Start your holiday shopping now with layaway

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- It's not even October, but if you want to get your holiday shopping budget under control, now's the time to start using layaway!

Many people's minds are on ghosts and goblins with the change of the seasons, but you might be frightened to know that there are just 13 shopping weekends left until Christmas.

"Christmas is coming up, I have little brothers, little nieces little nephews and at Walmart is a great way to save up and actually getting those deals," said Walmart shopper Fred Kennedy.

Walmart has had their layaway plan for several years now. There is no opening fee, but there is a down payment of $10 or 10 percent, whichever is greater.

"We also have the Savings Catcher, so we are able to give the money back in a gift card," said Walmart's Alberto Mondragon.

Individual items must be at least $15, and the total purchase must be $50 or more. The final payment and pickup must be made on or before Dec. 15 at the same store layaway was initiated.

HEB Plus stores are also offering layaway plans for the holidays.

"Our layaway program will run until Dec. 12," said Cyndy Garza-Roberts.

There are no upfront fees, but like Walmart, they HEB requires a down payment of $10 or 10 percent, whichever is greater.

The three Houston-area HEB Plus stores offer plenty of big ticket items that consumers are looking for.

"The big screen TVs, the Playstations, all of those items can go in layaway, and then of course those toys," Garza-Roberts said.

HEB Plus stores do not require any additional payment until December.

At Toys R Us, their layaway program runs all year long. You must make a down payment based on the value of your order.

Participating Hallmark locations also offer layaway programs. They'll give you 60 days for a total purchase of $50-$100 and 90 days for items of $100 or more.

"All holiday items have to be picked up before Christmas," said Hallmark's Blair Love.

Other stores that offer layaway are TJ Maxx and Marshall's, Sears, and Burlington Coat Factory.

Each store has its own cancellation policy or re-stocking fee if you choose to cancel.

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