At long last, it’s time to feast on Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals.
In a month that’s filled with sales, here are the categories to buy — and a couple to skip — over the next few weeks to get the most for your money.
Electronics take center stage in November. Big-box stores stuff their Black Friday ads with markdowns on TVs, tablets, laptops, gaming systems, smartwatches, smartphones and more. This often equates to hundreds of dollars in savings.
Accordingly, shoppers should be patient and wait until Black Friday, Nov. 29, to make an electronics purchase. Some major retailers will kick off Black Friday deals a day early, on Thanksgiving. If you don’t want to brave the crowds to get a deal, you can shop for discounts online at many retailers.
Skip: Bedding and linens
January is just around the corner, and it’s your best bet for a deal on bedding and linens. Stores promote bedding discounts, called white sales, at the beginning of each year as a way to bring shoppers into their home departments.
In past years, bedding basics were slashed by 50% or more at retailers like Sears and Overstock. We expect similar savings again in 2020.
Aside from spring cleaning season, November might be the best time to add a new vacuum cleaner to your closet. Last year, Walmart had vacuum models from Dyson, Shark, Bissell, Hoover and more on sale during its Black Friday event. Expect these sweeping sales to land at the end of the month.
Skip: Winter products
The first day of winter is fast approaching. Dec. 21 will mark a change in seasons, but retailers are already gearing up for the cold months by releasing winter apparel and sporting equipment early, usually at full price.
Similarly, Christmas decorations now adorning store displays are more expensive when they first hit shelves than when they’re on their way out the door. Consider reserving your seasonal purchases until near Christmas, or even after.
Shop: Black Friday, Cyber Monday sales
When it comes to retail, November is perhaps best known for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, two of the biggest shopping days of the year. This year, Black Friday is Nov. 29 and Cyber Monday is Dec. 2.
If you’re planning a substantial purchase such as a refrigerator or computer, hold off until the end of the month. Major retailers like Best Buy, Target, Walmart and Amazon usually release Black Friday ads in the days or weeks before the sales to announce their upcoming deals and doorbusters, so you can plan your shopping accordingly.
Bonus: Veterans Day
Black Friday isn’t the only shopping holiday this month. Veterans Day traditionally delivers military-specific discounts at retailers and restaurants to salute members of the armed forces, but savings often extend to everyday shoppers as well. A variety of popular stores usually host patriotic promotions, including JCPenney and Macy’s.
Veterans Day is Monday, Nov. 11, but sales will likely start before that.
To round out the month, keep an eye out for freebies. If you’re a fan of sandwiches, you’ll likely be able to find a buy one, get one free sub offer on National Sandwich Day, which is Nov. 3. Check social media to see how to claim deals near you.
You may also be able to take home a free turkey for Thanksgiving this year. In the past, many grocery store chains have given turkeys to customers who spend a certain amount. You could hit that minimum if you buy other Thanksgiving meal trimmings.
How much would you save? A 16-pound turkey cost an average of $21.71 in 2018, according to an informal price survey by the American Farm Bureau Federation.