Money School

Frugal Friday: Best (and Worst) Things to Buy in October

Posted by Arielle O'Shea

frugalfridayOctober is here, and retailers are stocking up for fall — and the holidays. That means a delicate balancing act for shoppers. Do you buy now, or wait until next month, when holiday deals will be in full swing and Black Friday is on the horizon? The answer depends on what’s on your list. Here, a comprehensive breakdown of what to buy and what to postpone, compiled with help from Brad Wilson, the best-selling author of Do More, Spend Less and CEO & Founder of Brad’s Deals (which has a more comprehensive post on the subject here).

On October’s Shopping List

School supplies. Yep, they’re on the list again. You’re probably done shopping for this year, but now’s the time to stock up on things you know you’ll need for next. Retailers are pushing these items hard to clear the shelves.

Winter outerwear. “Discounters are still clearing out remaining 2012 through 2013 winter stock,” says Wilson. “Since true cold weather is still months off in many climates, this is a great time to take advantage.” Sure, you’ll be getting last year’s styles, but we promise no one will notice.

Outdoor and camping gear. Again, this is about clearing out summer stock, but there’s still time to go camping this year, and you can always add supplies you’ll need for next. Brad’s Deals is featuring a Liberty Trail four-person tent for $21 right now, including shipping.

Air filters. You’ll be needing your furnace soon, so it’s a good time to change your filter — and retailers are offering lower prices to encourage you to do so.

Jeans. This ties back in to back-to-school shopping, which often leaves extra pairs on retailer shelves, resulting in discounts for you. 

Wait Until November

Electronics. These are, in Wilson’s words, “Black Friday and Cyber Monday darlings” and they’re expected to be heavily discounted this year. Sit on your hands for now.

Gift cards. Again, as a staple of holiday shopping, it’s best to wait — retailers will probably be throwing these in on offers for free, says Wilson. See what kind of deals you can get before you lay out any cash.

Jewelry. We’ll see steep discounts on this closer to the end of November and into December. (The same, by the way, goes for fragrances — hold tight.)

Apple products. If you haven’t already scooped up the new iPhone, see if you can hold off a little longer and check out Black Friday deals. As Wilson says, it’s Apple’s only true sale of the year, so it’s worth waiting for.