Every month of the year, certain items are discounted due to overstock, holiday sales, or transitions from one season to the next. Here are the shopping highlights for February in Seattle-Tacoma area stores. Valentine’s Day is mid-month and President’s Day sales happen the 3rd weekend. In February, best things to buy include winter clothing, perfume, mattresses, electronics, bicycles, boats, and canned foods.
Best buy tip for February: We think one of the best ways to save money is to have an on-going “wish list”. Items you would like to have, yet don’t urgently need. First of all, putting it on a list for future purchase avoids impulse buys–buying from “want” rather than “need”. The list also reminds you to keep an eye out for the item, noting features and prices. If you are familiar with what’s available, then you will know a good deal when you see it. But the funny thing is, sometimes when you find the deal, you’ve realized you don’t really need the item–you’ve made do without it or re-purposed something else that fulfilled the need.
February Holidays & Special Events
- February is Black History Month
- Groundhog Day (always Feb 2)
- Super Bowl LIII (Feb 3, 2019)
- Lunar New Year (Feb 5, 2019, Year of the Pig. Date is dependent on phases of the moon.)
- Valentine’s Day (always Feb 14)
- President’s Day (always 3rd Monday, so Feb 18, 2019)
Seasonal items to buy in February
Winter clothing and gear. Find some discounts on winter coats, boots, hats, and gloves. In addition, skis, snowboards, thermal garments, and related gear are usually discounted. But deeper discounts are found in later months.
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Perfume and cologne: January is usually a better month to buy perfumes on sale, due to leftover stock from the holidays. However, ahead of Valentine’s Day, you may find new scents being introduced at discounted prices or (more likely) find bonus fragrance products (buy the cologne, get the matching lotion for free).
Mattresses: There are three best months to buy a mattress, and one of them is February. The other two are May and September.
Electronics: while this isn’t the best time to buy computers and television there are some exceptions. The week before Super Bowl you might also find a deal on new televisions and home theater systems–but be sure you know your prices, as sometimes these are more impulse than good deal. November tends to be the best time of the year for all electronics. February (as well as November) is one of the best times of the year to consider a camera purchase. Also keep an eye out for closeout prices on last year’s models for all types of electronics: TVs, smartphones, computers, laptops, and tablets.
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Bicycles: Prices for bicycles tend to be best in the fall, September-October. However, in spring new model bikes will be arriving in store, so you might find closeout prices on last year’s models for anything from a tyke’s bike to an electric two-wheeler. Or, maybe a good deal on a used bike that someone is selling to trade up. You might want to check out the Seattle Bike & Outdoor Show.
New products to buy in February
Valentine’s Day Gifts and Entertainment
President’s Day Sales. Every 3-day weekend holiday is generally a good time to shop. However, February is a slow retail month and the deals are slimmer than most other months of the year. But it can be a good time to check your “wish list” and look for deals or at least compare prices. Also check for discounts on the above mentioned seasonal products, as well as new furniture and appliances.
Bare root trees and shrubs are dormant plants sold unpotted. You will find then in Puget Sound area nursery’s, standing in tubs of sawdust to keep the roots moist. Bare root plants offer substantial saving over the same item purchased during the growing season. It’s especially the best time of year for buying fruiting plants, including fruit trees and berry bushes. The available selection can include roses, fruit trees, flowering ornamental shrubs, and trees. After you buy bare root stock, be sure take them home and plant immediately in the yard, or in a container with proper soil.
Avocados. Avocado prices have risen in recent years. But Super Bowl Weekend is one of the best times of the year to buy avocados–people like to make a lot of guacamole for tailgating and football parties. The two fastest ways I know to make a great “guac” are to mash 1-2 avocados about one cup of red salsa (your favorite brand or recipe) or (even better) about one cup of salsa verde (tomatillo salsa–preferably homemade). If you want to feel like you put in more effort, chop a couple tablespoons of fresh cilantro and/or green onions and stir them in. Or, if you want a full-fledged recipes, try these guacamole and avocado dip recipes from the folks at avocadosfrommexico.com. If you are a newbie to avocado prep, get the Avocado 101 from the folks at californiaavocado.com. If you end up with leftover avocados, learn these easy Avocado Preserving Methods from homepreservingbible.com.
Canned Food Month: Since February is National Canned Food Month, grocery stores will offer some of the best prices of the year. You can also find manufacturer coupons for your favorite brands. It’s best to buy only those foods you know you will really use. Most canned foods can be stored up to two years, if they are kept in a cool, dry place.
Here are some easy recipe ideas using canned foods:
- Hummus dip or spread: canned chickpeas (garbanzo beans) processed in a food processor until smooth and seasoned to taste with tahini (optional), olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and salt. Garnish with Kalamata olives. Serve with carrot slices, cucumber slices, or pita bread wedges. Tahini is expensive and I’m not a huge fan of the flavor, so usually leave it out. This same basic recipe works for black or white beans to make a creamy dip or sandwich spread; change the flavor with any of the Tex-Mex flavorings in the following recipes.
- Bean & Corn Salsa: drained canned black beans, corn, diced tomatoes, and green chilies (optional), seasoned to taste with freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice, chopped onion or cilantro, and salt. If you like fruit salsa, add drained, diced canned peaches. Serve with tortilla chips or use in tacos or quesadillas with or without meat or cheese.
- Chicken Tortilla Soup: canned chicken, diced tomatoes, enchilada sauce, green chilies, and corn, chopped fresh onion and garlic, seasoned with chili powder, salt, and black pepper. Serve with broken tortilla chips. You can also substitute canned beans for the chicken if you want a vegetarian meal.
- Homemade chili: canned black beans, pinto beans, and kidney beans, canned diced tomatoes and tomato sauce, canned green chilies (optional), chopped onion and garlic, seasoned to taste with chile powder, ground cumin, salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. If you want a meat chili, brown ground beef and then toss everything else into the pot.
- Italian-style Soup: canned white beans, diced tomatoes, green beans, carrots, and fresh spinach leaves, chopped onion and garlic, seasoned with salt, oregano, bay leaf, and black pepper or red pepper flakes. This soup is also good with cooked Italian sausage or chicken.
- Sweet and Sour Chicken: canned chicken, bottled barbecue sauce, canned pineapple chunks, and chopped fresh green or red pepper, onion, and garlic, seasoned to taste with salt and pepper. Serve over rice. This recipe probably works better with raw boneless chicken or even shredded rotisserie chicken, but if you like canned chicken, this can be a super easy pantry meal.
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