After closing out what was a universally challenging year, you may be thinking it’s time for a new year, new you, mini splurge. After all, January is traditionally a time when people shop around for household or personal items for themselves after the holiday gift-giving season — and luckily, retailers are willing to oblige. But not every deal will be a great deal. Here are some of the best things to buy in January, and a couple to pass on.

WHAT TO BUY IN JANUARY

Bedding and Linens. Now that you’ve put away the holiday decorations, it’s time to refresh your décor — and January is always known for its white sales. “These promotions have been around since the late 1800s — every retailer that carries bed and bath products will be having some kind of sale, from Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s to Bed, Bath & Beyond and the like,” says shopping expert Trae Bodge of TrueTrae.com. Expect to see deals on everything from sheets, comforters and pillows to towels and other bathroom accessories.

Furniture. If you’re looking to update some of your home’s larger items, you’ll find some good deals in the furniture category. “The new styles typically hit the stores in February so retailers will be looking to clear space,” Bodge says. “And the discounts may be deeper this year simply because the in-store sales events have been so low. Retailers who are holding real estate will need to clear more space.”

Large Fitness Equipment. It may be a while before working out in gyms becomes part of a normal routine again, which is why so many people have stepped up their home workout experience.

“I’m expecting this category to be a bit bigger than usual,” Bodge says. “We usually see discounts on gym memberships in January, which isn’t likely to happen this year. We’ve also seen some shortages on dumbbells, kettlebells and exercise mats this past year, which may continue. But I expect more expensive items such as equipment from Peloton, Mirror and Bowflex will have some good deal activity.” She also suggests checking out fitness gear deals at Amazon, Walmart and Target.

Wellness Products. “Wellness deals are typically strong in January, and the CBD market is exploding now as well,” Bodge says. She also expects to see deal activity on supplements and protein powders from places like Vitamin Shoppe and GNC, as well as possible deals on beauty products from retailers like Ulta and Sephora.

WHAT TO SKIP IN JANUARY

Toys. All the time spent at home this past year raised demand for all types of toys, but deals still peaked over the holidays, as is typical. “The toy deals were really strong in December, so I wouldn’t expect to see anything great in this category unless it’s something specifically holiday-themed,” Bodge says. “And in those cases, you’ll be looking at strictly clearance items.”

Mattresses. If snuggling under the covers this winter hasn’t felt quite as comfortable as you would like, you may be dreaming of a new mattress. But Bodge recommends holding off for at least a month. “During the upcoming three-day weekend for Martin Luther King Jr. Day, we’ll likely see some deals in this category,” she says. “But they tend to have better sales on Presidents Day, as well as Memorial Day and Labor Day, so try to time your purchase around those three-day holidays if you can.”

Recommended Reading