The holidays seem to come earlier every year, but that doesn't have to be a bad thing. Just as stores start decorating early, it's a smart move to start buying gifts early to take advantage of the low prices on many products that precede the holiday season spike in demand -- and that doesn't just mean waiting for Black Friday Here are some holiday gifts you should buy now to get the best deals.
We recommend: Sealy Response Kenney Firm Twin Mattress
$136 | Buy It
According to Consumer Reports, department stores like Sears and specialty retailers conduct some of their best mattress sales in October. Since different stores stock exclusive models from mattress manufacturers, it may be easier to compare prices online but can be nonetheless important to test for comfort in-person.
We recommend: Smoke Hollow TableTop Propane Grill
$75 | Buy It
Outdoor living essentials like grills and smokers go on sale in autumn, when retailers make room for cold weather merchandise. Look for discounted prices on both charcoal and gas grills to see which best suits your budget and grilling needs.
We recommend: Kenmore Gas Range w/ Broil & Serve Drawer
$450 | Buy It
The latest models of major appliances such as dishwashers, oven ranges, and laundry machines come out in September and October. To make room for new product, retailers will be marking down their prices on the previous year's models. A Kenmore gas range, for example, is currently marked down from $850 to $450 on Sears.com.
We recommend: Liz Claiborne Sunglasses
$16 | Buy It
When sunny season is over, the deals on sunglasses begin. The best storewide sales occur in September, but it's easy to find cheap prices on shades both from name-brands like Liz Claiborne as well as on generic yet equally effective varieties.
We recommend: K' Nex Hornet Swarm Roller Coaster Building Set
$24.98 | Buy It
The holiday shopping season hasn't quite begun, so toy stores are still offering deals on popular playthings from this season and previous ones, such as the K'Nex roller coaster set from Toys R Us, in advance of the holiday influx of new products.
We recommend: Gotham Steel Non-stick 10 Piece Cookware Set
$105.99 | Buy It
There are more discounts on cookware in November than any other month. Most retailers will offer their deals at various times throughout the month, including during pre-Black Friday sales, on Black Friday itself, and on Cyber Monday.
We recommend: Shark Cordless Bagless Upright Vacuum
$89 | Buy It
Conventional wisdom says spring is the best time to tidy up, but the best deals on vacuum cleaners are in October and November, both during and in advance of Black Friday weekend. For online shoppers, Overstock.com currently has a wide variety of discounted cleaners.
We recommend: Puma Sweeper Training Duffel
$14.99 | Buy It
Now is the shoulder season for many vacation spots, a time when virtually anything travel-related is offered at a discount price. Look for deals on duffel bags, backpacks, rolling cases, and other kinds of luggage -- great holiday gifts in advance of winter travel.
We recommend: Blue Sky Hammocks Mosquito Net Hammock
$19.99 | Buy It
As with other outdoor products, October is one of the best times to buy a hammock, even if it doesn't see much use until next spring. Walmart offers a low-end, stretchable hammock with built-in insect net that functions well for lounging in the backyard during a camping trip.
We recommend: Ozark Trail Instant Double Villa Cabin Tent
$109 | Buy It
Whether your tent broke this summer or planning ahead is a priority, now is the time to find deals on new models even if they won't see immediate use. Walmart's online store currently has a slate of Coleman and Ozark Trail tents in different sizes at a discount.
We recommend: Babies Breath Garden
$9 | Buy It
Nurseries and home improvement stores often offer perennial plants -- the kind that don't have to be replanted each year -- at bargain prices during autumn. This is also a perfect time to plant discounted offerings like baby's breath, tulips, daffodils, and trees to enliven a home garden or lawn.
We recommend: Cub Cadet Push Lawn Mower
$280 | Buy It
The change of season also sends the price of gardening accessories into steep decline, making October the best time of year to pick up a trowel. This goes even for electric gardening tools like trimmers and lawn mowers, which can vary in price from $80 to $4,000 and beyond.
We recommend: Wrangler Rugged Wear Relaxed Fit Jeans
$20 | Buy It
Denim jeans return to store shelves for the back-to-school season, and are often discounted in the lull between the start of school and the holiday season, both in-store and at specialty online retailers like Sheplers. Many will offer buy one, get one 50% off deals, incentivizing shoppers to buy one pair for themselves and another as a gift.