The Best Days to Buy (and Save!) During the Holiday Shopping Season

The Best Days to Buy (and Save!) During the Holiday Shopping Season

The annual holiday shopathon gets going the day after Halloween and runs through the end of December. But within that gift-buying blitz, some special shopping days that offer door-buster deals have popped up in recent years.

What's tricky is that each of these shopping days features very different discounts, depending on whether you’re shopping at big-box stores, local merchants or online retailers. And the stuff you save on varies a lot as well.

To help you hone your holiday shopping strategy and take advantage of all the steals, we consulted personal finance expert Jon Lal, CEO and founder of BeFrugal. Here's his take on exactly what to purchase and when, so you end up with more money in your pocket in January.

Learnvest

Get started with a free financial assessment.


Thanksgiving and Black Friday (November 24 and 25)

Electronics (think top-of-the-line TVs) and appliances (we’re looking at you, gorgeous KitchenAid mixer) are the deals to score on these two shopping days. Many stores will open their doors and launch their sales on T-day evening, meaning you can start crossing items off your gift list after you’ve tucked into your turkey and pie.

If dining and then dashing to the mall isn’t your scene, Lal says many online deals will be happening all day long, so you can shop while you prepare your holiday feast and as you drift into a food coma after eating.

Small Business Saturday (November 26)

While Black Friday is the time to take advantage of price cuts at mainstream or chain stores, this holiday one day later invites local mom-and-pop shops and restaurants to offer fab deals as well. Look for deep discounts on gift cards, which small business owners proffer as a way to get customers back into their stores, Lal says.

The weekend after Thanksgiving (November 26 and 27)

In the market for tools? Wait until the Saturday and Sunday after Black Friday, when prices may be lower but stock is still high, so you'll have a good selection, Lal suggests. The beginning of December is also an ideal time to buy toys, as stores slash prices now to pack in shoppers early.

Cyber Monday (November 28)

Make sure your smartphone or tablet is charged and ready: Price tags on clothes typically hit their lowest point of the season on this day. Keep an eye out for deals on gaming console bundles as well. Discounts on both clothes and video games make Cyber Monday a terrific time to shop for kids and teens.

Green Monday (December 12)

If you missed out on Cyber Monday, you’ll get a second chance two weeks later on December 12, also known as Green Monday. Many retailers use this second Monday of December, which has historically been one of the busiest online shopping days of the year, to offer discounts and encourage online ordering (and just-in-time shipping) in the lead-up to Christmas day.

Free Shipping Day (December 16)

Speaking of shipping, on Free Shipping Day, online shoppers can buy from select retailers and not pay a penny to have it sent wherever it needs to go. It's a super time to order last-minute gifts, stocking stuffers and other small add-ons that wouldn’t normally add up to the minimum amount usually needed to qualify for free shipping.

Last year, nearly 1,000 retailers offered free shipping, along with other enticing deals. This year's offerings will officially be announced at FreeShippingDay.com at 12:01 a.m. EST the morning of.

The final days leading up to Christmas

While it’s hard to predict what will be on sale and how deep the bargains will be, Lal says you might score big if you can wait to shop this late in the game. When sales have not brought in the profits stores had hoped for earlier, they’ll roll out significant discounts now to try to make up for low numbers, he explains.

So if you suddenly need an unexpected gift or a fun item for your office’s White Elephant party, this is when you'll have luck finding something awesome on the cheap.

RELATED: The Holiday ‘I Overdid It’ Syndrome: 6 Ways to Keep Spending, Eating and Indulging in Check

Learnvest

Financial planning made simple.

Get your free financial assessment.

Related Tags

Get the latest in your inbox.

Subscription failed!

You're Now Subscribed!