30 gifts to buy early
Cheapism
30 gifts to buy early
Cheapism

Wrap It Up Early

It might be painful to admit, but holiday shopping season is almost upon us. Warehouse stores have had wrapping paper and even Christmas trees since after Labor Day, and according to the National Retail Federation, nearly half of retailers expect customers to start their holiday shopping in October this year. Add in a dash of pandemic-fueled uncertainty around traditional shopping holidays like Black Friday, and it’s likely that more people than ever hope to get a jump on their gift list. Thinking about joining the ranks of those smug early birds? Here are some items that may actually make sense to buy soon.

Prices and availability are subject to change. Kris Scott and Jason Notte contributed to this story. 

Related: Unique Gift Ideas for Every Occasion

Lego Creator Expert Gingerbread House
Lego

Lego Creator Expert Gingerbread House

$100 from Target
Shop Now

Parents know that sales on perpetually popular Legos can be very hit and miss, even during the run-up to Christmas. Besides, this adorable kit will be at high risk of selling out, and you’re definitely going to want to build it before December so that it can be part of your decor. 

Related: Great Gifts to Buy Your Grandkids

Apple 6 Watch
Costco

Apple Watch 6

Starting at $385 from Costco
Shop Now

While older models of the Apple Watch will probably see some nice discounts closer to the holidays, don’t expect much of a price break on Apple’s newest wearable, equipped with an altimeter, blood oxygen monitor, and other bells and whistles. You can still get it at a slight discount by picking it up at Costco. Not a Costco member? Apply here.

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Puma Calibrate Runner Men’s Shoes
Puma

Puma Calibrate Runner Men’s Shoes

$140 from Puma
Shop Now

Columbus Day sales aren’t quite as impressive as their Memorial Day and Labor Day counterparts, but shoes are one of the bright spots. Puma offered 30% sitewide last year, according to Deal News, which would make for a nice price break on these sleek new running shoes with advanced cushioning.

Related: Get Going With These Great Gifts for Runners

PlayStation 5
Amazon

PlayStation 5

$400 from Amazon
Shop Now (pre-order)

This new console is officially rolling out Nov. 12, and it won’t need to be on sale to entice buyers. Pre-ordering is a good idea to ensure your favorite gamer can get their hands on one by Christmas Day, and you’ll want to keep an eye on all major stores to have that chance. (The same goes for the Xbox Series S and Series X, set to be released Nov. 10.) Just note that even pre-orders are selling out almost as soon as they're available.

Related: Gifts for Teenage Boys They’ll Actually Like

Amazon Essentials Women's French Terry Fleece Jogger Sweatpant
Amazon

Amazon Essentials Women’s French Terry Fleece Jogger

$18 and up from Amazon
Shop Now

These already-inexpensive joggers, a more stylish cousin of sweatpants, are selling like hotcakes. Various sizes and colors are zooming in and out of stock all the time, so go ahead and stock up if you find a pair you or a lucky giftee might like.

Related: Thoughtful Gifts for Sisters

Krispy Kreme Doughnuts
Costco

$15 Krispy Kreme Gift Cards

$45 from Costco (4 ct.)
Shop Now

You don’t have to wait for the crush of holiday gift-card deals if you shop at Costco. For instance, this pack of four Krispy Kreme gift cards gives you three sweet stocking stuffers for friends and family, plus a freebie $15 gift card for yourself.

Related: 25 Gifts Under $25 for Food Lovers

Acer Chromebook Spin 311 Convertible Laptop
Amazon

Acer Chromebook Spin 311 Convertible Laptop

$270 from Amazon
Shop Now

With plenty of people still working or learning from home, demand has remained plenty high for affordable laptops and Chromebooks. This best-seller is also a touchscreen, making it a particularly good pick for tablet-savvy kids.

Dolman Denim Sherpa Icon Jacket
Gap

Dolman Denim Sherpa Icon Jacket

$90 from Gap
Shop Now

Look for denim sales this month, when the back-to-school rush is over and retailers need to drum up some sales. Also hurting denim brands: The pandemic-fueled swing away from jeans and toward joggers and other, softer leisurewear.

KitchenAid Refurbished Artisan 5-Quart Stand Mixer
KitchenAid

KitchenAid Refurbished Artisan 5-Quart Stand Mixer

$200 from KitchenAid
Shop Now

This better-than-Black Friday pricing is available year-round if you buy directly from KitchenAid. Yes, you’re buying a refurbished mixer, but considering the sterling reviews ande KitchenAid’s legendary reputation for quality and durability, it’s not all that big of a risk. If you must buy new, you’ll probably at least $80 more, even if you wait for Black Friday.

Related: Top Bread Makers and Other Bread-Making Supplies for Baking at Home

Siduri Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2018
Wine.com
Amazon Echo Show 5
Amazon

Amazon Echo Show 5

$45 from Amazon
Shop Now

With Prime Day pushed late enough to unofficially kick off holiday shopping, Amazon devices will see early price cuts. This small, nightstand-sized alarm clock and timer does it all: It can show lyrics to songs, give you the news, let you watch movie trailers, check weather and traffic, and lots more.

Related: 70 Hottest Holiday Gifts from Amazon

‘Star Wars’ The Child Animatronic Edition
Amazon
working from home candle
Whiskey River Soap Co
RBG tee
Piccolina

Ruth Bader Ginsburg Trailblazer Tee

$28 from Piccolina
Shop Now

All things RBG will be in short supply after the justice’s recent death, so plan ahead if you want to inspire the next generation of trailblazers. This T-shirt, for instance, is on backorder until mid-November.

Bartesian Premium Cocktail and Margarita Machine B07PJ5Q943
Amazon

Bartesian Premium Cocktail and Margarita Machine

$350 from Amazon
Shop Now

The Bartesian was one of Oprah’s favorite things last year, and this year, the pandemic has kept many people away from bars and restaurants. We expect those things will keep the price from falling on this admittedly cool Keurig-like machine for your home bar.

Related: Where to Order Beer, Wine, and Liquor Online

Skyway Columbia Crest 3-Piece Hardside Luggage Set
Costco

Skyway Columbia Crest 3-Piece Hardside Luggage Set

$180 from Costco
Shop Now

The travel industry is hurting this year, which means luggage manufacturers are, too. This is one category where you won’t need to wait until Black Friday for a sweet deal. These suitcases, for instance, have a scratch-resistant polycarbonate shell that makes them more durable than many other hard-shell luggage sets.

YnM Weighted Blanket

YnM Weighted Blanket

$41 from Amazon
Shop Now

This best-seller is a great gift for anyone who experiences a bit of stress and anxiety now and then — hello, that’s everyone this year — so don’t expect major price breaks as the holidays draw closer. It also comes in plenty of sizes and colors, making it equally suited for kids and adults.

Related: 33 Inexpensive Products for Relieving Stress at Home

Coleman SaluSpa
Walmart

Coleman SaluSpa Inflatable Hot Tub

$781 from Target
Shop Now

If you’re looking to treat yourself or someone else to one of these puppies, don’t wait — they’re going to be out of stock in many places, much like inflatable pools were this summer. Also expect higher prices as the pandemic fuels demand for at-home relaxation.

Instant Pot Lux 6-Quart Multi Cooker
Walmart

Instant Pot Lux 6-Quart Multi Cooker

$59 from Walmart
Shop Now

Why wait for Black Friday? Walmart has already dropped the price on this 6-quart Instant Pot, so unless you’re looking for a more fully featured model, go ahead and pounce. You can also find it in a cheerful floral print for a little bit more.

Hard Seltzer Advent Calendar
Give Them Beer
Nintendo Switch
Walmart
Kidzone Ride-On Bumper Car
Amazon

Kidzone Ride-On Bumper Car

$150 from Amazon
Shop Now

As one of Amazon’s most wished-for toys, this puppy is at high risk for selling out, and many colors are already unavailable. It lets pint-size riders bump around and spin 360 degrees, and parents can hijack the action with an included remote control. 

Ozark Trail Double Wall Vacuum Sealed Stainless Steel Tumbler, 30 oz
Walmart

Ozark Trail 30-Ounce Stainless Steel Tumbler

$9 from Walmart
Shop Now

If you've got an outdoorsy type in your life, chances are they've been coveting something like this. It was, after all, Walmart's best-selling item in nine states last year. On top of that, lots of camping gear goes on sale in October, making this a great time to score one or more of these tumblers that usually sell for $12 (to say nothing of their $30+ Yeti competitors).

L.L.Bean Women’s Signature Cotton and Linen Ragg Sweater
L.L. Bean

L.L.Bean Women’s Signature Cotton and Linen Ragg Sweater

$50 from L.L.Bean
Shop Now

The best deals on winter apparel traditionally don’t come until Cyber Monday, but determined deal hunters may be able to sniff out some of last year’s leftovers at a nice discount way before then. Case in point: This soft, classic sweater from L.L.Bean that’s already $30 off.

Looking for more cozy gift options? Check out these 11 Stores With Comfortable Clothes That Will Last for Years.

Oculus Quest 2
Amazon

Oculus Quest 2

$300 from Amazon
Shop Now (pre-order)

We’re guessing that plenty of people will jump on the virtual-reality bandwagon now that you can get a VR set for the same price as the Nintendo Switch. The Quest 2 is slated for official release on Oct. 13, and like any hot new console, you shouldn’t count on finding it on store shelves as the holidays approach.

 All in Motion Kettlebell
Target

All in Motion Kettlebell

Starting at $30 from Target
Shop Now

Thanks to the pandemic, everyone is still getting their sweat on at home, keeping demand and prices for at-home workout gear high. Put equipment like this easy-to-grip Target-brand kettlebell, available in five sizes, on your list of things to pick up sooner rather than later.

Related: This Cheap Workout Gear Can Help You Stay in Shape at Home

ChathamPlace Long-Distance Personalized Family Map Art
Amazon
Nexgrill Deluxe 2-Burner Propane Gas Grill
Home Depot

Nexgrill Deluxe 2-Burner Propane Gas Grill

$299 from Home Depot
Shop Now

If you’re thinking about going big for your favorite grill master, keep your eyes peeled in October for deals on grills like this compact cherry-red model. Retailers will be trying to clear out the last of these summer staples, and selection will dwindle the longer you wait.

Related: 25 Grilling Accessories That Make Great Gifts

Costco
Costco

Freshwater Pearl 9.5-10 mm White Gold Necklace

$170 from Costco
Shop Now

It’s not that jewelry is a particularly great buy in the fall — it’s that it’s not a particularly great buy at any point during the holiday season, as Deal News notes. For that reason, if you find a great piece for your special someone, go ahead and cross them off your list. Don’t forget Costco, which carries a curated selection of classics like this pearl necklace for low prices all year. 

Related: 50 Unique Holiday Gift Ideas for Her Under $50

HoMedics UV Clean Phone Sanitizer
Amazon