To buy or not to buy in November? That’s the big question as the biggest shopping season of the year kicks off. Between Black Friday and other holiday promotions, seemingly everything is on sale in November, as retailers advertise “the biggest discounts of the year.” Here’s a look at what’s really worth buying in November and what will be discounted further in the weeks following.
Related: 14 Things That Aren’t Worth Buying on Black Friday
When Halloween is over and done, retailers waste no time clearing the shelves. November is the time to find next year’s costume, often at half off. Halloween decorations and candy are also deeply discounted in November. Load up for holiday baking, stocking stuffers, and school snacks.
Related: The Spookiest Halloween Decorations on Amazon
With home chefs getting a head start on holiday cooking, cookware deals heat up. Be on the lookout for discounted cookware to equip your kitchen, give as a gift, or store in anticipation of a wedding invitation.
Related: 27 Kitchen Essentials That Are Built to Last
Spending on holiday shopping leaves little room in the budget for home improvement services such as carpet installation or small remodeling projects. But if there’s room in the budget, November (or December) is a good time to give the green light. With demand down, home improvement contractors look for business and may be willing to negotiate.
Related: 13 Little Home Improvement Projects That Make a Big Difference
If you’re cleaning the house for holiday gatherings and discover your upright vacuum is on its last wheel, this is a good time to save on a new one. The same goes for large and small appliances and furniture all through the house, especially with Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals.
Know someone who just bought a house, or have a handyman on your shopping list this holiday season? Tool kits are often included in Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales alongside flashier gifts.
Related: DIY in the USA: Tools That Are Still Made in America
Hats and gloves make useful stocking stuffers. Look for these items and other winter wear to be discounted for Black Friday — the perfect time to stock up.
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If you’ve recently gotten engaged, sew up that wedding dress now. November is a slow month for bridal retailers, who typically respond with lower-than-average prices. Getting a jump on planning leaves plenty of time to complete the critical alterations.
Related: 20 Best Online Shops for Buying an Affordable Wedding Dress
Blu-rays and DVDs can still make good stocking stuffers, depending on whose stocking it is. With prices as low as $2 or $3 in Black Friday sales, shoppers can pick up a few and put the savings toward other items on their lists.
Black Friday is one of the best times to buy electronics such as HDTVs, cheap laptops, tablets, digital cameras, and more. Retailers such as Best Buy announce their Black Friday deals well before Thanksgiving, so keep an eye out.
Related: The Hottest Tech Gifts This Holiday Season
Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals sometimes come in the form of a gift — for instance, department store cosmetics counters might offer a free fragrance with a minimum purchase. Even if it doesn’t appeal to you, that small freebie could make a nice stocking stuffer.
Related: 101 Christmas Gifts for $25 or Less
November is a big month for food. Thanksgiving tables groan under the weight of hearty repasts that incorporate seasonal produce. Apples, pears, cranberries, plums, clementines, and pumpkins round out the fall assortment of fruit (yes, pumpkins are a fruit) while broccoli, leeks, cabbage, squash, cauliflower, parsnips, celery, chestnuts, shallots, turnips, yams, and the ever-versatile potato are good in-season vegetables to buy in November.
Related: 50 Things to Pick Up at the Grocery Store This Fall
Despite high demand for the turkey and other game that typically form the core of winter holiday meals, these meats often sell for discounted prices leading up to the feast days. Buy one variety for Thanksgiving dinner and freeze a second for a December holiday spread.
Related: 16 Creative Ways to Cook Your Turkey
Brands such as Rubbermaid and Pyrex compete to store all the leftovers that come along with Thanksgiving and other holiday gatherings. Look for manufacturer coupons and store sales on food storage containers, foil, zip-close bags, and the like during the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving (and use these 50 Food Storage Tips to Help Cut Waste).
Related: The Best Food Storage Containers You Can Buy, According to Amazon Reviews
Clothes may be on a lot of wish lists, but unless they’re a must-have for someone special, wait until January for the biggest markdowns on winter clothing and shoes.
Related: Clothing Brands That Are Still Made in America
Toys see some modest discounts in November, but past years have shown that the best time to buy toys is closer to Christmas. Deeper markdowns on holiday toys show up in mid-December. Wait as long as possible unless you’re hunting for a hot toy that’s likely to sell out.
Related: 20 Toy Brands That Are Still Made in America
Are you angling for a “baby’s first Christmas” ornament with the year prominently displayed? If so, wait until December to fork over the cash. Although dated collectibles go on sale in November, better deals pop up in December. And if you can hold out until January, the price declines will be steeper yet — on a very limited selection, however.
Related: 30 Collectibles That Are Now Worthless