What to Buy, and Avoid Buying, in November

by Paul Michael on 1 November 2013 3 comments

It's hard to believe we're approaching the end of 2013. I guess time flies when you're out bargain hunting. As usual, I've put together a list of the items you should have on your shopping list, and the ones that should be kicked to the curb this month.

First, What to Buy…

Thanksgiving is coming. And so is Black Friday. It's fair to say this is one of the busiest shopping months of the year, with some unexpected price drops. Keep your eyes peeled, and you can really bag some major bargains this month. (See also: Black Friday Savings Tips From Shopping Experts)

1. Halloween Everything

On November 1st, the stores will be doing everything they can to shift the Halloween stock and make more room for Thanksgiving and Christmas merchandise. And this year, that could be good news for you, as some Halloween parties are happening on the 1st and 2nd of November. You'll see 50% reductions almost immediately, with prices dropping by 90% within two weeks. The longer you wait, the less choice you'll have. But now is a good time to stock up for next year.

2. Wedding Dresses and Paraphernalia

People generally don't like getting married in winter. It's hardly surprising, when most of us are dealing with ice, snow, and freezing temperatures. But if you don't mind, you can snag some real bargains and reduce the cost of your wedding by a chunk. Remember, the average wedding now costs over $25,000. If you can cut 25% off that bill, you've just pocketed over $6,000. That's a nice honeymoon. (See also: How to Save $5,000 on Wedding Expenses)

3. The Xbox 360 and PS3

The back half of November sees the release of two new gaming systems — the Xbox One, and the PS4. That means the current systems are going to get discounted heavily. You will probably see them drop to a staggering $100 each on Black Friday, although that will probably be a bare bones system. If you don't care about having the latest gaming systems, these are still awesome systems and well worth your money.

4. Sneakers

I like November. I'm a sneaker junkie, and this is one of the best months to buy them. People are concentrating on winter footwear, and sandals for their winter vacations in the sun. So, do a little online shopping and expect to see the price of great sneakers drop by at least 50%.

5. Cookware and Kitchen Utensils

Thanksgiving is a huge event in the kitchen. It seems like everyone goes overboard, cooking enough food for the whole neighborhood. We typically see price drops between 20% to 60% off, with stores banking on the home cooks clearing them out of kitchen items. (See also: How to Turn Your Trash Into Delicious Holiday Food)

6. Toys, Toys, Toys

In the past, it was best to wait until Black Friday for the toy bargains. Not anymore. These days, Black Friday is much more focused on electronics, computers, appliances and loss leaders like DVDs and Blu Rays. Toys get overlooked. So the retailers are dropping the prices earlier, giving busy parents and grandparents the chance to get out before the madness and grab some bargains well before December. You should do likewise. Also, November 9th is Neighborhood Toy Store Day. You'll see a lot of promotions around that.

7. Candy

Along with the Halloween costumes and decorations, the aisles of candy are also discounted by up to 90%. It's all perfectly good to eat — the expiration dates are way off — but the Halloween themed wrappers make them undesirable. So the stores will do their best to shift everything, even high-end chocolates and treats. If you don't care (and really, who does?) and the themed candy, you'll get a lot of goodies for you buck. (See also: 10 Things You Can Do With Leftover Halloween Candy)

8. Christmas Trees

I hate to promote the idea of Christmas in November, but there's a good reason for it. Go shopping for a tree in the last week of the month, and you'll have your pick of the freshest, fullest, straightest trees on the lot. And they'll be at the lowest price of the season. Why wait a few weeks, when you'll be picking through the scraps and paying more for the privilege?

And What to Avoid…

So we all know what's coming. It gets bigger, crazier, and earlier every year. Black Friday is in the last week of November, and you are going to get some serious bargains on that day, and on Cyber Monday. So, until that day, here are the items you should avoid.

1. Electronics

Black Friday is an absolutely killer time to buy your electronics, including video game systems, Blu-Ray players, flat screen TVs and, well, almost anything that falls into this category.

2. Christmas Decorations

Common sense will tell you that as we gear up for the big day, the stores are going to take advantage of us. Right now you won't see good discounts at all. Maybe 5%-10% off to get the ball rolling. But savvy shoppers will have stocked up last year after Christmas, with the major bargains they can now be proud of.

3. Calendars

The 2014 calendars are out now, and they're all full price, or very close to it. There's no need to go out and get one now, when just a few weeks into January they'll be getting heavily discounted. If you can wait, you'll reap the rewards.

What are you planning to buy this month?

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Guest's picture

Excellent list and advice. We tend to buy stuff 'when we need it' and many times pay premium for this. By doing some smart shopping and buying the items after the event or way before it, is a good way to save money (especially since said products/services don't go 'bad' if are not used right away).

Guest's picture

I always got Halloween candy for Christmas and I didn't realize why until I was older. I just thought my parents were being lazy but in fact they were smart and saving some money.

Guest's picture

Time to buy new shoes I guess. I probably have a few months of wear left in my current sneaks, but I don't want to pay full price for buying in the spring.