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How to get the best deals this fall

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When it comes to getting the best deals, timing is everything.

When it comes to getting the best deals, timing is everything.

MagMos, Getty Images/iStockphoto

Editor's note: This article originally ran on the personal finance blog lenpenzo.com. It has been reprinted here with permission.

When it comes to getting the best deals, timing is everything.

After all, there is nothing more frustrating than buying something and then finding out later that a friend, coworker or neighbor got the exact thing for less than you did.

Because I don’t want to see that happen to you, I’ve compiled this handy dandy list of some of the best things to buy in autumn.


Patio furniture. With summer over, the demand for patio furniture drops precipitously. As an example, last October my wife and I got a lone patio set from Home Depot that they were eager to move for 40 percent off.

Lawn mowers. In fall, dwindling daylight leads to slower lawn growth and the eventual end of the mowing season in many parts of the country — that means sale-time for mowers.

Trees, shrubs and other nursery products. It’s no coincidence that, in addition to lawn mowers, October is also the perfect time to buy trees, shrubs and bulbs from nurseries.

Jeans. Why jeans? Because retailers typically use October to get rid of all the unsold denim that is still stuck on their shelves after the back-to-school shopping period ends.


Candy. Of course, the first day of November signals the end of Halloween. It also kicks off a rash of deep discounts by retailers looking to unload their unsold candy inventory. Talk about sweet deals.

Home furniture. The conventional wisdom is that January is the best month to buy furniture. However, according to DealNews, in past years, “November featured the greatest volume of Editors’ Choice offerings, as well as the most furniture deals in general.”

Cookware. DealNews also notes that November is a great time for buying all kinds of cookware including cutlery sets, bakeware and even turkey fryers.

HDTVs. High definition television prices hit their lowest point of the year during Black Friday. How low? DealNews notes that, in some cases, the additional discount can be as much as 20 percent.

Aluminum foil and plastic wrap. I’m not sure why this is, but I found multiple references on the web stating that aluminum foil and plastic wrap prices are lowest in November. Yes, it could be an old wives’ tale — but Snopes hasn’t debunked it. At least not yet.


Toys. If you’re like me, you’d probably be surprised to learn that, according to DealNews, the deepest toy discounts aren’t offered during the week after Christmas. You’ll actually find them during the second-to-last week before Christmas.

Bikes. DealNews also notes that the final month of the year is when you can get some of the best bicycle deals from merchants such as REI, Walmart and Performance Bike.

Tools. The holiday season is the best time for do-it-yourself types interested in adding new tools to their collection. That’s great news if you’ve got a hard-to-shop-for handy man father-in-law like I do.

Carpet. Carpet expert and consumer advocate Alan Fletcher notes that December is a great time to buy new carpeting — as long as you do it after December 15th. Before that, demand is higher because people are getting their homes ready for the holidays.

Wedding dresses. According to Forbes the best deals can be had by those who are willing to negotiate with bridal shops after Thanksgiving, but ahead of the rush from future brides who get engaged on Christmas and New Year’s Eve.

All autumn long

In addition to the items listed above, you can also generally find the best deals all autumn long on swimwear, barbecue grills, air conditioners and previous-year automobiles that need to be moved to make way for the latest models that traditionally come out in September.

Hopefully, this little list will help you save at least a few bucks this autumn buying season.

Remember, it’s one thing to be neighborly. But that doesn’t mean you have to let them get away with all the best deals.

Len Penzo is a personal finance blogger with a strong disdain for debt. His blog, Len Penzo dot com, has been featured as one of Kiplinger's Personal Finance Best Money Blogs in 2010 and 2012.