From Super Bowl snacks, to romantic offerings for Valentine's Day, to practical household items like furniture and bedding, February has a little something for almost every shopper.
For a treat, think luscious strawberries, rich chocolates or warming spices for hot drinks and baked goods. Or get a taste of the tropics with citrus or mangoes.
Focused on the home? Mid-month Presidents Day sales promise deals on everything from sheets and blankets to mattresses and box springs. And as furniture makers roll out new merchandise this month, some of last year's stock gets marked down.
If you're planning your shopping around what's on sale, here are grocery and household items that you can likely get for less this month.
Want to offer great Super Bowl snacks and save money at the same time?
"If it was me, I'd serve drumsticks" instead of wings, says Stanley Lobel, president of Lobel's of New York, a renowned butcher shop in Manhattan. Legs offer about three times as much meat and are a lot less expensive than wings, he says.
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The cost of drumsticks in February: about 79 cents to 89 cents per pound, he says.
And from baking to deep-fat frying to serving with a Buffalo sauce, they're just as versatile. "Anything you do with wings, you can do with drumsticks," Lobel says.
|Select cuts of beef|
Another good opportunity this month: beef. If the retailer overstocked for the holidays, shoppers will see good prices during the early days of February, Lobel says. "So this is a good time to buy beef," because prices generally go down, he says. You stand to save 20 to 25 percent, "which is sizable," he says.
For a smart buy, be conscious of quality and skip marinated cuts, he advises.
With marinated meat, you're paying an additional 15 to 25 percent for marinating, plus that liquid adds weight to the meat -- which in turn adds to the price, Lobel says.
And sometimes marinating can be a way of dressing up beef, lamb or pork "that's on the verge of going," he says.
Instead, pick a good cut, and if you want to spice it up, add a rub or marinade in your own kitchen, Lobel says.
Want to eat your greens this month? Try asparagus, and you'll get good nutrition and a great buy.
In February, retailers cut prices on spring items to spur interest from shoppers, says James Parker, the global associate perishables coordinator for Whole Foods Market. Asparagus is one of the items that's likely to benefit from that strategy. Depending on where you live and shop, look for discounts of 15 to 30 percent, Parker says.
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Not only is asparagus a popular choice for Valentine's Day dinners, it will start becoming much more abundant as the harvest rolls in next month, Mother Nature permitting, Parker says.
You'll likely see more modest discounts earlier in February and more aggressive price cuts later in the month, Parker says.
Want to get the best buys? "The best thing to do when you're writing your shopping list in the winter is to keep your options open," he says.
From fresh blueberries and succulent strawberries to some of the best blackberries on the market, February is a merry month to get bargains on berries.
With fresh blueberries, look for larger containers or discounts of 20 to 30 percent, Parker says. With strawberries, which will be harvested in Florida, likely later in the month (barring a hard freeze), look for similar discounts of 20 to 30 percent, he says.
"Even if the supplies are not there, chances are retailers will be very aggressive with pricing," Parker says.
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Jumbo strawberries, which are popular for Valentine's Day, are often discounted 20 to 25 percent in the days leading up to the holiday, he says.
Blackberries are another great February buy. Shoppers typically find increased availability in February, Parker says. They'll see "some of the most exceptional quality and flavor," plus discounts of 20 to 30 percent, he says.
|Mangoes and citrus|
The local weather may be gray and dreary, but shoppers can taste tropical sunshine all month -- and get a discount.
Mangoes are "a lot cheaper" this month," Parker says. If you've been paying $2 to $2.50, expect to see them for "well under $2." The prices will drop even more in March, April and May -- but prices are already starting to drop in February, as the fruit gets even better, he says.
And citrus, which was well-priced in January, should be just as affordable in February, Parker says. You can get navel oranges and tangelos for 25 to 30 percent less than their out-of-season prices, he says. Similarly, you can also save 15 to 20 percent on grapefruit.
"Chocolate will be a great deal" in February, Parker says. You'll see some deals and price cuts of 10 to 15 percent on some chocolate items before Valentine's Day, he says. But the really deep discounts will come right after the holiday -- just like it was after Halloween, he says.
Just how much of a deal you'll get (and what items you'll find on sale) depends on how much the store overstocked for Valentine's Day, he says.
Want to add a little spice to your life? February is your month. Cinnamon and a lot of the other spices that are popular in winter cooking are on sale in February, Parker says. Retailers are clearing the shelves for spring.
So things that "are associated more with winter" will be discounted. Which ones, and how much, will depend on the store and region. "Keep your eyes out for opportunities," Parker says.
|Furniture and bedding|
Presidents Day (Feb. 17) sales have become a boon for shoppers seeking new bedding.
Time it right and you can save from 20 to 40 percent on everything from pillows to mattresses and box springs, says Hillary Mendelsohn, founder of thepurplebook.com, a guide to online shopping.
And look for price cuts of 30 to 60 percent on sheets and blankets, with the largest discounts on winter-weight goods, she says. Furniture makers often roll out new stock twice a year, in February and August, says Daniel Butler, vice president of retail operations for the National Retail Federation.
As the new merchandise hits the stores, you can get last year's models at 15 to 20 percent off, he says.
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This work is the opinion of the columnist and in no way reflects the opinion of ABC News.