Good Things to know for March…

The Best and Worst Things to Buy in March

Find out how you can save $120 a year on your phone bill, or why now is a great time to get an iPad.
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time to buy

Spring is (hopefully) at our doorstep, and even if you’re planning to stay glued to the couch for all of March Madness, you’ll also likely be doing a bit of spring shopping. To help you save big, we’ve mined the extensive DealNews archives for sales, coupons, daily deals, and individual products from the past few years to guide you in your quest to make the most savvy purchases this month. From chocolates to iPads, here are the best and worst things to buy in March.

Peruse the advice, then consider signing up for the DealNews Select Newsletter to get the best deals of the day delivered to your inbox.

Treat Yourself to Chocolate

Skip the Lingerie

You may think that immediately after the most romantic day of the year, you’d see huge discounts on lingerie. But, although we do indeed see some price cuts, it’s not really the best time to buy underthings. Instead, wait for June and July; that’s when Victoria’s Secret unveils its famed Semi-Annual Sale, and last year around the same time, we also saw excellent markdowns from a plethora of other retailers like Frederick’s of Hollywood, Maidenform, and Bare Necessities.

It Might Be Time to Cut Your Cable

Cable cutting has long been a hot topic amongst those who want to save on their monthly bills, but we’ve seen a lot of movement lately that makes it all the more doable. Sling TV just launched its live TV Internet service that includes ESPN, ESPN 2, HGTV, and 17 other channels for $20 a month. (More channels are available at an additional cost.) Plus, Hulu added a major player to its rank of programming; starting in April, it’ll be the only subscription video-on-demand service to have all 14 seasons of CSI, as well as new episodes as they air. Even if you’re not ready to cancel cable entirely, it’s become a lot easier to negotiate a cheaper price, as providers are keen on doing whatever they can to keep your business.

Hold Off on Buying Spring Apparel

It’s common knowledge that the best time to buy current season apparel is well after said season has begun. That’s why cold weather apparel is still such a hot buy right now. But how long until you can don the fashionable and cheap short sleeves, shorts, and flirty dresses which have started to filter into stores? A good rule of thumb is to wait at least two to three months into a season in order to score the best discounts on weather-appropriate apparel. In the meantime, if you simply must buy something new for spring now, keep an eye out for coupon codes that offer nominal discounts on whatever must-have full price apparel catches your eye.

Save on Last Year’s Phones, Wait for Discounts on New Models

Mobile World Congress is this month, and many new cell phone models will debut. That means a slew of 2014 models will soon become previous-generation, and will thus see discounts both on and off-contract. Keep in mind however that some of the biggest Android models, like the presumed update to the Samsung Galaxy S5, probably won’t arrive until later this spring. Plus, despite the discounts on older models, it rarely takes long for new phones to see deals, and if you find a new device that strikes your fancy, waiting just a few months should yield a 50% off discount. So if you’re not in a hurry, waiting a few more months to buy a new smartphone might be wise.

Get More Free Shipping at Amazon

In the past, Amazon would offer free shipping on all orders that consisted of $35 or more of Amazon-sold goods; items sold by marketplace vendors at Amazon didn’t count. However, now items sold by third-party merchants that are listed as having free shipping can contribute to your minimum purchase. (Click here for more details.) Some experts believe that this change may actually encourage marketplace vendors to offer free shipping on their wares, resulting in fewer shipping fees across the board.

Keep an Eye Out for Awesome iPad Deals

Last month, Apple revealed that sales of its iPad have been relatively lackluster, which is good news for customers. We took a look at our deals and noticed that 2014 saw a 40% increase in iPad deals, compared to 2013. This suggests that retailers are trying to make the iPad a more tempting purchase, and while this trend isn’t exclusive to just March, we expect deals to get even better as we get closer to the September / October time frame, when the next generation will be announced.

Get $120 Off Your Yearly Verizon Bill

Verizon changed its data plans, making 1GB, 2GB, 3GB, and 4GB options $10 cheaper per month. However, if you’re part of one of these tiers, you won’t get this discount automatically; instead, you’ll just get your data bumped for the same price. But if you’re happy with, say, 1GB of data, and don’t need 2GB per month, you can call Verizon and ask for the cheaper rate instead. That might only be $10 per month, but it translates into $120 in savings across the entire year.

42″ and 55″ LCD TVs Offer The Best Value

We’re hitting a dry season for TV deals, but not all hope is lost for consumers in the need of a new flat-screen. Deals on name-brand 42″ LCDs remain at $300, which is the second-cheapest price we’ve seen for this category in the past year. If you’re on a particularly tight budget, the best deals on off-brand sets of the same size have averaged $237 in the past two months.

If you have the space and budget for a larger set, name-brand 55″ LCDs are again providing the best value in the 55″+ TV size range. The best deals on these LCDs have averaged $500 since the start of the year. Compared to 2014, that’s the second best price we’ve seen for these TVs. The sheer quantity of 55″ TV deals also dwarfs deals on all other screen sizes with over 10x more deals than smaller TV screen sizes. However, off-brand 55″ LCDs have fluctuated in deal price from $250 to $443. To maximize savings, we’d recommend looking for deals closer to the $250 mark. Before you buy anything though, be sure to check out our guide to the biggest myths about buying a TV.

1080p Laptop Deals Hit Their Stride as New Intel CPUs Enter Market

Intel’s fifth generation processor, codenamed Broadwell, is finally hitting the market with full force. And understandably, the first deals we’ve seen on mainstream, 15″ Core i5 configurations with this CPU (which uses less power) have been relatively pricey, with deals averaging around $608.

For a better value, we recommend looking at deals on last year’s Haswell-based machines, which are just as fast. Mainstream 15″ machines in particular continue to enjoy good prices, with deal prices averaging $375 since the start of the year. If you see a deal at or near that price range, we recommend you act quickly on it.

Finally, last month we noticed a steep price drop on 15″ laptops with high-resolution 1080p screens. Prices hit $335, a first for these premium laptops. While it’s unlikely that March will bring a lower price, consumers should remain vigilant because last month’s deal could be a sign that retailers are targeting 1080p laptops for discounts. Excluding last month’s low, the best deals for these laptops have averaged $432 in 2015.

Ready to put this information to use? Set up an email alert now to keep abreast of any and all of these best buys in February.

Fabulous Picnic Finds

 

 


1. XL Blanket Price: $36.99

2. Style Setter Glass 1-gallon Beverage Dispenser Price: $21.99
3. Tivoli Picnic Set Price: $55.99
4. Picnic At Ascot Dorset 4-person with Coffee Set and Blanket Picnic Basket Price: $295.95
5. ‘Luna’ Blue/ Green Geometric Print 12-piece Dinnerware Set Price: $46.99
6. Women’s Betmar Marrakesh 3PC Beach Set Salmon Price: $44.99
7. Cheshire 2-person Picnic Basket Price: $157.50
8. Waverly Button Blooms Confetti 12-piece Dinnerware Set Price: $52.50
9. Malvern Cheese Board Set Price: $54.50
10. Vista Outdoor Blanket Price: $27.99
11. Bocasa Yellow Sunrise Indoor/Outdoor Blanket Price: $53.99
12. Cutting Edge ‘Meadow’ Chevron Melamine 12-piece Dinnerware Set Price: $44.99
13. Red Color Dipped Canvas Wine Tote Price: $28.99
14. Frisbee Golf Starter Set (Pack of 3) Price: $20.99
15. Romance Willow Picnic Set Price: $71.99

Fashion Tips By: Beth Roy

Figuring out Hemline Confusion

 

Most of us (and by “us”, I purposely exclude supermodels and adolescent girls) want to make our legs look longer, right?  So why would we cut them off at the widest part of the shortest section?  Skirts that hit at mid calf do just that, and they aren’t flattering on most of us, period.

Here’s a general hemline rule of thumb to simplify things:

If you are petite, aim for the TOP of the knee cap.
If you are tall, aim for the BOTTOM of the knee cap.

Of course there will be exceptions and variations depending on the size of your frame and height of your heel, but when in doubt, aim for the knee.

Which reminds me.  The other day a (very fit & flirty) friend told me she hates her knees.  Aren’t we women funny with the way we focus on a perceived “flaw” that no other else would ever notice?  But we all have our “thing”— mine is my veiney calves, and it’s taken me years to finally ignore them and wear shorts.   Anyway, if you really hate your knees, hem your skirts to just the bottom of your knee cap, but no lower. Or go with a maxi skirt that falls to your ankles and pair it with some fabulous high wedge heels.  Another flirty option if you hate your legs?  Long, flowing, wide-leg pants with a pair killer high heels.

Here’s another tip from someone who has leg issues (did I mention my veins?) –  Jergen’s Natural Glow is your new best friend.  Start using it now, and you’ll be ready to bare your legs when/if the spring weather finally gets here.

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For shopping information, just click on the picture, or go to:

http://www.polyvore.com/cgi/set?id=78612067

 

Go ahead…Find your inner flirt.

 

 

 

Flirty Fashion Tips By: Beth Roy

What is flirty?  What do you think of when you hear the word?  When we say, “Find your inner flirt”, we don’t mean go out and throw yourself at the mailman, or wear leopard pumps to the playground.  Your inner flirt is the you that feels confident and content; the you that feels like a million bucks.  You’re comfortable, you’re polished, and best of all, you’re happy.  You’re flirty!

The simple fact is that most women staying at home, either with kids or with a computer, often don’t feel very flirty.  We’re busy doing everything for everyone else and we dedicate very little time to ourselves.  When we do, we feel guilty, but that’s a whole other blog.

I don’t know who said, “When you look good, you feel good”, but truer words were never spoken.  We’ve all had the feeling of an outfit that looks great on us.  It just works, and when it does, you feel like you can take on the world.  The thing is, it’s really not all that hard to achieve and it certainly doesn’t have to make you slash your Starbucks budget or forgo college for the kids to get there. [Read more…]

Thursday Fashion Tips from: Beth Roy

The Great White Shirt

I love statement jewelry in all the gorgeous spring colors, but the question is – what to wear so the accessories look fresh, chic and sophisticated.  The answer?  The perfect white shirt.

You need two white shirts:

  1. A basic white t-shirt in a great cut with a v or scoop neck – whichever you prefer.
    I like this one from Banana Republic because it is opaque and thicker than most and at $22 you can grab a few. It comes in vneck or crew.

 

  1. Every wardrobe also needs the perfect white button-down shirt. It has to be fitted, and it must be crisp!  It used to be that white shirts would be worn once and then linger for weeks in the ironing pile. (Does anyone iron anymore?)  Thankfully, non-iron technology is here and leave it to Banana Republic to make it affordable.

*Extra tip:  Don’t wear a white bra under a white shirt…instead try to match your bra to your skin tone with a nude color.

PicMonkey Collage

 

Now, head on over to FlirtyFinds  and check out the Flirty Trios we’ve put together for you and add one to your white shirt ~ voila!   flit

Flirty Trio in Navy and Green on sale now check them out Flirty Finds
Go ahead…Find your inner flirt.