What to Buy (and Skip) in February
[Editor’s note: Due to the coronavirus pandemic, in-store shopping may not be feasible, and some of these items may not be available.]
Valentine’s Day is coming up, which means you may soon be spending extra money on items like cards, candy or flowers.
Extra spending makes it extra important to save money on those items and all of your other purchases in February.
To direct your shopping, here’s a guide for what to buy (and a few things to skip).
February is Super Bowl month, which means shoppers are searching for discounts on big-screen TVs.
The beginning of the year is traditionally one of the best times to purchase a new home entertainment item. We’ve already spotted sales on an assortment of TVs at retailers such as Target and Best Buy.
But you’ll want to shop soon.
Flowers are a Valentine’s Day staple, but if you’re not careful, they’ll overwhelm your budget. If you can, opt for a more affordable gift, such as a framed picture or gift basket.
If you insist on sending your sweetie flowers, plan ahead. Some online flower shops offer free standard shipping on select arrangements. Delivery can get more expensive when you order closer to the holiday.
Buy: Valentine’s Day clearance
Buying candy before Feb. 14 won’t be in your best financial interest, but stocking up afterward on treats for your pantry will be. It’ll still taste as sweet, and the price will be even sweeter. In the past, Valentine’s Day clearance events took place at stores such as Target and Walmart. This year, look for similar savings opportunities on seasonal items immediately following the holiday of love.
Skip: Most electronics
Aside from TVs, avoid purchasing consumer electronics this month. Items such as laptops, desktops, tablets and video game consoles are best bought in November, during Black Friday sales.
If you can’t wait until then, there will be other opportunities throughout the year. For example, select retailers hold an early Black Friday installment during “Black Friday in July” events before back-to-school season. With the exception of 2020, Amazon has been known to hold its Prime Day sale in July.
Buy: Winter products
From clothing to sporting equipment, now’s the time to stock up on winter products. You’ll still have time to use the items this year, and you’ll get them at a discount. Winter products are on their way out the door because many retailers have already released spring arrivals, which typically hit shelves at full price.
Shop: Presidents Day sales
There’s another holiday besides Valentine’s Day in February. Presidents Day falls on Feb. 15, and if this year is like previous ones, expect retailers to host holiday weekend sales. They’ll likely focus on home goods, such as bedding, furniture, mattresses and small kitchen appliances. You could score free shipping, too.
Historically, we’ve seen deals across an assortment of retailers, including Best Buy, Lowe’s, Mattress Firm, Overstock, Serta and more. So what should you expect? In the past, Overstock has offered up to 70% off on a wide variety of items for the home, and Lowe’s discounted select appliances by up to 35%.
About the author: Courtney Jespersen is NerdWallet’s consumer savings expert. Her work has been featured by USA Today and The New York Times.