March 3rd, 2016
March came in like a lamb up here and hopefully that will change since rain is forecast for the next ten days. We hope you’re staying warm and dry where you live. Today we’re going to look at the best and worst things to buy in March as well as what produce is in season.
First the freebies.
March 8th is National Pancake Day. iHop will once again be offering a free short stack of buttermilk pancakes from 7AM until 7PM your local time. In return, iHop asks that the guest consider leaving a donation for the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals or other designated local charities.
March is National Frozen Food Month. And while it’s largely a marketing ploy to draw attention to the frozen foods industry, be on the lookout for supermarkets offering special coupons in their circulars for different frozen food brands. And if you come across a particularly hot deal, you can easily stock up on the long-lasting foodstuffs. Now would be the time to load up that extra freezer if you have one.
Look for leftover Valentine’s Day candy in the bargain bins. It should be available for pennies on the dollar. And if you prefer higher end chocolate, places like Godiva have been known to offer their Valentine’s boxes at 50% off. Our spies were in a Ghirardelli chocolate store the other day and saw big heart shaped boxes of candy for less then $5.
After-holiday bargains go beyond candy. Look in the gift sections of department stores for leftover Valentine’s Day themed presents that you can get on sale. Just like with Christmas gift baskets, you can take them apart and re-use the items in different ways.
You won’t see good bargains on lingerie, though. For the best prices of the year, wait until June and July.
Smartphones prices drop when the new models got announced at the Mobile World Congress in February. So if you had wanted a model, and it was last year’s new super phone, now is the time to buy. Also, talk with service providers about freebie phone deals (warning: you will probably have to sign a 2-year contract). Now, if you really want one of the new phones, wait a few months. Often, providers discount the new phones after it has been released for a short time.
March is typically a slow month for TV deals. But that’s good for you because sellers will want to negotiate as well as offer great sales. If you’re in the market for a mega-TV, expect the sales from February to continue into March. The 55″ sets are again providing the best value and most discounts.
Intel’s current-generation Skylake processors are going in some surprisingly affordable laptops. If you need good value, it’s still better to go with the older-generation Broadwell or even Haswell processors. Last month, we saw 16″ Broadwell laptops for around $400, though one was as little as $330. (The cheapest we saw on Black Friday was $315.) For those who want Skylake, your best bet is a 14″ for around $500.
Luggage deals are starting to increase. We’re not in the holiday season and we’re not in the summer season, so they need to get people buying luggage.
You may want to invest in Amazon Prime. Amazon announced last month that they would be raising the the minimum order for free shipping from $35 to $49 for non-members of Prime, a 40% increase. (Eligible book orders of at least $25 will still ship free.)
You can continue shopping on the site without a membership; it still might be the most affordable option, especially if you make infrequent purchases that are usually over $49. Otherwise, it’s time to either pay for a $99 a year Prime membership, or seek alternatives to Amazon.
Garden seeds are a bargain right now as seed companies try to get people thinking about planting. (and we’ve been trying to get you to think about planting as well).
Winter apparel should be on the clearance racks. It may be well picked over, but there’s always a great find. But don’t expect to find good deals on Spring apparel just yet. Your favorite retailers may have coupons, but there’s usually a catch. If you’re aware of that, you can plan your purchases.
And on March 18th, look for clearance prices on St. Patrick’s Day items.
You may notice that most of these were in our recommendations for what you should be planting right now. It costs a lot less to eat in season, and even less than that if you grow your own food.
And similar information from a different source:
Frozen Food Month: Ice Cream, Frozen Vegetables (Boxed, Bag, or Steam), Frozen Meals, Foster Farms Chicken, Waffles, Pizza
Seasonal Produce: Artichoke, Asparagus, Haas Avocado, Broccoli, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery, Chard, Collards, Fennel, Kale, Leek, Lemon, Lime, Mushrooms, Spring Onions, Orange, Peas, Radish, Rhubarb, Spinach, Strawberries, Tangerine