What to Buy in March
Kevork Djansezian/Staff/Getty Images News/Getty Images North America

The Best and Worst Things to Buy in March

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What to Buy in March
Kevork Djansezian/Staff/Getty Images News/Getty Images North America

March Deals

The weather in March may be a wild card, but retailers stick to a seasonal schedule no matter what — and that means savings for smart consumers. March is the time to hit end-of-season sales and prep for warmer weather. Some February deals may still be out there, albeit with smaller selections of goods such as winter clothing. Just don't expect to find a ton of great buys on big-ticket items.

Valentine's Day Chocolate

Buy: Valentine's Day Chocolate

While the last half of February saw a decent selection of discounted chocolate after Valentine's Day, the treats still on the shelves in March will be discounted further — think 50% or more off chocolate or other treats with a Valentine's Day theme. Don't expect much choice, though.


Deals on Chocolate

There may be a few sweet seasonal buys still on the shelves at big-box stores like Walmart, but selection should be very picked over a couple weeks after Valentine's Day. Chocoholics may have better luck at higher-end spots like Godiva or Ghirardelli. Food-gift retailers like Harry & David may also be getting rid of Valentine's stock at a steep discount.

Frozen Food

Buy: Frozen Food

March is Frozen Food Month, so manufacturers and grocers pump up promotions on frozen meals and other foodstuffs. Use coupons during supermarket sales to stock up on frozen food. Staples such as frozen vegetables are long-lasting and nutritious building blocks for fast and cheap meals.

Kirkland Signature Cheese Pizza

Deals on Frozen Food

Costco remains one of the best places to stock your freezer for less — buying in bulk means you'll almost always save over the neighborhood grocery as long as you have the space to store your purchases. Another place to look if you'd rather not waste time clipping coupons, or don't want to buy large quantities: Aldi, which has a robust frozen section that is always bursting with limited-time finds.


Buy: Snacks

March is chock-full of food holidays and deals on popular edibles. In addition to the month-long celebration of frozen food, March 14 is National Potato Chip Day, and March 23 is National Chip and Dip Day — both are opportunities to find better-than-average savings in the grocery aisles.

Premium Nuts
Courtesy of Cheapism

Deals on Snacks

Costco and Aldi are also your best bets for saving on snacks if you'd rather not wait for special promotions. Look to big grocery chains like Kroger for buy-one-get-one deals and digital coupons that can make it just as cheap to snag national brands as store brands.

Winter Gear

Buy: Winter Sporting Goods and Apparel

Ski and snowboard season is coming to a close, so take advantage of retailers' need to clear out old merchandise and make room for the new. Lower prices on skis, snowboards, and accessories make March a good time to buy this equipment. Ditto for heavy winter duds — jackets, hats, and sweaters fall deeper into the clearance bin.

Dick's Sporting Goods

Deals on Winter Sporting Goods and Apparel

Check the big sporting-goods stores and outfitters for bargains in this category. Dick's Sporting Goods, REI, Cabela's and their competitors are likely to discount stock more aggressively than niche sports retailers. As for winter apparel, clearance aisles at big-box stores will be quite picked over by now. However, look for some good deals at stores that have more winter duds to clear like Lands' End, Eddie Bauer, and L.L.Bean.

Air Conditioner

Buy: Summer Durables

It seems counterintuitive, but March is a good time to buy an air conditioner. Unsold inventory from last year must be cleared out for the new models, and really, who needs an air conditioner in March? To drum up demand, retailers are motivated to cut prices. The same logic holds for barbecue grills.

Air Conditioner
Home Depot

Deals on Summer Durables

Central AC systems are largely a local game, but home-improvement stores like Lowe's and Home Depot will likely be discounting window air conditioners to make room for new models. The same goes for grills.


Buy: Luggage

Now that snowbirds have returned and winter travel season is over, it's time to replace that old suitcase. Luggage bargains abound in March, when sales slow and new models roll in during the gap between winter and summer travel. Be on the lookout for deals throughout the month.


Deals on Luggage

In this category, expect the most aggressive discounting and best selection from department stores including Macy's and JCPenney. However, online retailers will also offer enticing deals. Look for price breaks from Amazon, and check eBay's new Brand Outlet for deals on Samsonite, Traveler's Choice, and Baggallini, among other brands.

Buy: St. Patrick’s Day Deals

Buy: St. Patrick's Day Food and Goodies

We're not just talking shiny green hats and sparkly shamrocks. The food industry is especially known for celebrating St. Patrick's Day, whether it's by offering a discount to patrons who are wearing green, celebratory meal and drink deals, or limited-time items (think Shamrock Shakes at McDonald's or corned beef and cabbage at Cracker Barrel).

St. Patrick's Goodies
Dollar Tree

Deals on St. Patrick's Day Food and Goodies

Last year, St. Patrick's-related deals included $2 themed cocktails at Applebee's; buy one, get one for 99 cents Blizzards at Dairy Queen; and two entrees and an appetizer or dessert for under $20 at Bennigan's. Check your local restaurants for upcoming deals. If you're also in need of St. Patrick's Day duds or decorations, retailers like Amazon drastically reduce the price of anything green and adorned with four-leaf clovers as March 17 draws near. The Dollar Tree is also an especially great place to scope out seasonal decor for less.

Small Electronics

Skip: Electronics

In general, March is not the best time to buy electronics. With the Super Bowl long gone and the holiday rush a distant memory, bargains are especially scarce on TVs. New models of smart-home gadgets, computers, and other devices have made their way onto shelves after January's Consumer Electronics Show, and most will be at or near full price. While there may still be some discounts on older models, most were likely snapped up last month.

Gym Mistakes

Skip: Gym Memberships

Gym memberships are also a bust in March. Gyms are still packed with clients trying to meet their New Year's resolutions while getting ready for bathing-suit season. Try to work out at home until summer, when the great outdoors beckons and gyms try to entice people inside with better deals.


Skip: Lingerie

It might seem logical for lingerie to go on sale after Valentine's Day, but more attractive deals generally arrive in June. Around that time, the Victoria's Secret Semi-Annual Sale spurs the competition to slash prices, too.

Best Vacuum Cleaners

Skip: Vacuums

The vacuum industry is well aware that consumers are raring to start spring cleaning in March. Turns out, the best time to score a vacuum deal is November, when popular models are among Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals. But no matter — you can spring clean without spending a dime by using common household items that are probably already on hand. And keep an eye out for coupons on cleaning supplies.