With the wallet-draining month of December behind us, you may not be in the mood to spend money anytime soon. But for certain products, January is a good time to find great sales and deep discounts.
Unsurprisingly, retail sales drop off after the holiday rush, according to data from the U.S. Census Monthly Retail Trade and Food Services report. But that drop in demand doesn’t stop retailers from offering deals on everything from cozy linens to television sets to exercise equipment.
If you’re planning to shop for one of the following items in the near future, keep an eye out for enticing discounts over the next few weeks.
Long known as the “white sale,” sales on sheet sets are a January tradition. Take advantage of deep discounts this month to invest in quality linens that will last. Choosing the right sheet set can save you money and prevent headaches in the long run, but prices alone do not indicate quality. Consumer Reports' sheet tests showed that most sets left a lot to be desired.
There's more to great sheets than thread count. Our tests have confirmed that higher thread count doesn't guarantee better sheets. In fact, the top-scoring percale sheets in our last test, which had a claimed thread count of only 280, were strong, shrank very little, and easily fit mattresses up to 17 inches high, even after we washed and dried them five times.
To be safe, make sure you know the return policy before heading to the cash register.
TVs on Sale
If you didn't score a new TV on Black Friday, the weeks leading up to the Super Bowl are also a great time to find deep discounts. It pays to do your research before heading to the store to make sure you're getting the best TV for your money. Display televisions are set to look great under fluorescent lights but may not look quite as vibrant in your home.
Consider the size. Budget and room size permitting, we believe most consumers would be best served by at least a 40- to 42-inch screen for a primary television. A 46- or 50-inch set is often preferable in rooms where you'll be sitting 8 to 10 feet or so from the screen. Consider an even bigger set for spacious family rooms.
Our TV buying guide will help you get the most bang for your buck, no matter how much or how little you want to spend. Subscribers should consult our TV ratings to make sure you get a set that performed well in our lab tests.
Price Cuts on Fitness Products
If your New Year’s resolution is to create a home gym in your garage or basement, you’re in luck. Treadmills and ellipticals go on sale this time of year, so you’ll be able to get more for your money. Track your progress toward your fitness goals by picking up a digital scale on sale as well.
Treadmills. Treadmills are the most popular workout machines in the U.S. There’s an option for every budget and fitness goal, which can make the decision-making process a bit more complicated. The key is to find one that is easy and comfortable to use, which means trying it out in person. Before heading to the stores, read through our treadmill buying guide to better understand the available options. And to dig into the nitty gritty, check out our treadmill ratings as well.
Ellipticals. Elliptical exercisers are part stair-climber, part cross-country-ski machine. Unlike a treadmill, which allows you to move free form, an elliptical constrains you to its movement. That’s why it’s especially important to test out the machines in store before you buy one. Check out our elliptical buying guide and elliptical ratings to make sure the machine you select has the quality and features you want.
Bathroom Scales. Today’s digital scales track more than just your weight, and even with deep discounts this month, these additional features can drive up the price. Before paying more for a scale that claims to analyze your body-fat percentage, check out our scales buying guide to see whether it’s worth it. According to our testers, weight measurements were consistent and accurate across most digital scales, but body-fat measurements were not.
Clearance on Clothing
As stores clear out their winter inventory to make room for spring merchandise, you’ll find deep discounts on cold-weather sports gear and clothing. Time your shopping trip right to save even more. At many large retailers, items are marked down Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. Hit the stores before the weekend so that you have the best selection of discounted items.
Want to know what's on sale the rest of the year? Check our calendar of deals.
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