You may have your eye on that new PlayStation for your nephew. But the holidays are also a great time to buy other big-ticket items from washing machines to kitchen appliances and even cars. That’s when many will go on sale.

If you’re looking to save this season, follow these tips for how to score bigger purchases for less, and how to save for everyone on your list.

The Best Times to Buy

You can usually find the best deals on Black Friday and on Cyber Monday—the Friday and Monday, respectively, following Thanksgiving. These are the times that many items go on sale. (See the next section for specific items.) Similar sales will be found on other major holidays, including New Year’s Day, President’s Day/Weekend, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, and Veterans Day. Small Business Saturday, a relatively new celebration, occurs the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Super Saturday, the Saturday before Christmas, often is a good time for last-minute deals. Finally, Amazon Prime Day and similar days from other retailers can offer substantial savings. That’s good for your budget.

In addition to holiday sales, off-season purchases can save you plenty. Buying an air conditioner at the end of summer, or a snow blower after winter is done, can be cost-effective. You’ll just have to wait until the next season to use it.


Holiday Sales

Some items take center stage during the fall and winter holiday season. These are often popular gift items, but not always. Bankrate reports that December is the best time to make these purchases:

Household appliances: New appliance models typically come out in November. That means sales start on last year’s models to make way for the new ones. This includes washers and dryers, dishwashers, refrigerators, microwaves, coffee makers, blenders, toasters, vacuums, humidifiers, carpet cleaners, and more.

Technology: November and December are great times to buy smart devices, tablets, smart watches, and computers, which often go on sale this time of year. Save even more by buying the previous version after the new one comes out.

Exercise equipment: December is a popular time to buy exercise equipment, with January coming in at a close second. Companies often have sales on home workout equipment, from treadmills and ellipticals to rowing machines and exercise bikes, starting Black Friday.

Security cameras: Prices are known to drop on these essential devices just around the time that thieves become active—during holidays. That’s when companies try to get rid of older models to make way for new ones, and often offer discounts.

Toys and games: Retailers start discounting toys and games close to the holidays so that they won’t be stuck with too much stock. However, popular toys sell out fast, so you may need to pay full price to get one.

New vehicles: Car prices drop at the end of the year as salespeople push to make their quotas. The best time to buy a new car is October through January 1. If you miss that window, May is when the new models start coming and dealers look to get rid of older stock.


More Ways to Save

Whether you’re buying a big-ticket item or a meaningful, smaller gift, use these tips to save even more.

  • Compare prices of an item at various retailers before you buy it. Use apps like Honey and PriceGrabber.
  • Look for online promo codes at sites like CouponCabin, RetailMeNot, and
  • Use online shopping portals, like BeFrugal, Rakuten, and MrRebates, to get money back when you shop. Or use credit cards with cash back rewards.
  • If shopping online, look for free shipping. There’s a free shipping day in mid-December, and many retailers participate.
  • Many stores offer discount codes during the holiday season and additional discounts for teachers, students, veterans, military families, seniors, nurses, and first responders. Look for or ask about discounts that apply to you.
  • Don’t wait until the last minute. You will tend to overspend due to the stress of getting something.


Looking for extra cash for holiday gifts?

Some insurance companies allow you to skip payments around the holidays. At California Casualty, you have the option to skip your auto insurance payment for two whole months. (You also have this option to skip in the summer.) Ask your agent for details.


Happy holidays from all of us at California Casualty!



This article is furnished by California Casualty, providing auto and home insurance to educators, law enforcement officers, firefighters, and nurses. Get a quote at 1.866.704.8614 or


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