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November's Best Buys

This is the big shopping season, and there are plenty of bargains out there, even on some things that rarely go on sale.

November is the month that launches the season of shopping. From Veterans Day deals to Black Friday, this is truly the time of year to save money on just about everything. But no matter how great a deal is, remember it’s not a deal if you really won’t use the item. So, shop wisely this month. Here are your best buys for November.

Open Enrollment for 2022 begins on Nov. 1 and runs through Jan. 15, 2022. Enroll by Dec. 15 to begin coverage starting on Jan. 1. If you are in the market for new medical coverage or want to make changes to your current plan, now is the time. Start early because the process can take some time. To search for plans in your state go to HealthCare.gov and preview plans and prices. Do your research and compare things like deductibles, co-payments, and the coverage each plan offers.

In honor of Veterans Day, veterans and members of the military can get discounts and deals on everything from car washes to free meals. A range of additional discounts will be offered at a variety of retail stores. Sites like Militarybenefits.info and Military.com will help you find deals.

There are two times during the year that you will find deals on tools. The first is Father’s Day and the other is Black Friday. The deals might come in the form of a bonus item with a purchase or package deals on tool sets. If you are buying through a home improvement store, ask about military and senior discounts for additional savings.

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It is rare to find department store discounts on cosmetics and perfumes, but they do offer specials throughout the holiday season. Look for a gift with purchase or a discounted purchase with purchase. This is a great time to stock up on products you regularly use and take advantage of all the freebies that come along with your purchase.

Black Friday is known for two things: early shopping hours and great deals on electronics. In the past you would have to wait until the day after Thanksgiving to get the extra savings. These days, many retailers are offering Black Friday deals earlier in the month. I have found that they will save some special low-price items for the day of, but usually the quantity is limited. Start looking for deals early. Some stores will offer additional savings on “Open-Box” items. These are electronics which usually were returned, floor samples or the prior year’s model. Make sure there is a written warranty included with your purchase.

Thanksgiving kicks off the season of baking, which means baking supplies and ingredients will go on sale. Deals will start hitting the market by the second week of November. If a sale item is out of stock, ask for a raincheck. This will allow you to get the item at the sale price when it is back in stock, even if it’s no longer on sale.

Since this is the time of year where prices can go down week by week, save your receipts for a potential price adjustment. Many stores, especially larger department stores, will give you a period of time to get money back if the item you purchase goes down in price. Basically, the difference between what you paid and the new sale price would be credited back to you. The usual price adjustment period is 10-14 days. So, mark your calendars to check back with the store. Usually you just need to bring in the receipt, not the merchandise, to get the adjustment.

Jeanette Pavini is an Emmy Award winning journalist specializing in consumer news and protection. She is the author of “The Joy of $aving: Money Lessons I Learned From My Italian-American Father & 20 Years as a Consumer Reporter.” Jeanette is a regular contributor to TheStreet. Her work includes reporting for CBS, MarketWatch, WSJ Sunday, and USA Today. Jeanette has contributed to “The Today Show” and a variety of other media outlets. You can follow her money saving tips and ways to give back on Facebook: Jeanette Pavini: The Joy of $aving Community. Find links to her social media and her book at JeanettePavini.com.