Monday, January 4, 2010

BEST BUYS OF WINTER (January, February)

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Yes, deals abound on Black Friday, but you can save money on plenty of things all winter long -- particularly electronics. Here are ten things whose prices thaw despite the cold this season.

From dresses to reception halls, you'll save a bundle with a winter wedding, according to Denise and Alan Fields, authors of Bridal Bargains. It's the industry's slow season, so don't be afraid to haggle your way to even lower prices -- you might find people are willing to deal.

New TV models arrive in the spring, making January and February prime time to save a few hundred dollars on the outgoing model year, according toConsumer Reports. (It's worth watching for Black Friday deals and holiday sales in December, too.)

It may be cold outside, but you can make the indoors warm and comfy -- and save money in the process -- by shopping department stores' "white sales" in January. It's not uncommon to find discounts of 10% to 60% on sheets, blankets, towels and more (and not just in white).

JANUARY: 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.

JANUARY: 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, says Alan Fletcher, author of The Complete Carpet Buying Guide. Make your purchase by February 15th, though. As people start receiving their tax refunds, business -- and prices -- pick up again.

JANUARY: 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. (See summer for another good time to buy.)

JANUARY/FEBRUARY: 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.

ALL WINTER LONG: Real estate
Most people don't shop for houses in the winter. But lower demand equals lower prices. You'd usually sacrifice selection by house-hunting in winter, but with the current lagging market -- and large number of foreclosures - bargain hunters should have plenty to choose from.

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