PHOENIX — Whether you're a sports fan looking for a new TV ahead of the Super Bowl or thinking about what to get your sweetheart for Valentine's Day, there are sure to be sales and savings you can get in the month of February.
ABC15's Smart Shopper team spoke to consumer analyst for DealNews.com Julie Ramhold about the best and worst things to buy in February. She started with Super Bowl sales you'll start seeing ahead of the big game.
"If you need a new TV, it's really good to kind of start looking around the Super Bowl. But if you miss that, you may not have as good of luck later on in February. So, that was specifically before the Super Bowl and sort of around it," Ramhold explained. She also told us that you can catch some great sales on appliances and food for that weekend.
"So potentially tailgating items, not necessarily grills, but maybe... slow cookers and pressure cookers and things like that. Because a lot of people will do chili for the big game day," Ramhold said, also adding, "You may see some small kitchen appliances that are discounted, probably not anything that's just insanely good. But, you know, if you're looking to save a little bit, it may help. And then also things like coolers, and if you're shopping grocery stores, or stores like Target, that do kind of like the everyday items and the grocery items. Then, you're probably going to see deals on game day snacks, too. So, your beer and soda and also chips and dips and things like that."
Other sales you'll want to look for include those on winter clothing. Ramhold says that stores are bringing in their spring apparel so they're trying to clear the shelves. That means you'll get some deeply discounted items.
Some gardening items are also starting to go on sale. Ramhold said that while it is too cold to start planting, now is the time to buy things like fertilizer and grass seed, so you can plan for the warmer months.
There's plenty of things you'll want to avoid purchasing if you can help it. You won't get any discounts or deals on these and, in some cases, it could cost you well over the normal price.
Ramhold listed a few for us.
- Wait to buy luggage until March. Ramhold explained, "We should see way better deals, especially because then we'll see department stores like Kohl's and things like that discount luggage. But, also, Samsonite could potentially have its own sale where it cuts up to 50% off. So, if you need new luggage, just hold off until March."
- Don't upgrade your phone just yet. "If you're looking at upgrading your phone, especially if it's an Android phone," Ramhold said, "you want to hold off until the latter half of the year, in general. So, a lot of the companies, the big companies especially, will release their flagships or just newer models in general. I know in the first and second quarter, there's potential for Google to release its latest sort of mid-tier variation of the Pixel phone. Also, Samsung will be releasing its new Galaxy lineup and things like that. So, unless you really need to upgrade right now, it's best to hold off until July to November for those because we see way better deals around that time."
- You won't find deals or discounts on cruises... for a long time. "We will typically tell people that March is a good time to book a cruise, you definitely don't want to book it in February, even in a normal year. But this year, it's kind of even more of a tossup because the CDC has put cruises at a level four warning, which means that there's a very high level of COVID-19. So, they're kind of advising people to not take cruises, in general," Ramhold explained to us.
But that's not all that's impacted ticket prices, according to Ramhold.
"On top of that, we're sort of seeing the travel deal industry suffering still. They've spent the last two years really suffering major losses. They're trying to recoup those. Now, there's this huge demand for travel coming back, but because of that, and because they need to recoup those losses, there's not really any incentive to them offering deals. Our travel dealer curator told me... he's actually talked to some providers and they're saying that they're booking cruises for at list price for the next one to two years out. It's kind of disheartening if you're hoping to save on travel. And so, it's one of those things where you might have to either decide you're just gonna have to pay more or watch really carefully be really flexible with your travel so that you can actually find a deal." he added.
We also asked about the big holiday sales this month.
In addition to the Super Bowl sales, we are also already seeing deals on traditional Valentine's Day gifts.
Some retailers are offering 50% off jewelry and 60% off fragrances. But, if you wait too long to get those discounts, you'll have to rethink your plans.
Ramhold suggested thinking outside the box and shop for non-traditional gifts. "Consider shopping for electronics. There's a good chance that we'll see some things go on sale around that time. And you know, also, if you're worried about getting your gifts in time, consider shopping at a retailer that will let you buy online and pickup in-store so that you do have it when you need it."
Presidents' Day is also a big shopping weekend.
This year, you'll start seeing the best sales between 2/18 - 2/21.
Ramhold told us that there are plenty of items that will be on sale during that time. "Clothing is always really big for Presidents' Day. But also, electronics, mattresses, large appliances, home goods, furniture. There's kind of almost anything that you could want to purchase will be on sale around that time. And, you know, generally we're talking discounts that can be as high as 75% off depending on what you're looking for. So, if you're looking to shop and save money, it's definitely a good thing to check out."
But don't worry if now isn't a good time for you to buy, Ramhold said you shouldn't and you won't miss out. "If you're worried about spending money, especially on big-ticket items, this early in the year, then know that this is not going to be your last chance. There will be plenty of sales and other opportunities to shop throughout the year. So don't feel pressured to spend if you aren't ready to."
Julie Ramhold is a consumer analyst for DealNews.com. She is also a Senior Staff Writer and has been featured as a consumer expert in many publications.