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 March in Seattle-Tacoma area stores.
The holiday with the most fanfare in Seattle is probably St. Patrick’s Day featuring a parade and Irish Festival at Seattle Center. The Seattle Mariners opening day is March 28 at T-Mobile Park.
March Holidays & Special Events
- Mardi Gras, March 5, 2019 (47 days before Easter)
- Daylight Savings starts 2nd Sunday, Mar 10, 2019 (Spring ahead)
- St. Patrick’s Day March 17, 2019
- Spring equinox March 20, 2019
- Seattle Mariners opening day, March 28, 2019 at T-Mobile Park
Seasonal items to buy in March
Winter clothing and gear. Stores begin to deeply discount winter items to make way for spring merchandise. So, this is a good time to consider winter coats, boots, hats, and gloves. In addition, skis, snowboards, thermal garments, and related winter gear are discounted. As with other seasonal discounts, selection will be best early in the month and discounts will get higher towards the end of the month or into April as selection dwindles. Some (mostly) local stores to check out for winter gear include Alpine Hut, Ascent Outdoors, Columbia, evo, Filson, REI, Second Gear Sports, Sturtevants. and Wildernest.
Chocolates and candy leftover from Valentine’s Day will be deeply discounted. But whatever is left will likely grabbed up quickly, so go early in the month.
Jewelry and perfume. Valentine’s Day is past, but Mother’s Day and graduation is coming up. Since sales are lagging, you can find deals on jewelry, watches, and perfume if you want to shop in advance. Prices for these items tends to rise when a special day draws near.
Craft supplies: March is National Craft Month, so some stores and online retailers selling art and craft supplies offer deals and inspiration with new ideas and spring projects. If you are an artist or crafter, you might want to check out stores selling art & craft supplies, plus yarn shops, bead shops, and fabric stores. Here are selected stories in the Puget Sound region: Artful Touch, Bead World, Ben Franklin Crafts & Frames, Daiso, Daniel Smith, Emerald City Fire Arts, Kinokuniya, Pacific Fabrics, Paper Hammer, Reynolds, Shiga’s Imports (esp. for origami paper), University Bookstore.
Cruises. February and March can be two of the best months to book a cruise depending on the location you desire. But deals can be had, from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean.
Gift cards. While December is the best month for gift card deals (such as buy $100 and get a discount or bonus card), March is the next best time. So think ahead to birthdays, graduation gifts, or just as a gift for yourself for everyday needs at a big box store or celebratory meal at a favorite restaurant.
New products to buy in March
Barbecues and grill accessories: March is a good time to think ahead for Father’s Day and outdoor cooking in warmer, less rainy weather. So, check out deals on gas or charcoal barbecues, a portable grill for picnics or camping, and related supplies and accessories such as fuel, smoking woods, covers, long-handled utensils, gloves, fire starters, grill baskets for vegetables and fish, cleaning tools, a burger press, or any other tool or accessory to make outdoor cooking easy and fun. The last couple years, I couldn’t use my charcoal grill most of summer due to the burn ban. So my “wish list” includes a portable, table top gas model that can double as a picnic or camping grill.
Golf clubs and gear: golf clubs, golf shoes, golf travel bags, and other golf accessories.
Cleaning products: get ready for spring cleaning by taking an inventory of your supplies and stocking up for the year when prices are low on chemicals, gloves, mops, and other cleaning supplies. You might also like:
Tips for Spring Cleaning
- Spring cleaning tasks that save you money
- Cheap and easy carpet stain removing solutions
- 3 cheap home cleaning products
- How I got rid of ants and saved $790
- WSU Extension can help you with many home & garden tasks. Learn how to choose healthier foods, care for plants and animals, conserve water, save money, test your soil, and other helpful information. WSU Extension programs are typically free or low-cost. You may be familiar with Extension programs if you’ve ever been to a county fair or a 4-H cooking, sewing, or robotics program, or gotten help from a Master Gardener. For your nearest extension location, visit: http://extension.wsu.edu/locations/.
Luggage: March is a good month to buy new luggage, including duffel bags, “personal items” and carry-ons for air travel, wheeled luggage, or any other travel necessity. Here are some considerations for buying luggage:
Tips for Buying Luggage
- Number of wheels. Many travelers prefer four-wheel luggage for maneuverability, so make sure they spin 360 degrees. Two-wheel luggage is best if your primary use is for business or to walk along uneven city streets and over curbs.
- Wheel integrity. Whether you prefer two wheels or four, play with the wheels and make sure they’re firmly attached; screws are more long-lasting than rivets. And, recessed wheels are less likely to get lopped off inadvertently.
- Metal zippers are sturdier and more difficult to break into than plastic zippers.
- Retracting handle. If the handle retracts, it should feel sturdy and smooth as you pull the bag. A handle that retracts completely into the bag is less likely to get damaged. And check how much space inside the bag is taken up by the handle.
- Hard or soft? This is mostly a personal preference. A hard-sided bag offers more protection and security, while a soft bag can be over-stuffed when needed. Hard-sided bags tend to weigh more than soft materials.
- Bag size. Measure the bag to ensure it meets regulations for the airlines you travel frequently. Generally, the domestic carry-on size is a 22-inch bag, or a total of 45 linear inches (9-by-14-by-22 inches)–including wheels if they are not recessed. But the requirements vary from one airline to another and the rules for international travel are different–carry-on sizes are often smaller for international carriers.
Frozen foods. It’s Frozen Food Month, so if you have freezer space, it’s a good time to stock up on foods you know your family eats regularly.
It might come as no surprise that Clarence Birdseye got the idea for preparing commercially frozen foods when he worked in the Arctic and saw how the native people (Inuit, Yupik, and Aleut) kept their fish fresh by freezing quickly in the cold northern climate. He experimented with the process and introduced frozen foods to the public around 1930. Of course, you know the rest of the story.
Before you shop for frozen foods, look for digital and paper coupons here, here, and here. Also bone up on couponing and money-saving techniques in this ultimate couponing guide, plus this couponing advice for men only. And, check out this source for coupons as well as advice on saving money without coupons.
Here are some quick recipe ideas using frozen foods:
Cheap and Easy Recipe Ideas for Frozen Foods
- Pasta primavera: Simmer your favorite frozen vegetables (such as corn, carrots, broccoli, spinach, or a California or Italian blend) with marinara sauce (bottled or homemade). Serve over cooked spaghetti or pasta with some grated Parmesan cheese. If you wish, heat frozen meatballs or shrimp in the sauce as well.
- Stir-fry over rice: Stir-fry meat or fish (such as boneless chicken, ground beef, shrimp, or seafood blen), frozen stir-fry vegetables, and soy or stir-fry sauce (bottled or homemade–soy sauce “jazzed up” with garlic, ginger, sesame oil, and sugar to taste). Serve over rice.
- Fried rice or quinoa: Stir and cook eggs in a small amount of oil or butter, add frozen vegetables (peas and carrots are common, but any favorites will do) and stir-fry sauce (bottled or homemade) and heat to simmer. Tossed with cooked rice or quinoa. You can also add some cooked meat with the vegetables–Chinese sausage, diced chicken, and shrimp are classics. Frozen edamame (young green soybeans) added with the vegetables works, too.
- Vegetable Soup (with or without protein): Simmer cooked meat, fish or other protein (chicken, meatballs, sausage, shrimp, edamame, etc.) with frozen mixed vegetables, frozen chopped spinach, frozen potatoes, broth or water to cover, Italian seasoning, and salt and pepper to taste.
- Breakfast Smoothies: frozen fruit (such as berries or peaches), plain or fruit yogurt, and sweetener to taste blended until smooth.
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Tips for frugal living
We think one of the best ways to save money is to have an on-going “wish list”—items you would like to buy, but don’t urgently need. By putting it on a list for future purchase avoids impulse buys–buying from “want” rather than “need”.
A wish 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.
The funny thing is, sometimes when you find a deal for an item on your wish list, you realize you don’t really need the item–you’ve made do without it or re-purposed something else that fulfilled the need.