The gift-buying blitz of the holidays may kick off with Black Friday, but plenty of shopping days with special deals go well into December. Here's what to purchase and when, according to Jon Lal, CEO and founder of BeFrugal, so you end up with more money in your pocket in the new year.
THANKSGIVING AND BLACK FRIDAY
Electronics (think top-of-the-line TVs) and appliances (we’re looking at you, gorgeous KitchenAid mixer) are the deals to score on these two shopping days. Many stores will open their doors and launch sales on T-day evening, meaning you can start crossing items off your gift list after you’ve tucked into your turkey and pie.
If dining and then dashing to the mall isn’t your scene, Lal says many online deals will be happening all day long, so you can shop while you prepare your holiday feast and as you drift into a food coma after eating.
While Black Friday is the time to take advantage of price cuts at mainstream or chain stores, this shopping holiday one day later invites local mom-and-pop shops and restaurants to offer great deals as well. Look for deep discounts on gift cards, which small business owners proffer as a way to get customers back into their stores, Lal says.
THE WEEKEND AFTER THANKSGIVING
In the market for power and hardware tools? Wait until the Saturday and Sunday after Black Friday, when prices may be lower but stock is still high, so you'll have a good selection, Lal suggests. The beginning of December is also an ideal time to buy toys, as stores slash prices now to pack in shoppers early.
Have your phone or tablet charged: Prices on clothes and apparel typically hit their lowest point of the season on this day. Keep an eye out for deals on gaming console bundles as well.
If you missed out on Cyber Monday, you’ll get a second chance two weeks later on December 10, also known as Green Monday. Many retailers use this second Monday of December, historically one of the busiest online shopping days of the year, to offer discounts and encourage online ordering (and just-in-time shipping) with just 10 more business days leading up to Christmas day.
FREE SHIPPING DAY
Speaking of shipping, on Free Shipping Day, online shoppers can buy from hundreds of participating retailers and not pay a penny to have it sent wherever it needs to go. It's a good time to order last-minute gifts, stocking stuffers and other small add-ons that wouldn’t normally add up to the minimum amount usually needed to qualify for free shipping. This year's Free Shipping Day falls on Friday, December 14.
THE FINAL DAYS LEADING UP TO CHRISTMAS
While it’s hard to predict what will be on sale and how deep the bargains will be, Lal says you might score big if you can wait to shop this late in the game. When sales haven't brought in the profits stores had hoped for earlier, they’ll roll out significant discounts now to try to make up for low numbers, he explains.
So if you suddenly need an unexpected gift or a fun item for your office’s White Elephant party, this is when you'll have luck finding something awesome on the cheap.