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What to Buy and What to Skip in March

Chris McGillicuddy

March is finally here. Soon enough, spring will have officially sprung. Descendents of the Emerald Isle will have recovered from St. Patrick's Day celebrations, and frugal shoppers will have scored serious savings by buying the right things at the right time. If you'd like to see even more green this March, read on to learn what to buy and what to avoid this month.

Feed your family for less with frozen foods.

March brings a unique opportunity to save when grocery shopping. Did you know that this March marks the 32nd annual Frozen Food Month? Grocery stores across the country will celebrate all things chilled and edible with discounts in the frozen aisle. If you prefer your food fresh, make sure to shop for what's in season. Not only will your food taste better than food that's off season, but the plentiful supply will mean lower prices. Foods like broccoli, cauliflower, kale, grapefruit and oranges will be in season in March.

Forgo spring fashion in favor of winter wear.

Don't let the weather fool you. Spring is on the way, and retailers are starting to roll out new spring lines of clothing. Unfortunately, that makes March the worst time to buy spring fashion. Stores are perfectly fine with letting you pay full price for the privilege of getting clothes that suit the season. Rather than freshen up your spring wardrobe, savvy shoppers should stock up on winter wear. Selection might be slim, but if you can find a coat or jacket to your liking, you'll be sure to cash in on clearance sale pricing. Don't worry, spring lines will see similar sales come May.

Now is the time for new luggage.

With many families booking now for summer vacations, rates for airfare and hotel rooms are unlikely to be in your favor, but there are other ways to save on travel. March is one of the best times of the year for buying luggage. Thanks to the relative lull in traffic compared to the peak seasons of winter holidays and summer vacations, luggage manufacturers will offer deep discounts to get your interest. So, if you need a new suitcase or carry-on, now's the time.

Get great rates on home improvements.

Many snowbound shoppers are probably itching to get outside, fire up the grill and soak up some much missed sunshine. Stores are hoping that enthusiasm will inspire you to spring for new patio sets or maybe swap out the old Weber for a fancier, propane-fueled grill. Don't give in to temptation! Buying new patio furniture and grills in March will only cost you, as retailers will be reluctant to mark down the new inventory. If you're looking to make some home improvements, consider fixing that leaky roof or replacing the kitchen tile instead. People are probably still feeling the financial pinch from money spent on holiday travel and Christmas gifts. That, and the increased financial awareness tax season brings, has prompted homeowners to cut spending on repairs and renovations. This decrease in demand gives you ample opportunity to negotiate favorable rates with contractors looking for work.

Upgrade your Android.

Are you sick of using the same old smartphone with the cracked screen and feeble battery? March could be the time for you to upgrade your smartphone. Many Android innovations will be unveiled at the Mobile World Congress in early March. This means that electronics retailers will need to clear out old inventory to make room for the shiny, new stock. If you don't mind being a generation behind, you can score huge savings on your next phone with sales on 2014 models. Unfortunately, iPhone fans will have to wait for similar discounts, as Apple tends to reveal its new iPhone offerings in fall.

Start shopping for Mother's Day.

March is also an opportune time to start your Mother's Day shopping. Sure, May 10th seems like a long way away, but significant discounts on jewelry are happening now. Jewelers and department stores see a definite drop in demand between Valentine's Day and Mother's Day and will slash prices to get customers in the door making March an excellent time to save on a new necklace or pair of earrings. If your mom enjoys jewelry, consider purchasing a shiny token of affection now to give her in May, but, of course, you don't have to wait.

Remember, prices often fluctuate from month to month. If what you want isn't on sale now, ask yourself if you can stand delaying gratification to reap the rewards of savings later.

Chris McGillicuddy is a freelance writer and PR Guy for Offers.com. He's a book-loving millennial who always has an eye out for new ways to save.

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