Shop the shortest month: Best things to buy in February
Even if you splurge a bit on Valentine’s Day, February is a prime month for savings. To make the most of your yearlong household budget, these are the nine best things to shop for in February:
Presidents’ Day sales online and at home stores like Bed Bath & Beyond make February the ideal time to buy a vacuum. Big electronics stores also have good vacuum buys in February, but get your honey’s sign-off before making this into a Valentine gift.
2. Surf and turf
While lobster and steak prices tend to peak from January to March, right after Valentine’s day is a great time to score cut-rate (but high quality) surf and turf. Check out the meat and fish departments at groceries and wholesale clubs. And don’t forget the smaller, local specialty markets that also may have overstocked luxury fish and meat for Feb. 14.
3. Interior paint
No one’s saying you should run right home and paint the living room, but February yields good buys on interior paint. To extend your purchase power even further, look for reduced price paint that will hide the original color in your bedroom, bath or kitchen with just one coat.
Wishful thinking can put money back in your budget if you’re in the market for a snowblower. Even in very cold areas, retailers tend to reduce snow blower prices in February in anticipation of snow storms coming to an end soon. When you’re choosing, keep in mind Consumer Reports’ advice about engine size. CR’s testing indicates that a small machine with a well-designed engine could be the best bet.
Two or three days before Super Bowl Sunday, televisions go on deep discount. If you need a new set, hit the electronics or big box store at this time or you’ll be waiting for Black Friday before there’s another good TV sale.
6. Online wine
In anticipation of Valentine’s Day, a few online wine sellers like Astor Wines knock as much as 20 percent off their products. This is a rare time when the whole site could be discounted, instead of case prices.
7. Winter apparel
January is the top month for great deals on winter clothing, but February comes in a close second. That’s the month when scarves, gloves, and other winter accessories go on final clearance at the big box stores. E-bay and some retailers also drop their prices on jackets, boots, and overcoats by as much as 70 or 80 percent.
Mattresses can start around $250 and go all the way to $5000-plus, so it’s worth the time and research involved to get a discount. February is the cheapest month for mattresses everywhere, even from wholesale clubs and outlets that sell online.
After months of heating the house with dry air, mid-winter is a great time to put some of that moisture back with a humidifier. Happily, retailers also tend to put humidifiers on sale in February, sometimes at deep discounts
Skip buying this stuff in February
Just as there are items bound to be on sale in February, there are some purchases you should skip altogether that month. Flowers, for example, tend to be top price for Valentine’s Day. Instead of sending an arrangement, opt for a more affordable, but still romantic gift, like a succulent plant dish from a local greenhouse.
Except for those Super Bowl television bargains, consumer electronics also are at peak price in February. If you can, avoid shopping for laptops, video game consoles and the like. Instead, plan ahead to purchase them at the best price, either on or near Black Friday or Cyber Monday, or a during a “Black Friday in July” promotion.