Every month of the year, certain items are discounted due to overstock, holiday sales, or transitions from one season to the next. Here are the shopping highlights for December in Seattle-Tacoma area stores.
December Holidays & Special Events
- Cyber Monday (December 2, 2019)
- Giving Tuesday (December 3, 2019)
- Hanukkah aka Chanukah (December 22-30, 2019)
- Pearl Harbor Day (December 7)
- Winter solstice (December 22, 2019)
- Christmas (December 25)
- Kwanzaa (December 26-Jan 1)
- New Year’s Eve (December 31)
Discounted seasonal items to buy in December
Fresh cut Christmas trees. The best time to save on a fresh cut Christmas tree is December 20 or later. Here’s where to buy u-cut, fresh cut Christmas trees around the Sound.
Holiday décor. Before Christmas, keep an eye out for Thanksgiving and autumn-themed décor at steep discounts and stock up for next year. Sales of leftover Christmas begin a few days before Christmas. Find discounts on everything from lights and ornaments to artificial trees and Christmas greeting cards, gift wrap and bows, and other holiday home décor. Prices are slashed further the day after Christmas and again about a week later, though selection greatly diminishes the farther away you get from December 26. Here’s our list of the best retailers for gift ideas, party supplies, holiday décor.
Baking ingredients including butter, sugar, flour, nuts, chocolate tend to be plentiful and there are some deals to be had. If you have some freezer space, stock up on baking supplies you might need through spring for your family, school bake sales, or entertaining. One item that’s often not on sale is eggs, because supplies tend to be lower in winter months–so wait until spring to stock up on eggs.
Meats, especially big ticket roasts such as beef rib roast, whole turkeys, and whole ham are plentiful. So keep an eye on prices and put some away in the freezer if you can. Prices especially drop right after Christmas as retailers start to clear out excess stock. Keep in mind you can cut large roasts into smaller portions to use for family meals at substantial savings: cut rib roasts into steaks, cut turkeys into quarters, and cut large hams into smaller roasts or slices.
Champagne. If you’re hosting a New Year’s Eve party or want to stock up on some bubbly for a holiday dinner or a few hostess gifts for events throughout the year, December is a great time to buy champagne and sparkling wine. You can find bottles from $10-$30 or of course a lot more. Check our list of wine shops with a great selection of sparkling wine offering good value and quality at very affordable prices.
Team Football Gear. As the NFL football season comes to an end, retailers start discounting logo gear for your favorite team, including shirts, scarves, socks, and more.
Gifts & Gift cards. You can save by buying gift cards at a discount or by reaping the benefits of other offers and deals. Here’s a big list at our sister site, LivingontheCheap.com:
New products to buy in December
PJs, Slippers, and Bath Robes. A classic family gift, pajamas and other bedtime clothes such as slippers and bath robes are gifts under many Christmas trees. There’s lots of selection and prices are generally good. However, if you aren’t in need of a gift, you’ll find steep discounts on these items after Christmas, though the selection dwindles.
Jewelry. December is one of the best months of the year to buy jewelry (the other is early April). So, it’s a good time to buy gifts for the holiday as well as a gift for Valentine’s Day.
Toys. December is one of the best months to buy toys for both selection and price, though leftovers will be discounted in January. And summer toys are usually best purchased either ahead of summer (April-June) or during summer closeouts. In December, you might want to think ahead to birthday presents and stock up now on toys you know your kids will want.
Electronics (aka big people toys). New models hit the market in January after the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, making December a good month to buy many types of electronics in stores and online, especially outgoing models on TVs, phones, cameras, and video games. There should be another sale in February on closeouts for outgoing models, but the selection is generally lower.
Fresh produce in season in December
Citrus Fruits. Citrus fruits (grapefruit, lemon, orange, pomelo, tangerine, clementine, kumquat, etc.) are in season during winter, from November to April, from farms in California and Florida. Here are some things to know about buying citrus fruits:
- Specific types of citrus fruit ripen at different times. For example, grapefruit tend to ripen all season long, navel oranges ripen before Valencia oranges, and Meyer lemons ripen mid-season.
- Fresh citrus fruit lasts longest when stored in cool (40°F to 50°F), dry (60 to 70 percent RH) conditions; place in a basket to allow for good air circulation and to prevent mold growth. In the refrigerator (<40°F), store citrus in the vegetable bin or in a plastic bag to prevent it from drying out.
- Buy citrus by the case if you have room to store in the refrigerator. Citrus will keep one to four weeks, depending on variety (firmer varieties such as oranges and grapefruits keep longer than squishier varieties such as tangerines).
- Check citrus fruits every couple of days and feel for soft spots on the rind—a sign the citrus is starting to spoil, so consume within a day or two. Discard any fruit that becomes moldy.
Fresh fruits. Other fresh fruits in season in December include cranberries, persimmon, and pomegranates.
Dried persimmon (hoshigaki). Japanese-style dried persimmon known as hoshigaki is available in winter through spring at Uwajimaya Asian Grocery. Look for hoshigaki in the produce department. At first glance, you might think the dried fruit has gotten moldy, when in fact, these dried fruits are naturally coated with their own fruit sugar. Inside the fruit is dense, like a dried date or dried apricot. Hoshigaki is moist, chewy, and satisfyingly sweet without being cloying.
Fresh vegetables in plentiful supply include sweet potatoes, potatoes, winter squashes, root vegetables (carrots, turnips, parsnips, beets, rutabagas), wild mushrooms, and winter greens (broccoli raab, escarole, kale, radicchio). These are all great buys for side dishes and hearty soups.