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09-04-2009, 04:35 PM #1
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- Aug 2008
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BEST BUYS OF WINTER (December, January, February)
Yes, deals abound on Black Friday, but you can save money on plenty of things all winter long -- particularly electronics. Here are ten things whose prices thaw despite the cold this season.
1.) DECEMBER: Computers
The holiday shopping season is a jolly good time to buy a computer. The deals often include free shipping, special discounts, daily or weekly offers, and free bundled accessories, says Janice Chen, an editor with CNET Reviews. Bargains can range from a respectable 15%-off deal to a 50%-off Black Friday door-buster. Or you may score a free printer, wireless router or antivirus software package with your purchase.
January and February can also be a good time to buy as retailers clear out their inventory for new models.
2.) DECEMBER: Charity donation
Any season is the "best" time to help the less fortunate. But don't let the New Year dawn before you remember to give back. Charitable opportunities abound during the holiday season. Plus, you can get a last-minute tax break before year-end.
3.) DECEMBER/JANUARY: Weddings
From dresses to reception halls, you'll save a bundle with a winter wedding, according to Denise and Alan Fields, authors of Bridal Bargains.
It's the industry's slow season, so don't be afraid to haggle your way to even lower prices -- you might find people are willing to deal.
4.) JANUARY/FEBRUARY: TVs
New TV models arrive in the spring, making January and February prime time to save a few hundred dollars on the outgoing model year, according to Consumer Reports.
It's worth watching for Black Friday deals and holiday sales in December, too.
5.) JANUARY: Linens
It may be cold outside, but you can make the indoors warm and comfy -- and save money in the process -- by shopping department stores' "white sales" in January.
It's not uncommon to find discounts of 10% to 60% on sheets, blankets, towels and more (and not just in white).
6.) JANUARY: Gift wrap
With prices marked down as much as 75%, post-holiday sales make a great time to stock up on gift wrap, ribbon and tags. Look for neutral patterns that you can use year-round to make the most of this deal.
7.) JANUARY: Carpet and flooring
Few people buy carpet in January, so that's the time to snag a discount as dealers try to drum up business, says Alan Fletcher, author of The Complete Carpet Buying Guide.
Make your purchase by February 15th, though. As people start receiving their tax refunds, business -- and prices -- pick up again.
8.) JANUARY: Furniture
New furniture hits showrooms in February, according to the American Home Furnishing Alliance. That means you can save 10% to 50% in January as retailers make room for the new inventory.
With the Consumer Electronics Show and Photo Marketing Association convention at this time of year, new camera models start arriving at retailers. That means deep discounts on last year's perfectly good merchandise.
10.) ALL WINTER LONG: Real estate
Most people don't shop for houses in the winter. But lower demand equals lower prices.
You'd usually sacrifice selection by house-hunting in winter, but with the current lagging market -- and large number of foreclosures -- bargain hunters should have plenty to choose from.