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When can you find the best holiday deals?

Many shoppers rely on Black Friday for the major holiday deals. But it’s not the only day you can net big savings.

Retailers offer heavily discounted items and “lighting deals” both before and after the ever-popular event to help spread out the holiday shopping, said nationally syndicated consumer expert Clark Howard.

Not sure when to buy what this season? Check out these holiday shopping forecasts to guide you.

2019 holiday deal window

This year, Black-Friday falls on Nov. 29. And deals will likely span an 11-day period surrounding it, according to Howard.

Here are the dates to watch for increased discounts: Nov. 22-Dec. 2.

During this time, Howard said cell phones and smart watches will be big promotional items, including opportunities to trade in your existing phone for a discounted price.

Another Black Friday season deal to watch for (though probably not on your gift-giving list!): vehicles.

“The vehicle market is completely overstocked, and sales have slowed way down,” Howard said on his website. “So if you’re interested in a car purchase (new or used), this is the season to buy it.”

Best time to buy certain gifts

Wondering when to buy specific items?

Nerdwallet and U.S. News & World Report broke down holiday deal categories by month to help you watch for specific sales:


  • Beauty items (especially box sets)
  • Computers
  • Gaming systems
  • Home appliances
  • Smart home devices
  • Smart watches
  • Tablets
  • Tools
  • TVs


  • Christmas decorations (beginning the day after Christmas)
  • Electronics (carrying over from November)
  • Toys
  • Travel (“Cyber Monday and the following day, Travel Tuesday, have developed a reputation for cut-rate prices on flights, cruises, resorts and vacation packages,” according to U.S. News & World Report.)

Bottom line

Whenever you choose to shop, have your spending plan in place first. A bargain isn’t a bargain if it doesn’t fit into your spending plan.

Download your holiday spending plan