December is that time of year when mall parking lots get crowded and you spend hours frantically looking for the perfect gift. But luckily, it’s also a time of great deals on a wide spectrum of products. Retailers are competing over consumers’ holiday dollars and they’re offering sales on items that are in high demand in order to get you in the store.
While there will be some great deals mid-month, the best deals will likely come on Boxing Day and the week after Christmas. Here are the things you should be buying this month.
Not surprisingly, December is the best time of the year to buy toys. Every retailer will be offering great deals on popular products to get you in the door. Take advantage of this by shopping around. You might be able to save big if you go to a few different locations and buy the heavily discounted toys that each store is advertising. Expect big discounts on Christmas themed toys after the holidays.
My boyfriend loves Ferrero Rocher chocolate and so every year after Christmas we buy a few boxes. Holiday chocolate and candy will often be discounted 25-to-50 per cent off in order to make room for the stores’ Valentine’s Day chocolate displays, which I’ve noticed in recent years go up now in early January. The chocolate is exactly the same but the Valentine’s Day boxes just have hearts on them, so consider buying some discounted Christmas candy to give out as gifts for Valentine’s Day. Or if there are certain types of treats that you love, the holidays are great time to stock your pantry.
There’s only one time of the year that gift cards go on sale and that’s during December. Many restaurants are offering a free $5 or $10 gift card when you buy a $50 or $100 gift card from them. Some stores are also giving out free gift cards if you spend over a certain amount. If you know you’re going to shop at certain stores, you should also check out cards swapping websites after the holidays. Sites like Cardswap.ca allow you to buy or trade gift cards for less than face value. The holidays are generally the best time to do this since the stock of unwanted gift cards will be high right after the gift giving season.
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Holiday Decorations and Wrapping Paper
You may think that it’s a little early to start planning for next Christmas, Hanukkah or Kwanza, but the best time to buy holiday decorations and things like wrapping paper and cards is right after the holidays. I’ve seen cards and wrapping paper go for up to 80 per cent off as stores try to liquidate their stock. If you’re thinking about getting a new Christmas tree or buying a brand-new menorah, be sure to look for great savings right after the holidays.
If you love champagne, then December is the month for you. It’s one of the only times of the year when champagne actually goes on sale. That’s because almost everyone drinks champagne on New Year’s Eve and the sales are to entice you into the store to buy other alcohol for your holiday celebrations. If you have a major event or wedding coming up in the next few months, it might make sense to buy your champagne now. Just make sure you’re able to store it properly in the interim so that it doesn’t go bad.
Depending on where you are in Canada, you might be getting pelted by rain, sleet, or snow at the moment. Don’t let that stop you from thinking about golf. December is one of the best times to buy golf clubs, not only because there will be holiday sales, but also because 2016 models will be coming out and the 2015 clubs will be on sale. A discontinued driver is still going to work on the fairway, so if you’re looking to buy a new set of clubs then be sure to shop in December.
Tools, Kitchen Gadgets and Electronics
Common gift items like tools, kitchen gadgets, and electronics are at some of the best prices of the year. While the prices might not be as low as Black Friday or Cyber Monday, you’ll still likely get great deals around mid-December or after the holidays on Boxing Day.
The holidays are the season to get engaged and they’re also the season buy your spouse or partner a beautiful watch, bracelet, or necklace. You’ll find a lot of great deals on jewelry, but the deals will be particularly good on diamonds. If you catch the right sale, December is one of the best times to buy a diamond ring. So, if you’re thinking of getting engaged after the holidays or about getting a special gift for an upcoming anniversary, then now is the time to buy it.
Grocery stores want you to do your holiday shopping with them which is why you’ll find great deals all throughout December with sales directed at those shopping for Hanukkah, Christmas and New Year’s Eve. Baking staples are usually at especially good prices this time of the year, which means you should stock up on sugar, flour, baking soda, and other important staples. Turkey and vegetables like squash and Brussels sprouts are often at a premium price at this time of year as well. If your family likes turkey meat, you might want to buy an extra turkey to put in the freezer and make later. Don’t worry about not being able to eat a full turkey – cooked turkey can freeze extremely well so long as you put it in some turkey or chicken stock. Then you can use the frozen turkey to make things like soups, chilis, and casseroles.
According to Foodland Ontario, there are fewer things in season at this time of the year but look out for deals on local carrots, cabbage, squash, apples, apples, garlic, leeks, parsnips, onions, and potatoes.