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Smart Buying

Best and Worst Buys of October

You'll find a few items on sale, but the better deals will start appearing next month.

It's a good time to start setting aside cash for holiday purchases so that you don't go into debt buying gifts (as I wrote in Save -- or Earn -- $1,000 by Black Friday). But now is not the time to start your holiday shopping if you're looking for deals. That's because only a few items traditionally go on sale in October. Here are the best and worst things to buy now, according to dealnews.com, which analyzes deals from past years to predict what will be discounted this year.

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What's on sale now ...

Denim. You'll find discounts on jeans that retailers didn't sell during the back-to-school season. In the past, Dealnews.com has seen sales on denim from Levi's, Lee Jeans, Target's Mossimo line, Armani Exchange, Lucky Brand, Express, New York & Company, American Eagle, and more. However, you're likely to see retailers discount denim even more -- or offer their best coupons -- during Black Friday in November.

Garden plants. You'll find deals on landscaping trees, shrubs and floral bulbs that nurseries want to clear out before winter.

Halloween items. The best time to buy costumes and decorations is after October 31, when these items are marked down 50% to 90%. But if you need to outfit your trick-or-treaters for this Halloween, you'll find sales the week before the holiday. Also look for coupons from retailers such as BuyCostumes.com.

Wait a little longer to buy ...

Appliances. October often is touted as a good month to buy appliances because manufacturers roll out new models this month. But dealnews.com has found that there are more -- and better -- deals on appliances from department and home-improvement stores in November.

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Cold-weather apparel. The best deals will appear in January. But if you need a new coat, try to at least wait until November when retailers will offer some deals around Black Friday. According to dealnews.com, you can expect to see coupons offering up to 50% off from Abercrombie & Fitch, Aeropostale, American Eagle, Ann Taylor, Dockers, Express, Lands' End, Nautica and more.

Cookware. Don't be in a rush to stock your kitchen with new cookware in preparation for Thanksgiving. Wait until November to make any purchases because you'll likely find more deals on bakeware, cutlery sets and small appliances from retailers such as Amazon, Kohl's, Macy's, Oneida, Sears, Williams Sonoma and more.

HDTVs. Hold out until November or December to do your TV shopping. The real deals will appear Black Friday and continue into the weeks before Christmas. However, if you can't wait until then, dealnews.com reports that it has seen some good deals lately on 55-inch 3D LCD HDTVs and off-brand 42-inch HDTVs.

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