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What's On Sale in January

By Features Bankrate.com

While January has become synonymous with white sales, some of the best bargain items are anything but bland. Shoppers will see some of the best prices on home goods with patterns or bright colors, says Kerrie Kelly, author of "Home Decor" and owner of the Kerrie Kelly Design Lab in Northern California.

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Consumers will also find discounts on clothing in January -- everything from the warmest of winter coats to the briefest of bikinis. Also on sale in January: skin care products and juicy citrus fruit.

Looking to stretch your dollars? Here are a few places where you can often find a good deal in January.

Snuggle Into Inexpensive Winter Clothes

If your favorite designer is "Clearance Sale," January is a great month to shop.

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Stores put much of their winter clothes -- everything from coats and hats to scarves and gloves -- on sale, says Daniel Butler, vice president of retail operations for the National Retail Federation.

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And since this is pretty much the end of the season for these items, consumers will see some deep discounts.

Expect price cuts of 40% to 70%, he says.

Also included on the clearance table in January: cozy winter sleepwear. If you want flannel pajamas or slippers, you'll likely be able to find them at 40% to 70% off, he says.

TVs and Digital Cameras

Remember those television sales from November and December? Some manufacturers are continuing the price cuts into January, says Daniel Butler, vice president of retail operations for the National Retail Federation.

While the discounts aren't likely to get any deeper than they were at the holidays, that still means price cuts of 25% to 35% on some models, he says.

Another factor that may influence TV prices is "an oversupply," particularly in the LCD and plasma market, says Jim Barry, spokesman for the Consumer Electronics Association.

And the Super Bowl next month means some deals on big-screen televisions in January, says Barry. In the weeks leading up to the big game, sales on big-screen TVs are as much a part of the landscape as ads for chips and dip.

One thing you might not peg for a January sale? Digital cameras.

Sales are down because people are using smartphones, and manufacturers want to get people into the store to buy cameras, Barry says. So expect to see prices on digital cameras that are "certainly lower than last year."

Cosmetics, Sun-Care Products and Beachwear

If "out with the old, in with the new" applies to some of your cosmetics, now could be a good time to pick up replacements. Some retailers and manufacturers offer deals on makeup in January.

For the most part, expect to see special offers, like a two-, three- or four-piece set that comes with your purchase, says Daniel Butler, vice president of retail operations for the National Retail Federation. Or you might get a larger size for the price of a smaller one, he says.

With makeup, "usually, you're getting more quantity" for the money instead of an outright price cut, Butler says.

In addition, expect to see some special offers relating specifically to sun-care products, he says.

Planning a little fun in the sun sometime soon? A lot of retailers mark down beachwear in January, Butler says. Expect discounts of about 20% to 25% on average.

Stock Up on Housewares

January white sales are an annual tradition. But for retailers who sell housewares, the discounts have moved beyond sheets and towels, says Daniel Butler, vice president of retail operations for the National Retail Federation. Look for deals on everything from dinnerware to blankets to small housewares with discounts of 20% to 50%, he says.

"The reason is that people come home, take down their holiday stuff and look at spring cleanup," Butler says. "You want to spruce things up. And because you're working so much around the house, you begin to notice things you want to change."

When it comes to sheets and towels, "anything that is related to the holidays is out the door," says Kerrie Kelly, author of "Home Decor" and owner of the Kerrie Kelly Design Lab in Northern California. With customers craving something fresh and simple for sheets and towels, you're more likely to find price cuts on patterns and last year's brights, she says.

You can expect to see discounts of anywhere from 25% to 50% off, Kelly says.

You can also find some deals on carpeting, with price cuts typically ranging from 20% to 50%, says Butler.

But, depending on what you want, discounts will vary. "I know we're seeing a lot of area rugs up to 70% off," says Kelly.

Large Citrus (and Some Fresh Blueberries)

Craving a little winter sunshine? It's a lot closer -- and less expensive -- than you might think.

"Historically, citrus has been the best buy this time of year," says James Parker, team leader of the global produce and floral buying office for Whole Foods Market.

While smaller citrus fruits such as tangerines started pouring into the stores in late November and early December, larger citrus fruits -- such as grapefruit, navel oranges and blood oranges -- reach their peak in January, Parker says. That's because they require a little more time on the tree to sweeten, he says.

"January is really the trigger point for when some of the larger citrus really starts becoming good," Parker says. While "a lot of it depends on the weather," shoppers could see prices for something like navel oranges at about half of the nonseasonal prices.

Fresh blueberries are another good buy in January.

It's prime blueberry season in South America. And as the berries now start to move by ship, rather than the air transport used earlier in the season, consumers will likely find better deals on the fruit.

Expect to see larger cartons at the same price rather than discounts, Parker says.

 

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