With spring comes warmer weather, longer days and, for smart shoppers, seasonal sales. From Home Depot to Target and Walmart, you can find plenty of shopping steals this spring. Here's what to buy and where to shop for the best deals in March.
Spring ushers in savings across the board on apparel for men, women and children, said Slickdeals savings expert Regina Conway. "Merchants who offer great discounts are Puma, J.Crew Factory and The Children's Place, with savings up to 50 percent off," she said.
You can save even more on spring fashion by taking advantage of discounted gift cards. You can find gift cards selling for less than face value on websites such as CardCash and Raise.
Also, look for deals on sites such as eBay and Groupon, Conway said. The discounts will be deeper than usual in March because merchants are looking to drive traffic into stores at this time of year when there aren't holidays to bring in shoppers.
Retailers mark down both small and large appliances in March, Conway said. Expect Macy's to have some of the best small appliance sales.
"Historically, they've offered 10 kitchen appliance deals — including rice cookers, toaster ovens and a rocket blender," she said. Kohl's also marks down small appliances. Last year, it offered a blender for just $9, Conway said.
Expect Sears to have sales on major appliances. Last year, it slashed the prices on its Kenmore gas range by 55 percent to $390, which makes for big savings, Conway said.
Cameras and Electronics
You can save money this March with deals from major retailers like Best Buy, Target and Walmart. They will cut prices by at least 25 percent on cameras and other electronics in the spring as they try to clear inventory for new models that debuted at the Consumer Electronics Show in January, said Kerry Sherin, shopping and savings expert at Offers.com.
"However, you can find even better deals at smaller online and brick-and-mortar stores like Samy's Camera," she said. "Last year, we saw discounts of up to 54 percent on DSLR camera bundles."
Shoppers can also expect to see dollar-off discounts. Last year, for example, you could find camera bundles for $200 or $250 off, Sherin said. Cameras can make a great Mother's Day present, she said, "so if you're out shopping and see a great deal, buy a camera to surprise your mom or mother of your children."
Retailers such as Dell will also deeply discount electronics in the spring to move last year's inventory. "If you've been wanting a new TV and missed out on Super Bowl sales, this could be a great time for you to get a 2016 model television at one of the lowest prices you'll see all year," Sherin said. Expect discounts of 30 percent to 40 percent.
Fitness and Sports Gear
Retailers mark down fitness and sports gear in mid-March and early April to capitalize on consumers who want to get outside and get active, said Brent Shelton, online shopping expert for FatWallet. Expect to save 20 percent to 40 percent on name-brand active wear and up to 50 percent on select athletic shoes, with deeper discounts on any remaining clearance items from last year, he said. Shoppers also will find deals on gear for sports such as golf, soccer and tennis.
"For active apparel and shoes, Nike, Under Armour, Adidas, Puma and Converse lead the way — along with sporting goods stores like Finish Line, Foot Locker and Eastbay," Shelton said. If you're on a tighter budget, look to big box retailers like Dick's Sporting Goods. Target has great deals in the spring, too.
If you're looking for wearable fitness devices, expect discounts of at least 2 percent to 30 percent on last year's Fitbits, Samsung Gear and Apple Watches, Shelton said. "Add deeper discounts of 50 percent off or more on outdoor Bluetooth speakers, headphones and earbuds," he said.
Lawn and Garden Items
Homeowners looking to spruce up their yards will find lawn and garden items marked down during big sales events from late March through April, Shelton said. Stores such as Home Depot, Lowe's, Kmart, Sears and Walmart will offer the widest selection.
"But shoppers will want to check their local private stores and nurseries that carry these items, as they'll offer competitive pricing that coincides with the heavy advertising from the major retailers," Shelton said.
Look for discounts of 10 to 30 percent on yard and garden prep items such as grass seed, fertilizers, insecticides, plants, bulbs, shrubs and trees. "Similar discounting will surface on typical lawn and garden tools and equipment, as well as power washers and deck and exterior house cleaning products," Shelton said.
"To add additional savings to your lawn and garden purchases, many spring sale items may be featured with a mail-in-rebate," he added. Or you can sign up to receive email alerts from retailers such as Home Depot and Lowe's and get one-time use coupons from them.
Related: 9 Sites for the Best Online Coupons
Outdoor enthusiasts will find gear and apparel on sale in March and April — and on clearance during Memorial Day sales, Shelton said.
"Outdoor sports stores such as REI, Patagonia, Backcountry, Bass Pro Shop, Dick's Sporting Goods and Cabela's all have multiple spring events featuring discount pricing on the newest hiking, climbing, fishing and camping apparel," he said. Look for discounts of 10 percent to 30 percent.
Shelton also expects outdoor retailer Moosejaw to have a noteworthy spring sale, given that it was recently acquired by Walmart. No matter where you shop, make sure your outdoor gear comes with lifetime warranties from trusted brands.
Spring Cleaning Supplies
Get your spring cleaning on while keeping down costs by taking advantage of spring sales on cleaning equipment, supplies and home organization items.
"You'll be able to find deals on these items nearly everywhere, all the way from our neighborhood grocer to the online Dyson store," Sherin said. "Check out stores like Macy's and Kohl's to take advantage of some of the best deals."
Also look for price cuts on cleaning supplies at big-box retailers. "Shoppers can find modest discounts from 10 percent to 20 percent off general name-brand cleaning supplies that can be stacked with coupons for additional savings," said Shelton.
Look for price cuts on vacuum cleaners and Shop-Vacs, "with up to 50 percent off select models," he said. You might also find buy-one-get-one-free deals.
If you want a Dyson vacuum, look for sales at Walmart — which had deals last year, Conway said. "New vacuum models debut in June, so look for strong offers continuing through April," she said.
Late spring is a good time to find deals on hand tools and power tools. Sales will start in April but more markdowns will appear in May.
"Retailers know that tools are a popular gift to give dad and use Memorial Day sales to start the big push," Sherin said. "Sears, Home Depot and Lowe's will all have sales that last through Memorial Day and into June to capitalize on Father's Day gift giving."
Shoppers can expect discounts of 40 percent on average. However, some items will be marked down by as much as 70 percent, Sherin said.