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What to Buy and What to Skip in January


What’s your January shopping style – all shopped out, or ready to hit the mall again as soon as the last guest leaves? January begins with a bang, but there are no major shopping holidays once the new year gets going. That may come as a relief, especially if you were extra generous this year and splurged a bit during the holidays, but you can still pick up great bargains this month if your shopping stamina is still going strong.

If you feel like you’re always missing out on the best deals while your friends constantly boast about the rock-bottom prices they’ve paid, we can help! We’ve researched the ebbs and flows of retail throughout the year to identify which items you should have on your list for the first month of the year. Here’s what to buy and what to skip in January.

Buy: Winter clothing

If you were given a ton of gift cards to retailers over the holidays, you might not need to wait long to use them if you still need warm clothes to make it through the rest of winter! Prices start dropping on all winter apparel this month to make room for the incoming new spring line. You can pick up cold-weather wear in January discounted by as much as 85%, and best of all, you’ll still have plenty of time to enjoy all of your winter clothing purchases this season. Besides, the longer you go without using those gift cards, the more likely they are to disappear or be forgotten!

Skip: Spring clothing

The worst time to purchase an item is generally right before it’s in hot demand. So, with new spring wear dropping, prices will be at their highest point for the year, so don’t plan on picking out a springtime wardrobe just yet. You’ll start seeing the first spring clothing discounts in April. As we get further and further into the spring, you should see even deeper discounts as well. So, if you’re in need of a fashion infusion this spring, be patient and mark your calendar for a few months down the road to save big time.

Buy: Fitness gear

The new year is here and that means it’s time to make good on that resolution and shed some extra pounds packed on during the holidays (and maybe a few more, besides). Retailers know that weight loss and physical fitness are annually one of the most popular New Year's resolutions, so they’ll be slashing prices on yoga mats, fitness balls, resistance bands, weights and more. If you’re looking to get in shape, want to pick up a healthy new hobby, or simply have some old exercise equipment that needs to be replaced so you can keep going, now is a great time of year to do it! Shop multiple retailers to make sure that you score the best deals.

Skip: Mattresses

Is your deep winter sleep getting disrupted nightly by an old, lumpy mattress? Hold on a little longer before springing for a new one. Both online and brick-and-mortar mattress retailers will be dropping prices on their merchandise by as much as 60% next month during Presidents Day sale events. Different retailers will have differing prices and discounts, so make sure that you comparison shop for mattresses before making your final purchase for the best possible price.

Buy: Linens and soft goods

You might want to wait a while for your new mattress, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t improve your sleep set up right now! The first month of the year is famous for its white sales, with soft home goods, like blankets and pillows, seeing discounts as deep as 70%. Stagger your spending on upgrading your sleep by taking advantage of linen sales now and your mattress nearer to those Presidents Day sales.

Skip: Snow gear

You would think that winter clothes and snow gear would fare alike, but while winter apparel will see slashed prices this month, snow gear including skis, skates, snowshoes, and the like, will continue to be listed at full price until the end of the season. Wait a few more months for if you’re looking to save with steep discounts on all things snow.

Buy: TVs

The biggest college football and NFL games of the season are just around the corner, and now is the perfect time to upgrade your television to watch them! Retailers will be competing for your business and offering up promotions on their TVs with discounts rivaling those of Black Friday. So, if you missed out in November and were stuck watching the Thanksgiving games on an old TV, you have another chance to get in the game while saving big on a new TV before the football season finishes.

Skip: A new car

If you’re shopping for a new car, don’t finalize your purchase in January. According to, January is the least discounted month of the year for car prices. Edmunds analysts say that August and September are when they generally see automakers make the most decided transition into the new models, and the general consensus is that the end of the year is the best time to buy a new car. If you’re not in a rush and looking for maximum savings on a new car, you can wait patiently for the best prices to come around again towards the end of the year. If you really need a new vehicle, some dealers will have Presidents Day sales next month – you won’t save as much, but it won’t be as expensive as buying in January!

Buy: Holiday décor

It starts at the end of December – the holidays come and go, and store shelves are still half-full of wreaths, trees, and other holiday décor leftovers that get slapped with a bargain price tag. However, in January, those prices will drop even further, making it an ideal time to get a head start on next year’s holiday prep by stocking up on wrapping paper, decorations, and more!

January can be a strange month as far as shopping goes. Some are still recovering from all the shopping they did over the holidays and are looking to take a step back this month, while others are eager to get back out there, searching for the best deals. No matter what camp you fall into, this guide will assist you in your shopping (or lack of shopping) this month. If you’re still in the mood to shop this January, you might want to consider winter clothing, fitness gear, linens, TVs, and holiday décor. If you’re giving your budget a break this month or you simply cannot go to another mall yet, spring clothing, mattresses, snow gear, and new cars are all items best prioritized at other times of the year anyway!

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