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What to buy (and skip) in February

Certain events tend to drive some of what to look for and avoid this month.
[Getty Images]
[Getty Images] [ Getty Images ]
Published Jan. 30, 2020

Valentine’s Day is coming up, which means you may soon be spending extra money on items like cards, candy or flowers.

Extra spending makes it extra important to save money on those items and all of your other purchases in February.

To direct your shopping, here’s a guide for what to buy (and a few things to skip).

Buy: TVs

February is Super Bowl month, which means shoppers are searching for discounts on big-screen TVs.

Some 17 percent of Americans plan to purchase a new television during Super Bowl sales this year, and the average television budget among those who plan to buy is $753, according to a recent NerdWallet survey conducted by The Harris Poll.

The beginning of the year is traditionally one of the best times to purchase a new home entertainment item. We’ve already spotted sales on an assortment of TVs at retailers such as Target and Best Buy, with many models costing less than $750.

But you’ll want to shop soon — the Super Bowl airs Feb. 2.

Skip: Flowers

Flowers are a Valentine’s Day staple, but if you’re not careful, they’ll overwhelm your budget. If you can, opt for a more affordable gift, such as a framed picture or gift basket.

If you insist on sending your sweetie flowers, plan ahead. Some online flower shops offer free standard shipping on select arrangements. Delivery can get more expensive when you order closer to the holiday.

Buy: Valentine’s Day clearance

Buying candy before Feb. 14 won’t be in your best financial interest, but stocking up afterward on treats for your pantry will be. It’ll still taste as sweet, and the price will be even sweeter. In the past, Valentine’s Day clearance events took place at stores such as Target and Walmart. This year, look for similar savings opportunities on seasonal items immediately following the holiday of love.

Skip: Most electronics

Aside from TVs, avoid purchasing consumer electronics this month. Items such as laptops, desktops, tablets and video game consoles are best bought in November, during Black Friday sales.

If you can’t wait until then, there will be other opportunities throughout the year. For example, select retailers hold an early Black Friday installment during “Black Friday in July” events before back-to-school season. Amazon has been known to hold its Prime Day sale in July, too.

Buy: Winter products

From clothing to sporting equipment, now’s the time to stock up on winter products. You’ll still have time to use the items this year, and you’ll get them at a discount. Winter products are on their way out the door because many retailers have already released spring arrivals, which typically hit shelves at full price.

Shop: Presidents Day sales

There’s another holiday besides Valentine’s Day in February. Presidents Day falls on Feb. 17, and if this year is like previous ones, expect retailers to host holiday weekend sales. They’ll likely focus on home goods, such as bedding, furniture, mattresses and small kitchen appliances. You could score free shipping, too.

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Last year, we saw deals across an assortment of retailers, including Best Buy, Lowe’s, Mattress Firm, Overstock, Serta and more. Overstock offered up to 70% off on a wide variety of items for the home, and Lowe’s discounted select appliances by up to 35%.

Bonus: National Frozen Yogurt Day

Finally, sweeten up an already sweet month with National Frozen Yogurt Day on Feb. 6.

Look for free or discounted yogurt at a business near you. In past years, we’ve seen deals to buy one froyo and get one free. You’ll usually see these types of promotions advertised on social media.

This survey was conducted online within the United States by The Harris Poll on behalf of NerdWallet from Jan. 6-8, 2020, among 2,007 U.S. adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables and subgroup sample sizes, please contact Jessica Ayala at

About the author: Courtney Jespersen is NerdWallet’s consumer savings expert. Her work has been featured by USA Today and The New York Times.


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