What not to buy in December
Because cashmere is a luxury holiday item, "the best time to buy it is after the holidays," says Hillary Mendelsohn, author of "thepurplebook" online shopping series and founder of ThePurpleBook.com.
Expect better deals: At the after-holiday sales, you'll save 50 percent to 60 percent off cashmere clothing, she says. "So it's worth waiting."
Another full-priced item in December? Gift cards, says Michelle Madhok, founder of SheFinds.com.
Expect better deals in January. "Because everyone gets gift cards for Christmas, they flood the (exchange) sites" in January, she says.
You can save 15 percent to 20 percent, Madhok says. Combine them with coupons or sales "to stretch your savings," she says.
What is on sale: Online shipping is on sale.
Various retailers offer free shipping at different points throughout December, but Dec. 18 is actually "free shipping day."
On that day, more than 2,000 retailers will offer free shipping with guaranteed delivery by Christmas Eve, says Andrea Woroch, consumer spending expert.
For a list of participating retailers, visit FreeShippingDay.com.
Want to get more mileage out of your money? If you travel for the holidays, have presents shipped to your destination "and avoid those checked-bag fees," she says.