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Best things to buy in February

It's a great month to find deals on bedding, high-end coats, 2012 electronics and the largest big-screen TVs.

By MSN Money Partner Jan 28, 2013 4:20PM

This post comes from Lindsay Sakraida at Dealnews.


Dealnews logoFebruary may be our shortest month of the year, but it's not lacking when it comes to savings. You might not score as big a discount as you would like on a Valentine's Day gift, but this month you'll find deals on several necessities like winter coats, home goods, and (obviously) big-screen HDTVs.


Couple shopping in bedroom showroom, rear view © Hans Neleman, Digital Vision, Getty ImagesWe've rummaged through the Dealnews archives of sales, coupons and daily deals to find out what the best and worst things are to buy in February.


V-Day deals won't shine

Since many Valentine's Day gift categories are at their most in demand during the first two weeks of February, the discounts on those items are generally pretty modest. However, that doesn't mean you should give up and pay full price for things.


At the very least, look for coupons at lingerie stores like Victoria's Secret (last year it took $15 off $100 orders) and value-driven jewelry sites like Netaya,, Limoges Jewelry, and Ross-Simons. Even department stores are worth sorting through, if you can find a storewide shopping pass that applies to V-Day worthy goods. Expect discounts of 15% to 30% off before Valentine's Day, with sales that take up to 50% off or more after Feb. 14.


And if you don't have a date to shower with gifts, buck up: Several restaurants and food chains like Waffle House and Krispy Kreme offered freebies last year to help you forget this fact. (That said, in 2012 Qdoba required that you kiss someone to get a free second entrée, so make sure you're prepared for that possibility this year.)


Prepare for Presidents Day sales

The best part about a holiday weekend isn't necessarily the day off, but rather the inevitable sales. You can expect quite a few Presidents Day sales during the three-day weekend, which will take as much as 80% off on a plethora of apparel, as well as tools, bedding and furniture.


Some retailers tend to offer deeper discounts on existing sales, while others will lean toward modest coupons (likely an extra 20% to 30% off) that are applicable sitewide. Look to clothing and department stores for a big Presidents Day sale push.


Don't buy the iPad mini just yet

Since the iPad mini supposedly won't receive an upgrade until July, some Apple fans may be considering buying the diminutive tablet now. However, if you can wait until at least late April or early May, then you can likely score a high-quality refurbished model at the Apple Store, which will carry a one-year warranty, the same as new units.


We predict that the 16GB Wi-Fi model will drop to $289 or $299 at this time, and if you wait until the iPad mini 2 debuts in July, then refurbs could fall even lower.


Tax software deals have been coming in hot

We mentioned in the January buying guide that tax software deals will pop up throughout the weeks leading up to April 15, and we noted that Editors' Choice sales specifically picked up steam in February last year. So far in 2013, though, the deals have offered stronger discounts than they did at the same time in 2012. In fact, we've already posted markdowns of up to 58% off programs from H&R Block and TurboTax.


Thus, it's reasonable to expect that these deeper, early cuts could translate into even better sales in February and March. As a point of reference, look for 2013 software titles to drop to $20 or less.

Wait at least another month to buy a phone

There weren't many groundbreaking phone announcements at the Consumer Electronics Show this year, so most industry experts predict a greater number of debuts at the Mobile World Congress in Spain in late February. Once the latest fleet of mobile models is released, we'll see even greater deals on all previous generations.


Admittedly, we're already seeing some noteworthy deals, but they should get even better post-MWC. Look for a greater number of phone deals on hot Android and Windows Phone models with a greater variety of carrier options.


It's the perfect time to get a high-end coat

Brands like Columbia Sportswear that specialize in cold-weather gear have reportedly experienced weak sales due to the relatively mild winter, and, much like last year, we're predicting steep discounts on outerwear as a result. In fact, we've seen double the number of deals on items from The North Face, a brand that typically is excluded from sales.


This is an especially good time, then, to invest in a high-end item, like a long, down-filled coat. Since some coats will be discounted up to 85% off, you can save hundreds of dollars on a quality style that will keep you warm for years to come.


Expect electronics clearance sales

Last month we noted that as new electronics from the Consumer Electronics Show begin to hit shelves, retailers will make room for them by offering discounts on old stock. This effort continues in February, and includes markdowns on a variety of electronics, including small gadgets and audio equipment. To take advantage of these deals, keep a lookout specifically for 2012 models in the category of your choice.


An abundance of deals on big-screen HDTVs

While November is traditionally the best time to buy a new HDTV, this year January and February are proving to be the best months for purchasing a big-screen HDTV. Prices on 55-inch and 60-inch 1080p LCD HDTVs are currently among the lowest we've seen in the past 12 months. Just last month we saw a Westinghouse 60-inch 1080p set for $700 shipped (the second-lowest price we've ever seen for any 60-inch 1080p LCD set). Likewise, 55-inch 3-D HDTVs are enjoying all-time low prices, with name-brand sets fallng to as low as $800.


So, if you've had your eye on an upgrade, now is an excellent time to buy. For name-brand 60-inch sets, look for prices at or below $900. For third-tier sets, look for deals below $750. And name-brand 55-inch 3-D deals will be priced at $800 or below.


Ivy Bridge laptops remain under $400, but choose Core i3 over i5

As we predicted last month, deals on 16-inch Ivy Bridge laptops have remained at all-time low prices. In fact, the past three months have yielded the lowest three prices we've seen on these laptops.


For Ivy Bridge Core i3-based laptops, look at deals at or below $380 ($350 is the all-time low price we saw in December). Core i5-based systems on the other hand jumped from an all-time low of $398 in December to a high of $500 in January. So for the time being, the savings are mainly found on the Core i3 systems.


More on Dealnews and MSN Money:

Feb 4, 2013 10:06AM
These articles and the people that write them must live somewhere else.  The economy where I live, USA, sucks and I don't know anyone out there making decisions on what I'm going to buy.  The decisions I'm seeing are which piggy bank to use to pay bills!
Feb 1, 2013 8:32PM
Best thing to buy this month:  A Bible
Feb 6, 2013 10:08AM
You don't need big, expensive Valentine's Day gifts.  I would rather receive a small gift that tell  me my husband knows and loves me than spend a lot of money on something elaborate or stress over finding a good deal.  That goes for Christmas too.  I think we have lost the art of gift giving. 
Feb 4, 2013 1:20PM
Watch out for hidden fees in the tax program department. Turbo Tax said $29.99 for the standard return and then charged $49.99 to process the return, so buyer be ware.
Feb 6, 2013 11:08AM
it seems like bunch bitter and unhappy people writing comments here.  It is pretty informative article on how to do smart shopping on items you need. 
Feb 6, 2013 10:17AM
Feb 6, 2013 5:27AM
Please, please spend money..we at Socialist agenda pushing MS/NBC are begging you to bail out the "I don't have any idea what I'm doing" President Obama.  The daily propaganda from this so called news outlet is as comical as it is pathetic.
Feb 6, 2013 4:06AM
What kind of mental giant needs a tax program to do their simple 1040?
Feb 6, 2013 7:21PM
Best thing to buy?  Pay more in taxes so the F**KING rich can buy more 100ft. yachts. 
Feb 6, 2013 12:53PM
Thanks for the awesome tips about where I can go spend all that money that's left after taxes, housing, utilities, gas stations, grocery stores, and health care are through with me. Now what was it you said I can get for 37 cents?
Feb 6, 2013 10:28AM
You bloggers are pathetic! No matter what the article is about you brainwashed haters change the subject and blame Obama. Newsflash, blame your miserable lives on Bush! He ruined this country and POTUS Obama has to clean his crapfilled mess! Stop praising Rush Limpbum and Sarah Payless and put down the corn dogs and get your lives in order. Educate yourselves and get the hell out of the Faux news bubble you are living in. You know this is the truth!
Feb 4, 2013 12:16PM
Best thing?  Your own personal Cloud or Wi-Fi station at The Upgrade Place, where they'll treat you with friendly service, not like standing in line with a # at Baskin Robbins.  Affordable and practical too.
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