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 American spending is still expected to be healthy despite inflation, with a forecast of growth between 6% and 8% over last year, resulting in $942.6 billion up to $960.4 billion (excluding cars, gas, and restaurants).
With more people spending to buy those perfect gifts, money is still flowing this holiday. So it’s essential to know the best things to buy in December!
1. Tech and Electronics
Not all tech deals are equal, particularly this time of year. Items like phones, tablets, and smartwatches will all be discounted, for instance. Most brands have rolled out new models, knocking down the prices of previous generations, and retailers will offer holiday discounts. Look for small appliances that go on sale as well. Larger items, like television or laptops, are probably best suited for Super Bowl or Black Friday deals, respectively.
2. Gift Cards
Gift cards are consistently some of the most popular holiday gifts and usually the most steeply discounted. Many 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. If you’re in a pinch for time, it might be wise to pick up a gift card for that special someone.
Discounts vary from brand to brand, but WalletHub put together a helpful list showing the average discount on various gift cards.
3. Fall Clothing
With cold winter weather here to stay in many parts of the country, retailers are rolling out their winter clothing lines. That switch means that summer and fall clothes are on sale. 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 for next fall! For the absolute best deals, shop on December 26th. You’ll find the perfect balance of discounts without empty shelves.
The demand for toys is 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. The hottest toys of the year will either go out of stock or increase in price with this year’s pent-up demand and limited supply. But not to worry: if you’re flexible, there will be plenty of discounted options for you to scour.
Don’t buy toys the week before Christmas, as they’ll increase prices due to procrastination demand!
5. Holiday Decorations
As with any holiday during the year, the best time to buy decor comes immediately after the actual holiday 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 (even a new artificial Christmas tree for 70% off!). 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.
6. Seasonal Produce
Fruit and vegetables are abundant in December too, and you can get the best of the following:
- Brussel Sprouts
- Collar Greens
- Passion Fruit
- Sweet Potatoes
- Winter Squash
Bottoms up! Whether it’s Veuve Clicquot if you’re feeling fancy, a cheaper Blanc de Blancs, or even a rosé champagne, sparkling wine is the drink of celebrations. 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) they weren’t planning to buy. You can even stock up ahead of December 31st for an amazing New Year’s Eve. So, now that you know the secret, you can cash in on discounted bubbly and turn your house into a champagne house!