With the biggest shopping season of the year just around the corner, it’s probably no surprise that many of the best things to buy in November are the typical hot items on sale around Black Friday and Cyber Monday. But, if Black Friday shopping isn’t your thing, retailers do try to bring in customers both in store and online who don’t want to fight the crowds in the days and weeks prior to Black Friday by offering some great deals, including sales during Veteran’s Day weekend.

1. Electronics

From televisions to laptops to video game consoles, you’ll find the best deals this month. Do your research to be sure you are getting the best price by checking the price at several stores, as well as to ensure that super low priced TV still has all of the features you want. Many times, in order to get those really low prices, the electronics have been stripped of the some features, so be sure you know what you are really buying. Be on the lookout for gaming system bundles, though you’ll usually find the best deals on older models. Target already has some TVs on sale, with a Cartwheel offer of 10 percent off all TVs through today.

2. Kitchen items

If you’re in need of replacing some of your kitchen essentials, coffeemakers, blenders, slow cookers, and kitchenware are just some of the items with super low prices this month. The lowest prices will definitely be Black Friday or Cyber Monday, but most stores will have the same sales available online. You’ll also see cookware on sale after Black Friday into Christmas to gear up for entertaining season.

3. Clothes

The colder weather has arrived, which reminds us that we can’t wait until end of season clearance to add a couple more sweaters to our winter clothing. Plus, Christmas is around the corner, so people are starting to take a look at their shopping lists, and a nice sweater or pajama set is a good gift for someone when you just aren’t really sure what to buy. Start shopping now to beat the crowds. The ads this week already have a lot of great deals on a variety of clothing for the whole family. Plus check out the sales on Cyber Monday, especially for the stores that aren’t in our area because you’ll likely find free shipping on top of low prices.

4. Tools and hardware

It seems a lot of people do home improvements in the warmer months, so tools and hardware tend to get marked down this time of year. The home improvement stores will be trying to lure you away from the mall during the holiday shopping season and into their stores by offering good deals. Plus, if you have a handyman (or woman) on your Christmas list, you might find some gifts like tool boxes or hand tools.

5. Thanksgiving prep

If you’re planning to cook for the holidays, keep an eye on the ads before Thanksgiving for the best prices on baking supplies, canned goods and turkeys. Don’t just plan for Thanksgiving dinner, but plan ahead to Christmas and New Year’s parties to get low prices now. Many grocery stores also offer special promotions on turkeys and hams this time of year. You’ll find really low prices to stock your pantry and your freezer.

November is my favorite shopping season of the year because, yes, I am one of the crazy people who loves Black Friday shopping. If you’re interested in saving money during Black Friday, be sure to read this column the next two weeks to get more information on the best way to do it.

Maggie Hensler is a teacher living the frugal life in Davenport with her husband and two boys. Her column runs every Saturday in the Quad-City Times.

Outbrain