After weeks of holiday shopping and returning, going back to the stores is probably the last thing most people want to do. Black Friday and Thanksgiving online shopping events makes billions of sales and some people went an extra mile to buy the right holiday gifts. But some items hit their lowest prices in January, so it may be worth your while to drag yourself back to the store.
Next year’s holiday decorations will be heavily discounted, of course, and here are nine other items you may want to buy in January:
They have been a January best buy since 1878. That is when John Wanamaker, the father of department stores, introduced the first White Sale. Since then, it has become a tradition for stores to offer some of their best deals on bedding, linens, and towels. Even so, many people still believe Black Friday is the best time to buy linen (among other things).
Most furniture manufacturers release new designs in February, which means stores need to clear out older inventory to make room for the new. If you like darker color schemes, look for closeout prices on fall and winter fabrics to save even more. If you are buying a large piece of furniture, always remember to measure both your home and the room where you will be using the furniture, then measure the width of the piece you will be buying. (That likely does not apply if you are shopping at IKEA.)
Gyms depend on our good intentions to get in shape once the New Year arrives. To capitalize on this, many clubs will waive enrollment fees or offer a free personal training session or a friends and family discount. But be sure to read all the fine print and have a realistic idea of whether you can (a) afford it and (b) will use it. You do not want to be locked into a long-term agreement if you have a habit of joining in January and leaving in February. Failing that, you can take a leaf out of Jane Fonda’s book and exercise at home in front of the TV.
Buy seasonal and you will get the best price, quality, and help with those health-related resolutions. Plan your menus around citrus fruits like lemons and grapefruits, plus members of the cabbage family including cauliflower and Brussels sprouts, and root vegetables like beets and turnips. You can cook up some meals and freeze them for later use when the winter produce is on its way out.
Right after Christmas, many people are trying to exchange gift cards for something they will actually use. In fact, around $1 billion in gift cards go unredeemed every year. Look on gift cards exchange websites such as Raise or Cardpool to buy cards at a discounted rate. They sell for up to 35% less than face value, although around 10% seems to be the norm for more popular stores. You can even find some gift cards for practical items like groceries, gas or office supplies. If you are the recipient of gift cards you won’t be using, consider selling them.
We all start the New Year with resolutions and intentions to get our life in order, but if you can stay organized until mid-January without a calendar, then you can save over 50% on most calendars and planners. And when the holidays roll around again, consider using some choice pages from your old calendar as gift-wrapping to avoid waste. (Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, waste increases about 25%, or 1 million extra tons compared with the rest of the year.)
Clothing stores need to get rid of suits, slacks, and blouses from the fall and make room for spring styles. Now would be a good time to update your work wardrobe. Also, check out local consignment and resale shops. You will find fantastic deals on gently worn clothes and some items may actually still have the price tags on them. If you like one item be it a cashmere turtleneck or T-shirt (as long as you can afford it) it is no harm to buy several of the same things.
CARPETING AND FLOORING
Summer and fall are usually the two seasons when most homes are sold, which means people are carpeting during those months. Since January is a slower month, it can mean a great time to find deals. Do not be afraid to negotiate on pricing. For those planning on moving house, it might be worth your while to buy some new choice pieces of furniture now to help stage your house for sale.
It is true that Black Friday is a great time to find a deal on TVs. But many consumers may not know that you will usually find better deals on better TVs in January as Super Bowl Sunday approaches. Here is a way to save even more: Ask about open-box TVs. These are returns or floor models that often have additional discounts. Just make sure they offer the same warranty.