A bit of planning can save you a ton of money when it comes to buying throughout the year. Here's your comprehensive, always up-to-date guide on the best times to buy everything this year.
You probably know that certain things are cheaper at certain times. Whether you're buying airfare. dining out. shopping online. or buying anything else. there is often a "best time to buy." Every year year, we compile a list of the best times to buy stuff based on when stores are trying to push out old stock, when they're dropping prices for upcoming holidays, or even when they start having sales for no good reason. Check out the chart below for an easy view of the year, or read on for more details.
Economist Makoto Watanabe worked out a formula designed to calculate the best time to buy an… Read more Read more
You can find this info at a lot of different places. from big guides like Freeshipping.org's Best Time to Buy guide and PC World's gadget-specific buying guide. However, in an effort to make the guide as accurate as possible, we've gone searching for more specific, individual sources for each item to ensure you're looking for deals at the right time (and gotten rid of the items for which there wasn't clear consensus—like party supplies or aluminum cookware). So, for each item, click the source link for more specific information on when and how to buy.
Also, if you're looking for more specific up-to-the-minute news, we highly recommend checking out Dealnews' monthly best time to buy feature —it'll highlight a lot of the same stuff that we do here, but also discuss specific gadgets (like the newest iPad or the Xbox One and PlayStation 4). For a bigger overview of the year, read on!
First Quarter (Jan/Feb/March)
- Boats. Not only is it the off-season for boats, but it's also boat show season, which means you can grab a lot of models—particularly last year's models—at good prices (not to mention with fewer strings attached). [Boatline. Bankrate ] Computer Monitors. There are multiple times that you can grab monitors for cheap (Black Friday, anyone?), but the January and February clearance time is a great one. [PCWorld ] Gas Grills & Air Conditioners. They're obviously off-season (at least in the colder states), and unless you're a serious air conditioning enthusiast, you probably aren't itching to get the latest and greatest. [Bankrate ] Wedding Supplies. Everyone wants a wedding in the spring, which means it's a lot easier to find a venue and negotiate prices for a service in the winter—depending on the location, of course. [Bankrate ] Winter Coats & Clothing. The later you get into winter, the better the prices will get, because everyone already has theirs. If you need to upgrade, try to survive one more winter with your old battered coat before retiring it. [TIME. Dealnews ]
Have you ever been to a clothing store post-Christmas? It's amazing. They're all having mad sales after the holiday rush, so now's a great time to grab some extra clothes if you need them. The selection won't always be great, but prices will. [Di Vincenzo ] Broadway Tickets. Broadway's slower months are in the winter and fall, so January's a great time to seek out some discounts. You probably won't find them for the more popular shows, but if you're looking to branch out, this is the time to do it. [CNN ] Carpeting & Flooring. Most people buy carpets at the end of the year in preparation for the holidays. Once January rolls around, prices will go down. [Carpet SuperSite ] Furniture. Different furniture is better at different times of the year (and we've noted examples in this guide), but January is a great general clearance time, since most furniture companies release new products twice a year: in February and August. That means they'll be giving some sweet deals in January to make room for the new products next month. [FurnitureBrains. Bankrate. Dealnews ] Gift Cards. It isn't quite as "official," but just after the holidays is a great time to go onto gift card exchange sites like Plastic Jungle to find discounted gift cards. This time of year, everyone's trading in their unwanted cards for cash. [About.com ] Linens and Bedding. Ever since John Wannamaker started the first "white sale" in 1878, January has been the best month to get bedding and other linens. Of course, just as with clothing, keep an eye out all year round, since retailers will put last season's stuff on sale when new products come out. [Bankrate ] Motorcycles. It's really cold outside. Not to mention icy. It doesn't make for great cycling weather, but if you've been mulling over a motorcycle purchase, get it in January and then wait to ride it when the snow melts. [Motorcycle.com ] Suits. Not a lot of people buy suits in January, so you may see prices drop to get you into the store. Remember, though, you get what you pay for, so don't go too overboard with the cost-cutting. [Di Vincenzo ] Video Games. A lot of new video games come out in late fall for the holiday season, and they'll go on sale after the holidays are over. Check out Steam and other gaming retailers for discounted prices.
- Broadway Tickets. February still falls into the slow season for Broadway, so grab discounts on tickets to the less popular shows. [CNN ] Cellphones. Valentine's Day may seem like a strange time for cellphone sales, but you can often find buy-one-get-one-free sales in the "theme" of the holiday. [Di Vincenzo ] Televisions & Home Theaters. You won't find every TV on sale during the pre-Super Bowl sales, but you can usually find a good deal on older models before they come out later in the spring. [CNET. Dealnews ]