Do not despair if you are recovering from a summer of soaring gas prices and back-to-school shopping while gearing up for the pinch of holiday shopping. With deals and savings specific to the season, autumn is a great time to fall into a pile of green if you shop smartly.
By taking advantage of the way the seasons dictate the types of deals merchants, you can benefit from surprisingly deep discounts.
To make room for holiday inventory and sidestep hanging on to merchandise that might be considered outdated by next year, retailers tend to slash the prices of specific items between the middle or end of August and early November.
"The fall is the best time to purchase patio furniture and grills," said Joanie Demer, co-author of "Pick Another Checkout Lane, Honey." "You can save over 40% by shopping at the close of the season."
You’ll also save a bundle on these five items:
Travel: Sail The Seas At Up To 75% Off
It's National Cruise Vacation Month, and October is a great time to book a cruise to the Caribbean.
"Fewer people take vacations in October, so generally prices are lower than at other times of the year," said Robert Melton, founder of Funtober, a website dedicated to having fun in October.
Melton said a six-night western Caribbean cruise with an interior room can be $349 for double occupancy during October.
"The same cruise in July 2013 would cost you $629," he said.
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Jeans: Save From 30% To 75%
Retailers have to get rid of denim after they overstock for the back-to-school rush. Fall discounts range from 30% to 50% off, said Jon Lal, founder of BeFrugal.com and a couponing/smart shopping expert.
And you can save 75% during Columbus Day sales around October 8, said Jeanette Pavini, a savings expert at Coupons.com.
Shrubs And Trees: Save Up To 50%
Nurseries are clearing out their good-weather gardening stock because many won't survive the winter if they aren't in the ground, Pavini said.
"Sturdy shrubs and trees a nursery said can be planted in the fall and will withstand the coming winter are a wise purchase while the sales are good and the weather is mediocre," she said. Save at least 50%: "Nurseries will have to toss inventory after planting season if they can’t sell it."
Cars: Save Thousands
LeeAnn Shattuck, owner of a national consulting firm that helps women buy cars, said fall is a good time to drive away with a new car.
"Dealers must sell the old models in order to take delivery of the new ones, and the manufacturers typically offer incentives (rebates, lease deals and/or special finance rates) to entice buyers," she said.
You can get a 2012 model for hundreds or thousands less than new 2013 models.
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Jewelry: Save 20% Or More
"Since October is a slow month for jewelry sales, retailers offer great deals to bring in customers," Lal said.
So snag a bauble for yourself or stash one away to give to your sweetie for the holidays or on Valentine's Day.
The Investing Answer: Hang on to your receipts. Retailers such as Walmart and Best Buy have price match guarantees. So if something you purchased in August goes on sale within a merchant's price matching "window" (typically 14 to 30 days from the date of purchase), it will either the difference or issue you a store credit.
Also, some retailers may cut prices even deeper as the snow season approaches or offer online-only savings.