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Best Things to Buy in October

Sandwiched between September's back-to-school rush and November's pre-holiday bonanza, October is typically a quiet time for retailers -- and shoppers. Still, that doesn't mean you can't find bargains.

Here are some of the best things to buy in October:

Toys
The kick-off to the holiday toy frenzy begin in October, says Jeanette Pavini, savings expert at Coupons.com. "Many times [stores] will also be closing out last year's models and designs of toys, especially electronics. This will leave more shelf space for the newer models as the holidays approach," she says. Must-have toys this holiday, according to Toys R Us, include the "Let's Rock" Elmo doll and learning tablets for kids.

Lingerie
As they did last October, Frederick's of Hollywood is offering up to 70% off on lingerie. Aerie by American Eagle is also running one of its best sales of the year this month, with discounts of up to 50%.

Air Conditioning Units

Summer is gone for good, and stores want to clear the space. "These units take up a lot of potential holiday shopping real estate, so stores will want to clear them out," says Pavini. P.C. Richard and Son has a number of models currently on sale. (And check out my post on the Best Air Conditioners for Under $300.)

Denim
Retailers began discounting last season's denim in September -- but for the old styles that still remain on shelves and racks, the price cuts are even steeper this month. For example, find tons of designer denim currently on sale at Nordstrom and Bloomingdale's. Of course, you could wait until Black Friday for more serious steals, but if you want to get a head start on fall fashion, this is a great month to strike. "Some jean specialists, like 7 for All Mankind and Levi, offered their best coupons of the year" in October 2010, points out Lindsay Sakraida, features director at Dealnews.com.

Camping Equipment
With the summer camping season officially over, find cheap prices on tents, sleeping bags and chairs. Outdoor gear and apparel store REI, for example, has more than 1,000 clearance items right now, including 30% off tents and sleeping bags. This is a good time to invest in higher-quality items, says Pavini. "You want a deal, but you may want ... the higher quality on certain items, like a tent. The lesser-quality one may not work as well when it comes to keeping the rain out," she says.

Outdoor & Gardening Items
Again: With summer over, stores want to move these out. Based on last year's sales data, patio sets and gardening items from Sears, Amazon, and more were available for significantly less than prices seen over the summer, according to Dealnews. I checked again and, indeed, Sears is advertising "all patio furniture on sale"; there are also numerous markdowns at Amazon, including this 5-star rated, 3-piece outdoor furniture set for $230, a 32% price cut.

Farnoosh Torabi is a personal finance journalist and commentator. She is the author of the new book Psych Yourself Rich, Get the Mindset and Discipline You Need to Build Your Financial Life. Follow her at www.farnoosh.tv and on Twitter/farnoosh.

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