for June and July; 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."

Hold Off on Buying Spring Apparel

"It's common knowledge that the best time to buy current season apparel is well after said season has begun. That's why cold weather apparel is still such a hot buy right now. But how long until you can don the fashionable and cheap short sleeves, shorts, and flirty dresses which have started to filter into stores? 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. In the meantime, if you simply must buy something new for spring now, keep an eye out for coupon codes that offer nominal discounts on whatever must-have full price apparel catches your eye."

Nexus 5

Nexus 5

Savings on Last Year's Smartphones

Last month's Mobile World Congress saw the reveal of many new smartphones from major manufacturers. That means several 2013 models are no longer as desired as they were last year. "It's a great time to start looking for freebie phone deals (with 2-year contracts) or even for-profit offers that come with gift cards.

Just keep in mind that it rarely takes long for new phones to see deals, and if you find a new device that strikes your fancy, waiting just a few months should yield a 50% off discount."

Xbox One Deals on the Horizon

The brand-new Xbox One launched last year with a troubling $100 higher price point than the rival PlayStation 4. Gamers who were on the fence about Microsoft's new black box may be persuaded by price cuts and bundles coming this month. "Microsoft recently discounted its system by $50 in the UK. This all adds up to potentially earlier, more frequent, and steeper deals in the coming weeks. And what of the PS3, you may ask? The PlayStation 3 followed a similar price-drop timeline to the Xbox 360, in that it saw its first deal four months after release. However, this time around the PS4 is a full $100 cheaper than the Xbox One, and the winning sales figures suggest that there's little incentive for Sony to offer deals at this time. That said, a 10% discount would knock the starting price to $359."

Sharp 60" LCD

Sharp 60" LCD

60" LCDs Continue Their Price Drop

"March is typically a slow month for TV deals. However, the tail end of February saw a series of Editors' Choice offers on name-brand 60" 1080p LCD HDTVs, with deals hitting an impressive low of $699. In fact, for the month of February we saw more deals on this size category than we did on 42", 46", and 47" sets combined. And luckily, if you're in the market for a mega-TV, we expect these sales to continue into March. That said, look for deals at or around $699, which is just $20 over the all-time we saw for this category back in November.

Current-Generation Intel Laptops Break Deal Records

The advice for cash-strapped holiday shoppers was to opt for Ivy Bridge-based laptops (i.e., laptops using Intel's previous generation processor) rather than current-generation Haswell CPU laptops. The older models were cheaper, and for the most part provided sufficient power for everyday needs. Since the start of the year however, 15" Haswell laptops have been seeing stronger deals than their older counterparts, with the best deals averaging $415. (By comparison 15" Ivy Bridge deals have averaged $484 since the start of the year.) "As a result, consumers in the market for a 15" mainstream laptop should look for deals on Haswell systems. Core i5-based Haswell notebooks specifically hit a low of $400 starting back in February and continuing on through March. That's just $13 over their lowest holiday price. Likewise, Core i7-based Haswell laptops, which pack a little more power than the Core i5-based machines, have also seen aggressive deals, setting a new deal record as they tumbled to $499."

Host Farnoosh Torabi gives several examples of when shopping online can be a bit of a hazard--always cross shop to find out if what you're buying is actually a deal.

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