What to Buy in February: Valentines (of Course) Plus Real Deals on Essentials

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This month features deep discounts on furniture, mattresses, winter apparel and new computers. Read on for details, including our warning on certain computers with too-good-to-be-true prices.

This post comes from Benjamin Glaser of partner site DealNews.com.

February may be the shortest month of the year, but it’s certainly not lacking in savings. You might not score as big of a discount as you would like on a Valentine’s Day gift, but this month you’ll find deals on several necessities like winter coats and tax software.

We’ve sorted through the DealNews archives of sales, coupons and daily deals to find out what the best and worst things are to buy in February. Peruse the advice, then consider signing up for the DealNews Select Newsletter to get the best deals of the day delivered to your inbox.

V-Day deals won’t shine, but savings will be sweet

Since many Valentine’s Day gifts are at their most in-demand during the first two weeks of February, the discounts on these items are generally pretty modest. However, that doesn’t mean you should give up and pay full-price; at the very least, you should be able to find a coupon that slashes 20 percent to 30 percent off the gift of your choice.

Of the many deals we listed last year, jewelry and flowers were the most dominant category-wise. For jewelry, while most broad coupons and sales will be in that 20 percent range, sites like Szul, Ashford, Kay Jewelers, BlueNile and Kohl’s will cut up to 90 percent off select items. Flowers and gift baskets will see 20 percent to 50 percent off from sites like 1-800-Flowers, 1-800-Baskets, FTD, Groupon and Proflowers.

For more details on what kind of deals to look for, check out our full Valentine’s Day buying guide.

Prepare for Presidents’ Day sales

Although the majority of sales will span the holiday weekend leading up to Feb. 15, Presidents’ Day deals arrive early and stay late. In years past, we’ve seen them start as early as Feb. 5, and last through Feb. 22. Mattresses are the classic category to shop during these sales, and last year we saw discounts of up to 60 percent off at Sears, and up to 50 percent off with an extra 40 percent off at US-Mattress.

But other product categories saw an uptick in Presidents’ Day sales for the last two years, with as much as 85 percent off a plethora of apparel, home items and furniture. Some retailers tend to offer deeper discounts on existing sales, while others will lean toward modest coupons (likely an extra 20 percent to 30 percent off) that are applicable sitewide.

Look to clothing and department stores for a big Presidents’ Day sale push. Last year, apparel sales were generally 50 percent to 60 percent off, sometimes on top of already-discounted clearance items, from Calvin Klein Outlet, Barneys Warehouse, H&M, Nautica and more. Department stores like Wal-Mart, Sears, Target, Best Buy, Pottery Barn and Macy’s cut anywhere from 20 percent to 70 percent off home goods.

Check out our Presidents’ Day sales guide for more information about what stores to hit up, and what discounts to expect.

Keep an eye out for tax software deals

While Editors’ Choice tax software deals are sometimes hard to come by, February will most definitely usher in a plethora of discounts. Look for promotions that slash 30 percent to 50 percent off programs from H&R Block, TurboTax and more. (TurboTax already had a 50 percent off sale in January, so it’s likely to return again for eagle-eyed shoppers.) In general, these discounts won’t get much better as Tax Day approaches, so if you see a temporary discount, you might want to jump on it so you can get taxes filed sooner than later.

Click here and learn to slash your taxes with our new tax course!

Wait for new models before buying a smartphone

Typically, spring is when we see the big Android and Windows flagship models debut. That means, for example, if you’re interested in a new HTC or Samsung phone, you should wait until these manufacturers release their new models so you can score a deal on the previous generation. (Alternatively, a few months after the debut, the new models should start seeing their own discounts too.)

Winter apparel continues to fill the clearance racks

Winter apparel is usually on clearance at this point in the season, as retailers make way for spring lines. But due to an unusually warm fall and early winter, retailers are swamped with unsold coats, scarves and sweaters that will be on deep discount. Presidents’ Day sales will make discounts even better. Look for 60 percent to 70 percent off cold weather apparel at all your favorite brands and retailers, including Nordstrom, 6pm, Eddie Bauer and The Children’s Place. Note that many items will be final sale, so be careful what you order.

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