The 7 Best Things to Buy in October — and 6 to Avoid

This post comes from Donna Doyle of partner site DealNews.com.

Black Friday is just around the corner, leaving many shoppers wary of buying anything in October. But you don’t have to be afraid to shop during the year’s spookiest month.

Thanks to the deals from Halloween, Indigenous Peoples’ Day and Columbus Day sales, this month is full of frightfully good offers.

Read on to learn what to buy in October, and what you should hold off on until Black Friday.

The 7 best things to buy in October

1. Indigenous Peoples’ Day and Columbus Day sale items

Indigenous Peoples’ Day and Columbus Day — both of which fall on Oct. 14 — make up the last big shopping event of the year before Black Friday. And although the savings won’t be quite as good as those we saw on Memorial Day or Labor Day, we still expect to see competitive discounts starting around Oct. 8 — six days before the big day.

In 2017, only about 5% of the deals we posted during Columbus Day were for shoes, but that increased to 13% last year.

Look for Columbus Day shoe sales at Adidas, Foot Locker and Puma, all of which cut between 25% and 40% off already-discounted styles in 2018. (Keep in mind that recently introduced tariffs may affect overall prices, though, as many of these big-brand styles are manufactured in China.)

You can also expect to shop strong deals for your home and garden, too, as a quarter of all deals were in this category throughout the festive period last year.

Big retailers like Macy’s, Kohl’s and J.C. Penney will offer sitewide coupons to discount furniture, bedding and garden items, while Houzz should cut up to 75% off some interesting accent furniture pieces.

2. New cars

October is usually one of the best months of the year to buy a new car, as dealerships are eager to get rid of last year’s inventory before new models arrive for 2020. And if you’re planning on updating your vehicle soon, know that tariffs set to start on Dec. 15 could lead to price hikes of as much as 50% on select automotive brands, including Tesla, Daimler and BMW.

So, if you do plan to buy this October, shop smart to save: Buy at the end of the day or month, when salespeople strive to hit quotas. You can also check out this comprehensive study carried out last year by iSeeCars.com, which notes what used cars sit the longest on dealer lots.

It’s also worth shopping for a new car around the second Monday in October, as Indigenous Peoples Day and Columbus Day deals could lead to big discounts.

3. Halloween costumes

It goes without saying that the very best time of year to buy a Halloween costume is Nov. 1, when stores knock as much as 80% off the prices of unsold sexy condiment outfits and black cat paraphernalia. But few people are organized enough to prepare for next Halloween on the day after the event, so it’s nice to know you can still find great deals on costumes in the days leading up to the holiday.

Hot Topic often hosts one of the best sales of the season; you can expect the store to knock as much as 75% off costumes in the first half of October.

Those on a budget should also check out HalloweenCostumes.com. Last year the retailer listed a full adult ensemble for 83% less, and a full kids costume for 75% off at the beginning of the month.

However, you’ll still find the lowest prices on all things spooky at Amazon and Walmart, where full costumes should sell for as little as $5.

4. European vacations

Those planning a trip to Paris or Milan should consider traveling to Europe in October, as it falls within the industry’s “shoulder season” — a period when you can benefit from off-season prices while popular tourist destinations are still set up to entertain visitors.

October travelers can enjoy better hotel room deals and mix with the locals, rather than joining tourist-swamped queues!

According to Trivago, the average cost of a nightly stay in a Parisian hotel last October dropped to $163, while a sojourn in Berlin would have cost you $112. But we’ve seen an extra 10% off on Hotels.com bookings throughout October two years in a row, so you may be able to cut costs if you’re booking a last-minute getaway.

5. Pizza

October is National Pizza Month, and we’re expecting some top deals from our favorite restaurants and takeout places again.

Papa John’s had three top offers throughout October last year, including what is still its best-ever “buy one, get one free” offer. We’ll also look to Pizza Hut this month, as it cut 35% off full-priced menu items last October.

6. In-season produce

Shopping in-season fruit and vegetables isn’t just good for your stomach or the environment, but for your budget, too.

In October, you can expect to shop cheaper apples, lettuce, mushrooms, pumpkins and spinach.

7. Plants

Speaking of the growing season, budget-conscious and green-thumbed shoppers should head to local garden centers this month.

As these outlets host their end-of-season sales, you’ll see especially big markdowns on perennials, which don’t need to be replanted each year.

Spring flowering bulbs such as daffodils and tulips also sell at low prices in October. You can plant them now and watch them bloom next spring.

Buy this, not that

Since Black Friday is happening in November, certain products aren’t worth buying right now. The list below offers tips on what items to skip — including six items you should not buy in October — and when you should see the best prices of the year on them.

Keep in mind that the resulting tariffs from the U.S.-China trade war will likely affect prices on many products around Black Friday, but tariffs on several tech items — including popular Black Friday buys — have been postponed until Dec. 15. Also, a tariff increase expected to come into place on Oct. 1 has been delayed until Oct. 15.

TVs

  • Don’t buy: In October
  • Buy: During Black Friday
  • Why: We’ll see the best prices of the year in November, with nearly half of TV offers being Staff Pick deals, which are the best deals we see. Expect to shop basic 32-inch units for $80, while 50-inch 4K TVs fall under $200.

Appliances

  • Don’t buy: In October
  • Buy: During Black Friday
  • Why: Expect to see the best appliance deals of the year at Home Depot and Lowe’s; more than half of our listed appliance deals last November were Staff Picks.

Gift cards

  • Don’t buy: In October or during Black Friday
  • Buy: In December
  • Why: In December, we’ll see five times the number of gift card deals compared to October, and almost double what we expect to see around Black Friday.

iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max

  • Don’t buy: In October
  • Buy: Around Black Friday, or shop deals on the discontinued iPhone XS or iPhone XS Max instead
  • Why: We don’t expect substantial discounts on unlocked models until around Black Friday.

Laptops

  • Don’t buy: In October
  • Buy: During Black Friday
  • Why: Expect to see twice as many laptop deals in November compared with October, with around 40% of them marked as Staff Picks. Basic Chromebooks should start at $99, while entry-level 16-inch Dell laptops will sell for $200.

Electronics

  • Don’t buy: In October
  • Buy: During Black Friday
  • Why: Canon usually hosts its best sale of the year on Black Friday, while Amazon devices should match Prime Day offers.

Winter clothing

  • Don’t buy: At full price
  • Buy: During Black Friday or postseason sales
  • Why: During Black Friday, we’ll see some of retailers’ best sitewide coupon offers of the year, which will apply to in-season winter apparel. Otherwise, wait until January’s end-of-season sales.

More from DealNews:

How to find cheaper car insurance in minutes

Getting a better deal on car insurance doesn't have to be hard. You can have The Zebra, an insurance comparison site compare quotes in just a few minutes and find you the best rates. Consumers save an average of $368 per year, according to the site, so if you're ready to secure your new rate, get started now.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
10 Foods That Can Keep for Years
10 Foods That Can Keep for Years

These are some of the longest-lasting groceries you can buy.

10 Cars That Lose the Most Resale Value After 5 Years
10 Cars That Lose the Most Resale Value After 5 Years

Two types of vehicles are especially likely to see steep plunges in value.

9 Ways to Boost Your Home’s Curb Appeal for Less Than $50
9 Ways to Boost Your Home’s Curb Appeal for Less Than $50

These products will instantly improve your home’s curb appeal without breaking the bank.

What Is Umbrella Insurance, and Do I Need It?
What Is Umbrella Insurance, and Do I Need It?

Umbrella insurance picks up where car and homeowners insurance leaves off. Do you need it? Here’s how to know.

5 Common Medical Expenses That Medicare Won’t Pay For
5 Common Medical Expenses That Medicare Won’t Pay For

Don’t let these health care costs catch you off guard in retirement.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
This Gas Station Scam Is Victimizing More Drivers
This Gas Station Scam Is Victimizing More Drivers

For the second straight year, a growing number of Americans believe they’ve fallen prey to this scam.

7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Fast
7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Fast

Your financial security might soon depend upon the strength of your credit score.

This Is the Most Popular Age for Claiming Social Security
This Is the Most Popular Age for Claiming Social Security

Both men and women are most likely to start receiving Social Security benefits at this age.

Could You Give Up These 7 Expenses to Save Thousands of Dollars a Year?
Could You Give Up These 7 Expenses to Save Thousands of Dollars a Year?

You could save more than $30,000 by setting aside these costly expenses for just one year.

6 Things You Should Never Buy at Trader Joe’s
6 Things You Should Never Buy at Trader Joe’s

We love Trader Joe’s for plenty of reasons. But think twice about this handful of products.

7 Unusual Ways to Declutter Your Home
7 Unusual Ways to Declutter Your Home

Tired of possessions weighing you down? Here are seven ways to declutter painlessly and effectively.

Don’t Toss These 7 Household Items — Sell Them
Don’t Toss These 7 Household Items — Sell Them

Here’s how to earn cash as you give new life to these unwanted items.

6 Legal Documents Retirees Need — but Don’t Have
6 Legal Documents Retirees Need — but Don’t Have

Few retirees have these documents that are crucial to their golden years — especially during a pandemic.

19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree
19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree

These jobs pay more than the typical job in the U.S. — and no bachelor’s degree is required.

Eat This Food If You Want to Avoid Alzheimer’s Disease
Eat This Food If You Want to Avoid Alzheimer’s Disease

One type of food associated with the Mediterranean diet offers especially large benefits.

11 Expenses That Quietly Drain Your Wallet
11 Expenses That Quietly Drain Your Wallet

It’s scandalously easy to overspend in these areas of your life.

The 15 Worst States for Retirees in 2020
The 15 Worst States for Retirees in 2020

Based on dozens of metrics tied to affordability, quality of life and health care, these are not ideal places to spend retirement.

21 Things You Should Always Buy at a Dollar Store
21 Things You Should Always Buy at a Dollar Store

Dollar stores have great bargains on both everyday and occasional purchases.

9 Dumb Ways You Are Ruining Your Home Value
9 Dumb Ways You Are Ruining Your Home Value

Homeowners, beware these mistakes that can drive away potential buyers.

18 Amazon Purchases That We Are Loving Right Now
18 Amazon Purchases That We Are Loving Right Now

These practical products make everyday life a little easier.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

7 Tips for Building an Emergency Stockpile
7 Tips for Building an Emergency Stockpile

A pandemic or natural disaster could leave you reliant on your existing food supply. Is your pantry prepared?

15 Outrageously Overpriced Products — and How to Save on Them
15 Outrageously Overpriced Products — and How to Save on Them

Retailers mark up products by hundreds of times their cost — but you don’t have to pay the premium.

Why Half of Retirees Now Owe Taxes on Social Security
Why Half of Retirees Now Owe Taxes on Social Security

Growing numbers of seniors are paying taxes on their Social Security benefits, but you might be able to avoid this fate.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.