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What to Buy (and Skip) in March


[Editor’s note: Due to the coronavirus pandemic, in-store shopping may not be feasible, and some of these items may not be available.]

You probably won’t find an overflowing pot of gold at the end of a rainbow this month, but a lot of the sales you’ll find in March are the real deal.

We put together a guide to which categories to buy (and a few to skip) to help you make the most of upcoming shopping opportunities.

Buy: Floor sample mattresses

New mattress models usually arrive in stores in the spring, which makes the old mattresses potentially more affordable, according to Scott Paladini, founder of Bear Mattress, an online mattress company. If you care more about a bargain than you do about getting the latest model, look for discounts on floor samples that have been displayed and tested on the showroom floor.

Skip: Televisions

March is about a month too late for blowout television deals. Super Bowl season typically delivers steep savings, including discounts of up to 30% off on some 4K TVs.The next big opportunity for TV deals happens during so-called Black Friday in July sales. We’ve seen Amazon, Newegg and Dell — to name a few — have summer sales. Of course, you can also expect plenty of electronics savings during actual Black Friday promotions in November.

Buy: St. Patrick’s Day essentials

March 17 is St. Patrick’s Day, and more than a few consumers will load virtual shopping carts with all things green or covered in four-leaf clovers.

Many major retailers discount St. Patrick’s Day essentials in the days leading up to the holiday. Stores like Amazon and JCPenney have had such sales in past years.

As with any holiday, the longer you wait to shop, the better. The selection might be reduced, but so will prices. And if you like wearing green all year, expect even bigger clearance deals after the holiday is over.

Skip: Spring clothing

March 20 is the first day of spring, but it’s wise to wait a few weeks before outfitting yourself with spring apparel if you’re looking to save. New inventory, including clothing, generally costs the most at the beginning of a season.

Instead, shop smart in March by stocking your closet with plenty of cold-weather staples for fall and winter. Winter clearance sales are still happening at many stores.

Buy: Tax software

As Tax Day approaches, use March as your chance to get a deal on tax software. Retailers like Best Buy and Staples already have sales on tax-prep products, so be sure to shop around. Tax day is April 15 this year.

Skip: Furniture

March isn’t known for great sales on furniture, so we recommend holding off on major purchases for a little longer.

Wait for Memorial Day sales in May, when big-box chains and department stores will offer more discounts to entice customers to buy. If you can wait even longer, Labor Day deals in September will be hard to beat.

Bonus: Food

Good buys in March aren’t just available at department or electronics stores. They’ll be at your local restaurant and supermarket, too.

Mark your calendar for food-related holidays, including National Ravioli Day on March 20 and Pi Day on March 14. Although the latter is inspired more by math than food, restaurants and grocery stores like to celebrate the occasion with deals on pies. Check social media for promotions related to your favorite food.



About the author: Courtney Jespersen is NerdWallet’s consumer savings expert. Her work has been featured by USA Today and The New York Times. Read more