January deals in supermarket and beyond

January offers lots of bargains
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January offers lots of bargains © Darryl Brooks/

January offers lots of bargains

Just because the holidays are over doesn't mean the sales are.

January markdowns are practical. Smart shoppers will find discounts on sheets, towels and home goods, along with the ingredients for some major comfort foods (apple pie, lasagna) to ward off winter's chill.

But there's also a little fun and sparkle, too. Look for deals on citrus fruit, Super Bowl snacks, electronics and winter sports equipment.

Hungry to get out and enjoy the natural world? You can do that at a discount in January. On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, national parks are offering free admission.

Here are some of the January food bargains and sales you'll see.

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Ground beef, chuck
Ground beef, chuck © K. Miri Photography/

Ground beef, chuck

You're in luck if you crave comfort food in January.

Ground beef, the staple of casseroles, soups and stews, should be about $4 a pound, says Stanley Lobel, president of Lobel's, a butcher shop in New York.

"It goes a long way with a little bit of meat," he says. And hamburger "is probably the most reasonable cut."

His suggestions for a couple of easy meals: Get 2 or 3 pounds and make a big lasagna. "It's good for two to three meals if you make a big one," Lobel says.

More comfort food on a budget: mac and cheese with a steak twist.

Stir-fry a little top or bottom round (first cut of the chuck), which you can pick up for about $4.50 a pound, Lobel says. Then chop it into your favorite mac-and-cheese recipe for a heartier version, he says.

Citrus, pears, apples and blueberries
Citrus, pears, apples and blueberries © StepanPopov/

Citrus, pears, apples and blueberries

Looking to brighten that New Year's Day brunch? Citrus -- especially grapefruit -- is a great buy, and it should be delicious in 2015, says Chris Romano, a global produce procurement team leader for Whole Foods Market.

Look for individual grapefruit to be going for 79 to 99 cents a pound, and bags of smaller grapefruit to be discounted 20 to 30 percent, he says.

Also good buys in January: satsumas and clementines. Savvy shoppers should be able to find 5-pound boxes or bags for as low as $4 to $5, he says.

Now for something less tart

To get a bargain on pears, look for the d'Anjou variety, Romano says. You'll find this juicy variety for 20 to 30 percent off -- meaning about $1.50 a pound, he says.

Another midwinter bargain: apples. Look for price cuts of 20 to 30 percent -- with prices of $1.50 to $2 a pound for conventional fruit, and $2 to $3 a pound for organic, Romano says.

For a deal that will leave you anything but blue (except maybe for your fingers), fresh South American blueberries will be 40 to 50 percent off in January, Romano says.

Dark, leafy greens
Dark, leafy greens © Brent Hofacker/

Dark, leafy greens

In some families, collards and black-eyed peas are a New Year's tradition that signifies prosperity and good luck in the coming year.

In January, "cooking greens" -- like collards, kale and chard -- are smart buys, too, says Romano. While the leafy greens are normally $1.79 to $2 a bunch, the price should drop to about $1.49 a bunch in January, he says.

While kale is great in salads and stir-fries, some younger chefs are getting creative with it, Romano says. One of his favorite options: Brush the kale with olive oil and a little salt "then throw it on the barbecue," he says. It takes on a smoky flavor.

Squash, root vegetables
Squash, root vegetables © Charlotte Lake/

Squash, root vegetables

Another savory winter favorite that's also on sale in January: squash.

Whether you prefer buttery butternut, creamy acorn or a pile of the "spaghetti" variety underneath a good marinara, you'll find discounts of 20 to 30 percent in January as prices drop to "as cheap as 99 cents a pound," Romano says.

If you want rich flavor and a bargain, January is an excellent time to return to your roots -- root vegetables, that is.

Parsnips, rutabagas, and turnips are all very affordable -- about $1 to $2 a pound, Romano says. Roast them in the oven to bring out the flavor, he recommends.

Clearance season for electronics
Post-CES sales © mandritoiu/

Clearance season for electronics

For a few days in the first half of every January, electronics companies preview many of their new gadgets and goodies at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

The next week, as retailers try to clear shelf space for items and new models, a lot of the previous year's electronics go on sale, says Mark LoCastro, spokesman for, a shopping and deal-tracking site.

"With so much new technology, it's the beginning of the electronics clearance season," he says.

Look for deals on everything from smart TVs and audio equipment to digital cameras and tablets, he says. "But the timing can vary from device to device, so be aware of the release dates."

MLK Day: Free park admission
King Day: Free park admission © Manamana/

MLK Day: Free park admission

Want to get away and take in some outdoor splendor -- a dose of those beautiful, spacious skies or purple mountain majesties?

You may be able to do it for free in January.

The U.S. National Park Service will offer free admission to its national parks six times in 2015, according to the service's website. The first date on the 2015 calendar: Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Jan. 19.

Roughly 133 of the country's 401 national parks charge entrance or tour fees, according to the site. But those fees will be waived if you visit on the King holiday.

End of January: White sales
End of January: White sales © NRT/

End of January: White sales

Retailers offer winter white sales toward the end of January. Expect deals on everything from bed linens, pillows and comforters, to bath towels and curtains, says Dan Butler, senior adviser to the National Retail Federation and president of Maple Point Consulting. You'll also see price cuts on small kitchen appliances.

Gearing up for a wedding or wedding gift? Things like fine china, crystal and silver will be on sale, he says. Look for deals of up to 20 percent off, Butler says.

One area where you might not realize there are discounts: furniture.

Some makers release their new collections in February, so last year's models could be on sale in January, says LoCastro. Shop around and you'll see deals of 10 to 20 percent off, he says.

See what's next
See what's next © monticello/

See what's next

Here is what not to buy in January.

Updated:Dec. 31, 2014