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What to Buy (and Skip) in December

Nov. 27, 2018
Holiday Tips & News, Shopping, Shopping News, Shopping Tips
What to Buy (and Skip) in December
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We adhere to strict standards of editorial integrity. Some of the products we feature are from our partners. Here’s how we make money.

By the time December arrives, the countdown to Christmas is on. But don’t let the pressure stop you from planning ahead.

Before you set out on bargain hunting trips this month, consult our list of what to buy (and skip) in December to save yourself time and money.

Buy: Toys

If your son or daughter is asking for a flashy new toy or a cuddly stuffed animal this year, it’s wise to buy in December; that’s when toy discounts are likely to abound.

Expect great sales close to Dec. 25. And don’t forget about Super Saturday; retailers traditionally offer loads of savings on the last Saturday before Christmas.

Love deals? We’ll find you more of them.

Explore cash-back offers at nearby shops and restaurants.

Skip: Bedding

Cold weather may have you craving a new set of flannel sheets, but don’t throw out your old linens yet. Historically, the best pricing on bedding and linens happens in January during retail “white sales.” In the past, we’ve seen white sales at department stores and online.

For example, in January 2018, Joss & Main offered up to 60% off patterned and multicolored bedding picks. Pottery Barn shoppers could save 20% on bedding, towels and more. Overstock offered discounts of up to 70%.

Buy: Christmas decorations

The best discounts on holiday decorations will be after Christmas, when big-box chains and department stores drastically cut prices (sometimes by as much as 80%) on artificial trees, ornaments, wrapping paper, stockings and other seasonal staples.

But if you want to buy some last-minute Christmas necessities for this year, expect discounts to increase as the holiday nears. In the past, some Christmas closeout sales began on Dec. 24.

Skip: Jewelry

December might be one of the most popular months for marriage proposals, but it’s not the best time to purchase an engagement ring.

In general, try not to buy jewelry close to holidays such as Christmas, Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day. Better deals typically are available during off-season times, when retailers are more eager to discount their inventory. No matter when you buy, try to negotiate price.

Buy: Cookies

If you welcome any excuse to eat a cookie, how about getting one for free? Dec. 4 is National Cookie Day, and cookie shops will celebrate with sweet deals and freebies.

Last year, some stores offered free or discounted cookies to celebrate. Look for similar offers this year from your favorite grocery stores and dessert brands.

Skip: TVs

Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, is the ultimate deal day on electronics, including television sets. If you missed the opportunity, you’ll likely see additional TV deals in December.

But those who can hold out a bit longer will be rewarded with great prices leading up to the Super Bowl. Check for TV discounts in January and the first couple of days of February.

Before the 2018 Super Bowl, retailers including Amazon, Target and Best Buy dropped prices on TVs. Best Buy, for example, offered up to 30% off some 4K TVs.

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