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Grab these deals before the holiday blitz

Monday - 10/3/2011, 6:22am  ET

Evan Haning, wtop.com

WASHINGTON - Except for Halloween candy and costumes, October is a quiet time for retailers. That can mean substantial savings on clearance items as stores prepare for the holidays.

CBS MoneyWatch recommends a trip to the toy store to see what is coming off the shelves. Last year's models will please many kids, and there are often surprisingly good deals on electronics.

You will also find savings on camping equipment, especially the "good stuff." Among thousands of sale items at REI are sleeping bags and tents at 30 percent off.

Outdoor items for the home and garden can be found in both brick-and-mortar stores along with online retailers.

MoneyWatch found a 5-star rated, 3-piece outdoor furniture set discounted at Amazon.com, selling price $230, one-third off the normal price. Sears is also now advertising "all patio furniture on sale."

Air conditioning units will only gather dust in department stores, so many models now carry low price tags.

Lingerie is 70 percent off at Frederick's of Hollywood, as it was last October. There are 50 percent discounts on Aerie bras and undies at American Eagle.

Discounts on designer denim began in September, but MoneyWatch reports a lot of inventory still on the shelves. Nordstrom and Bloomingdale's have deals on denim that won't be surpassed until Black Friday - when many items will be gone.

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(Copyright 2011 by WTOP. All rights reserved.)