The holidays are right around the corner, and there's no time like the present to start shopping and saving money.
Clearance items may be more difficult to find in stores this time of year, but they're alive and well on store websites. Sites like Target.com are straight forward, with a link toward the top of the page. You may have to search to find clearance on others. You can even find close-out deals on high-end sites of stores such as Bloomingdales and Macy's. You get the big name under the tree without the big price.
The "K-mart Christmas Club" allows you to place money on a gift card and get a 3-percent reward for each dollar you put there. You can use it at K-mart and Sears, but you have to put money on it by October 31st.
While you're at K-mart, look for 20-to-50 percent off clearance toys. It varies by store, and may not happen each week.
If you love those sales the day after Thanksgiving, you'll love this. "Black Friday at Gottadeal.com" often previews the black friday ads and has insider information on that giant day of holiday shopping.