The Best Things to Buy in December

A bottle of champagne pouring into glasses
Tristan Gassert | Unsplash

The holiday season accounts for far more shopping in America than any other time of year. Between November and December, the National Retail Federation predicts that Americans will cumulatively spend around $760 billion (excluding cars, gas, and restaurants).

While money will certainly be moving this year, it’s important to know where your cash is best spent. With that in mind, here are some of the best things to buy in December this year.

1. Cars

As a rule of thumb, buying cars late in any month will save you money, since dealerships and salespeople usually have quotas that they’re eager to hit. Shopping late in the month gives you some leverage – shopping late in the year gives you more. A new car is one of the best things to buy in December, particularly at the end of the month if you can wait. In addition to holiday deals, salespeople are trying to clear the lot and sell as much inventory as they can before January. For the average consumer, that means a chance for major savings on a new ride.

2. Tech and Electronics

Not all tech deals are created equally, particularly this time of year. Items like phones, tablets, and smartwatches will all be discounted, for instance. Most brands rolled out new models, knocking down the prices on the last generation, and retailers will offer holiday discounts. Larger items, like television or laptops, are probably best suited for Super Bowl or Black Friday deals, respectively.

3. Gift Cards

Gift cards are consistently some of the most popular holiday gifts, and usually, some of the most steeply discounted too. Plenty of stores, brands, and restaurants offer discounts on gift cards in December because they know how popular they are as gifts. But that also makes gift cards one of the best things to buy in December, for yourself or anyone else.

Discounts vary from brand to brand, but WalletHub put together a useful list that shows the average discount on various types of gift cards.

4. Fall Clothing

With cold weather here to stay in many parts of the country, retailers are rolling out their winter clothing lines. While you should stay away from those when bargain shopping, that switch means that fall clothes will be deeply discounted. You won’t find deals on parkas or heavy sweaters, but you should be able to find some gems for your autumn wardrobe. Even though it may be too cold to wear what you buy now, you’ll be ready to go for next fall! For the absolute best deals, shop on December 26th. You’ll find the perfect balance of discounts without shelves being emptied.

5. Toys

This may seem a bit counterintuitive since the demand for toys is probably at its highest in December. However, retailers typically need to empty most of their holiday stock before the end of the year and start to get a bit antsy as the month drags on. That means prices will drop around mid-December, with fantastic deals coming in the last week of the month. The hottest toys of the year will either go out of stock or stay at the same price level, but there will be tons of discounted options for you to scour.

6. Holiday Decorations 

As with any holiday, the best deals on decor come immediately after the winter holiday season passes. In the last week of the month, you’ll be able to find all the supplies you need to deck your halls next year at a fraction of the usual price. The same goes for holiday food if you have a sweet tooth. Candy canes, eggnog, pies, and more can all be found cheap toward the end of the month.

7. Champagne

Bottoms up! Champagne is the drink of celebrations, making it a hot commodity around the holidays. More than 20 percent of all champagne sales in America happen in December, more than Valentine’s Day or summer wedding season. Although the demand is high, stores typically try to draw customers in with heavy discounts on champagne in the hopes that they’ll pick up another bottle (or four) that they weren’t planning to buy. Now that you know the secret, you can just cash in on discounted bubbly!

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