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Smart Buying

Best and Worst Buys of January 2013

Now is the time to find deals on furniture, winter apparel and more.

You might have shopping fatigue by now. But if you didn't rack up debt buying holiday gifts, you might want to consider taking advantage of the many deals that are available in January. Here's what you can expect to find marked down this month -- and what you should wait a little longer to buy, according to dealnews.com, which analyzes deals from past years to predict what will be discounted this year.

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What's on sale this month ...

Christmas items. A great way to keep holiday costs under control is to plan ahead. And one way to do that is to buy Christmas decorations after December 25, when these items are discounted as much as 80% at stores such as Home Depot, Kohl's, Lowe's and Pier 1. Holiday goodies from Cheryl's, Godiva, Starbucks, Walmart and other retailers also are dramatically marked down. So you can stock up on sweets, that is, if losing weight isn't one of your New Year's resolutions.

Fitness equipment. Speaking of losing weight, January is a good month to find treadmills, stationary bikes, training accessories and DVDs, and more marked down as much as 60%.

Furniture. Retailers mark down furniture this month because they need to make room for new models that will hit stores in February. Last year, Sears, Home Depot and Pottery Barn had some of their most significant price cuts of the year during January. Dealnews.com expects to see such deals again this year.

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HDTVs. If you bought a TV on Black Friday or before Christmas, you probably got a good deal. But January is another good month to find markdowns on 2012 HDTVs because retailers need to make room for 2013 models. In fact, 55-inch LCD HDTVs were 17% cheaper in January last year than they were in December 2011.

Winter apparel. Now is the time to find great deals on winter apparel, which can be marked down as much as 80%. You also can find coupons from many retailers that offer up to an additional 60% off. According to dealnews.com, expect some of the best sales to come from American Eagle, Ann Taylor and LOFT, Banana Republic, French Connection, J.Crew, L.L.Bean, Lord & Taylor, Macy's, Men's Wearhouse, Nike, Old Navy, Target and Tommy Hilfiger.

Wait a little longer to buy ...

Electronics. Expect to see markdowns in February on higher-end 2012 electronics that weren't discounted on Black Friday as retailers make room for new models.

Tax software. If you like to tackle your tax return early in the year, you might be able to find some discounts on tax software (specifically, discounts on state tax software) in January. But you'll find better deals the following months as the tax-filing deadline nears.

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