What to buy in October: Tablets, cruises and costumes

Holiday creep is still a trend, and in October, you are likely to see some early opportunities for holiday shopping depending on your gift list.

The early Apple releases mean competitive pricing for technology will come before the traditional November sales, says Brent Shelton, spokesman for FatWallet. When you add Amazon’s new $50 tablet (pre-order a six-pack for $250) and the new Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 (already seeing $50-$100 off) to the equation, you will likely be able to find great deals on older technology in October.

Home and garden items such as patio furniture and grills are all on clearance at prices up to 75 percent off. This includes grilling accessories, propane heaters and other outdoor accessories, Shelton says. This also applies to stores that don’t traditionally discount items as you may be able to get a deal on returns. On a recent visit to Ikea, I spotted a patio set in the “as-is” room priced almost 40 percent below retail.

Holiday creep forces us to think about the holidays sooner, and that means many people will begin to think about prepping their homes for holiday parties. That could mean shopping for new furniture, appliances, rugs or home entertainment. Look for sales on these items, but buy with caution, Shelton says. For big-ticket items, be sure to negotiate, request free in-store pickup and haul away, and take advantage of cash back programs or reward programs offered by retailers. “The big-ticket items are when the rewards add up,” he says.

October is a great time to set sail as you can save several hundred dollars on cruises. The ships are not typically full, and prices are better now than they will be when you get into November.

The end of the month brings Halloween, and already you can score early discounts of 20-30 percent off Halloween-related items. Be sure to monitor the weekend sales at big-box stores, which often offer an additional 20 percent off themed items in the weeks leading up to Halloween. Online Halloween stores such as Spirit Halloween, Costume Express and Halloween Express are already promoting discounts of 20-30 percent off popular costumes and have increased cash back on FatWallet, Shelton says.


Fall fashion sales are getting started, but the hottest items in October are jeans. “I really don’t know why denim is so big this month. Part of it is (the weather) cooling off. It is on people’s minds to buy new pants,” Shelton says. Retailers have responded by offering denim at 25-50 percent off.

Women will see some sales on fall fashion, but much like Halloween, they will rotate through different products or brands every weekend. In October, many stores push their celebrity clothing collections, Shelton says. Look for collection-specific discounts of up to 40 percent off, he says.

Finally, Shelton says, it’s a good time to look for outdoor gear for hunting, hiking and other fall activities. Jackets, outerwear and more from brands like North Face and Patagonia are all good buys in October.

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