Small and independent retailers typically put holiday items on sale after the holidays -- which means anything targeted to October or Halloween will likely carry a deep discount in those stores during the first few days of November, says Carol Schroeder, co-owner of Orange Tree Imports in Madison, Wis., and author of "Specialty Shop Retailing: Everything You Need to Know to Run Your Own Store."
Look for deals on October and Halloween "home decor and things for the dress-up box," Schroeder says.
"Even if the kids don't know what they want to be next Halloween, you can always use some capes and hats for the dressing up in between," she says.
You can expect savings of 40 percent to 50 percent, Schroeder says.
But you have to move fast. Often independent shops can keep this stuff on the shelves only for a few days to the first week of the month, she says.
Halloween candy is on sale at retailers big and small. So if you can use Halloween candy in your holiday baking or for lunchbox treats, it's a good time to buy. And candy corn is just as appropriate for Thanksgiving festivities, she says.
You stand to save "60 percent off, at least," because stores aren't going to carry it over for next year, Schroeder says.