Getty Images November is one of the best months of the year: The thrill of recent Halloween has got everyone in the fall spirit; crunchy, colorful leaves stretch far into the distance to paint a vibrant skyline; and there’s also a hint of excitement in the air as we look toward Thanksgiving and December holidays spent with loved ones (and loved foods).
Don’t be afraid to stop and smell the pumpkin spice this autumn harvest. Especially as you gear up and dive into what’s sure to be a hectic shopping season. To assist you with your holiday gift checklist, we’ve compiled a list of the best things to buy in November.
Holiday Gift Sets
November is the best time to buy all your holiday gift sets, as they’re abundant and almost always a good value for your money. Do note that it’s the comparative retail value and money you’re saving by “buying everything together” that make gift sets such a great deal; they aren’t necessarily marked down at this time of year.
Gift sets come in all varieties, but are typically found in the beauty and skincare aisles. While these sets are intended for holiday gift giving and make wonderful presents, don’t hesitate to buy a gift set for yourself. For example, if you use a certain fragrance, save money by buying the fragrance with the lotion and the body wash for the same price as — if not less than — the fragrance alone.
One of the best things to buy in November is cookware, bakeware and other kitchen necessities. Stores typically stock their shelves with these items during the summer and fall in anticipation of wedding season and back to school shopping. Once that rush dies down, the need for cookware decreases and, consequently, so do prices.
Think ahead for Thanksgiving and December holiday meals to determine whether you need anything to help you prepare. Kitchen essentials also make great gifts for a variety of recipients.
Even if you are engaged, November’s probably not the month you were planning to buy your wedding dress. But that’s the point: Wedding dress shopping isn’t really on any soon-to-be-brides’ minds in November. Most who haven’t already made up their minds will wait until after the holidays (and after the post-holiday diet!) to pick gowns for spring and summer weddings, which leaves bridal store workers twiddling their thumbs this month. In order to sell more gowns, they come down on prices.
(Psst… In addition to shopping for new dresses, make sure you browse pre-worn or sample wedding dresses. Just examine them well before buying to make sure there aren’t any deal-breaking flaws.)
Around any season change you’ll notice an uptick in home fragrance sales across the board. People like their houses to smell seasonal, and so scents like “freesia” or “coconut” fall by the wayside come November and are duly replaced with fragrances such as “cinnamon spice” or “pine.” Because so many companies want your business, they’re willing to compete against their home fragrance peers. Keep an eye out for coupons, big sales and slashed prices on candles, oil diffusers and wall scents.
Grey Thursday, Black Friday and Cyber Monday
Even the least-savvy shoppers of all know that the deals surrounding Thanksgiving are unbeatable, particularly when it comes to electronics, toys and apparel.
It all begins with “Grey Thursday,” also known as Thanksgiving day. Grey Thursday shopping starts the night before Black Friday and is a somewhat controversial move made by retailers (And for some, even earlier: Kmart will open at 6 a.m. Thanksgiving and stay open for 41 straight hours). Still, shoppers line up post-turkey and shop ’til they drop.
Black Friday is where the action really heats up. The earlier you’re in stores, the better. The week before and the week of Thanksgiving, pick up a newspaper and peruse all the deals for Black Friday to determine where you want to go. It’s also smart to do some research on a store’s price-matching policies.
Cyber Monday is when all the online deals happen. Pretty much every single retailer partakes in a Cyber Monday deal of sorts, lest they be left in the dust of their competitors. A great way to stay in the know regarding Cyber Monday sales is to follow your favorite online retailers on social media.