You’ve been diligently checking back on our guide to the best times to buy anything, all year round at the start of every month, right? No? Well, let’s go ahead and refresh your memory on what’s discounted and off-season in March.
Our own Jason Fitzpatrick took the time to expand on his original year-long illustration of well-timed buying, whipping up a little reminder for the month of March. Here’s the full version, which you can click for a larger view, or right-click to save for later:
Here’s a little explication on what we recommend taking a look at this month. Keep in mind that these tips aren’t “Run out and buy this,” so much as, “If you were considering this purchase, now would be a good time to look.”
Throughout winter (Jan., Feb., March)
Gas grills & air conditioners: They’re a bit cheaper now because it’s obviously an off-season time to buy them. The selection might be a bit limited, but, really, there won’t be major, life-changing events in the fields of freon-based cooling or flame-based cooking between now and late May.
Homes: It’s actually a mixed bag for those looking to buy a home right now. If you and the seller can sign a “binding sales contract” before April 30, the $8,000 federal housing tax credit can land in your lap. And those looking to sell their homes in winter can be both those with serious intent to move (read: “motivated sellers”) and, under the right circumstances, negotiated with for a lower, off-peak price. Then again, the selection and appearance of homes this time of year isn’t usually ideal, so you’ll have to be willing to dig around and look past the superficial to find a true bargain.
Best buys in March
Winter coats & sporting goods: As the Frugal Fun site explains, and other deal-seekers verify, the season to sell people warm coats, gloves, scarves, and other gear is right near the end, and to make room for the spring stock, stores are selling it all off at a discount. The same goes for snowboards, ski gear, and other winter activity accessories.
Luggage: It’s an odd season, halfway between the periods when most cold-weather residents do most of their warm-weather traveling. Luggage makers are getting ready to roll out new wares, and stores are looking to drop the stock they’ve got.
Frozen food: Yeah, it’s one of those goofy “months” that seem like they don’t need a month. But during National Frozen Food Month, your own nearby grocers might be offering discounts and coupons on stuff that can hold for a long time. How long? The USDA explains it in a handy chart:
Boats: According to MSN Money/Bankrate.com, March is the tail end of the winter boat show season, so there’s a good chance you’ll catch a dealer looking to both make a splash with a reasonable price, and see both last year’s and this year’s models.
We’re aiming to do this kind of update every month this year, and if we discover new items and deals along the way, we’ll eventually update our big ol’ year-round buying guide. If you’ve found March to be a great time to buy something, by all means, spread the wealth in the comments.