If you’ve been following the 52 Week Savings Plan, you should have a whopping $10 set aside. Don’t worry, that little bundle of money will continue to grow! Each month I’ll be sharing tips for making the most of the money you have to enable that nest egg to grow and grow and grow. If you don’t yet have my handbook, you can pick it up here for just $5. It contains extra tips and strategies for succeeding with this plan as well as printable charts for weekly savings, biweekly savings, a reverse-savings chart, and even a savings chart for kids.
Now, on to the money-saving tips, best things to buy this month, and February bargains!
February is full of holidays and celebrations – SuperBowl Sunday (Feb. 4), Groundhog Day (Feb. 2), Valentine’s Day (Feb. 14), President’s Day (Feb. 19), the Chinese New Year (Feb. 16) and Black History Month.
It’s also a month full of some sweetheart deals that can help you save money and prepare your family for survival scenarios. February bargains are worth tracking down, especially since many families are still recovering from an expensive holiday season.
Some of the January winter sales may extend into February (See January bargains here), especially with winter clothing.
February food bargains
All of those holidays come with celebrations. Look for sales on food before and after the Super Bowl, Valentine’s Day, and the Chinese New Year. Valentine’s Day can be a good time to stock up on comfort items for your food supply. Who wouldn’t like some chocolate and candy on hand during a long power outage? I keep candy on hand for my children in our tornado shelter. Easter baskets in our home have often been filled with pink heart-shaped chocolates purchased in February. Tablecloths, plates, napkins, and decorations will also be on sale after the celebrations if you need to stock up on those items. Think of holidays and other celebrations where you might need pink or red decor and load up now at super-low prices.
A lot of canned food items will be on sale this month that are related to the holiday celebrations. Steak and seafood should be on sale after Valentine’s Day, although neither are meant for long-term storage! Still, you can freeze them, preferably vacuum packed, and enjoy them during the year, knowing you paid less. Oatmeal is also an item that is on sale in February – a very good food storage item. Oatmeal is also an easy, healthy breakfast, versatile, and budget-friendly.
Buy fruits and vegetables in season for the best deals. To make them last year-round research how to freeze, can or dehydrate them. Fruits and vegetables in season during February are:
- Cactus Pear
- Sweet Potatoes
Stocking up on household goods
Winter gear and clothing will still be on sale this month. If you have children, what sizes will you need for next year? Think about grabbing extra hats and gloves for each person in the family to keep stashed in the car. Wool socks and long underwear will also be heading toward the clearance section, and if this year’s winter weather is an indicator of the future, you’ll be needing those!
Dry winter weather often leads to the purchase of humidifiers, so watch for discounts on those this month. If you have ever been congested, you know how handy humidifiers can be. If you find a good deal, it wouldn’t hurt to have a back-up, if you already own one.
Furniture and mattresses are big February sales. Not sure what Presidents Day has to do with mattresses, but they are usually a great deal this month. Presidents Day 2018 is sure to bring some price breaks on these higher priced items. Sleep is important to your health and if you need a new or better mattress, comparison shop and talk the price down if you can. Furniture purchases are typically higher-priced, but during February, you may find very good discounts on pieces you’ve been needing. Do you need a new bookcase? Finding a deal on better quality furniture will mean that you will save money on something that will last. A lot of preparedness-minded people stock up on books of all kinds, so maybe adding another bookcase is a good idea!
Dental supplies are a February special. Look for deals that can stock your family up on toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss, and mouthwash for the year and for any emergencies. When you find these on sale, and especially if you also have a coupon, buy extras so you can equip a ready-to-go toiletry bag for everyone in the family. My dentist said that she can tell which patient uses a regular toothbrush vs. an electric one. These don’t have to be terribly expensive. This model from Oral-B is reasonably priced.
If you feel like your air conditioner is on its last legs, February is a good month to look for replacement deals. See what rebates your state or energy company may offer for energy efficient models, too, if you replace your air conditioner or furnace. One place to check is Energy Star.
Some other big appliances, like washers and dryers, tend to go on sale around President’s Day. These may also qualify for energy rebates and February can be the best time to buy appliances.
Every dollar you can save by spending less will help your savings grow! In fact, you might even be able to add a little bit extra each month and end up with even more than the original 52 Week Savings Plan goal.
BONUS TIP: Whenever you need a large appliance, try to wait for the next major holiday, since there are always big sales over those 3-day weekends.
Other February bargains
Cell phones and tablets may be on sale this month to make room for newer models. Out with the old, in with the new. For emergencies, you may want to consider letting your child have a cell phone when they are separated from you. Cameras may also still be on sale. Cameras can be useful for documenting your property for insurance or emergency situations. Some digital cameras have video recording, too.
Treadmills and ellipticals are still on sale this month to take advantage of the January New Year resolutions. Being fit cannot be overemphasized in preparing for any situation. Take advantage of this sale and get your body fit and healthy. Just be sure to not over-spend and make a simple, practical exercise plan so your new fitness gear doesn’t become a waste of money. With that in mind, you may very well find an even better bargain by shopping for these things on Craigslist as other people decide to unload their own fitness purchases.
Tax day, April 15, is getting closer and you will start seeing deals on tax software and preparation packages. New tax offices may offer discounts on their services to establish a client base. Tax returns will need to be filed, so keep an eye out for a deal if you need help. Also, start thinking of the best way to use any refund you may get – savings, buying more food storage, paying down debt. Be smart with that refund!
You may still find deals on boats and motorcycles this month due to the cold weather. Motorcycles can help give a family member a cheaper mode of transportation if gas prices go up again. If you live near water, a boat can help you bug out or take you to a food source, but since our goal is saving money and not spending it on luxuries, make sure these types of purchases make sense for you and your family, long-term.
Saving money on gifts
After Valentine’s Day, you can pick up Valentine’s cards for your children’s classes on sale for next year. It’s also a good time to stock up on some children’s craft items for parties, snow days or extended power outages.
Jewelry, perfume and gift sets will be on sale after Valentines’ Day. This can be a great way to stock up on gifts for the year for family and friends. You can always separate the items in one of those pre-packaged gift boxes or baskets and give them as individual gifts. This would be a great way to get a number of Christmas stocking stuffers taken care of 10 months ahead of time!
Speaking of gift purchases, any time you see an offer on the purchase of a gift card, such as, “Get a $10 gift card for yourself when you buy our restaurant’s gift card,” grab it! Use my Gift Card Tracking Chart in my ebook and by purchasing at least one gift card per month, by December you’ll have at least a dozen to either give away as gifts or use for holiday shopping.
By the end of February …
According to the 52 Weeks Savings Plan, you should have $36 saved up by the end of February. I know you can do that! If you have extra right now, perhaps skipping ahead to Week 52 and saving $52 would be a smart thing to do since February usually isn’t a month with a lot of extra holiday expenses.
If you haven’t already, join our Facebook group for extra support as you work to stay on a budget and get some savings in the bank!
Your family paychecks just might show an increase this month due to the federal tax cuts. When you see that increase, make smart decisions about how it will be spent. Even an extra $40 in a biweekly paycheck will add up to almost $1000 by the end of the year. The key to being a winner when it comes to saving money is to pinch pennies wherever you can with purchases and then put even small amounts saved in your savings stash.
We’ll be back in March with more money-saving tips to help you stay on track, both with your budget and your savings plan!
P.S. Wondering how to best store that Valentine candy you bought as a February bargain? Watch this tutorial video.