Stretch your dollar: What to buy in October

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ABC13's Patricia Lopez gives you the scoop on what to buy and not to buy in October. (KTRK)

If you're looking to splurge a little during the month of October, Patricia Lopez has the scoop on what to buy and what to skip.

Cars

Traditionally, October is the best month of the year to upgrade your vehicle, since dealerships are eager to offload 2017's inventory as next year's models debut in the fall.

European Vacations
Those planning a trip across the Atlantic should make October their month for European adventure. Travel expert Rick Steves lauds October as the time to travel, as it falls within the industry shoulder season. That means it's a time when off-season prices can cut down costs, but travel destinations are still prepared to entertain tourists. U.S. visitors are therefore more likely to find budget hotel room deals and mix with the locals, rather than joining tourist-swamped queues.
Last year, we saw the highest percentage of Editors' Choice deals on all hotel stays in October. With 11% of the hotel deals listed making the grade, that not only beat November's offers, but also surpassed the annual average of just 6%. Coupons from the likes of Travelocity and Hotels.com dropped around Columbus Day and knocked up to $100 off already-cheap hotel prices.

Gardening Tools
As the seasons change and the temperatures plunge, all things garden-friendly start to drop in price, from lawn mowers to leaf blowers to hoses. And although November is a better time to shop in-house appliances, it seems that garden tools reach their best in October.

Plants
For green-thumbed savers, now is the time to invest in a selection of plants and shrubs as local garden centers host their end-of-season sales. You'll find particularly strong markdowns on perennials, which don't need to be replanted each year.
Expect to save up to a massive 90 percent on out-of-season perennials as they enter dormancy in the fall. Tropical plants like hibiscus also sell at incredibly low prices during the fall since they can't survive the colder weather. Buy now and nurse the plants indoors until next spring.

Appliances
Whether you need a new refrigerator or have your eye on a Dyson vac, November is the month you'll want to shop discounted home appliances. No other month comes close to offering the quantity or quality of deals we see in the run-up to Black Friday. In fact, 34% of the deals listed last November were marked Editors' Choice, compared to the annual average of 15 percent. Expect to see the best appliance sales of the year from Home Depot and Lowe's, as the stores slash prices on washers, dryers, freezers, and more. You can also expect Editors' Choice-worthy lows from Hoover and Dyson, since the bulk of the best appliance deals from last Black Friday were on a selection of high-tech vacuums.

iPhone 8

If you're planning on shelling out big bucks for the new iPhone 8, know that we won't see any significant savings on the model until November. Last year, we saw the first discount on an unlocked iPhone 7 just a few days before Black Friday, as reputable eBay sellers began to undercut Apple's price by around $40. For those who don't mind gift card bundles, major stores like Target and Best Buy will likely offer the phone with up to $250 in gift cards. If you don't mind signing up for a new contract, you can likely get top trade-in deals on Black Friday, too. Last year, T-Mobile offered the iPhone 7 for free when you traded in previous-generation iPhones and Androids. In fact, the carrier has already announced it will offer up to $300 in trade-in value for the iPhone 8 and iPhone X, so we're expecting even better offers in November. Sadly, due to the November 3 release of the pricier iPhone X, it's unlikely that we'll see major price drops on that handset until early 2018.

Laptops
Black Friday week is always the best time of the year to buy a laptop. Last year, 23 percent of the laptops we listed in November were Editors' Choice deals. Budget-conscious shoppers can expect no-nonsense 11" builds to fall to $100 at Dell, while Lenovo low-cost touchscreen models could drop to $270. Gamers on the hunt for a heftier machine should find quality builds with dedicated graphics cards and ample SSD storage for around $500.

TVs
If you can resist shopping for nothing else until Black Friday, definitely hold off on a new TV purchase until the last week of November. Most, if not all, screen sizes fall to their best prices of the year around Black Friday, and last year nearly half of all TV deals we listed were Editors' Choice price lows (48 percent of them, to be precise). Expect basic 32" models to fall to just $65 around Black Friday, while 40" 4K units should start at $200.

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