Glancing over at the wall calendar next to my desk, I was hit with the full realization that NOVEMBER HAS ARRIVED. With it, comes the somewhat pleasing shock that December is now ONLY a month away! This fills me with incredible excitement and a little bit of trepidation. The trepidation, or apprehension, is that there might not be enough time to get everything done on budget for Christmas. “Everything” includes shopping, cleaning, decorating, baking, mailing, and meal planning for home. Then there are the Church Christmas programs, decorations, dinners and ladies activities.
Yes, the next month is December, and the holidays are quickly approaching. The excitement is that Christmas is COMING, and I love Christmas and the opportunity to celebrate my Saviour’s birth. But it usually does involve quite a bit of shopping. With that in mind, I’m going to pass on how to:
1. Get great deals in November.
2. Ease your apprehension
3. Perhaps learn a few tricks, that could help remove some of the stress from Christmas shopping.
GREAT DEALS START EARLY IN NOVEMBER:
When most people think of shopping in November, they think of the mad shopping days right after Thanksgiving. It doesn’t have to be that way. The entire month of November provides the opportunity to get all your shopping completed early. As a bonus, if you don’t get it done early, there will always be incredible deals that are only available on Black Friday.
Don’t discount (bad joke!) Veteran’s Day sales, November 11. You’ll see some really good sales from the “Brick and Mortar” stores like Sears, Kohls, Pennys, and Macy’s, AND if you are a Veteran or active Military, you might just get extra discounts. Many special deals for Veterans extend throughout the entire month of November. DO NOT BE AFRAID TO ASK!
HOW TO GET THE BEST DEALS ON WHAT YOU WANT
Listen my friends. Before you start shopping you might want to consider coupons. NOPE. Not grocery coupons, but retailer coupons. These coupons are either available online, on downloadable apps, in newspaper ads, or from sources like Groupon. Many, many retailers have coupons available to either get a certain percentage off your purchase, or to save dollars off your total purchase when you reach a specified dollar amount, or both. You can stack these coupons. Many, many, many of these coupons are available during the first weeks of November, and often equal 50%off , or more, on top of already discounted items. USE THEM!
PAY CAREFUL ATTENTION TO THIS:
Here is one really great way to “stack” savings. Ebates.com will not only give you great coupon codes, to save with your online order, but will also give you a percentage back from your online order from many, many retailers, and cash for referring others. With Ebates, you can get a $10 gift card back on your first order of $25 or more, and you can get $5 from referrals first qualifying order. You’ll find discounts and cashback deals as high as 8% all month. Ebates has some of the VERY BEST online coupon deals for a big percentage off, plus FREE shipping, from your favorite retailers online. Look for the best deals on Cyber Monday, November 28. Sign up here to get your best deals. (Affiliate Link) You can earn lots of money by having friends sign up as well.
USE NEWSPAPER ADS:
You might want to subscribe to the newspaper for a month, or at least pick up the Sunday paper each week, AND the Thanksgiving day newspaper, because the those newspapers will be loaded with ads as well as bonus coupons to save even more.
YOUR BEST NOVEMBER DEALS:
The biggest department and toy stores are putting out their “toy catalogs” already. When our kids were little they would spend hours dreaming over them. Retail stores will have special deals including money saving coupons or buy one get one sales before Thanksgiving. Some of these will be in those toy booklets put out by retailers. Walmart, Fred Meyer, Toys R US and others will have them. Download their apps for online coupons. There will also be great buys on toys over the Black Friday weekend as well as cyber Monday online sales, where you’ll want to check out sites like Ebates (affiliate link) for great coupon codes. Finally be sure and check out E-bay, Amazon and the online stores like Goodwill for great deals on gently used and new toys. Late fall is also a great time to buy bicycles, both new and used.
New video games have come out in October, so you won’t see reduced prices on those until Black Friday, and you will be able to find small (11″ ) laptops for as low as $99. Look for the lowest prices of the year, on laptops, and Apple products will be deeply discounted for Black Friday sales as well as HDTVs, and general electronic products like tablets and cameras. Check out these tricks to help make your Black Friday shopping successful.
Kitchen wares, pots and pans and small appliances are well priced in November. Aluminum foil, disposable bake ware, plates, napkins and utensils will also be on sale. Look for clearance sales on Halloween napkins and paper plates, as well as Thanksgiving themed ones right after those special days.
The other day I was in Michael’s and they already had fall floral marked at 60% off. Hobby Lobby and other retailers will soon have their fall decor as well as plates and napkins at 50% off and better. Don’t forget to take your store coupons or put their app on your phone to get instant coupons, some stores will let you take an additional percentage off on clearance.
Winter coats, gloves, scarves and boots will hit some of their best prices right after Thanksgiving. Look for the best online clothing deals starting on the Monday before Thanksgiving. You’ll find some huge coupon deals as well as free shipping. A variety of these deals are generally available for a full week in one form or another. I’ve found some great online deals on Thanksgiving day. Start your online scouting early.
When November arrives, along with it come many lovely choices for produce. Be sure and use the fruits and vegetables of the season. They will taste best, have the most nutrition and give you the most “bang for your buck.” Look for root vegetables such as potatoes, carrots, turnips and rutabaga. In November, you’ll find the very best prices of the year for sweet potatoes, just in time to make your famous Sweet Potato Casserole for Thanksgiving. They will store well in a cool, dark place for well over a month. Cruciferous vegetables, such as Cabbage, Cauliflower and Brussel sprouts are highly nutritious and at the height of their seasons.
Seasonal fruits include Apples, Cranberries, Pears, Pomegranates, Pumpkins and Avocados. And yes, Pumpkins and Avocados are both fruit, though you might not want to bake your avocado into a fruit pie. 😀
You can click on this Epicurious map to check out the best local produce in your area, for November.
CANDY AND BAKING:
Hurry, hurry, hurry for post Halloween sales of candy which will get you 50% off or more on cartloads of treats. Some of it can be saved and used as the base for Holiday Candy. If you are planning to bake your own goodies for the Holidays, be sure and check the Pre-Thanksgiving sales which start right after Veterans Day and go through Thanksgiving. You’ll find butter, flour, sugar, nuts, spices, chocolate and many other baking ingredients at some of the best prices of the year.
The VERY BEST prices of the year for turkeys are in November. If you have freezer space it is always great to have an extra bird or two in the freezer, and your butcher will cut it in half and wrap it for free if a whole turkey is too much to cook at one time. The bigger the turkey the lower the price per pound, and more the more actual meat vs bone per pound. Along with turkey you’ll find great prices for almost all the side items on your holiday grocery list. This includes, but is not limited to frozen pies, gravy mixes, cranberry sauce, dinner rolls and canned pumpkin. Sales start the middle of November. If you need some help knowing how to buy or prepare a turkey here is a complete step by step tutorial to easily purchase, thaw and roast the perfect bird.
DAIRY AND MEAT:
Some prices will remain high, but you can still get good deals for them. Beef looks like it will remain high, chicken prices may still increase slightly, pork prices will not likely go down, and milk looks like it will be remaining fairly high this month. It is looking hopeful that there will be some slightly lower prices for eggs, but not much. DON’T DESPAIR!
Here’s how you can still get some really good deals for these items: Look for “loss leaders” in grocery stores for meat and dairy products. Loss leaders are advertised prices that are very low and do not make money for the retailer, but are placed in the ad, in order to get customers into their stores with the calculated risk that once they get you in there, you will spend money on other products to make up for the loss they will take on the “loss leader.” Make a list before you shop and stick to it!
If you are looking to purchase a new car, and are willing to go with a 2015 model or older, then fall is the time to buy. The prices shrink as inventory shrinks, so you’ll have fewer choices as the end of the year approaches. In November you’ll also find some great used car prices from trade-ins at your local dealership. For the very best deals wait until December.
Fuel prices are at the lowest level in years, this is not only a plus for automobile travel, but for airline travel. If you are planning to travel after the new year, consider waiting to buy your tickets until December when some of the best fare sales are predicted. If you are planning to travel for Christmas, you might want to plan on purchasing your tickets soon, as prices traditionally rise as Christmas approaches. See my October posting for AIRFARE BARGAINS to save on added air travel charges.
SPRUCE UP YOUR HOME:
November is the best time to buy dining room furniture and a great time for new carpet or flooring. If you are wanting to have the installation done by the holidays, start early. Also, if you search, you can find some great deals on appliances.