January 7th, 2016
Welcome to 2016! We hope you had a great holiday and eased back into the normal schedule quickly.
Today we’ll look at the best bargains in January and what to hold off on buying.
We’ll start off with a Freebie! January 19 is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, and in celebration, all all national parks will feature free admission. While a large number of our parks are already free of charge, notable parks that are waiving their fees include several of the most-visited in the country, such as Yosemite, Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon, and Olympic National Park. If you miss it, don’t worry! The next fee-free weekend comes in February for Presidents’ Day.
Our favorite resource at DealNews says now is the time to buy exercise equipment.
Last year, stores like Dick’s Sporting Goods, Target, Sears, and NordicTrack had after Christmas discounts of 25% to 50% on select sporting and fitness goods, including additional discounts on items that were already on clearance. Groupon even had sales of up to 90% off fitness deals. Sales included everything from bats and balls to free weights, as well as lots of fitness trackers.
This is also traditionally a good time to get deals on gym memberships. Look for gyms to at least lower or completely waive sign-up fees; if they don’t outright offer it, ask for it. The best deals will also give you a month or even two months for free. If you’re willing to pay for a full year upfront, the gym is more likely to be receptive to your requests for discounts.
Now is also the time to purchase winter sports equipment like skis and snowboards. It’s also a great time to buy winter apparel. You can typically find discounts of 50% to 80% off on coats and winter accessories at stores like Eddie Bauer, REI, Macy’s, and JC Penney.
New furniture will be released in February, so many stores are putting last year’s inventory on sale to clear out room. Look for good deals at Target, Sears, Home Depot and JC Penney’s. Now is also a good time to buy a new mattress. If you don’t buy this month, you will want to wait until May.
Look for Valentine’s Day presents. After Christmas sales will continue to provide some amazing sitewide discounts from Swarovski and Blue Nile, each cutting 50% to 60% off select items. January also sees numerous discounts on diamonds and pearls from retailers like Szul and WinPearl. And lots of those department store end-of-year sales will include jewelry and accessories.
Also, keep an eye out for Valentine’s Day flower sales from 1-800-Flowers and Teleflora to start just before the end of the month, as well as chocolate sales from Harry & David and Godiva. These sales will cut 20% to 25% sitewide, or will offer free shipping (or both).
Buy your tax software now even if you’re not ready to start your taxes. Last year, there were some good deals in February and March. Keep an eye out specifically for deals that discount state filing; many services offer free filing for federal tax returns, but state returns typically require an additional fee. So, if there’s a package in January that offers free filing for the state, it may be a better deal then a larger discount on the Federal software later on.
Buy a bin and go crazy buying up Christmas goods like lights, ornaments, wrapping paper and other Christmas themed items. If you’ve ever wanted to switch to a fake Christmas tree, now is the time to buy. Look for gift sets that can be taken apart and repackaged as different gifts.
You may find better discounts on seasonal decor and stocking stuffers at craft stores. Look in the back of the store for their clearance wall.
The Consumer Electronics Show will be happening in Las Vegas this month. Once the new 2016 models are announced, you should see a drop in electronics like laptops, cameras, audio equipment, tablets, televisions and more.
CNET is guessing that 4K TVs will become the norm at this year’s CES, which makes sense, as these high-end sets finally saw decent discounts and good value this past Black Friday. That means 1080p sets will become the new entry-level TVs, and 720p will be a bargain.
Otherwise, it’s best to stick with TVs in the 40″ to 55″ range during January. After the amazing deals of the holidays, TV discounts are quiet for several months. But these mid-sized sets have plateaued in discounts, so they’re usually available for a decent price. Look for deals that will drop 40″ sets to $250, or 55″ sets to $480.
There’s also guesses that wearables like the Apple Watch and fitness trackers will explode this year.
What fruits and vegetables should you be looking to buy in January? Thankfully there are quite a few. And don’t forget to pull out your slow cooker to make some stick-to-your-ribs stews and soups since it’s so cold out.
Did you save any money for specials in January or are you still paying off December’s purchases?