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Alert your wallet: The holidays are coming. This means there’s no better time of year to activate on out-of-the-box ways to save.

RELATED: The Best Time of Year to Buy All of Your Clothing (and Save)

mom and daughter halloween mask
Twenty20

Strategize for Halloween 2019

Consider it your chance to future cast: If you can plot out next year’s costumes, you can snap them up now to the tune of 75 percent off. Why? So many costume stores are temporary—i.e., after Halloween, they need to move their merch (and fast) before they close up shop. So, if you think the chances are good that your toddler will want to be Elsa from Frozen (again), there’s no better time to snag that princess gown.

woman working on laptop at home
Twenty20

And Prioritize Making Gift Lists *Before* Black Friday This Year

Black Friday is on November 23 this year. But if you don’t make your shopping list (and check it twice) ahead of time, you’ll miss out on pre-Christmas savings. Case in point: Electronics—everything from big-screen TVs to Dyson vacuums—get marked down (sometimes as much as 25 to 30 percent off). But it all starts with a game plan.

RELATED: 5 Things to Buy on Black Friday (and 5 Things to Skip)

nest thermostat
Twenty20

Buy (and Actually Install) a Programmable Thermostat

News alert: The typical U.S. family spends about $2,200 on energy bills annually—with as much as 50 percent going toward heating and cooling the home. Installing a programmable thermostat can help offset that cost since you can program a schedule and adjust your home’s temperature remotely via an app. Because if you’re out of town (say, for the holidays) or away most of the day, wouldn’t it be nice to keep the thermostat at 60ish degrees—high enough so the pipes don’t freeze—and then crank it up 30 minutes before you breeze in the door? A device—like the Nest—can set you back $249, but most utility companies offer rebates for installation (sometimes $100 or more).

wine at thanksgiving
Twenty20

Make Your Thanksgiving Celebration BYOB

Depending on how many people you’re hosting, the cost of wine and beer (and vodka for your aunt Gail) can really add up. Instead, tell your guests that this year, you’ll provide the food; they provide the booze…and, OK, a pie or two.

woman eating sandwich
Twenty20

Don’t Miss Out on National Sandwich Day

It’s November 3—a gift to us from John Montagu, the fourth Earl of Sandwich, famous for stacking sliced meat between two slices of bread. What does it mean in terms of savings? A ton of eateries known for their sandwiches (like Subway or McDonald's) are offering one-day-only deals.

RELATED: The Best Way to Save Money, According to Your Zodiac Sign

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