January is not the best month to think about hitting the cold winter streets in search of a bargain, but if you can be enticed out from the warm, you’ll find there are some pretty good deals to be had. And for those who are ultra-organised, a little forward thinking at this time of year can help when Christmas approaches at the end, when typically you don’t have enough time or money. So what should you be looking for in the January sales?
Here are 10 things you should be buying:
1. Christmas cards & wrapping paper
It can seem decidedly unseasonable to be stocking up on Christmas cards and wrap in January, but just check out the prices! Those hand embossed gold leaf extra special ones you had your eye on before Christmas are now actually affordable. And if you have a lot of family members and friends, you can really get value for money, as the stores will want to get rid of this season’s stock to make way for new items. Buy what you think you’ll need and store them away safely for next year, but don’t forget about them or you’ll end up with double.
2. Christmas cake & puddings
When Christmas is approaching, usually in the first week of December, I always stock up on Christmas foods that will last until Christmas Day, as typically they are cheaper. You can also save money by buying Christmas cakes and puddings for next year, as many will last a good 10 or 12 months. Just check the ‘best before’ date of anything you are buying and store in a cool dark cupboard, ready for next year.
3. Christmas trees & decorations
Even if you prefer a real Christmas tree, now is definitely the best time to get one, as you can buy a real one with roots that can be re-potted and left to grow in the garden for the year. Remember to start acclimatising them for Christmas by bringing them indoors in autumn. Artificial trees are also cheap as chips in January, as stores are desperate to get rid of the bulky stock. Check out decorations and lights too, as anything Christmas related will be on offer for a great price.
4. Fitness equipment
Many New Year’s resolutions revolve around getting fit and going to the gym, but did you know that this is also the best time to get cheap gym and fitness equipment? According to MSN Money: “There has been almost double the number of deals in January.” So if you are looking to get fit but don’t fancy the cost of a gym membership, check out the bargains and look for anything from accessories such as dumb bells and bands, to bigger items like treadmills and bicycles.
5. Fine jewellery
Didn’t quite get the presents you wanted? Now really is the time to treat yourself if you ever fancied some precious trinkets. Retailers don’t have any major events coming up until Valentine’s Day so they want to get you in the stores and spending. This means great bargains for customers, but be quick as prices will rise again in February.
Talking of treating yourself, this is also a good time to think about gifts for other people. The best way to shop for gifts for friends and family is to make a list and set a budget then shop. Otherwise you’ll just be buying whatever you see and you wont be able to allocate it to a person. Other items to watch out for are stocking fillers, which can be bought very cheaply.
7. Winter clothes
You’d think that fashion retailers would want to keep their winter clothing instore for as long as possible, but the reverse is true. They will all want to get the spring and beachwear out on display, to capitalise on the up and coming holiday season. So now is a great time to buy up that jumper you saw before Christmas but was too expensive to afford. Look out for classics such as cashmere and leather, which are greatly reduced in January.
8. Big electrical goods
If you ever wanted one of those huge smart plasma TV’s, now is your best chance to get a bargain. This is because the New Year is the time when the industry tends to reveal newer technologies and that super smart 90” that does everything now seems a little dated. If you don’t mind last year’s new innovations then grab your best deal now, as some shoppers will want the upgraded stock and retailers will discount last year’s goods to make room.
If Christmas hasn’t left you out of pocket and you’ve been thinking about buying a new car, bite the bullet now, as January and February are the best times to get a great deal. Car showrooms will be struggling to sell in the New Year, so you can expect to haggle and get good discounts in the season when fewer people are buying. The main reason people don’t usually buy in the winter is because they don’t want to drive their brand new car through the snow and sludge. As soon as the weather thaws however, the discounts will drop off.
10. Genuine bargains
January is full of great bargains, from complete kitchens, bathroom suites, white goods, and even holidays. So while every one else is relaxing after over-indulging during Christmas, you can be the canny shopper who is stealthily snapping up all the good deals. Make sure you don’t overspend however, and do your research and homework before you buy to ensure you are getting a good deal.