Smart SpendingSmart Spending

Best things to buy in March

Look for great deals on frozen foods, luggage, winter apparel and chocolate. But hold off on buying vacuum cleaners and lingerie.

By MSN Money Partner Mar 2, 2012 9:49AM

This guest post comes from Lindsay Sakraida at Dealnews.


Dealnews on MSN MoneyMarch is here, and even though you may be planning to stay glued to the couch for all of March Madness, you'll also be doing a bit of spring shopping -- especially if you're fond of online retailers like us.


So we've mined the extensive Dealnews archives for sales, coupons, and individual products from the past few years to guide you in your quest for the most savvy purchases this month. Here's what we found.


A great time for winter outdoor gear. Last month, we mentioned what a great time it was to buy winter apparel because of the exceptionally mild season. This theme will continue into March.


It also appears that the warmer winter has put a damper on sales at outdoor specialty shops as well -- presumably affecting gear for cold weather activities. As Leisure Trends puts it, "Outdoor retailers may need to plan for an early spring," which means we may see stronger and earlier discounts on cold weather gear and accessories than usual.


If you're looking to gear up for springtime activities, though, keep in mind that traditionally we've seen the highest number of top-shelf offers on outdoor gear in May and June. In either case, look to stores like REI, Altrec, Backwoods, Backcountry and EMS for sales.


Hold off on spring apparel. It's common knowledge that the best time to buy current season apparel is well after that season has begun. That's why cold weather apparel is such a hot buy right now. But how long should you wait to spring on short sleeves, shorts, and flirty dresses? A good rule of thumb is to wait at least two to three months in order to score the best discounts on seasonal apparel. In the meantime, if you simply must buy something, keep an eye out for a coupon code to at least get a small discount off full price.


Skip the lingerie. You may think that immediately after the most romantic day of the year, you'll see massive discounts on lingerie. Although we do indeed see some price cuts, ladies would be better served by waiting until this summer to restock on their favorite styles. Around June is when Victoria's Secret unveils its famed Semi-Annual Sale, and last year around that time we saw excellent markdowns from Aerie by American Eagle, Frederick's of Hollywood, Macy's, Soma Intimates and Figleaves.


That said, summer deals paled in comparison with the October-to-December stretch, which saw numerous Editors' Choice offers from many of these same vendors. (Post continues below.)

Treat yourself with chocolate. Again, after a holiday, it's only natural that themed sweets will go on sale. As such, Valentine's Day candy will continue to see discounts this month, if it hasn't already been all snatched up. But, since that holiday in particular puts emphasis on higher-end sweets to impress your loved ones, you can especially look to stores like Godiva for tasty ways to treat yourself on a budget.


Say bon voyage with luggage. After a few months cooped up indoors, you may begin feeling the itch to get outside and take on an adventure or two. And if your travel gear is lacking, you're in luck. This time of year is a good time to buy new baggage. Last year, luggage deals began to pick up steam in March, with sales at Wal-Mart, eBags, Macy's and Sears. Technically, we saw a larger spike in sales during the month of August last year, but there were still many notable offers in March.


Wait to upgrade your vacuum. While you may be in the mood to consider refreshing your living space with a little spring cleaning, March isn't the best time to go shopping for a new vacuum cleaner. Many sources will tell you that April is in fact the best time to shop for a vacuum, but actually, according to our deals, November is much stronger with numerous top deals available around the Deal Week time frame.


Stock up on frozen foods. Were you aware that March is National Frozen Foods Month? No? Well, it is. This is largely a marketing ploy to draw attention to the frozen foods industry, but we could still very well see special promotions from different frozen food brands. So it may be time to go couponing. And if you come across a particularly hot deal, you can easily stock up on the long-lasting foodstuffs.


Get a gym membership when temperatures rise. During the month of March, you're stuck in limbo: It's after the wave of New Year's promos, and before the sales that try to entice you indoors when it's warm enough to exercise outside. Hold out just a little longer on getting a new membership, and you're more likely to encounter better promotions.


Make way for the 2012 TVs. With the holidays and the Super Bowl now behind us, TV-buying season is officially over. March won't see the same head-turning price points we've been used to (we already saw some slight price upticks in February), but there is some good news at the end of the tunnel. HD Guru reports that Samsung's 2012 CES TVs are slated to enter the market this month, which could mean some surprise discounts on 2011 models.


Fans of 3-D should also take note: Last month we listed the first ever third-tier 55-inch 3-D LCD HDTV courtesy of Sigmac. The $699 TV is to date the least expensive 55-inch 3-D TV we've seen and could help pave the way for even lower-priced name-brand 3-D TVs.


Keep your eye on desktop replacements and ultrabooks. Last month we informed you of the stellar deals we've been seeing on fully equipped desktop replacements (those with Core i7 CPUs and 8GB of RAM). Well, this month we're back with even better news. Last month we listed the least expensive premium desktop replacement ever (an HP Pavilion dv7t Quad-Edition Intel Core i7 Quad-Core 2.2GHz 17.3-inch LED-backlit notebook) for an astonishing $550 -- the lowest we've seen for any top-of-the-line desktop replacement. The chances of seeing that deal again are slim, but the chances of seeing another great desktop replacement deal are very high. Look for deals at $800 or below.


February also saw a small but impressive stream of deals on ultrabooks (we listed six in total) with deals on the ASUS Zenbook and Acer Aspire. Prices on the latter have finally reached the $749 mark, while the highly coveted Zenbook hit an all-time low of $849.

More on Dealnews and MSN Money:

Mar 2, 2012 6:00PM

pot with purple buds. makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside after watching and seeing whats going on in this world here and abroad.

Please help us to maintain a healthy and vibrant community by reporting any illegal or inappropriate behavior. If you believe a message violates theCode of Conductplease use this form to notify the moderators. They will investigate your report and take appropriate action. If necessary, they report all illegal activity to the proper authorities.
100 character limit
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?


Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.

Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.


Smart Spending brings you the best money-saving tips from MSN Money and the rest of the Web. Join the conversation on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.