Now is The Time to Buy: Skis, Winter Coats, Candy
As winter continues to blast away in the Northeast, other parts of the country are warming up a bit. Regardless of where you live, it's likely that your major retailers are beginning to make way for spring merchandise by having great big sales on all that winter stuff.
REI is now having a sale on their winter gear, and now is a good time to stock up on snowboards, skis, boots, gloves, jackets, snowsuits, and everything cold that you can think of. REI is normally a tad on the expensive side, but their sales are good, and they have excellent customer service. Order online if you don't live near an REI, and make sure to look for free shipping. Check out other sporting goods and outdoor equipment stores in your area to see when they start selling off their winter inventory. Sierra Trading Post is always has cheap outdoor stuff — now it's Spring Skiing time.
Coats can be counted on to look more or less the same from season to season, so if you see a fabulous parka at a good price now, get it and you're prepared for next winter. Whether you shop at Target or Nordstrom (or Macy's, or Sak's, or Walmart), there's a good chance that your favorite store is selling, or getting ready to sell, some lovely coats at major discounts. These sales often continue into March, so you might be wise to find out when they end, and snap up the best bargains as the retailers get more desperate.
Another thing to grab while you can is leftover Valentine's Day candy. My local Rite Aid can't get rid of it fast enough, so prices are excellent (entire bags of candy for a dollar). Buy it now and you'll have your stash for Easter. There are plenty of non-heart-shaped candies for sale, but even pink cinnamon hearts or jellybeans are good when they fill the inside of a plastic Easter egg. Go to your local drug store, grocery store, or even megamart an grab the V-Day candies in pastel shades before they sell out.
In Seattle, where spring is always early, the equipment swaps are gearing up. Now is the time for Seattlites to get their hands on great used bikes. If you are looking for a new-to-you bicycle for spring, Google your local area to see when the swap meets begin.
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