[Editor’s note: Due to the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, in-store shopping may not be feasible, and some of these items may not be available.]
There may be ghosts and witches adorning storefronts, but shopping in October doesn’t have to mean spending a scary amount.
We’ve put together a guide for what to buy (and skip) in October — and every other month — so you can find big bargains and avoid the fright of paying full price.
Historically, October is one of the best times to buy jeans. The cold-weather staples have been on shelves since back-to-school season and retailers are now starting to discount them.
The autumn deals on denim have already begun as October approaches. So far, we’ve spotted jean promotions at stores like Hollister and American Eagle Outfitters. Keep in mind that many retailers offer buy one, get one 50% off deals so you have an incentive to buy more than one pair.
Skip: Cleaning supplies
If you need a new vacuum cleaner or other floor care device, try to get by with your current model for a while longer. You can expect deep vacuum and cleaning supply sales in late November and again in early spring.
Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving) will likely bring particularly big savings. Last Black Friday, we saw big sales on major vacuum brands from a variety of stores. For example, select Dyson vacuums were more than $200 off.
Buy: All things outdoor
Most people head indoors when the weather cools down, but October is a good month to focus your shopping on the outdoors. With summer becoming a distant memory, now is the time to act if you need new camping gear, patio furniture or outdoor living essentials.
If you have room to store your purchases throughout the winter months, you’ll be set come next summer.
Buy a grill? Sure. But you won’t want to fill your shopping cart with major electronics this month.
Hold off on picking up that new laptop, tablet or TV for a little while longer. The best time of the year for electronics deals, Black Friday, is just around the corner. You’ve waited this long, so keep up that discipline until the post-Thanksgiving deal blitz arrives Nov. 27.
Buy: Halloween supplies
It’s difficult to buy Halloween candy in any other month. After all, you don’t want your Reese’s and Butterfingers to go bad (or more likely, get eaten!) before the trick-or-treaters arrive.
But wait until the end of October. Retailers will be more eager to unload their stock of Halloween supplies — that means costumes and decorations, too — as the holiday draws near. Also, consider bulk candy retailers like Costco to lower your average cost per unit.
Shop: Columbus Day, Prime Day sales
On Oct. 12, shoppers can commemorate Columbus’ voyage by sailing straight into a weekend full of deals. Department stores in particular are known to host sales in the days leading up to Columbus Day. In past years, Macy’s slashed prices on apparel and watches, while Kohl’s discounted select sweaters, bedding and boots. If you can, reserve many of your non-Halloween purchases for this weekend.
On Oct. 13 and 14, Amazon will host its annual Prime Day event for Prime members. Ahead of the holiday shopping season, the online giant will discount toys, electronics, Amazon devices and much more. Expect other retailers to host sales around the same time.
Bonus: National Taco Day
From National Selfie Day to National Coffee Day, there’s a quasi-holiday for just about anything. Restaurants particularly like observing these themed days, as it gives them another opportunity to drum up business. This month, the day to look out for is Oct. 4, National Taco Day.
Look for taco-themed discounts and deals at restaurants near you. You can usually find more information and redemption details on social media.
Look ahead: Black Friday
We mentioned it earlier, but it bears repeating — Black Friday is just around the corner. The day after Thanksgiving remains largely unmatched for deal opportunities. October has a handful of sales, but if you want to save money, November will be better in many categories.