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With inflation driving prices higher in every product category, the idea of buying holiday gifts now may seem like a non-starter. But Walmart and Target are hoping consumer worries about increasing prices and a desire to spread out purchases over the next few months might drive them to shop — especially when both stores are offering discounts on products sooner than they did last year.

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 is offering deep discounts on toys, home goods, electronics, and beauty, and more than half of the store's toys priced under $50 — and many selling for less than $25. Better yet, even if you buy now, you have a long, post-Christmas return window. The world's largest retailer will accept gift returns from Oct. 1 until Jan. 31, expanding last year’s return window of Nov. 1 to Jan. 24.

Target's holiday deals start Oct. 6-8, which is earlier than last year. Price-matching will also be offered, with the Minneapolis-based retailer matching deals from more than 24 other stores, including

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