We’ve finally made it to both the last month of the year and the high point of the annual sales calendar! Savvy shoppers know this month is really a twofer: You’ll find lots of great deals well before Christmas, and then you’ll find a lot of things at a deep discount after the holiday.
But not all is smooth sailing in December. If you’re a procrastinator, your wallet is going to suffer this year more than most. Money expert Clark Howard says prices will be the highest by the time we reach the Saturday before Christmas. So if you’re reading this in early December, don’t delay: Get your shopping done ASAP.
Here Are the Best December Deals
Small Kitchen Appliances
Starting around Black Friday and leading into December, several department stores have been known to run a nice selection of small kitchen appliances under $10. Prices have historically started around $4.99 after the mail-in rebate, so this is a great opportunity to stock your kitchen. Be on the lookout for these low price points from the likes of Belk, Kohl’s and Macy’s among others.
After Christmas Stuff
December is an ideal month to stock up for next year’s celebration if you time your purchases right. By the day after Christmas, all the stuff you needed leading up to the holiday goes on deep discount. That includes wrapping paper, holiday greeting cards, holiday decor and candles and more. Just be sure to shop as early as possible after Christmas to get the best pick of inventory. However, if you want to place your bets on the best possible deals rather than specific items, know that as stock dwindles, prices will continue to drop.
Holiday Gift Sets
Gift sets will also be on sale this month, and we’re talking everything from lotion and toiletries to pet gift sets. Once we get past Christmas, the price on these sets will drop precipitously. That means the smartest play is to stock up on these for events throughout the year: Think birthdays, graduations, weddings or baby showers. As for the Christmas-themed sets, just buy them and stash them in the closet for next year.
December has a couple of notable food holidays that usually offer the opportunity to get some discounted or free food. These include National Cookie Day on December 4 and National Bacon Day on December 30. Never miss another free food opportunity no matter what month you’re in when you sign up for the ClarkDeals.com newsletter.
This is a great month for the handyperson in your life (or maybe it’s you!) to save money. Try shopping for cheap tools at Woot with this deal site’s dedicated tool page, at The Home Depot or Lowe’s Home Improvement.
And don’t forget about discount tool retailers like Harbor Freight and Northern Tool. No matter where you choose to shop, be sure to see our guide to the Best Places To Buy Cheap Tools before making your purchase.
December is one of two months (the other being June) when Bath & Body Works hosts a semi-annual sale online and in stores. You can score deals up to 75% off. During the last sale, we saw shower gel from $3.37, hand soap from $2.50, and hand cream from $3.12.
Clothing and shoes tend to be marked down for closeout right after Christmas as well. So keep your eyes open at the end of the month for the savings.
December is typically a month when you can save big on tires thanks to Discount Tire’s mid-month flash sale. Last year, the tire retailer offered $50, $80 or $100 off a set of four tires. The warehouse clubs such as Costco, Sam’s Club, and BJ’s Wholesale also tend to have additional savings on tires at the end of the year. Keep your eyes peeled around December 15.
Storage and Organization
The start of a new year is just around the corner. In addition to packing away all your holiday stuff, you may want to clean and pare down your living space to greet 2022. Thankfully, you’re likely to find storage and organization favorites on sale at a variety of big-box retailers and home improvement stores this month. (As an aside, plastic tote company Sterlite makes its products proudly in the USA.)
Each December, Costco has a semi-annual sale with some great deals on furniture. Look for deals in stores around December 15. You’ll pay only a 14% markup on furniture, which is ridiculously low compared to regular furniture retailers. (Note that Costco stores don’t offer delivery, so you’re responsible for moving whatever you buy yourself.) Learn more about buying Costco furniture here.
If you’re a last-minute gift giver, you’ve probably purchased or considered buying a gift card before. The reality is that gift cards can be something of a double-edged sword. They come with certain dangers — such as smaller restaurants or retailers going out of business before you can use the gift card. But they can be a good thing if you get more value than you pay for. And that happens pretty commonly in December.
In fact, Target RedCard members can receive 10% off the purchase of Target gift cards purchased both in-stores or online on December 4 and December 5.
Warehouse clubs are good for discounted gift cards year-round — not just in December. And if you’re running out of time to get gifts but don’t want to buy a gift card, check out our list of the best instant gifts and experiences you can send by email right here. And don’t forget Clark’s favorite gift — cash!
December is a great month for deals, so long as your timing is right. Just remember to spend sensibly and within a predetermined budget so you’re not dealing with a nasty debt hangover in January. Meanwhile, want to see what’s already on sale today? Check out today’s best deals from ClarkDeals.com.