10/04/2012 12:58 pm ET Updated Dec 04, 2012

What to Buy in October

Here are some tips on the products to buy in October to get the best deal.

Trees & Shrubs:
In fall, many nurseries have sales to clear out stock before winter. While we tend to associate planting season with spring, fall is also a good time to plant because mild weather gives trees and shrubs time to acclimate. I spoke with the National Gardening Association and they said many kinds of trees will do well when planted in the fall, including maple, linden, ash, honeylocust, crabapple, pine and spruce, and most deciduous shrubs. They recommend getting them in the ground at least six weeks before the ground freezes.


Two factors make nuts an October best buy -- harvest time and holiday baking promotions. Now is the time to buy the freshest almonds, pecans, pistachios, walnuts and hazelnuts. They lend themselves perfectly to the apples, pumpkins, figs and other produce of fall. Typically, you will get the best price on nuts when you buy them as close to their original form as possible like whole walnuts versus chopped, pistachios in the shell, or raw nuts as opposed to toasted.


It's open enrollment season, which means employees should review their insurance policies and check their selections for the upcoming year. This is the time of year you can add additional benefits on certain plans. Otherwise, your choices from last year may be locked in, which could no longer the best plan for you.

Holiday Airfare:

Book airfare now! Traveling during the holidays is stressful enough, without having to pay a small fortune for your ticket. There are still some airfare sales going on, but after the second week in October, prices will most likely begin to steadily rise. Avoid flying on Sunday, Nov. 25 the biggest savings.


Toy retailers want to start the holiday season off right, so they are already offering deals and discounts to get you in the holiday shopping spirit. Many stores have adjusted their layaway policies this year. Toys"R"Us is offering a free, no minimum purchase layaway program for shoppers who order toys before Oct. 31.


By October, back-to-school clothing is pretty picked over, but you can always count on some leftover denim. Stores need to clear out back to school inventory before the holidays, so look for jeans in the clearance section. Keep your eyes peeled for Columbus Day sales around Oct. 8.

Halloween Costumes:
If you wait till the very last minute, you will find some heavily discounted (yet picked-over) Halloween costumes. But, if procrastination isn't your thing, shop consignment and resale stores. Many of them save a stash of costumes for this month and you can often get 50 to 85 percent off the original retail price. Plus, it's an item that is often worn only once, so it will be just like new!