The Best Things to Buy in October

No need to wait until Black Friday to make these purchases. In fact, don't wait on them.

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

Smart consumers know the best time of year to buy almost anything is Black Friday, in November. As a result, shoppers may write off buying big-ticket items in October. But some items will indeed drop to better prices this month, thanks in part to Columbus Day and Halloween sales.

Don’t hold out until Black Friday to buy everything — these seven items will be significantly cheaper in October.

Here’s a shopping guide for the month, starting with the best buys:

Cars

If you’re in the market for a new car, this is the month to buy. Traditionally, October is the best month of the year to upgrade your vehicle, since dealerships are eager to offload the current year’s inventory as next year’s models debut in the fall. There are other ways to save in October, too: One is to buy at the end of the day, week or month, when salespeople strive to hit quotas.

It’s also worth hitting the dealerships during the second weekend of October, as Columbus Day celebrations will likely lead to big discounts. But while it may be a good time of year to buy a car, keep an eye on gas prices. They spiked after Hurricane Harvey hit the Gulf coast and led to the closure of 10 oil refineries.

Costumes

The best time of year to buy a Halloween costume is the day after the holiday, when retailers slash 50 to 75 percent off the prices of unsold devil horns and sexy Scrabble outfits. But, let’s face it — not very many of us are preparing for next year — we’re scrambling to get a costume for this year’s festivities. So it’s nice to know you can still find great deals on costumes in the days leading up to Oct. 31.

Last year, BuyCostumes, for example, knocked an extra 20 percent off items already discounted up to 95 percent off two weeks before Halloween. That put many items at less than half the price of other stores’ best offers. Spirit Halloween joined the party by knocking $10 off with no minimum purchase required, while Prime members shopped Amazon for costumes under $6 just days before the holiday, and still got them shipped in time for trick-or-treating.

European vacations

Those planning a trip across the Atlantic Ocean should make October the month for European adventure. Travel expert Rick Steves lauds October as the time to travel, as it falls within the industry’s “shoulder season.” That means it’s a time when off-season prices can cut down costs, but travel destinations are still prepared to entertain tourists. U.S. visitors are therefore more likely to find budget hotel room deals and be able to mix with the locals, rather than joining tourist-swamped queues.

Last year, we saw the highest percentage of Editors’ Choice deals on all hotel stays in October. With 11 percent of the hotel deals listed making the grade, that not only beat November’s offers, but also surpassed the annual average of just 6 percent. Coupons from the likes of Travelocity and Hotels.com dropped around Columbus Day and knocked as much as $100 off already-cheap hotel prices.

Pizza

A monthlong celebration of pizza is exactly the type of holiday we’re interested in! October is National Pizza Month, and with it we expect to see lots of great deals on all things cheesy. Expect hot deals from Domino’s and Papa John’s — the latter of which touted one of its best BOGO offers of the year in 2016. Pizza Hut joined the revelry, too, selling two medium pizzas for just $6.99 each for the entire month.

Gardening tools

As the seasons change and the temperatures plunge, all things garden-friendly start to drop in price, from lawn mowers and leaf blowers to hoses. And although November is a better time to shop in-house appliances, it seems that garden tools reach their best in October.

Last year, we listed more Editors’ Choice deals in this month than any other, and saw incredibly low prices on electric tools at Amazon and Woot — the latter of which knocked thousands off the cost of riding lawn mowers. VMInnovations was a prime spot to shop refurbished tools, too, as the retailer sold trimmers and lawn mowers at huge price lows via unique coupon codes. You can expect to see those garden gadgets for half the price of any other store. Elsewhere, you’ll likely see shovels fall to as low as $11, which is a 35 percent savings over last September’s best price.

Select produce

Shopping for in-season produce is a great way to save throughout the year, and October is no exception. When fruits and vegetables are at their most plentiful, prices can drop by up to 50 percent. Expect to see cheaper prices and better-tasting pumpkins, cranberries, sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts and pomegranates, among other seasonal produce.

Plants

For green-thumbed savers, now is the time to invest in a selection of plants and shrubs as local garden centers host their end-of-season sales. You’ll find particularly strong markdowns on perennials, which don’t need to be replanted each year.

Expect to save up to a massive 90 percent on out-of-season perennials as they enter dormancy in the fall. Tropical plants like hibiscus also sell at incredibly low prices during the fall since they can’t survive the colder weather. Buy now and nurse the plants indoors until next spring.

Wait until Black Friday to buy these things …

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