Savings spring up on tablets, cruises

Shop for cruise vacations, jewelry for Mom and tablets this month:

Cruises: Although April is traditionally a great month to buy a cruise package, now it’s especially savvy. “Especially this year,” says Lindsay Sakraida, features director at DealNews.com. “We’re postulating that because of a lot of the bad publicity they’ve been getting with the public disasters.

“In particular, I think Royal Caribbean and Carnival were two cruise lines that saw the lowest prices last month, and we’re expecting that to continue into April.” Offers Sakraida has seen this year are already 11 percent cheaper than deals from 2011.

Home and garden: This category “is kind of exploding right now,” says Dan Butler with the National Retail Federation. “You’ll see patio furniture on sale for 20 to 30 percent off. The weather’s turning and people are getting out and working in their yards, so it’s a good time to go shopping for those things.” Insecticide, grass seed and bird baths are already popping up on sale.

Jewelry: If you’re planning to shop for Mother’s Day jewelry, do it now. Sakraida says some pieces will go up in price next month: “If you do some planning, you’re going to get more for your money.”

Tablets: Sakraida says the iPad 2’s price has already plummeted (she’s seen it for $349 at Micro Center). But it’s not just Apple products you should watch. “We think other competitors are going to start offering even more aggressive prices on some of their tablets in response so they can win over customers. … We already saw the [refurbished] Kindle Fire hit its lowest price ever [$139]. It’s likely we’ll see some of these other tablets go even lower.”

Spring, Easter apparel: April is the beginning of “knit season,” Sakraida says, with deals topping out at 30 to 40 percent off. It’s also a great time to buy kids’ formal clothes, Butler points out. “If you need dress clothes for your kids, Easter week is a good time to go shopping for them.” But, he says, “The week after, they’ll be marked down” even more.

“After that they’re not replenished until fall.”

Keep an eye on: Value-priced tool sets, camping and RV gear, outdoor lighting, skin-care products.

Wait to buy

Grills: Our recent beautiful weather might spark thoughts of outdoor cooking, but better barbecue deals show up in June — and then again after Independence Day, Sakraida says. October traditionally has the absolute best offers.

Office furniture: June, not April, sees the best shower of deals on office chairs.

HDTVs: Today’s best prices are hovering near December 2011 lows (around $800 for a name-brand 55-inch model), but you’ll see them plunge near the end of 2012. If you’re jonesing to buy now, consider an off-brand TV — they’ve dropped significantly in price since last year (look for lowest prices at less than $590 for a 55-inch).

For more best and worst buys from DealNews, click here.

– By Lauren Davidson, Atlanta Bargain Hunter


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