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 January in Seattle-Tacoma area stores.
Of course, we think the best way to save money is not to spend it. But, when you need or want to, plan your spending to take advantage of the times of the year when what you buy is at the lowest possible price.
January Holidays & Events
- January 1. New Year’s Day and Free Park Entrance Day.
- January 18, 2021. Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Free Park Entrance Day.
- January 25 – April 15, 2021. Tax preparation season.
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Discounted seasonal items to buy in January
Most of the leftover Christmas décor is already gone, such as lights, ornaments, holiday kitchen gadgets and serving pieces, holiday gift wrap and greeting cards.
But if you identified some needs for next year and have the room to store it, definitely peruse the discount aisle and check over what’s left.
Retail gift cards
Retailers push gift card sales until Christmas, but may be sitting on excess gift cards now.
Check your favorite stores and restaurants and stock up if you find a deal you know you’ll use (or gift) before the expiration date. (You always check these details when you buy gift cards, right?)
Desk and wall calendars
You’ll find discounts on desk and wall calendars for the current year towards the end of January and closeout prices in February on leftover stock.
Dressy party clothes
Leftover cocktail dresses and other party attire from Christmas and New Years celebrations will be marked down. So think ahead to weddings you might be attending this year or for next year’s holiday season.
However, you may have party attire you never wore this year!
Toys and video games
There may be some deals on leftovers. But retailers may also simply raise prices back to pre-holiday levels.
While before Christmas is usually the best time to buy many types of toys (except summer play), I like to find the discount shelf in any store and see if there is anything on my “to buy” list.
Beauty product and perfume gift sets
These items are popular for Christmas. So, leftovers may be discounted. Think ahead to Mother’s Day, graduation, and birthday gifts you might need.
Sweaters and cashmere
Retailers begin closeouts on sweaters and cashmere. If you are in the market for a new ugly Christmas sweater, the ugliest ones should be leftover and deeply discounted.
Prices on all sweaters will continue to drop through January and February. So, unless you have an upcoming event to buy for or a certain color or style in mind, then prices will be lower later.
However, the selection will continue to dwindle as prices drop, so you risk not finding anything at all if you have a specific need in mind.
Winter sports gear
The winter season is just getting underway. However, many people purchase their winter gear by Christmas, so retailers start to discount current supply.
Remember that the annual Seattle Ski Bonkers winter gear sale of new and used items is Labor Day weekend–it’s a good time to buy for winter, perhaps trading in your current gear.
Televisions and home electronics
The January Consumer Electronics Show (CES) show in Las Vegas is usually the time when new technology is introduced.
So, there is often leftover stock from Christmas that didn’t sell out and will be discounted leading up to Super Bowl Sunday.
This goes for TVs as well as other home electronics, including smart home, surveillance, lighting, and energy-saving equipment. You’ll likely find video games can be discounted, too.
Furniture, carpeting and flooring
At the beginning of the year, furniture and flooring retailers may have discounted floor models and discount prices on leftover stock.
With home & garden shows coming up, it’s a good time to consider purchases of remodeling and redecorating supplies and services.
Of course, 2021 will be different, some shows will be virtual, while others will get cancelled until 2022. But there are still deals to be had.
New products to buy in January
Free days in Washington State Parks
Free park entrance days occur throughout the year, including New Year’s Day and Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
Valentine’s Day Flowers
If you normally send flowers–especially long stemmed roses–for Valentine’s Day, order and pay for them by mid-January and you will likely see better prices than if you wait until February.
Gym memberships and fitness equipment
Many people make New Years resolutions that include getting healthy and keeping fit through diet and exercise. So we’ve got 10 frugal ways to stay fit without spending a lot of money on gym memberships.
However, many gym and health clubs also take the opportunity to offer deals and packages on membership. The investment can provide additional incentive to stick to a healthy living mindset.
As with other items, 2021 is throwing retailers a curve. Still, it’s a good time to consider a gym membership or CrossFit program as businesses try to lure us back in to stores and services.
Organizing and storage supplies
You might find closeout prices on red and green storage boxes. But January is a good time to buy all sorts of organizing accessories: storage bins, clothes hangers, shoe racks and boxes, and drawer organizers.
January tends to be one of the best months to buy a new suit. And, Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend sales are also a great time for all types of clothing.
You’ll find closeouts on the last of the holiday and party attire, as well as new clothes for spring–think layering pieces, casual Friday, and other pieces suitable for office and retail workplaces.
Don’t forget, you will soon need to return to “normal” attire, including pants!
Active wear and exercise accessories
Along with gym memberships, find deals on yoga pants ands tights, dance wear and warm ups, sweats and hoodies, athletic socks, sports bras, and sweat bands.
Plus related exercise gear such gym bags, stretch bands, dumbells, etc.
Bedding & bath towels
“White sales”, referring to the original 1880s sale of white linen bed sheets, take place in January.
Find discounts on sheets, pillows, pillow covers (allergies, anyone?), blankets and comforters, mattress pads, and bath towels.
Winter Fruits & Vegetables
The best deals are always local, in season produce. Of course, nothing i growing in the Northwest November-March. But there are deals to be had on local storage crops, as well as seasonal produce from national growers.
Washington Grown vegetables: bok choy, kale, chard, mizuna, leeks, onions, parsnips, celeriac, potatoes, sweet potatoes, Jerusalem artichokes, winter squash, and root vegetables (carrots, beets, parsnips, rutabagas, and turnips).
Washington Grown fruits: apples, pears, frozen berries and cranberries, dry beans, garlic, fresh and dry herbs.
National growers: avocados, bananas, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, celery, citrus fruits (grapefruits, lemons, oranges, pomelos, tangerines), and pineapple.
Wheels & Watercraft to buy in January
If Santa didn’t bring you a new car, it’s still a good time to buy some new transportation. January can be a good time to find a used car, as buyers who got that new Christmas ride will sell their old vehicle.
Winter is a good time to buy a new motorcycle. When the weather is dreary, nothing could cheer you more than visiting a motorcycle showroom to start checking prices and models and dreaming of a summer road trip.
If you plan to buy a used motorcycle, than wait until spring, when new buyers are unloading their old hog.
And if a bicycle is your idea of the best ride, spring through fall is the best time to buy–earlier for more selection and later for lowest price. But, you can peruse the closeout section of any bike shop (online or brick and mortar) almost any time of year to find a good deal on a good ride.
Seattle Boat Show
The big Seattle Boat Show is the West Coast’s Largest Boat Show featuring more than 1,000 recreational watercraft. We’re talking pretty much anything that floats: from stand-up paddleboards to superyachts and everything in between.
The Boat Show also has acres of accessories, all the latest gear, and dozens of free boating and fishing seminars.
In 2021, the boat show will be online. If you are considering buying any type of watercraft, or upgrading what you have, this is a good time to shop for waercraft deals.
Cruises and vacations
January-March is a good time to shop for vacation for the coming year. In a normal year (which 2020-2021 aren’t) you want to book early for a spring cruise to Mexico or the Caribbean to find extras and incentives on shore excursions, upgrades, and on-board credit.
Cruise trip prices are usually lower for Caribbean cruises September-December because that’s hurricane season (in which case, buy travel insurance and confirm details carefully).
However, the cruise industry is still in great flux, so you may want to pass on a cruise in 2021 altogether or book one later this year for 2022.
But it’s also a great time to book a vacation for summer. You can typically find package deals on hotels and airfares to many locales. For 2021 you will likely find special deals as the country–and the world–returns to “normal” pending the success of vaccine distribution.
Either way, planning a vacation during cold, winter months is great, because you get to travel vicariously while planning and enjoy the trip a second time when you travel. How fun is that?
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