Five First-Quarter Shopping Deals

BOSTON ( TheStreet) -- It doesn't take a particularly savvy shopper to get a deal on holiday wrapping paper or bicycles, air conditioners, boats and motorcycles in cold-weather regions at this time of year. Real deals, however, require some digging.

Following the seasonal cycle is just shoppers' common sense. Winter coats and suits will cost less as clothing retailers bring in their lightweight spring stock, sporting goods and outdoor products such as bikes, tents, outdoor grills and hiking gear are a steal in areas with snow warnings and travel costs are trimmed as holiday-weary travelers and half-empty tourist destinations spur a slate of off-season deals.

It's the hardened shoppers making the most out of this time of year. They're the ones who know bed linens have gone on sale this time each year since Philadelphia department store owner John Wanamaker invented the white sale. They're the same ones who resist the video game sales push during the holiday season but hit the "buy" button in January and Februaryn when coveted games get an extra life in the sales bin.

A fuzzy retail sales picture for December could mean a dramatic shift in deals for the first quarter, but subtle shifts in inventory fill the first pages of the calendar with reliable savings. TheStreet searched for some of the best deals of the season and found five products on which prices thaw during the cold months:

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