Here’s What to Buy – and Skip! – in December

Deals shopping
By: Jimmy Rhoades Posted: 4:44 PM, Dec 2, 2020 Updated: 3:10 PM, Dec 4, 2020

Thanks to the pandemic, recession, and even murder hornets – many people are beyond ready to put 2020 in the rearview mirror. But before you flip that calendar, look for the silver lining: some great holiday deals! We turned to John Matarese of to track down what to buy in December.


Kitchen Gadgets


Let’s start with kitchen gadgets!


“From the Instant Pot to the Air Fryer, to all sorts of little gifts for the home – stores are slashing prices all month long. At many stores, you’ll get bonuses. You might get bonus Kohl’s Cash or other items when you buy a kitchen item,” says Matarese.


Gift Cards


Next, December’s a great time to buy gift cards.


“A lot of businesses put a bonus on that gift card. In other words, you buy a $100 gift card to a restaurant, [but] you’ll only have to pay $80 for it, essentially getting $20 of free food,” says Matarese.


You usually won’t find these bonuses at big drug store or grocery store displays. Many mom n’ pop restaurants or small local chains offer them in their locations or through their websites.




Next, nothing screams the holidays more than toys.


“If you wait closer to Christmas, you usually find better prices. In fact, studies have shown that about December 15th is when toy prices fall the most and you’ll get some great deals closer to December 25th,” says Matarese.


But waiting for the price to drop does carry a risk.


“The one thing to watch out for toys is that they don’t sell out. Because if it’s something hot, you do want to grab that when you can find it,” Matarese warns.


Case in point: The PS5 and X-Box Series X gaming consoles. You can’t find them because they sold out instantly!


“It’s going to be that way until the early spring. Your best bet to find an X-Box Series X or a PS5 is to keep checking your retailers’ websites. Best Buy and Walmart say they will keep putting out new stock as Christmas approaches, so you have to keep checking back,” says Matarese.


The alternative is secondary sales sites like eBay, but with a huge caveat.


“Prices are sky high! We’re finding models for over a thousand dollars on eBay. So you may want to wait a while,” Matarese says.


Things to Hold Off On


Now what about things to hold off on?


“[On] December 26th, you can buy Christmas decor for 50 to 75% off. You don’t need it then, but you’re buying for next year,” says Matarese.


You might want to hold off on fitness purchases as well.


“The biggest sales on treadmills and other fitness equipment happen in January. So if you can hold off another couple of weeks, you’ll find the best deals of the year on workout and fitness equipment.”


Finally, how about winter gear?


“Stores will be marking it down closer to the holidays, but the big sales on winter clothing start in January. That’s when they’re already putting spring items on the shelves and they are clearing out all those winter coats and other cold weather gear,” says Matarese.


If you’re looking to stretch your dollar this holiday season, now you’ve got a few ways to maximize your savings in December.