February may be the shortest month of the year, but thanks to one heart-shaped holiday and one sales-oriented long weekend, it’s definitely long on sales promotions. Whether you’re planning to shop for yourself or your Valentine, here’s what to buy in February. You can find the deals that are as sweet as they seem — and skip the ones that aren’t.


Winter gear. February is a great time to buy winter apparel, says Kristin Cook, managing editor of online deal site Ben’s Bargains. Depending on where you live, you may have a lot of winter weather left. “I’m in Minnesota and have three little kids, so I often buy them jackets and boots in February for next winter,” Cook says. “We’re on a weird cycle of buying things a little bit bigger for next year because it’s really cheap.”

Expect the clearance sales to start as soon as the calendar flips to February — and to see further markdowns by Presidents’ Day. “The nice thing about these sales coming so early is that you can still get some use out of it this year and then also have it for the fall and the next winter season,” Cook says. For outdoorsy gear, she recommends REI and Sierra Trading Post. Old Navy, Gap and J. Crew, she says, are all great for inexpensive outerwear and accessories. "Obviously, the sizes get picked over the longer you wait,” she says, “but usually in February you will still find a good selection.”

TVs. Black Friday isn’t the only time to snag a great deal on a new television set. “February has Super Bowl sales and you’ll also start to see prices go down on the 2019 models — and the tech that changes from a 2019 model to a 2020 model is pretty minimal,” says Cook. “So it’s not like getting a TV from one year ago is going to be a huge difference for most people.”

Consider a manufacturer refurbished TV from reliable retailers, too. “The 2019 models are now old enough that we’ll see some of them coming in as refurbs,” Cook says. “Walmart and even Amazon will have renewed TVs for really good prices.”

Mattresses and Bedding. If you took advantage of January’s white sales to stock up on some cozy flannel sheets only to realize your mattress could stand to be updated as well, this is the time to make your long winter nights more comfortable. There are a lot of bedding and mattress sales,” Cook says. “The best prices of the year can be found around Presidents Day. That has stayed pretty solid.”

Cosmetics and Fragrances. Many high-end cosmetics and fragrance companies take a cue from chocolatiers and put together pink- and red-ribboned packages as Valentine’s Day gifts. “Anything like that will be 50% off the day after Valentine’s Day,” Cook says. “You can pick them up for yourself at Sephora or Ulta and you’ll get the same brand-name cosmetics — maybe with hearts all over it — at half-price.”


Jewelry. Though you may be tempted by myriad ads, don’t be distracted by the shiny baubles on display. “There will be ‘sales’ on jewelry in February because of Valentine’s Day, but they are not usually as good as the prices as you will see at other times of the year,” says Cook, since retailers know jewelry is in high demand. “I’d especially be leery of places that are offering huge percentages off jewelry because a lot of times they just inflate the retail price — they can set those prices at whatever they want because jewelry doesn’t have many well-known brands. They can make up some fancy, Italian-sounding name and slap a really high price on it and then say it’s 80% off.”

Toys. “Toymakers really make their huge push in November and December,” Cook says. “Then in January you have the after-Christmas clearance items, but by February most of the good after-clearance stuff is done or has been totally picked over.”

Patio Furniture. As winter begins winding down, you may begin dreaming about hosting spring and summer barbecues, but don’t start decorating the backyard just yet. “You’ll see some sales on this around Presidents’ Day,” Cook says. “But most of the sales on it are not really great yet. Home Depot always has a spring Black Friday sales day in April that will have much better patio furniture deals than you’ll see on Presidents Day.”

Spring Apparel. You won’t be able to wear that cute satin midi skirt you’ve been eyeing anytime soon, so put it on your wish list for when the sun isn’t setting at 5 p.m. Spring markdowns haven‘t started yet. “But by late March and April, these pieces will be on clearance racks — and then it will actually be spring,” says Cook, “It’s always best to wait about two months after a new season’s clothes come out as you will find better prices in general.”

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