You might think that because you faithfully compare prices online before buying, download coupons to your phone, and watch for deep discounts on yesterday's inventory as new models appear in stores, you're getting the best deals you possibly can.
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Still, deep discounts for some products go by the calendar. Consumer Reports product research experts, who track prices all year long, have compiled a list of items that are typically discounted most deeply in March.
Want to know what's on sale the rest of the year? Check our calendar of deals.
Digital cameras have better lenses than smart phones or tablets, which means they produce sharper pictures, especially in low lighting or when taking zoom shots. (See 5 reasons digital cameras leave smart-phone phototgraphy in the dust for more.)
But buying a digital camera can be confusing. There are hundreds of cameras available at many different types of retail outlets (online and in traditional stores), with prices ranging from $75 to several thousand dollars. Some cameras are small enough to fit in a shirt pocket. Others are large and can weigh up to two pounds. Some are easy to use. Others look like you need an engineering degree to operate them.
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Scratchy throats and itchy eyes from dry winter air help put humidifiers on roughly 10 million shopping lists each year. Our top picks start at just $40 and include the Cow model from Crane (shown) and other flights of fancy.
Ideally, indoor humidity should be 30 to 50 percent. But without humidification, that level can drop to 10 percent in cold weather, because cold air holds less moisture and dries even more as it's heated. But our tests show that some models do little humidifying and could soak you with added costs.
if your in the market for smaller consumer electronics like an MP3 player, Blu-ray or streaming media player, or a home theater system, you should find some good savings this month.
Before you hit the stores, check out our shopping tips. For example, read our MP3 player reviews and our buying guide; subscribers can review our Ratings. We've also got a buying guide for Blu-ray and streaming media players and services, as well as one for home theater systems and sound bars. Subscribers can find out how different models did in our tests in our Blu-ray player Ratings, streaming media player Ratings, and our home theater systems and sound bars Ratings.
To get the deepest discounts on winter gear, make sure you time it right, say the editors at Shop Smart magazine. Kohl's fans, for example, should check out the "Gold Star Clearance" racks, where prices are slashed up to 80 percent on weekend nights. Every Wednesday, shoppers who are 60 years old and older get an extra 15 percent off.
At Target, women's clothing is generally marked down on Tuesdays, men's on Wednesday, and kids' on Mondays. Markdowns at Marshalls and T.J. Maxx usually happen on Wednesday.
With TV prices falling this time of year, you may be tempted to purchase a leftover 2013 set if you can get it at a significant discount. This can make a lot of sense—unless you're considering an Ultra HD (UHD) TV, which may not contain several new key features that will be included on 2014 sets. If you're considering a leftover 2013 UHD TV, we suggest asking the retailer or manufacturer whether the TV will be able to be updated to support these new features; some sets introduced at the end of last year can be upgraded to these new specs, but many cannot. (For more on UHD and OLED models from our test labs, see the video below.)
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