Teresa C. Hunsaker, USU Extension, Weber County, Family and Consumer Science Education, has found the best bargains in January.
Linens/Bedding—you may find by shopping department store’ “white sales” in January you can save up to 60 and 70% on sheets, blankets, towels and more (and not just in white).
Gift wrap—with prices marked down as much as 75%, post-holiday sales make a great time to stock up on gift wrap, ribbon and tags. Look for neutral patterns that you can use year-round to make the most of this deal.
Carpet and floor coverings—few people buy carpet in January, so that’s the time to snag a discount as dealers try to drum up business. Make your purchase by February 15th, though. As people start receiving their tax refunds, business – and prices – pick up again.
Furniture—new furniture hits showrooms in February, according to the American Home Furnishing Alliance. That means you can save 10% to 50% in January as retailers make room for the new inventory. (Summer is another good time to buy.)
Digital cameras—with the Consumer Electronics Show and Photo Marketing Association convention at this time of year, new camera models start arriving at retailers. That means deep discounts on last year’s perfectly good merchandise.
CDs and DVDs
Real Estate/Houses and condos
Toys—December may be the most popular time to buy toys, but January is the best time. Stores are overstocked from Christmas and want to unload what’s left as fast as they can, which means big bargains for January toy shoppers. In checking the big stores like Target and Walmart, there are plenty of toys on sale, but even the big toy stores are having great deals.
Exercise Equipment/Treadmills—we’ve all resolved to get in shape this holiday season, and believe it or not, the retailers want to help you out. In January, you’ll find markdowns on all kinds of fitness equipment, so you have no excuse not to work out!
TVs—Just in time for your Super Bowl party, televisions go on sale big time in January. If you’ve been meaning to upgrade your home entertainment system, you’ll find great deals right now. When flat screen plasma TV’s first hit the market a few years ago, you had to shell out thousands for a good HDTV, but now you can get top rated televisions for under $500. If you’re willing to spend a little more, you can find deals on giant televisions too.
Winter clothing—the fashion seasons are always way ahead of the actual weather. In January, stores start promoting spring styles, and moving winter clothes to the clearance racks, but by our calculations, you’ve still got a few months of cold weather left before you can wear those cute new shorts and tank tops. It’s time to raid the racks for great deals on winter clothes that you can still wear for at least six more weeks.
Food—in January there are a number of great food buys: broccoli, Brussels sprouts, onions, carrots, celery, chicken, citrus, and apples. You can usually find a pretty good deal on beef and pork too. Also, watch out for the snack food sales around the Super Bowl that start in January.
After the holidays the thought of getting out to the Mall’s and department stores is the last thing we want to do. So take advantage of shopping from home with some incredible deals found online.
Crate and Barrel, Pier 1, Williams-Sonoma and Pottery Barn are all boasting big winter sales.
The Container Store is having their “Annual Elfa Sale” which is the one time you’ll see these closet and home containers at 30% off.
Your favorite “have-it-all” stores have it all on sale right now! Target’s “Clearance Kick Off” features steep price slashes on men’s, women’s, kids’, toys, furniture, home and electronics, while JCPenney’s “After-Christmas Clearance” includes 50-70% off “everything Santa forgot.” And if you’re still in the mood to scope, check out the “Get What You Want” sale at Sears or Kohl’s “Gold Star” sale.
Travel—January may be the best time of year to take a vacation, as passenger traffic drops and resorts, airlines and cruise companies all roll out deals. Yet the start of the year is often overlooked when it comes to vacation planning.
Discounts range from 30 to 50 percent compared with the holidays and other busy travel periods. Hilton Hotels just introduced a January Sale with weekend rates 33 percent off hotels in North and South America. The average domestic airfare for a weeklong trip departing Saturdays in January is $274 round trip, according to Bing Travel, the Microsoft search engine that predicts airfare prices. That’s down about $200. Check out TripAdvisor.com
January and February also have the fewest airline passengers, according to the Department of Transportation, easing the airport experience.
Before booking anything, though, think about what you want to do, where you want to go, in order to find the best destination for your budget. Though Florida beckons with bargains, the water can be chilly in the winter, and temperatures, while warm, tend to hover in the 70s or even lower. So you may want to look farther south to the Caribbean.
Sun lovers: Though Florida beckons with bargains, the water can be chilly in the winter, and temperatures, while warm, tend to hover in the 70s or even lower. So you may want to look farther south to the Caribbean.
While it is high-season for cold-weather getaways like Hawaii and the Caribbean, discounts tend to be scarce—but still a lot cheaper than it was over Christmas. Some resorts are offering extra incentives to fill rooms in January.
Deal seekers may get the most bang for their buck in Mexico, which is still offering discounts to win back visitors scared off by reports of Mexican gang and drug violence and the H1N1 outbreak earlier this year. Fares are about 40 percent less to Cancún in January on average compared with the December holidays, 34 percent less to Puerto Vallarta and 30 percent less to San Jose del Cabo, according to Kayak.com.
Occidental Hotels & Resorts, which has six all-inclusive properties in Mexico, is running a winter sale with rates starting at $81 a person a night at the Allegro Nuevo Vallarta, north of Puerto Vallarta, for travel beginning Jan. 4.
Snowhounds: The snow is falling and so are prices at ski resorts this January. Check out ski.com and travelzoo.com for deals.
Cruisers: January is currently the softest-looking month for cruise pricing of the year. Check out SureCruise.com., where the average price of a seven-night cruise on major lines is about $600 a person, compared with $900 in December.
Some cruise lines are now changing prices multiple times a day, so travelers can check for such rate cuts by clicking on Price Cut Tattletale at SureCruise.com and sorting by date, line or region. There was a 7-night Western Caribbean cruise from Galveston, Tex., starting at $420 a person (down from $2,033) on Royal Caribbean, for example, in a recent search for January; a $650 a person (down from $2,464) 14-night Amazon River cruise from Manaus Brazil to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on Princess; and a $300 (down from $2,599) seven-night Hawaii cruise on Norwegian. Another site for spotting deals is CruiseCritic.com/bargains, which recently listed three-night Bahamas cruises starting at $149 in January.
For more information, you can contact Teresa through the Utah State Extension office.