Retailers have already begun their push for Christmas extra early this year.

Kmart has now run its first holiday-themed TV ad, which marks the earliest documented television advertising push for Christmas ever, according to an article I read.

And Toys R Us is offering special deals if you shop for Christmas before Halloween. For every purchase made before Halloween, members of their Rewards R Us club will get gift card money to use after Halloween for shopping leading up to Christmas. Toys R Us is also doing full price matching on both online and traditional deals this season -- with the exception of Black Friday week.

So is it good idea to shop this early? That depends. I think Toys R Us is frontloading Christmas to get out ahead of Walmart and Target. Those two titans of retail don't stock their shelves for Christmas until November. So by Toys R Us getting you in the stores in September and October, they have the field to themselves. Of course, Toys R Us has historically been an expensive toy retailer. So watch the price and be sure to use that great price matching offer from Geoffrey the Giraffe & Co.

It's not even October yet, but my family and I have already completed our Halloween shopping. That puts us among a fifth of Americans who have done the same. A survey from finds the average family will spend $73 this Halloween versus $69 a year ago.

We already have Foofoo the Pumpkin sitting on our front stoop. And my son has his costume. He's going to be a minion from Despicable Me. We plan ahead and always try to get 2 years out of a costume. So when the costume was too big when he tried it on, we just pinned it back a little and he'll wear it next year too.

Image of Clark Howard About the author: Clark Howard

Clark Howard is a consumer expert whose goal is to help you keep more of the money you make. His national radio show and website show you ways to put more money in your pocket, with advice you can trust. View More Articles

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