Welcome to February, the month when consumers are still twice shy after being bitten by the holiday shopping season. The only shopping holiday of note this month is Valentine’s Day. It’s not the only holiday this month.
There is Ground Hog Day, which isn’t much of a gifting holiday unless you’re a personal friend of Bill Murray. (If you are, I covet your life.)
Everyone knows George Washington’s birthday is a holiday this month. However, did you know Feb. 28 is National Sword Swallowers Day? If you did, well, good luck with that.
The real consumers care not for these corny holidays. The people who clicked on this story did so to find out how to save money – not give gifts.
I have good news for you. Plenty of necessities and creature comforts are good deals this month.
People are still recovering from holiday spending binges. That means demand is low, so retailers get creative and desperate. They’re going to lure you into stores this month with whatever sales they can muster.
As always, I’m here to show you where to look.
1. Prom dresses.
Obviously, this one isn’t for everyone. But parents who are already shelling out cash for swim classes and violin lessons will be happy to know that this is a great time to save money on a dress for their daughter.
Beat the rush this spring by shopping now and choosing from the best selection. In winter, new styles arrive every day. Square her away with a dress and she’ll have months to shop for accessories while knowing she got first pick on the best styles.
There’s a saying that a boat is just a hole in the water into which you drop lots of cash. It’s true, if you buy someone else’s boat.
A new boat, however, is like a new car. Buy a quality model, treat it right, and you’ll be happy together for years. And February just happens to be boat show season. This is the time to make deals on that S.S. Minnow you’ve been dreaming about.
If a boat show is coming to your town – and one probably is – go check it out. Meet the sellers, shake some hands, and haggle for a good deal. When boating season rolls around, you’ll be glad you did.
3. Indoor furniture.
Furniture goes on sale all the time. It’s a big-ticket item that retailers are always trying to move with sales and special offers.
But February is truly a great month to shop – to the tune of saving up to 60 percent if you do your homework.
New furniture styles are typically unveiled in spring, so retailers are clearing out old styles to make space this month. Part of doing your homework is being willing to search the showrooms for floor samples. If you’re not afraid to take a chance, you can save big this month.
4. Broadway tickets.
This is allegedly the month for romance, right? What’s more romantic than a Broadway Show? Since it’s the offseason in New York, prices are typically down for Broadway and off-Broadway shows in February.
You might be able to find two for one deals that increase the fun and frugality of your trip to New York.
For more, check out http://www.newyork.com/broadway-show-tickets/
They bill themselves as “New York: The Center of Everything,” so you know they mean business.
5. Home Electronics.
When it comes to deals on tech products, February is a big one. This is the month after the Consumer Electronics Show. The heavy hitters in the gadget world rolled their dice in Vegas (where the show is held) with their new products for the coming year. That means their current inventory on store shelves is about to take a price cut, and you’re about to get a deal.
President's Day is a benchmark day for discounts on digital cameras, HDTVs and home theater systems.
OK, I know what you’re saying: It’s always a good time to buy these things. You’re half right. HDTVs and home theater packages go on sale often, but this is truly the best month. Want another reason? Two words: Super Bowl. If you didn’t get a new TV on Black Friday, this is the month for you. Having said that, don’t go nuts. Make sure you only get as much TV as you need. If your couch is only eight feet from your TV you really don’t need a screen the size of a Corolla. And if you have kids and thin walls then you’re probably never going to use a surround sound system.
However, if you don’t have the aforementioned details – or you do and just don’t care – this is the month to save cash on the hardware that will turn your home into a theater. New models are coming out in March. Act now.
6. Valentine’s Day Aftermath.
Most stores can’t possibly sell all the Cupid-inspire chocolate, flowers and gifts they stock up on for Valentine’s Day. Walk in on February 15 and you can find huge discounts, especially on the perishable items such as chocolate and flowers. The flowers – and even the potted plants some retailers roll out for the holiday – will brighten your home. The chocolate and candies can be frozen for surprise treats or baking, if you’re so inclined.
7. Air Conditioning Systems/Units.
The radio is filled with ads for home air conditioning companies right now. This is the time to buy. In the heat of the summer those guys will be too busy to pick up the phone. In the dead of winter, they’ll appreciate your business and offer some great deals to entice you.
The same is true for window units. In the sticky summer months consumers will do anything – and pay any price – to escape the heat. Do the smart thing and buy one now. You’ll save a bundle and be ready for the warm months ahead.
8. Winter Sports Equipment.
It may seem counter intuitive, but this ice cold month is a great time to buy stuff you need to use right now. This applies to everything from skis, skates or a winter jacket. Expect savings in the 25 percent range, maybe higher.
9. Vacation in London.
This is a good time to visit Europe, London especially, because most people don’t vacation there this time of year. The London attractions you want to see – such as museums and sight-seeing – don’t disappear in the winter months. And it’s not as cold as you think.
Expect to spend half as much on a European vacation if you plan it in February.
10. Indoor DIY Projects.
This is not the time of year when most people want to be fixing roofs or working on their home’s exterior. It’s cold outside, time to look inside for your home improvement projects. Look to the big box stores to have incredible sales on indoor DIY project materials, such as fixtures and vanities.
Also, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Not only do many of the box stores have reliable employees who can help you shop, but the Home Depot web site is packed with DIY videos, instructions and blogs.