The Best and Worst Things to Buy in March

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There are great deals to be had this month even though it's a little in-between major shopping holidays.

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The winter holidays are gone (and hopefully paid for by now), the pressure of Valentine’s Day has passed, and it’s not yet time for the beach garb and gardening tools that Memorial Day will bring. Although the month falls in between the biggest shopping seasons, March has deals to offer. Watch for these items to become available at deep discounts this month, and then check out the things you should avoid buying until later.


Did you not get the sweets you hoped for on Valentine’s Day? Well, luckily you can peruse high-end chocolate shops for any lingering V-Day treats. As always after a holiday, themed sweets go on sale at any store with overstock. This month, look for treats that haven’t been gobbled up, and you’ll find discounts of up to 50 percent off already-discounted clearance items at places like Ghirardelli, which could bring a $60 gift bag down to a final price of $15. Godiva, meanwhile, offers free shipping on various days throughout the month, which saves up to $8 on orders. Also check the gift section of department stores for other decadent ways to treat yourself on a budget.


Holiday travel has been over for months, but summer vacations aren’t here yet, meaning luggage stores are empty this time of year. Get discounted suitcases before the summer travel season starts and prices shoot back up: We see a quarter fewer luggage deals in April than in March, and less than half as many Editors’ Choice ones. Act now while you can score backpacks from $7 and duffel bags from $9.

Frozen foods

Did you know that March is National Frozen Food Month? And this isn’t one of those made-up events — participating companies include Green Giant, Dole, Eggo, Jimmy Dean, Pepperidge Farm, Best Yet, Bob Evans, Safeway and Tyson. So keep an eye out for discounts from these brands and grocery stores.

St. Patrick’s Day deals and freebies

Check out deals from Marie Callender, Einstein Bros., Friendly’s, Sonic and more in honor of St. Paddy’s Day, whether it’s a dollar off your purchase, BOGO breakfast entrees or even half of select items. IHOP and Stewart’s Shops have even given discounts to anyone wearing green.

Something you might not think of on St. Patrick’s Day: flowers! Following Valentine’s Day and with Mother’s Day still two months off, florists are probably a little desperate to make sales. We saw 15-25 percent off from Teleflora and 1-800-Flowers with coupon codes last year.

Gift cards

Eager to get customers spending during the slow shopping period between Presidents Day and Memorial Day, stores opened up the flow of gift cards in March. We saw a whopping seven to 14 times more Editors’ Choice deals last March than in February and April. For example, a Lowe’s $100 gift card went for $75 in March last year, but shot up to $90 the following month. We saw similar discounts on credit for Target, Starbucks, Staples, and Applebee’s, and Black Friday-level discounts on iTunes gift cards.

Most of the best deals came from eBay, where you should check out the vendors GiftCardMall, PayPal and Best Buy.

Ski and snowboarding equipment

March is the beginning of discount season on winter sporting gear. We routinely see high-end skis drop 20 percent heading into March. They might drop another 10 percent before hitting rock bottom in the summer, but now is a good time to buy while choices are still plentiful, and while you can even take advantage of late-season ski trips in certain areas. (Ski resort stays will also be heavily discounted this month.) Also, look to outdoors retailers like EVO and Paragon Sports.

Cold-weather clothing

Inventory, sizes and color options will be very limited; but if you see a coat, sweater or heavy wool pants that you like at a low price, grab it. Deals will disappear by April, when stores focus on moving their spring lines. For now, you can get outerwear and activewear from The North Face, Under Armour, Land’s End and Patagonia at stores, with discounts of up to 75 percent.

High-end fashion

To battle the midwinter lull and prepare for the more fashion-informal spring, high-end clothing retailers bring the deals in March. Charlotte Russe, Charles Tyrwhitt and Nordstrom all made our top stores of the month, with men’s shirts dropping to $30 from $100, women’s dresses down $26 to $8, and shoes $179 off. These looks will take you from the office to a nice night out.

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