Share This Article
Fire up the Mariah playlist, because it’s time to talk holiday shopping! Sure, it may be *a little* too soon to put up a tree and scatter fake snow across the house, but where your shopping list is concerned, preparing now can help you save later. Here are the best things your money can buy in November (and yes, we’ve included a few Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals), plus what to pass on this month.
What to Buy in November
Televisions. It’s not the holiday season unless there’s a gotta-have-it tech item, and this year, ultra high-definition 4K TVs are it. Some of the largest screen sizes, around 70 inches, are expected to land around $800, while smaller 4K TVs will see savings of a few hundred dollars, as well. "Make sure you compare among stores and research features you want in advance so you aren’t confused and overwhelmed when shopping," says consumer shopping expert Andrea Woroch.
Laptops. If you just use your computer to surf the web, watch a few shows or check your social media feeds, November might be a good time to upgrade your laptop. Budget and mainstream laptops are typically priced between $100 and $500 during Black Friday sales.
Smart home devices. The Amazon versus Google competition means major savings if you’re ready to welcome smart devices into your home. Expect discounts of up to 50% across a whole host of Alexa- and Google Home-enabled voice assistants, with deals peaking during the window between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday.
Toys and games. This month will be a good time to start gift-shopping for the kiddos in your life. For example, Target typically runs a 30% off toys coupon in early November that stacks with sale prices. Discounts will continue through mid-December, but you might not want to wait that long for this year’s most in-demand toys, which are likely to sell out.
Black Friday is also a prime time to score a gaming console bundle, Woroch says, which will include the gaming system, a controller and a game or two for the price of just the console — or less. Some of this year’s expected top sellers include the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch.
Apple products. iPhones, iPads, MacBooks, Apple Watches and Apple TVs from years past will go on sale now that new generations have been unveiled. Avoid buying directly from Apple stores and instead check deals from retailers like Best Buy, Target and Walmart, which typically offer savings in the form of price cuts or store credit gift cards on top of purchase. That said, "you can still expect to find savings on the newest model, it just may not be as big of a discount," Woroch says.
Baking supplies. Shake off that Halloween sugar rush, because holiday baking season is here. The good news is you can satisfy your sweet tooth while spending less cash. Shoppers can expect staples like flour, sugar, cake mixes, cookie dough, butter, nuts and canned pumpkin on sale in November. Another tip: Buy Halloween candy at up to 50% off now and store or freeze it to bake into recipes later.
A wedding dress. Planning a wedding or know someone who is? Use this time of year, when bridal boutiques are clearing out their inventories for the year, to get a great deal on a gown. As long as you don’t mind wearing 2018 styles when you walk down the aisle, you can expect deep discounts off remaining fall and summer styles.
What to Skip in November
Gift cards. Don’t go out of your way to stock up on these stocking stuffers this month. Come mid-December, many stores and restaurants offer 10% to 20% off gift cards. That means you could spend $80 on a gift card worth $100 in store credit. So go ahead and keep this at the bottom of your shopping list for those “what do I get for my brother’s girlfriend’s great-aunt?” moments.
Doorbuster deals. Be wary of doorbuster “deals” that aren’t really worth your money. Stores often try to entice shoppers with cheap or off-brand small appliances, drones, headphones, apparel, cookware and other tech gadgets. "These products could be made of inferior quality material or missing key components and features," Woroch says. "Keep in mind, a cheap price on a lousy product is never a good deal, and you may find a better deal on a quality product by spending a little more in the end."
Furniture. Few furniture stores offer Black Friday deals — many aren’t even open — since most shoppers are focused on items like tech and electronics. Instead, shop end-of-season sales in January and February for clearance pricing on sofas, chairs, tables and more.
Bedding and linens. The temps are dropping and hygge living is, well, huge. But now’s not the best time to shop around for flannel sheets. Instead, wait a few months for retailers to hold their January white sales, when everything from sheets to comforter sets to towels and other linens go on sale. For example, stores like Joss & Main, Ikea and Overstock discounted their bedding basics by 50% to 70% in January 2018. Translation: Hit snooze on this purchase and find better deals in the New Year.