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Bargains beckon in February

Every year since 10th grade, I’ve waited until February to do my winter clothes shopping. I’ve found leather boots for $7, winter coats for $4, earrings for 99 cents. It’s kind of ridiculous.

But not everything is a steal this time of year. DealNews.com has crunched its historical sales data to decipher what items are worth buying and which ones can wait until later.

Valentine’s Day gifts. Flowers and jewelry are in high demand right now because of Valentine’s Day, so sale prices aren’t too exciting. Still, you should be able to find coupons or promo codes that can take as much as 30 percent off the sale price. Check the newspaper and search Retailmenot.com.

If you’re thinking about giving something flashy, consider buying lab-created diamonds instead of mined ones. They’re real diamonds, indistinguishable from those harvested in mines, and many people consider them to be more ethically sourced. They’re also way cheaper than traditional rocks. You can get a half carat for about $500.

Presidents Day sales. Presidents Day is not until next Monday, but some sales have already started, and can last as long as Feb. 22. Department stores are the most likely to go all out.

Mattresses are the most obvious sale item. On the high end, you can expect to see discounts of as much as 60 percent. Apparel, furniture and home goods will see discounts, too. Clearance sales already have clothing slashed by as much as 85 percent, but store-wide and site-wide coupons issued for President’s Day can take an additional 20 percent to 30 percent off. You’ll see anywhere from 20 percent to 70 percent off home goods, too.

Tax software. Tax prep programs from companies such as H&R Block and TurboTax will drop by as much as 50 percent in February.

Hold off on Android smartphones. New phone models tend to debut in spring, so wait until then to get the best price on a previous generation. If it’s the new model you want, wait until about two months after they’re unveiled for a modest price break.

Winter apparel and accessories. Like I said, February is the best time to find crazy markdowns on winter clothing and accessories. But that’s especially the case this year, since our unusually warm winter has left retailers with a glut of coats, sweaters, scarves, hats and gloves. Go stock up!

LCD TV deals are a yawn. Super Bowl sale hype will have you believing it’s a great time to splurge on a new TV, but the best deals to be had are in November. Still, prices on 42-inch and 55-inch LCD TVs have plateaued, so it’s as good a time as any to buy.

Now that 4k TVs are the next big thing, regular 1080p HD TVs have come down in price. You can probably snag a name brand 42-inch for $275, or an off-brand for $240. Name brand 55-inch prices will start around $550, while off brands will start around $300. Buying a refurbished model will bring the price down even more.

Chipotle catering. Chipotle lovers won’t let E.Coli and norovirus stand between them and a yummy carnitas burrito bowl. To win back customers after its public health scare, the company is offering $50 off the first 1,500 catering orders of 20 burritos or more.

email: schristmann@buffnews.com, follow @discountdivasam or like Facebook.com/DiscountDiva

February is the best time to find crazy markdowns on winter clothing and accessories.