Overpriced Holiday Shopping Items You Don’t Need To Add To Your Cart

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Months of inflation have taken their toll, and there’s just no way around it — the holidays will be more expensive this year. But prices haven’t risen equally across the board and a few key substitutions could keep your seasonal budget intact

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If your list contains any of the following items, consider swapping them out for something comparable or waiting until after the holidays — you’ll be glad you did when your January credit card statement arrives. 

Anything That’s In-Season 

Winter is the time to buy flip-flops, sunglasses, convertibles and beach chairs. Summer is when you buy winter coats, boots, snow tires and gloves.

Nearly all seasonal merchandise costs more to buy during its in-demand time of year — and the same goes for Christmas lights, menorahs, ornaments, wrapping paper and everything else you haul out of the basement when autumn ends. 

Make Your Money Work for You

“Winter items and holiday decor are often overpriced during the holidays,” said Rebecca Gramuglia, public relations manager at TopCashback. “If possible, hold off on buying these items until after the holiday season is over to score deep discounts and save them for next year.” 

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Large Appliances, Mattresses and Furniture

Stores typically slash prices on big-ticket household items during the winter holiday rush — but 2022 is no typical year. 

“A few items that inflation has impacted the most are furniture, bedding, washers and dryers, so consumers on a budget should avoid purchasing these gifts for the holidays,” said Erica Seppala, an expert analyst with MerchantMaverick.com.

Inflation isn’t the only reason you should avoid large household items this season — it’s the wrong timing and the wrong holidays.

“There are better times of year to find a bigger selection of items on sale for some product categories,” said Vipin Porwal, CEO and consumer expert at the cash-back portal Smarty. “This includes large appliances, mattresses and furniture, which will bring a better overall sales experience for consumers during President’s Day, Memorial Day and Labor Day sales when most brands in those categories compete for our business.”

Make Your Money Work for You

Tools, Linens, TVs and Computers

Black Friday and Cyber Monday ads would have you believe that consumer electronics discounts are too good to pass up. If you see a great deal, grab it — but if your laptop or flatscreen can hold out a few more months, you might do better by waiting. 

“Other items to hold off on buying include TVs, computers, linens, and tools,” Seppala said. “Often, you can find these items for cheaper prices after the holiday season.” 

According to House Logic, the best time of year to buy tools is in June because they’re such a hot Father’s Day favorite — but there are some winter sales, too. If you do buy tools for the holidays, wait until December. For linens and towels, January is your best bet. In terms of TVs and computers, Good Housekeeping says that Memorial Day, the Fourth of July and Labor Day bring deals that often beat those found on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Make Your Money Work for You

Supersized Turkeys — and Feasts, in General

Endless leftovers are part of the Thanksgiving tradition, but this year, splurging on the biggest bird in the store might not be worth the cost — even at the expense of a week’s worth of turkey sandwiches.

“The price of turkeys this year is expected to rise 73% compared to last year,” Gramuglia said, citing reporting from CNBC. “With this in mind, shoppers may need to either shell out extra money or look for a different main course option. Before you open your wallet, look to see if your local grocery store is offering promotions for the holidays — for example, a free turkey when you spend a certain amount of money. You can get your regular food shopping done all while scoring a free main course for the holidays.”

It’s not just the turkey — most things that go into traditional feasts are overpriced.

“Additionally, the prices of grocery items — from eggs and flour to meat — have risen significantly,” Seppala said. “People who have hosted large holiday dinners in the past may want to rethink their menu, reduce their guest count or consider holding a potluck to spread out the costs of food.”

This Year, 3 Out of the 4 Biggest Categories Will Cost More

According to Forbes, clothing, toys, jewelry and electronics are the most popular gifts of the season — and in 2022, all but clothing now have bigger price tags.

Compared to 2021, electronics are up by 11%, toys cost 10.5% more and jewelry is worst of all with a year-over-year increase of 31% — a bracelet that cost $150 last year would be close to $200 today.

These specific items are experiencing the most significant inflation-based price increases over 2021, so think twice before you buy one: 

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