A good rule of thumb when looking for bargains is often considering what's out of season. This isn't always true when it comes to clothing stores or items that have a high turnover rate, but it's certainly a contributing factor. When demand is low, supply is typically high. This in turn drives prices down, resulting in lower prices for those bargain savvy consumers who are always out to save a buck.
SEE: 5 Money-Saving Shopping Tips
February is typically a great time to purchase items for your home. As people are getting ready for spring, they're often redecorating, cleaning and organizing their homes. As a result, you'll likely find sales on linens, curtains and draperies, area rugs and other home décor items. Home cleaning services like carpet cleaners often offer special promotional pricing in February too, so it's a great time to work on getting your house clean from top to bottom in preparation for spring and summer when you'll want to be spending your spare time outdoors.
Since February is one of the last real months of winter, this is when many stores are looking to clear out their winter goods. You'll find great deals on cold weather clothes, jackets, winter accessories and perhaps even winter-themed sporting goods like skis or snowboards. Athletic shoes generally go on sale in January, and you're still likely to be able to find good deals on sneakers in February as well.
Post Valentine's Day Fallout
With Valentine's Day being the big calendar occasion of February, many stores stock up on Valentine's Day themed chocolates, flowers and gifts. Once the occasion is over, you'll find the perishable items like chocolates and flowers will be marked down greatly. If you're into baking, this is a great time to stock up on sale chocolates and candies. Many chocolates can be stored or frozen and saved for use throughout the year. Many stores will have potted plants that they've brought in for Valentine's Day, so if you're looking to decorate your home with a few new plants, you might be able to get a great bargain on them in February also.
With lower temperatures usually comes lower demand for air conditioners. However, if you've ever had an air conditioner fail during the summer months, you probably know just how difficult it is to get one replaced quickly. Since air conditioning companies are often less busy in months like February, you're likely to get a better deal on the purchase and installation of a new unit. This is a great incentive to plan ahead and address your cooling needs before the temperature and prices start to soar.
New bicycle models usually start to arrive in stores in February and March, just in time for spring's arrival. Bicycles can be a hot item for Christmas gifts so stores will often keep a lot of bikes in stock for the holidays. However, February is when these stores start to liquidate their old stock in order to make room for the new models that are coming in.
Looking for a new camera? February can be a great time to buy. The previous year's models are on sale in February as the current year's camera shows get under way. So long as you're not eager for the most cutting-edge technology, you're bound to save some money as retailers clear out the older stock to make room for the latest and greatest.
The Bottom Line
Good deals can be found any time of year, but many consumer products follow fairly predictable buying cycles. It only makes sense that retailers like bicycle stores or air conditioning companies, offer promotional pricing in their slower months in an attempt to boost revenues. Staying a bit ahead of the game not only has you ready for the next season well in advance, it will also help to save you money. Alternatively, purchasing clearance items once their season has just passed can also save you loads of cash. A dozen roses are likely to cost less on Feb. 15 than on Feb. 14 - so long as your valentine is likely to be understanding of your frugal nature! (To help you save money, see Shopping Online: Convenience, Bargains And A Few Scams.)