Best things to buy in March

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The holidays are long gone, winter is dragging on and spring weather is still far away. Happily, this confluence of sad circumstances means consumers can score a host of bargains in the month ahead, as stores clear out winter items and kick off the spring shopping season with sales and discounts.

With that in mind, here are the best things to buy in March, according to consumer savings expert Jeanette Pavini at Coupons.com:

Ski and Snowboard Equipment. As winter peters out, shoppers will find some great discounts on skiing and snowboarding gear, with some of the best deals to be found at resorts and rental shops. Markdowns will continue into April, Pavini notes, but by that point inventory will be picked over and it may be hard to find your size, so March is a better time to look for deals.

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Lift Tickets. Winter may be coming to an end, but there's still snow in many parts of the country, making for some great deals on lift tickets near the end of the skiing and snowboarding season. Consumers should also hunt for discounts on winter travel packages that include lodging, rentals, lift tickets and other amenities, Pavini notes.

Frozen Food. Forget about March Madness -- it's also National Frozen Food Month. The National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association rounds up manufacturers to offer special frozen food coupons, so it's a great time to stock up on frozen food.

Luggage. March is travel-season limbo. Holiday and ski travel is pretty much over and summer vacation travel is still but a glimmer on the horizon. That prompts luggage makers to offer sales and discounts. Pavini suggests searching for online coupon codes to save even more.

Video Games. New releases came out just in time for the holidays and by March the hype has wound down. That increases the odds you'll find discounts and deals on video games, systems and accessories. You may see the same deals on other consumer electronics, too, such as MP3 or DVD players.

Exercise Machines. As the weather starts to improve, you may see sales on indoor exercise equipment like treadmills and ellipticals because more people are turning to the outdoors to get their fitness fix, Pavini says.

Winter and Spring Apparel. Any time we're in between seasons you're going to find more sales. Stores need to clear out old inventory like winter jackets and boots. At the same time, retailers launch spring apparel lines, so expect sales on sandals, dresses and shorts.

Bicycles. Stores wheel in new bikes in February and March, so now is the time to grab a great deal on last year's models, Pavini says.

Jewelry. The Valentine's Day rush is over and outside of major gift-giving holidays, business is generally slow for jewelers. That makes it a good time to search for deals on fine jewelry. But don't wait too long, Pavini says, because jewelry sales will pick up again in April and May as we approach Mother's Day.

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    Dan Burrows, a veteran of Aol's DailyFinance, SmartMoney and MarketWatch from Dow Jones, covers the markets and economy with an eye toward investing for the long haul.

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