With precious few weeks remaining to get all your gifts beneath your tree, December tends to kick holiday shopping into high gear. Even if you were responsible and completed your holiday shopping early, there’s inevitably always the last-minute gift to buy for the odd coworker, dog walker and cousin’s sister-in-law. And on top of holiday gift-giving, there are parties to dress up for, family gatherings to cater and front yards to decorate. Basically, there’s a lot to buy in December. But even as you scramble to hunt down final gifts, missing ingredients and final touches to your Christmas tree, you can avoid overspending with a bit of resourcefulness (and a pinch of Christmas cheer). Keep the holidays merry and bright without blowing your budget. Here are some predictions on the month’s shiniest savings opportunities and caution against its duller deals.
1. Gift cards
It’s one of our favorite little-known December hacks: Throughout the month, a bunch of restaurants and certain stores run limited-time gift card deals. With these limited-time holiday gift card offers, eateries and retailers typically offer bonus credit in exchange for spending a certain amount of money on gift cards. Gift cards not only make good gifts for the pickier people on your list, they can also be a great buy for yourself. Pick up a gift card on sale to your favorite restaurant and it’s like getting a discount on your next meal out.
Jamie Young Co: Get 15% off on Gift Cards from Dec. 20 to 25.
MONROW: Get up to 10% off Gift Cards over $100 from Dec. 21 to 25.
Upper Playground: Get up to 20% off gift cards from Dec 23 to 26.
With Christmas Day looming, retailers become increasingly eager to move toys off their shelves and under your tree. Although the hottest toys and gaming devices rarely see discounts around the holidays, plenty of action figures, dolls, board games and other playthings will begin to drop in price as Christmas draws closer. Savings tend to reach their pinnacle on Super Saturday, the last Saturday before Christmas. On this unofficial holiday, retailers like to lure panicked parents with some of the season’s deepest discounts.
Walmart: Get New & Trending Toys for as low as $5.
Schleich USA Inc: Get up to 50% off dinosaur toys until the 25.
Macy’s: Get up to 60% off the top toys for the holiday season until the 24.
3. Select electronics and small appliances
Black Friday and Cyber Monday may be over in December, but you’ll still encounter solid deals on electronics. Many retailers hold additional sales to clear out any tech inventory remaining from these sales. During previous Decembers, we’ve seen some excellent prices on laptops, smart home tech, kitchen appliances and headphones, as well as Blu-rays and DVDs.
Lenovo: Get up to 47% off ThinkBook Laptops until Dec. 17.
World Wide Stereo: Get up to 50% off Headphones deals from JBL, Sony, Sennheiser, and More.
KitchenAid: Get up to 44% off and an extra 5% off any order until Dec. 1.
4. Holiday decorations
Whenever possible, we suggest waiting until after Christmas to buy your tinsel, wreaths and giant inflatable snowmen. In the week following Dec. 25, you’ll see seasonal items discounted by 75% or more. It’s a wise time to stock up for Christmas next year, distant though it may seem. If you do need some last-minute decorations, you can usually expect prices to drop as we move closer to Dec. 25.
Wayfair: Get Outdoor Holiday Decoration from $49.
Gilt: Get up to 50% off select decor.
Bed Bath and Beyond: Get up to 30% off Holiday Decor.
5. Fall clothing
The best time to find in-store and online deals on clothing is after a season is over. Now that dropping temperatures call for thicker coats and long underwear, you can often score savings on fall-weather fashions. December is the month to stock your closet with light jackets, sweaters and other autumn styles for next year. Clearance racks will be filling up with this years fall styles, so now is the time to buy.
6. Wedding dresses
While winter may seem like a counter intuitive time to buy your bridal gown, it’s actually a great time to find deals. With last year’s wedding season long over and next year’s not set to kick off until spring, this month reliably sees good wedding dress sales. During December, many retailers try to catch the eyes of brides-to-be with limited-time deals on designer gowns.
David’s Bridal: Get up to 70% off sale wedding dresses.
David’s Bridal: Get an extra 50% off clearance wedding dresses.
Along with Father’s Day, the winter holidays typically see good deals on tools. Stock up on your hammers, bits and buzzsaws now, since your next opportunity to save big won’t likely come around until June. These also can make great gifts for anyone in your life passionate about DIY projects.
Northern Tool: Get a $25 off when you spend $250 or more
WORX: Get up to 50% off select top rated tools.
1. Winter clothes
Hold off on purchasing heavy coats, boots and cold-weather accessories. If you can wait until late winter – when retailers become increasingly eager to clear out inventory for new spring styles – you’ll likely land these seasonal items for significantly less. And if you can’t last till the end of the season, you can often score winter fashions at low prices during New Year sales.
2. Home goods
Miss out on Black Friday savings on home goods? Hold off on buying these items until next month, when New Year’s sales bring mattress deals and President’s Day events deliver furniture savings. January is also the month when stores traditionally run “white sales” on bedding, towels and other soft, fluffy items.
For the best deals on TVs, we always encourage shoppers to wait until the week before the Super Bowl (which falls on Sunday, Feb. 13 this year). In the days leading up to game day, big-box retailers and warehouse chains often plunge prices to tempt fans who want to upgrade.
4. Exercise equipment
If you can wait to buy your treadmills, yoga mats and Shake Weights, you’ll likely find better deals during January, when retailers launch sales to draw shoppers with fitness-related New Year’s resolutions.
(Partially reprinted from offers.com)
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