February can feel like one of the slowest months of the year when it comes to finding things to do. The holiday season is all but gone, and most of us are waist-deep in the new working year.
Thankfully, slow doesn’t always have to mean expensive. In fact, it’s often quite the opposite.
February presents some unique opportunities to save money that aren’t available in other months.
Sure the after-Christmas sales are over and all our gift cards have probably been spent. But if we look closely, there are still ways to take advantage of February and save a few dollars on things that get more expensive as the year moves forward.
1. Winter clothing
February is the prelude to March, which is a month where you can start to consistently run into temperatures above 40 degrees. This means people are going to start thinking about summer clothes and clothing retailers will begin to oblige with their spring and summer lines.
With warm clothes hitting the shelves, winter coats, gloves and just about anything that might remind of cold weather will tank in price.
For this reason, February is one of the best times to shop for winter clothes, or even go school shopping if you can be savvy enough to buy a few sizes up so that your kids will grow into them by the time fall rolls around.
2. School material (pens, notebooks, etc.)
Though it’s still early, the “school is out” summer mantra isn’t far away, meaning that stores aren’t moving as much back-to-school products as they might like. Prices will be lower in February, so check major retailers for deals on school and office supplies.
You might even be able to get a good deal on new backpacks for your kids.
3. Sales after Valentine’s Day
Waiting until after Valentine’s Day is a good way to cash in on some sales. Check the candy aisles at major retailers to find clearance deals on themed candy. It’ll usually go pretty cheap.
4. Rent a cabin or lake house
If you are tired of being cooped up in your own house all month, you might consider looking into renting a cabin or lake house.
Depending on where you want to go, vacation rentals and even cabins will tend to drop in price during the winter months. This makes small weekend trips much more affordable. Try to stay away from places that include ski resorts, or are geared more towards winter sports, as their off-season is more likely to occur during the summer.
Once you’re there, recreation and entertainment costs should be a little lower as well.
5. Take a few snow days
If the cold weather is keeping you indoors, take advantage of it.
Not driving your car means you don’t have to pay for petrol, which also means you probably don’t go anywhere that you’d be tempted to spend a lot of money. It doesn’t exactly sound fun or entertaining, but staying in the house, watching a few movies and just enjoying the quiet of winter can both relax you and save you some money.
Turning a quiet month into savings
February is a time of the year that may not present a lot of obvious ways to save money. But by putting some thought into it, you can find plenty of great ways to save.
A good rule of thumb is to avoid buying items for which increased demand is on the hear horizon, as those are almost always going to have their prices hiked.
By the same token, buying things that are “out of season” is usually a good way to save, no matter what month you’re dealing with.
February is no different, so be vigilant, stay warm and enjoy the savings.