Shopping deals: What to buy in March

March is a funny month because there aren't typical markers like three-day weekends or gift-giving holidays that would promise a good sale, but Trae Bodge, a smart shopping expert with Slickdeals, says good discounts are out there. Those deals are in a couple of categories.

Think apparel, March Madness, and spring break travel.

Trae says winter clothing is on sale this month to make room for new for new spring merchandise. Look for clearance deals between 50 percent and 70 percent off, particularly at outerwear and activewear companies Patagonia and The North Face.

Trae says you'll also see some teaser sales on spring merchandise. Those might be in one category, but won't be site-wide or storewide.

While basketball fans are focusing on their brackets this month, look for discounts on everything from fan gear to food. Trae says you'll find deals in apparel and team apparel.

This is also National Frozen Food Month, so look for frozen food sales and some deals in small cooking appliances for your March Madness parties.

Also look for last-minute deals when you're ordering pizza.

Fanatics has 50 percent off college gear.

BJ's Wholesale Club has pressure cookers and fryers on sale.

If you haven't made spring break plans, you're not too late. Southwest Airlines is offering $59 one-way if you book by March 8. Trae says this is a great time to book airfare and accommodations. She has seen a lot of hotel and resort discounts. Expedia will have airfare deals. Hertz should have rental car deals.

Also look for travel gear sales. Trae says Eddie Bauer has duffel bags on sale. Solo New York, a great New York merchant, is also having a really big sale.

Also look for sales on baby gear.

Things to avoid this month: women's underwear and lingerie. Trae says Victoria's Secret usually does a big sale in June and a lot of the other retailers follow suit.

Also, hold off on patio furniture until Memorial Day.

And wait till we're a little closer to summer for discounts at the gym.