What to Buy in October

happy woman holding halloween...

By Raechel Conover

By shopping standards, October is that odd month sitting smack in the middle of the back-to-school frenzy and the holiday shopping extravaganza. But cost-conscious shoppers need not despair — there are plenty of October deals to be had. The best buys range from leftover items from previous months to goods discounted in advance of the big shopping days to come. And don’t forget, Halloween erupts in October.

Halloween gear. Unless you thought way ahead and bought a costume and decorations last November when prices were at their lowest, you’ll need to be on the lookout for bargains this month. The longer you wait, the bigger the deals. There is a time constraint, however — you won’t find many costume choices and sizes if you wait too long. The best time to buy Halloween gear is mid-month when selection is still decent and prices are lower.

Denim. Back-to-school shopping is over and the holiday shopping season is just about due and much like the month of October, denim is stuck in the middle. Retailers want to sell off back-to-school denim and make room for holiday trends, so keep your eye out for October deals on jeans.

Cars. This is the month when auto dealers are eager to make room on their lots for new models. October is prime time for striking a deal on a new car that happens to be stamped with last year’s date.

Summer gear. This is most likely the last month shoppers will see patio furniture, summer yard tools and summer-themed decorations in stores until next spring. And you know where to look: the clearance bins. Add window air conditioner units to the list of October deals and get ready for next summer now, for less.

Camping gear. With the best of summer hikes and campouts now a memory, camping gear will go on sale this month. Find cheap and discounted sleeping bags, tents and other camping equipment.

Vacations. Cruises and vacations take a dip in prices in October, the shoulder month between summer vacations and holiday travel. School is back in session but many destinations still enjoy balmy and temperate weather and won’t be very crowded. In other words, prices will be significantly lower.

Food. October is a month to celebrate a couple of food favorites. With football in the air, naming this National Pizza Month makes sense. Check out how Cheapism.com ranked low-cost frozen pizzas and four pizza chains during blind tastings. October is also National Cookie Month and Cheapism’s chocolate chip cookie taste-off stacked 10 well-known brands against each other.

Seasonal produce. October is the month when the fall bounty begins coming in even as some warm-weather plants produce their final yields. Look for cheap apples, beets, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, cranberries, grapes, honeydew melon, kale, leeks, lettuce, oranges, pears, spinach, squash, sweet potatoes and yams. If there’s an apple orchard nearby, picking your own is cheaper yet. Sometimes the same can be said for pumpkins. Such outings in search of fresh fall produce to incorporate into nutritious and budget-friendly meals make for a fun time with family and friends on a weekend morning.

Appliances. September and October used to be the prime time to buy big appliances because this is when new models are introduced. In recent years, however, the best big-appliance deals have been popping up in November, so hold off a few weeks before hitting the stores.

Cookware. Deals on pots, pans and small appliances are also more enticing next month, so don’t bother searching right now. Better yet, wait for Black Friday sales.

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