9 Things to Buy in January (and 3 Things to Wait On)

Expect strong discounts on gym memberships and winter apparel, but hold off on upgrading your smartphone.
Updated
New Year party

If you didn't make the most of After Christmas sales, never fear! There are still great deals to be had in January. Read on for the must-buys of the month, including everything from gym memberships to winter apparel.

9 Things to Buy in January

Gym Memberships

Most people include getting fit on their list of New Year's resolutions, which is why January is a great time to sign up for a gym membership. Expect gyms to waive extra fees (which can add an extra $10 to $100 to your annual membership), offer free trials, or give discounted rates to new members in January.

Expect gyms to waive extra fees, offer free trials, or give discounted rates to new members in January.

Make sure you read your gym contract carefully, though. Don't commit to a membership that will see steep rate increases in a few months, and don't sign up for a lengthy contract if you're not sure you'll be as enthusiastic come February.

Prefer to get in shape at home? January is generally the best month of the year to shop fitness equipment, too. In fact, we saw almost double the number of fitness deals in January than we did in almost any other month of the year in 2018. We saw the most Editors' Choice offers in January, too.

Bedding and Towels

White sales also show up in January. These sales traditionally saw big discounts on basic white sheets, but they've grown to include sales on most bedding, bath, and home essentials.

Expect to see up to 75% off home items at Nordstrom Rack, while Home Depot will discount vanities, rugs, mirrors, and more to their best prices of the month.

Winter Clothing

It's a great time to buy clothing in general, but you'll find some of the best deals on winter coats. In fact, we listed about one Editors' Choice coat deal every day last January.

Walmart should be your first port of call if you're looking for cheap styles. The megaretailer discounted a selection of women's coats to just $8 last year. Those looking for better quality pieces will find the designer discounts at Macy's and Amazon, where Kenneth Cole, Tommy Hilfiger, and Calvin Klein wool coats will see their most substantial price drops of the season.

SEE ALSO: The Ultimate Buying Guide

The more outdoorsy folks should also look out for impressive savings at The North Face and Eddie Bauer — the latter took an extra 50% off all clearance styles last January.

You'll also see a lot of deals on shoes this month. We saw what is still ShoeMall's best-ever discount last January, as the store knocked 30% off and offered free no-minimum shipping. Expect incredibly low prices in the Men's Wearhouse's clearance section, too; a pair of men's Converse leather high-tops sold for just $7 last January, for example!

Other top spots to check this month are Academy Sports & Outdoors, which sold women's winter boots for $10, and Crocs, which halved the price of many styles during a 24-hour flash sale in the last week of the month.

Holiday Decor

We're not all organized enough to shop for next year's holiday decor in January, but you'll get the very best deals at this time. Lowe's knocked a flat 85% off all seasonal items towards the end of the month last year, which meant that string lights sold for as little as 37 cents!

Also check the sale sections at Home Depot and Walmart, as both stores generally slash prices on all holiday items. That said, any retailer with seasonal stock will be trying to get rid of it.

Travel

Since January falls in the middle of the travel industry's off-season, it can be a great time to visit a big city. Skyscanner notes that this month is the best time of year to holiday in New York, Chicago, or Miami, as well as European destinations like Paris or Barcelona.

January is the best time of year to travel to New York, Chicago, or Miami.

Although last-minute travel can be expensive, we saw a number of airlines drop the price of 1-way domestic flights as low as $19. If you're traveling outside the States, consider planning a Parisian sojourn for next January.

Many hotels will also offer low prices — no matter the destination — with discounts of up to 20% off peak season rates. Just be sure to avoid booking around Martin Luther King Jr. Day (January 21), as prices will increase for the long weekend.

Broadway Tickets

Not only is January a slow time on the theatre scene, but thanks to the annual Broadway Week, it's generally the best time of year to snag discounted tickets. The 2019 event takes place from January 21 through February 10, giving you the chance to get 2-for-1 tickets to Tony Award-winning shows for three weeks instead of the usual two.

National Park Visits

To mark Martin Luther King Jr. Day, January 21 is one of the five days throughout the year when you can access over 400 National Parks for free. Although savings vary depending on the park, that'll save you up to $35 per vehicle.

Electronics

Black Friday is the very best time of year to shop electronics, but thanks to the Consumer Electronics Show, January can also be a good time to buy. Hold off shopping until after the event, when tons of new models get announced. Older models will likely see discounts as the market prepares for the release of these new gadgets and TVs.

SEE ALSO: 8 Things That Will Be MORE Expensive in 2019

PC Games

The Steam Winter Sale is running from December 20 to January 3, which means that you'll have a couple of days in early January to shop highly discounted PC games.

You'll see up to 50% off titles that have been out for at least six months, with even bigger price drops on older video games. We won't see prices this low again until June when the Summer Sale launches, so don't hang around when these Editors' Choice deals drop.

3 Things NOT to Buy in January

Smartphones

Since we're not expecting any notable smartphone releases in January, it won't be a good month for discounts on previous-generation models. Be aware that smartphones are unlikely to be a major part of CES. Samsung tends to announce its flagships in the spring, while both Apple and Google release their latest handsets in the fall.

Computers

Last year, we saw fewer laptop and desktop deals in January than in either February or March, with a low percentage of Editors' Choice offers coming in. If you're desperate to upgrade your computer, hold out until Presidents' Day in February when stores like Dell and Lenovo usually host holiday sales; it falls on February 18 this year.

Last year, we saw fewer laptop and desktop deals in January than in either February or March.

TVs

If you missed out on Black Friday TV deals, you will see some discounts in this category in the run-up to the Super Bowl in February. Outside of November, you'll see the best deals around big shopping holidays like Presidents' Day, so wait until February if you're really itching to buy a new set.

Top 5 Stores to Shop in January

If you're not after anything in particular, but want to know where you'll find the best all-around bargains, these five stores hosted the best Editors' Choice deals last January — and we expect the same this year!

Walmart: Although there will be strong deals in most categories, Walmart offered more Editors' Choice clothing and shoe deals than anyone else last year.

Macy's: This is the retailer to check for up to 70% off bedding during its White Sale, and big price drops on designer outerwear.

Dell Home: If you just have to buy a TV in January, know that 57% of Dell Home's TV offers earned our Editors' Choice mark last year.

eBay: If you're shopping a new or refurbished iPhone in the new year, know that all but one deal in this category came from eBay sellers in January 2018.

Amazon: We listed more Editors' Choice deals from Amazon than any other store last January, by a substantial margin. Many of the most popular offers will come from its daily deal section.

Ready to put this information to use? Sign up for the DealNews Select Newsletter or download the DealNews app to stay in the know about any and all of the best buys of 2019.


Content Editor

A former Fashion Editor and Boggle champion, Donna Doyle spends her time writing for DealNews, re-reading Harry Potter, and living in denial.
DealNews may be compensated by companies mentioned in this article. Please note that, although prices sometimes fluctuate or expire unexpectedly, all products and deals mentioned in this feature were available at the lowest total price we could find at the time of publication (unless otherwise specified).
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