Chocolate lovers, rejoice. March is prime time to buy your favorite confection because high-end chocolate shops are looking to get rid of the remaining Valentine's Day stock before getting in fresh candy for Easter, according to DealNews, a bargain hunting site.
March is also a great time to buy a winter coat or sweater, as this is when stores are getting stocked up for spring. However, don't bother shopping for fancy lingerie, the site's editors advise. Even though stores are well stocked with sexy teddies that they were also marketing to Valentine shoppers, lingerie doesn't spoil. So, while there's some discounting at this time of year, the best deals on pricey underwear don't hit until July, when Victoria's Secret holds its semi-annual sale and sends other luxury lingerie makers like Fredericks of Hollywood, Maidenform and Bare Necessities into a competitive frenzy.
Other shopping bargains compelling enough to pull you away from March Madness?
Frozen foods: Is it a coincidence that National Frozen Foods Month, when many grocery stores start offering coupons and specials on everything from lasagna dinners to frozen veggies, strikes at the same time as March Madness? I don't think so. Bargain hunters can bask in the glow of smart shopping and the television set, knowing that their frozen meal was purchased at precisely the best time.
Smart phones: When the Mobile World Congress debuted a raft of new phones in February, the previous generation models became old news -- and surplus inventory, ripe for a mark-down. DealNews says you've got a great chance of finding a late-model freebie (with a contract, of course). Those who don't want to suffer contracts will still benefit as many past-generation models sell for discounts as high as 50 percent.
Amazon Prime: Will Amazon hike the cost of its Prime service? DealNews thinks it will, thus paying today's $79 annual rate is likely to look like a bargain in a month or two for those who long to subscribe.
Laptops: Sure, we understand why chocolate goes on sale after Valentine's Day and why pumpkins can be had for a song in November, but what's been going on with laptop prices is without logical precedent. The deals just keep getting better. Over the holidays, DealNews recommended buying laptops using Intel's older generation processor, Ivy Bridge. Now the new Haswell laptops are selling for as little as $415. Ironically, those older generation laptops are now more expensive, averaging $484 since the beginning of the year. Go figure.
Big TVs: Likewise, the cost of the 60-inch LCD television set you've been pining for (to watch the aforementioned March Madness), just keeps getting more cost effective. You can take home one of these mega-sets for just $699, according to the site. And there's more price competition among sellers of big sets than there is in the market for their puny 42-47-inch counterparts.
Prices of the high-resolution 4K TVs are also getting slashed this month, with some 55-inchers going for as little as $600. DealNews expects those deals to keep getting better, though. So if you're willing to bide your time, you might be able to save a few bucks.
Other things you really shouldn't buy right now?
Spring clothing: Yeah, it's all over the mall. Bright, cute, alluring. Makes you think of the summer and beaches and a time you could walk the street without 16 layers of clothing stuffed into a pair of boots But it will be on sale in a few months and you can't wear capris in the snow anyway.
Xbox One: It went from being the hot holiday gift to overstock in record time. Thanks to the dominance of PlayStation 4, Microsoft's game console is already being modestly discounted. You can expect even better deals this spring, according to DealNews.