Your Money Matters: Expert advice on early holiday shopping

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Kendal Perez

Coupon Sherpa
http://www.couponsherpa.com

Get these best buys crossed off your list now. There are some products you shouldn’t wait for Black Friday to purchase:

  • Denim and other fall apparel/shoes -- The arrival of winter apparel makes fall fashions a great buy. Denim is an especially good buy thanks to leftover inventory from the back-to-school shopping season.
  • Camping gear and select sporting goods -- The season for outdoor living is officially over, making camping and summer sporting gear a good buy.
  • Gardening supplies -- For the gardener in your family, consider gifting a new pair of gloves or tools since these off-season products are on sale right now.
  • Costumes -- After Oct. 31, costumes and accessories will see sales of 50% off, so stock up on princess gowns and superhero outfits for kids to open on Christmas morning!
  • Gift cards -- Gift cards are the top requested holiday gift, and you can purchase them at a discount to save money. Stocking up now provides plenty of time to receive cards, plus offers the opportunity to use the cards as currency to save even more on your holiday purchases.

Look for Black Friday pricing as early as Nov. 1. Last year, Amazon and Walmart kicked off holiday sales with deep discounts on popular gift items, and the trend is sure to continue this year as experts predict reduced holiday spending.

Seek out discounted delivery. Earlier this season, Toys ‘R Us reduced its shipping minimum to $19, down from $50. Other stores will likely offer free or discounted shipping over the next two months, plus Free Shipping Day on Dec. 18 offers free delivery from hundreds of merchants with arrival by Dec. 24.

Prepare to price match. Target expanded its price-matching policy to include online resellers like Amazon, plus club stores including Costco and Sam’s Club. Make sure to review price-matching policies before settling on price.

Research layaway. Layaway program announcements by Kmart, Walmart and others kicked off the holiday season this year. Research programs and payment systems, keeping in mind layaway locks in product prices and has a cancellation fee of $10 to $20.

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