The Best Things to Buy in October

Pumpkin spice lattés, new boots and watching the leaves change colors—all signs that it’s definitely fall. You can also see the change of seasons reflected among retailers. Stores are preparing for the holidays (yes, already), and that means window displays and sale sections are making a major transition. Here’s what you can expect to save on in October.

  • Toys. Believe it or not, holiday sales start this month. Toy retailers want to start the holiday season off right, so they are offering deals and discounts to get you in the holiday shopping spirit. Make sure you get the best price possible by asking for a rain check if an item is on sale and out of stock. You should also save receipts so you can get a price adjustment if a deal gets even better.  If you’re shopping online, make use of offers like Toys R Us coupons to save even more.
  • Back-to-School clothing. While back-to-school shopping is usually over by mid-September, you can still save plenty by shopping later in the season.  Stores need to clear out summery inventory before they stock up on winter fashions, so look great store-wide clearance items in October.  Also look for coupon codes from store likes Gap and American Eagle which you can use online to save an additional 20-30% off your purchase.
  • Fall produce. Planning meals around seasonal produce is a simple way to save on food costs. Take advantage of all the delicious fruits and vegetables that flourish in fall, like pumpkins, figs, apples, pears, citrus fruits, sweet potatoes, mushrooms, beets, cranberries, grapes and members of the cabbage family like broccoli, brussel sprouts and cauliflower.
  • Nuts. Fall is harvest season for nut farmers. Now is the time to buy the  freshest almonds, pecans, pistachios, walnuts and hazelnuts—you can stock up and freeze to make them last.
  • Shrubs & trees. Nurseries are clearing out their good weather gardening stock, but not all garden purchases will survive a cold winter. That’s why sturdy shrubs and trees are a wise purchase to make while the sales are good and the weather is mediocre.

One more tip: If you wait till the very last minute, you will find some heavily discounted (yet picked-over) Halloween costumes, but we don’t recommend procrastination. Instead, shop consignment and resale stores. Many of them save a stash of costumes for this month and you can often get 50-85% off the original retail price. Plus, a Halloween costume is something that is usually worn only once, so you can find “just like new” costumes at bargain prices. Of course, shopping at the Good Will or Salvation Army is a perfect way to find supplies for inexpensive DIY Halloween costumes. Start early for the best selection.