What not to buy in December
Most of the clothing section of your favorite department store will be on sale in December. But select winter clothing -- often higher-priced collections from top designers -- will still be full price, says Butler.
Expect better deals: "If they do go on sale, it will be after Christmas, within the five-week clearance period," he says. You can save 25 percent to 35 percent, or the store will return them to vendors, which will sell the items through outlet stores, he says.
What is on sale: The rest of the department is on sale. Look for discounts on men's, women's and children's clothing of 30 percent to 50 percent, Butler says.
And in January, the same stuff will be at least 50 percent off, he says. The gamble: Will it still be there in the sizes that you need after the holidays?