With Presidents Day sales behind us and Memorial Day deals in the distance, March can feel like a long stretch of holiday shopping limbo.
But retailers do offer plenty of bargains all month long, and a new report from GoBankingRates rounds up what merchandise is on markdown — and which goods are still on the rack at regular price. Get the most out of your money by checking out these seasonal steals, while holding off on other items not yet in the discount aisle.
Buy Now: Fitness Equipment
There’s an upside to putting off your New Year’s resolution to get in shape: March is one of the best times to bring home a treadmill or elliptical machine, according to Consumer Reports. With these pieces of gym gear normally costing upwards of $1,000, Amazon, DealNews or your neighborhood sporting goods store offer discounts that could save you hundreds — keeping both your wallet and your waistline in check.
Buy Now: Frozen Food
March marks National Frozen Food Month — yep, that’s a real thing, and yep, it could translate into more dollars in your pocket. This year, brands like Dole, Green Giant and Tyson are expected to distribute 180,000 coupons to celebrate the occasion. Browse deals in advance on Coupons.com or hit supermarket aisles ready to load up on discounted bags of produce on ice.
Not into freezer meals? Other foodie holidays, like Pi Day (March 14), National Poultry Day (March 19), National Ravioli Day (March 20) and even St. Patrick’s Day (March 17) could yield more food-related freebies and deals.
Buy Now: Candy
If you’re going to indulge your sweet tooth, you might as well do it on the cheap. The lead-up to Easter in mid-April means retailers will be offering deep discounts on all kinds of sugary treats throughout March. Post-Valentine’s Day chocolates are a big one on the discount shelf, as retailers have to clear the way for all treats pastel and bunny-shaped.
Hold Off: Spring Fashion
By March, you’re probably eager to nab a trendy floral maxi or sizzling patent-leather skirt as soon as it hits the floor display. But jumping on these buys this early could cost you. Retailers know that shoppers are tired of sweaters and parkas and willing to splurge on warmer-weather styles — so prices are high.
Wait further into the season (say Memorial Day weekend) to get those spring statement pieces, and you could save up to 90%. Besides, can you even wear that crop top when it’s 40 degrees outside?
Hold Off: Cars
With manufacturers rolling out fresh 2017 models and buyers coming into showrooms with tax refund checks in their pockets, dealers know that March is the absolute wrong time of year to price-chop cars. The right time? GoBankingRates suggests searching for auto discounts closer to August. Hit nearby dealerships at the end of the month, quarter or year, when you can keep the negotiation ball in your court because dealers are trying to move inventory and meet sales quotas.
Hold Off: Smartphones
You’ll snag the best deal on a new phone if you time your buy to coincide with the release of a new device. Techies will flock to the upgrade, and older models will be marked down.
The next anticipated release, the Samsung Galaxy S8, should hit the market by April, so Samsung fans will be able to score older versions at deep discounts in the runup. Apple loyalists may want to wait until late summer to get an iPhone, with the new release due in September.