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Congrats on surviving the holiday frenzy! As we kick off the new year, a lot of us are setting goals to be better with money. If you’re resolving to become a smarter shopper by knowing what goes on sale when, these January deals will help your dollar go farthest.
What to Buy in January
Winter clothes. Is the lining of your parka finally kaput? You’re in luck: Heavy winter apparel finally goes on sale this month. Look for markdowns on down jackets, wool coats, snow boots and more. And while you may not think of Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a retail holiday, stores will entice shoppers with sales during the long weekend before January 21. Might as well bundle up — we’ve still got a few months of winter ahead of us.
Bedding and linens. “Since the 1800s, January has been historically known as the month of ‘White Sales’ when all types of linens are discounted,” says Sara Skirboll, shopping and trends expert at RetailMeNot. The marketing tradition is credited to John Wanamaker, a department store pioneer who in 1878 wanted to boost post-holiday business by marking down linens, which at the time were available only in white. For us today, that means you can head to department stores for deep discounts on sheets, comforters, bedding, towels and other linens. It could be a good time to spruce up your bathrooms or kitchen, too.
Furniture. Manufacturers begin to release 2019 furniture models by February, meaning retailers need to clear their sales floor in January. Look for discounts of up to 50% off, Skirboll says. Darker and heavier winter fabrics will see some of the biggest slashes. Bonus: Since the home improvement industry is slow this time of year, you’ll also find discounts on carpet or flooring installation from mid- to late-January, Skirboll says.
Fitness and wellness gear. While some of the best gym membership deals happen when the weather gets warmer, now’s a good time to scoop up that fitness tracker you’ve been eyeing, home-gym equipment or even beauty products at a discount. Retailers know health is top of mind in January and are willing to offer markdowns to get people to buy into the resolutions craze. Just make sure you’ll actually use what you buy!
What to Skip in January
Cookware and small appliances. Didn’t get that trendy kitchen gadget you wanted under the tree? Don’t buy it just yet. Wait it out until February, Skirboll recommends, when department stores discount kitchen gear up to 70% off for President’s Day sales. The savings will be worth the wait.
Luggage. You might already be dreaming about the epic spring break trip you’re saving up for, but don’t go out and get those new suitcases just yet. “Travel gear is in high demand during January as people begin to plan their travel schedules for the year,” Skirboll says, meaning retailers are less likely to offer good deals. If you can hold out, hang onto your old luggage and swap it out around July or August, when luggage is discounted up to 65% off during back-to-school sales.
Mattresses. Yes, we get the confusion: Bedding and linens will be on sale this month, but mattresses won’t be. Sleep on this purchase until Memorial Day or Labor Day, says Skirboll, when stores offer deals up to 50% off.