Even though it would be awesome if we could keep our minds totally on the meaning of Christmas, this month, most of us end up doing quite a bit of shopping. Even those who detest shopping, usually end up doing at least a little during the month of December. These hints will help you know when to shop, what things are on sale and how to get the best prices and discounts for the things you buy.


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We all want to spend less on decorations, ornaments, lights, artificial trees and wrapping paper.  When looking for Christmas wrap ,a good idea might be to start at Dollar Tree.  I’ve seen the exact same nice gift wrap for a dollar a roll, that you’ll pay three dollars, or more, in other retail stores.

There’ll be great prices on decorations, lights, artificial trees and ornaments after Christmas, but for a good selection you might want to shop early , when entire stocks of decorations, trees, lights, and ornaments as low as 60% off. We purchased strings of LED lights for our tree a day ago for 60% off, and some others on clearance, for even less, at Shopko. Finding a $5 coupon off of $25 in  newspaper ad, saved even more.  In the end I spend $45 and saved $83. You’ll find great deals too if you do a careful search.

Don’t forget to head out after Christmas to get the best clearance prices on trimmery for next season. We bought many decorations we’ll be using to decorate our church for Christmas. These we found at great discounts last January, saving between 75 -95% off.


Coats, hats, gloves, sweaters and scarves are on sale throughout December. You’ll find discounts already around 50% off, and by shopping early in December you’ll still find a good selection. The ultimate clearance prices come after Christmas. WAIT until after the New Year for the best prices on boots. My daughters and I got some great boots in January at 75% off and found an electronic coupon for big savings off our total purchase.  It was a real winner.


This is the time of year for really good deals on gift cards. Pay attention, because often in December, Amazon offers a free $5 card for each $100 card you buy. Some stores that have fuel stations will give you higher fuel discounts when you buy gift cards. Many restaurants will give you as much as an extra $20 card for every $100 you spend in gift cards. The biggest savings can come from retail stores who have been known to give an extra $10 gift card for every $50 you spend in gift cards.  Keep your eyes open for deals on these which are even better than cash.


Amazon has some super great price discounts on toys right now. You’ll also find some other  toy deals that offer “buy one toy for regular price and get the second for 50% off.” These are a real good way to get toys if you intend to buy more than one at a time. Keep your eyes open for additional savings using electronic or printable or even newspaper coupons for additional percents off or ones like $10 off of a $50 purchase.

Surprisingly, the very best prices for toys may arrive until around the 15th of December, which is when you’ll find the greatest sales on toys. The toys you really want may no longer be available, but you will find some good prices. If you choose to wait, you can  still buy them with Amazon prime and get them delivered in plenty of time, even if they live thousands of miles away.


Entire Tool sets are usually well priced for Christmas. Many who shop for tools as gifts may not feel that they are as well informed as they would like, and tool sets make it easy to buy without being particularly knowledgeable.  Buying a wrench set, car repair kit or car care kit makes a good gift and in December they often are marked at very affordable prices, making them quite gift able, and simple to purchase. Some sets will have remarkably good clearance prices after Christmas.


You can buy gift sets such as lotions, perfumes and cosmetics on sale all through December, but wait until after Christmas to buy them for birthdays and other occasions, because you’ll find awesome clearance deals on them RIGHT AFTER CHRISTMAS – these will make great gifts all year long.



You’ll find all kinds of gadgets, small appliances and kitchen sets on sale this month – perhaps to help make it a little easier for those who don’t know too much about purchasing kitchen items.  If you think of it, you might want to stock up for wedding gifts later in the year. Keurigs, Instant Pots, Kitchen Aid appliances, Ceramic surfaced appliances and sets of dishes, towels, utensils and pretty innovative gadgets are on sale.  Check out these super clever gadgets for the cook in your life.


Watch for special coupon codes all through the month of December but the best ones start around the 15th of the month.  Online retailers will do whatever they can to get your last minute business, and you might find deals that not only give you as much as 50% off any purchase as well FREE shipping.  Don’t forget to check out EBATES (affiliate link) for coupon code savings as well as a percentage back on your purchases. If you join now, and make a qualifying purchase, you’ll get $10 added to your account, and can start earning money back with each purchase.



December is the optimum time to purchase baking ingredients.  This year the prices for butter and eggs have both gone down (at least in the Northwest.) I saw eggs as a “loss leader” for .69 cents a dozen this week, A loss leader is a very low priced item that is advertised to draw customers, while not being a money maker, the hope is to get customers who will end up spending their money on other items that will be money makers for the retailer. Check stores for their loss leaders and make plans to shop at the ones which will save you the most.  You can find grocery ads online, and some stores have loyalty cards that can help you save even more.



You’ll find a surprising array of produce on sale this month.  Much of the citrus grown in the US is well priced this month.  There are good prices on clementines or mandarin oranges which we call Christmas oranges., pears, pomegranates, apples, potatoes – sweet, white yellow and russets. Usually avocados are well priced this month, but prices are higher this year. Check out this link from Epicurious to see what produce is most available in your area this month, along with recipes for using the freshest local produce.



December is a time of many parties – especially at New Years, so be on the lookout for many sales and all kinds of clearance prices right up to Christmas and through New Years on cups, plates and party decorations.  “Pop”, or “Soda,” or “Soft Drinks,” or “Cokes,” OR WHATEVER you call it in your neck of the woods will be on sale all month long, this includes seltzer and club soda. All types of snack foods are featured this month.  Chips, crackers, cheeses and nuts on sale. December is celebration time!


Dealers really want to get buying customers in December since it is a pretty slow time of year for car sales – both new and used – AND because they want to clear out inventory.  The further into the month you go, the lower the prices – so December 31 would be the ultimately best day of the year to buy a car or truck. December is also a great time to buy a motorcycle.  Of course if you live in the North, you might not get to ride it for months.




Wait until after the New Year for the best deals.


Top of the line electronics – TVs and high end computers – won’t be discounted ’til the 2017 models come out next year (except for Apple products)


Since jewelry is pretty popular, there is no needs for jewelers to offer discounts at this time of the year  Prices will still be high in February for Valentines day, and again in May for mother’s day, so wait until Summer or fall for the best deals. So if you have a big purchase planned consider waiting until summer time.


Want to have a relaxed organized Christmas even if you’re not?  Check this out.



DECEMBER SHOPPING TIPS – What to Buy and NOT to buy!

14 thoughts on “DECEMBER SHOPPING TIPS – What to Buy and NOT to buy!

    • December 3, 2016 at 5:26 am

      Thanks, Christina. Glad you find them helpful!

  • December 3, 2016 at 1:04 pm

    Hi thanks for sharing, Marjie. Lots of helpful information I can use. You’ve reminded me not to be impulsive on those Birthday gifts but rather wait till after Christmas.
    Have a great Saturday.

    • December 3, 2016 at 8:25 pm

      That’s great! I know! I do get a big impulsive myself, so am hanging in there with the BD gifts as well. We have a daughter in love whose birthday is January 2nd and a grandson who was born on the 13th. There are already such amazing prices on toys this year, that I can hardly imagine what it will be like 10 days before Christmas.

  • December 5, 2016 at 1:46 am

    I always enjoy your “What to Buy” posts Marjie! This is definitely the month I needed it the most! It’s so difficult to budget this time of year. Thanks for the helpful tips!

    • December 5, 2016 at 7:00 am

      Appreciate your encouragement, Nicole! I truly enjoy doing it.

  • December 5, 2016 at 5:52 pm

    This is a fabulous post; so informative!! We managed to get Christmas tree lights really cheap the other day; we had to collect them rather than have them delivered, but that didn’t matter as they were such a great price! I have been on the lookout for new boots for months, but I think I’ll wait until the New Year before buying any!

    • December 6, 2016 at 7:54 am

      Trusting that the same sales work in Great Britain. Hope you find a great deal!

  • December 12, 2016 at 9:27 pm

    I love that amazon had such a great deal on instant pots on Black Friday. I hope they have some deals on their accessories soon. I need a glass lid for mine. I agree that shopping early and watching for discounts is a great way to get some great gifts for throughout the year. We got our prelit Christmas tree for $7 one year on clearance.

    • December 15, 2016 at 8:36 pm

      I know! I guess you just have to keep looking.

  • December 13, 2016 at 8:52 pm

    oooo! I need to go get some clementines while the prices are down. I love them, but those little things are so expensive most of the time!

    • December 15, 2016 at 8:31 pm

      We eat them all winter. I think it helps us stay healthy.

  • December 15, 2016 at 4:48 pm

    I just go to the dollar store first anymore. It’s not even worth looking in the other stores.

    • December 15, 2016 at 8:39 pm

      I bought gingerbread men from the dollar store to decorate for our Church Christmas dinner and for our ladies’ Christmas party this week. We decorated them like cookies and did a chain of them. It was awesome.


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