Courtney Omell | 

13 Things to Buy in December (And 3 You Should Skip)

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Whew! We just came out of one of the busiest sales seasons of the year. And although Black Friday is behind us, there are still things to buy in December to get some of the lowest prices of the year. This month we’ll see great grocery and food deals along with some pretty outstanding after-Christmas clearance sales.

Save up to 20% this month by buying your favorite beauty products in holiday gift sets. Score 10% off Target gift cards from Dec. 2 – 3 and use them to get discounts on big-ticket buys like a new Xbox. And find out when you’ll be able to get 90% off Christmas goods at Hobby Lobby, Target, and Walmart. Here’s a list of things to buy in December, along with the prices you should aim to pay (and when to get them).

For more smart shopping tips and savings hacks, text HACKS to 57299, and be sure to download the Krazy Coupon Lady app.


December stock up and shopping list

1. We’re seeing candles for $6.73 during the Bath & Body Works Semi-Annual Sale.

Bath and BOdy Works Cashier passing a seasonal shopping bag to customer

The Bath & Body Works Semi-Annual Sale takes place every year on Dec. 26 and we’re seeing up to 75% off in this year’s sale. If you missed out on Bath & Body Works Candle Day, you can still score cheap candles during this twice-a-year sale. We’re seeing candles as low as $6.73, $ cheaper than candle day! The only downside is that these candles are on clearance and you’ll only see a handful of fragrances that low.

Bath and Body Works Candle Day was on Dec. 2.

Bath and Body Works Candle Day started on Dec. 1, 2023, for Rewards members in-store and online, then extended to Dec. 2 – 3 for non-members (again, in-store and online). In this sale, you could get all 3-wick candles for $9.95 — even new scents!

Candles at Bath & Body Works are originally priced at $26.95, which means the $9.95 price was 63% off. But, anyone who’s even a little bit Krazy knows you never pay full price for B&BW candles. During sales throughout the year, you can typically find the three-wicks for about $13.95 during a promotion, or there might be a buy one, get one free event which works out to $13.47. But other than Candle Day, we never see prices as low as $9.95. With a limit of 24 candles per order, you could have saved up to $211.85 on candles!

We’re excited for this one to come back next year!


2. Grab kids’ cold remedies (like Pedialyte) when they’re around 40% off.

Pedialyte Bottles in a cart

Cold and flu season is back. If you’re a parent of a child in daycare or school — or let’s face it, any kid at all in the winter — you’re probably dealing with sickness after sickness this month. The good news is that you can score some pretty decent stock-up deals on cold and flu care, especially if your little one is in need of some hydration.

Sign up for a myWalgreens account to access the BOGO 25% off sale on Pedialyte liters. Then clip your $2 Pedialyte digital coupon from your Walgreens app. For even more savings, earn an additional $2 in Register Rewards this week when you purchase two (2) Pedialyte liters!
Click to get the digital coupon for this deal.

Stock up with these Pedialyte deals.


3. Target gift cards make great teacher gifts (or, heck, for yourself) and they were 10% off on Dec. 2.

Hand holding an individual target gift card

From Dec. 2 – 3, Target offered 10% off all Target gift cards. You could buy them in-store or online and the sale was for physical gift cards or digital. This is one of my favorite December sales. I always stock up on gift cards for my girls’ teachers every year. If I buy a $10 Target gift card for all 15 of their daycare center teachers, I’m spending $135 instead of $150.

A hack for this sale each year is to purchase a gift card for a big ticket item that rarely goes on sale, like a game console, and use it to score a 10% off deal. For example, the Xbox Series S 1TB Console is regularly $349.99. If you buy a $350 gift card during the sale, you’ll only pay $315 for it, essentially scoring a 10% discount on the Xbox.

Expect this one again on the first weekend of December 2024!


4. Use the $1 cash back Ibotta offer on Stouffer’s® at Walmart to stock up on mac and cheese.

Hand holding two boxes of Stouffer's Mac & Cheese

This is the only brand of mac and cheese my older daughter will eat, so you better believe I’m stocking up when there’s a deal. If I can get one of these frozen meals for under $2.50 I’m happy.

Right now, you can get $1 cash back on select Stouffer’s® products at Walmart. And this includes my daughter’s beloved mac and cheese. All you have to do is clip the $1/1 offer in your Ibotta app before shopping and then upload your receipt. If you’re planning on doing an online order, you can use the Ibotta offer with a Walmart pickup order (if your accounts are linked).

The $1 cash back offer works out to about 31% off select 12-ounce frozen meals, but there are other frozen options available with the $1 offer. The $3.27 options are going to get you the best return on your initial spend, but a dollar back is a dollar back.

Here’s everything you can grab with the $1/1 Ibotta offer:

  • Any Single Serve Meals, 24-ounces or smaller
  • Any Bowl-Fulls®, 14-ounce or smaller
  • Any Mac-Fulls™, 14-ounce or smaller
  • French Bread Pizza, 2-pack or 9-pack

Offer valid Dec. 1 – 31, 2023 on select varieties. Limit 5. ©2023 Nestlé

Grab this mac and cheese offer at Walmart.


5. Holiday meal necessities are always things to buy in December at a discount.

ham dinner on cutting board

As we see with Thanksgiving, you’re going to find holiday meal essentials on sale throughout December. Grab what you need for your holiday meal, but if you see these items at stock-up prices, buy a few and load your freezer for affordable meal options throughout the next couple of months.


We typically see prices on ham drop in the first couple weeks of the month, making them one of the things to buy in December for your holiday feast. We’re still waiting on the news about who’s offering a free ham this holiday season, but we’ll add a list here as stores announce their promotions.

If you don’t score one for free, aim to spend between $0.99 and $1.49 to get a good deal on a spiral ham this year. The under-a-dollar-per-pound prices are usually on Sugardale or store-brand hams. The coupon and sales ads that start touting great ham deals are predicted to come out the first week of December.

And then after the holidays, grocery stores may try to get rid of their ham surplus so you could grab one at an even deeper discount (think under $0.80 per pound) for your freezer and cook it up later!

Instant Potatoes

Give yourself the gift of convenience this year and grab these quick and easy potato sides for under $1 per packet. We see Idahoan frequently for $1 at Kroger, Meijer, and Albertson’s stores. You can also snag the ALDI brand — Chef’s Cupboard — for as little as $0.69 per packet, or just $0.17 per serving. At that price, load up your cart and create your own piggy mashed potato scene like they do in A Christmas Story.


Based on prior year sales, you can score a bottle of bubbles for as little as $0.32 per ounce — which is around $8 for a 750 ml bottle. If you find a deal like this, grab a few bottles to get you through winter hibernation. Your best bet for finding cheap champs? Trader Joes. Their Villa Antica Asolo Prosecco is $7.99 which is right at that $0.32 per ounce sweet spot.

Don’t live near a Trader Joe’s? That’s okay. Shop other brands for around $11 per bottle, which will put you at $0.43 per ounce and still a great stock-up goal price. The highest we’d go? A bottle at $12.75 puts you at $0.50 per ounce and we wouldn’t stock up for anything higher than that.

6. Shop fragrance, makeup, and haircare gift sets to save up to 15% – 20%.

hand holding Nicole Miller New York fragrance gift set

If you’ve got a favorite makeup, skincare, or haircare brand, check to see if they offer holiday gift sets so you can stock up in December.

Fragrance Gift Sets

At Ulta, we found the YSL Black Opium gift set, which includes a 1-ounce Eau de Parfum spray and a 0.33-ounce Eau de Parfum travel spray, for $99. This is 1.33 ounces of product for $99 working out to $74.43 per ounce.

Ulta has the 1-ounce Black Opium Eau de Parfum spray for $95, which works out to $95 per ounce, and a 1.6-ounce spray for $130 or $81.25 per ounce. You’re saving 8% to 22% by buying the gift set. The only better deal you’d get per ounce is if you spend $155 on the 3-ounce bottle, which is $51.67 per ounce.

Makeup and Haircare Sets

Also at Ulta, get a Biolage Color Last shampoo and conditioner gift set for $38 — $8 less than the $46 price you’d pay buying them separately. (That’s 17% off if you were wondering.)

This Maybelline Sky High Mascara & Tinted Primer Set comes with two full-size lash products for $16.99. If you purchase these exact items separately at Target, you’ll spend $9.99 each. Buying the gift set gets you a 15% discount — or savings of $2.99.

Okay, I’m done with all the math — you get the point. Buy the gift bundles!

ONLINE or In-Store Deal
Shipping: Free with RedCard or on orders of $35+
Pickup: Free
Price Summary
$8.50 per tube

7. Stock up on essentials like DiGiorno and Hot Pockets to earn $10 or $20 gift cards for holiday shopping.

digiorno pizzas

These are excellent things to buy in December because this deal is valid at every store (except Amazon) that sells these Nestle brands. All you have to do is stock up on select Nestle grocery items (which you probably need anyway), and you’ll get a gift card of $10 or $20 back on your purchase. We’ve got three easy steps to score your gift card below.

Some of the qualifying brands include:

  • DiGiorno
  • Lean Cuisine
  • Hot Pockets
  • Stouffers
  • Coffee mate
  • San Pellegrino
  • Essentia
  • Gerber

Here are the steps to claim your gift card:

  1. Spend $25 on qualifying Nestle grocery items and get a $10 gift card,
  2. Or spend $40 and get a $20 gift card.
  3. Fill out the rebate form and upload your receipt photo to get your gift card.

This offer is valid through Feb. 3, 2024, and there is a limit of 10 submissions per person. The order minimums must be met in a single transaction and can be made in-store or online. You’ll need to submit a rebate form to receive your gift card.


8. Save on Depend with a BJs membership.

boxes of depend at Bj's Wholesale

Depend products can cost anywhere from $55 – $141 per month. If you or a loved one needs to stock up on these in December, you can get 6% off the 80 to 88-count packs when you shop Depend at BJs. There are no coupons needed for this deal and the sale price is available both in-club and online.

The packs that are normally $48.99 drop to $45.99, working out to $0.52 – $0.58 per pair. You can shop for men’s and women’s styles in all sizes during this sale.


9. Stock up on Eucerin® at Walmart to soothe dry skin in the cold weather.

eucerin cream and lotions in a cart at walmart

Save $3 on Eucerin® Eczema Relief at Walmart with a mobile coupon. There isn’t a paper coupon; this can be done digitally from the QR code below. Once you open the link provided, you’ll take these steps to get the discount:

  • Slide the bar to unlock the offer.
  • Choose the retailer where you’re shopping.
  • Scan all products and push “Total” or “Pay.”
  • If you’re using self-checkout, you’ll scan the barcode using the hand scanner before any other payment type.
  • If you’re in a cashier line, they’ll need to select Credit/Debit and then scan the barcode with the hand scanner before any other payment type.

The 8-ounce cream is priced at $12.97, but you’ll pay just $9.97 with the coupon.

In-Store Deal
$9.97$12.97(23% off)
Mobile coupons needed
$3.00/1 - Eucerin® Eczema Relief product
In-Store or ONLINE Deal
Shipping: Free with Walmart+ or on orders of $35+
Pickup: Free
In-Store or ONLINE Deal
Shipping: Free with Walmart+ or on orders of $35+
Pickup: Free

10. Plastic Storage Bins for Decor

Storage bins in a red cart

If you’re still stuffing your Christmas decor into old Amazon boxes from college now’s the time to give that up. Add storage bins to your list of things to buy in December. We see excellent storage and organization sales in December at Target, Home Depot, and Walmart.

Target always offers discounts on the red and green storage bins right after Christmas. The 18-gallon totes are typically $9 each and we see them on sale for $7 in late December. Then Target usually offers up a Target Circle offer for an additional 10% off for a final price of $6.

Here are your stock-up price goals for different-size storage totes and bins.

  • 16-gallon – Aim to spend $5 to $6 on a 64-quart or 16-gallon storage bin.
  • 18-gallon – Stay around $6 to $8 on a 72-quart or 18-gallon storage bin.
  • 27-gallon – Spend no more than $9 to $10 each on a 108-quart or 27-gallon storage bin.


11. Custom photo items are things to buy in December for yourself (not just as gifts).

shutterfly package in an open mailbox

Custom and personalized photo items make great gifts for the holidays. And you can nab some pretty decent discounts on them in December. While you have to act fast to get them in time for Christmas gifts, you could also use these deals to get discounts on photo gifts for your own home and not worry about shipping speeds or cutoffs.

Here are some price points we’ve seen in the past that you can use as your shopping goals.

  • Photo Books – Look for free promotions, like an 8 x 8 photo book at Shutterfly
  • Photo Calendar – Aim for $12 or less
  • 11 x 14 Canvas Prints – Look for deals at $15 or less — under $10 is a steal


12. Stock up in December on wrapping paper when it’s $0.03 or less per square foot.

holiday wrapping paper at the Target dollar spot

Walmart frequently has the best deals on wrapping paper per square foot. Their everyday prices make it about $0.03 per square foot, which is what you should aim for. But if you can get it for less than that $0.03 price point, it is time to pounce and stock up.

You’ll snag the best deals on wrapping paper in after-Christmas clearance sales. At Walmart, for example, we see 75% off the week after Christmas. This drops select wrapping paper to $0.25 per roll or just $0.01 per square foot. I’m serious, it’s a PENNY.


13. Shop for next year during in-store clearance sales starting in mid-December.

Shopper looking at items at Target whit a red cart

A perfect follow-up to wrapping paper: clearance holiday decor. Well. . . clearance holiday anything really. You’re going to see in-store price slashes of 50%, followed by 75%, and then 90% off the original prices at stores like Target, Hobby Lobby, and Walmart in their after-Christmas sales.

You actually don’t have to wait until after Christmas to grab these deals. In 2022, Hobby Lobby, Target, and Walmart started slashing prices in mid-December and shelves were getting pretty bare by Dec. 25. That being said, you’ll see the 75% sales hit around Dec. 26 – 29 and the 90% sales will hit the first week of January.

I recommend that you buy anything you’ve had your eye on in mid-December at 50% off as soon as you can. The 75% and 90% off sales are usually pretty picked over, but those sales truly are the best times to score some real holiday deals on things to buy in December.

Clearance deals we’ve seen at Target and Walmart.

  • Stocking Cookie Cutter — as low as $0.09 at Target
  • Angels Gift Wrap, 55 sq ft — as low as $0.28 at Target
  • Mini Christmas Stocking — as low as $0.47 at Target
  • Clear Mini Christmas Lights — $0.81 at Walmart
  • Gold Star Tree Topper — $1.22 at Walmart
  • 2-Pack Wrapping Paper — $1.37 at Walmart
  • Cozy Christmas 4-Pack Ornaments — $1.99 at Walmart


Things To Buy in December Honorable Mentions

a teen reading on a kindle at the table

Krispy Kreme Day of the Dozens: Dec. 12

You can add doughnuts to your list of things to buy in December. One of the biggest food holidays of the year happened once again at Krispy Kreme on 12/12: Day of the Dozens.

If you visited any Krispy Kreme on Dec. 12, anyone could get a dozen of the Original Glazed doughnuts for just $1 with the purchase of any other dozen doughnuts — no Krispy Kreme Rewards account necessary.

Green Monday: Dec. 11

Green Monday always takes place on the second Monday in December (a few days before Free Shipping Day, see below). However, the date changes from year to year. In 2023, this means the special shopping day fell on Dec. 11.

This day in December is when online retailers tend to drop prices on popular items before holiday shipping cutoffs. These deals weren’t as staggering as Black Friday or Cyber Monday but always come in handy for any last-minute Christmas gifts you still need to buy.

Free Shipping Day: Dec. 14

Free Shipping Day fell on Dec. 14, 2023. While free shipping is the norm at many online retailers now, we still have a few holding out and charging us shipping fees — looking at you, LOFT and Banana Republic. But on Dec. 14, many retailers who normally charge for delivery offered free shipping codes so you could shop without any additional fees on your order.

Take advantage of clearance sales on this day. Aim to get 75% off prices from stores that normally charge shipping to really sweeten the deal.

Stuff Your Kindle Day: Dec. 27

Stuff Your Kindle Day is a 24-hour event where you can get eBooks for FREE. This unofficial event is organized by independent authors and it’s not regularly promoted on major platforms. Basically, four times a year, a group of indie authors gets together and works with various retailers to offer their books for free for one day. Try sorting Amazon by price from low to high or do some deep digging on the Romance Bookworms website.


Take a raincheck and skip these things to buy in December — you’ll get them for less later.


The entire month of January is one of the best times to buy bedding and linens. We see some deals during Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales in November, but the biggest White Sales happen early in the new year. If we look at JCPenney as an example, we see 50% – 80% off bedding during their January sale. While we see some linens in that discount range during the JCPenney Black Friday sale, it’s only on a few select items. The White Sale has a broader selection of bedding and linens on sale up to 80% off.


Black Friday was a prime time to shop for a new TV, but December is a different story. While we still see some sales trickle in this month for Christmas gifts, we’re sort of sandwiched in between two better TV shopping months. If you missed out on Black Friday TV deals, we see deals in January as the Superbowl approaches.

Fitness Equipment or Gear

We do start to see fitness gear go on sale in late December to entice shoppers to start on their New Year’s resolutions, but you’ll get even better deals if you wait for those fitness sales to drop even further in price. February is when we start to see some of the bigger discounts on fitness equipment and workout apparel.

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