What to buy (and skip) in February

The focus in February will be on Valentine's Day gifts, meaning that there are other purchases consumers can definitely forgo.

Mike Blake/Reuters/File
Detail view of actress Kristen Wiig's jewelry as she arrived at the 22nd Screen Actors Guild Awards in Los Angeles, California (January 30, 2016). Believe it or not, jewelry is a purchase you can skip in February.

February brings Valentine’s Day, which often means buying flowers and other gifts on top of your more usual purchases. With so many things to buy, you need to ensure that your pocketbook won’t feel the pinch.

Use this list as your guide to everything you should buy (and skip) in the month of February.

Buy: TVs

February is Super Bowl month, which means shoppers are searching for discounts on big-screen TVs ahead of their viewing parties.

Handily, the beginning of the year is traditionally one of the best times to purchase a new home entertainment item. Sales have already begun at Amazon, Best Buy and Target, among others.

Skip: Jewelry

Retailers and jewelry stores will try to entice you with Valentine’s Day-inspired sale events this month, but these discounts aren’t as deep as the ones you’ll find during other parts of the year.

If you absolutely have to get your sweetheart something shiny this Feb. 14, compare prices and don’t be afraid to negotiate the cost.

Buy: Winter products

February is typically still chilly, but with the season winding down, stores are eager to unload winter products and fill shelves with merchandise better suited for sunshine.

That makes this month a good time to score big savings on winter clothing, winter sports gear and more. You may not have much time left to use your finds this season, but you’ll be prepared when next winter rolls around. Search for these clearance events at outdoors stores like Cabela’s, as well as department stores like Macy’s.

Skip: Mattresses

If you’re in the market for a new mattress, don’t buy it in February. You’d be better off choosing one later in the year, when you can take advantage of Memorial Day or Labor Day sales.

Buy: Home goods

Presidents’ Day falls on Feb. 15. And if this year is like previous years, expect popular retailers to host holiday sales — many of which focus on home goods, such as bedding and small kitchen appliances.

Last year, we saw deals at retailers including Wal-Mart and J.C. Penney. For instance, J.C. Penney offered discounts of up to 50% on select home products.

Skip: Small electronics

Finally, avoid purchasing small consumer electronics this month. Items such as laptops, computers, tablets and video game consoles are best bought in November, during Black Friday sales.

If you’re hoping for a great deal on a smartphone, consider waiting until after September. That’s when Apple is expected to release its newest iPhone and lower prices on older models.

This article first appeared at NerdWallet.

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