Shop both Halloween and Christmas, with no layaway fees

The forecasts predicted cooler days and, sure enough, the daily highs are down to the 80s.

You were counting on sweater weather? It’s Atlanta. And the calendar says it’s still summer. The official start of autumn, Sept. 22,  is a week and a half off. We haven’t even started scheming about how we’ll dress to embarrass this Halloween, still seven weeks away.

Yup, time to start your Christmas shopping. And some retailing giants are nudging us by waiving layaway fees on orders placed well before Santa’s elves report back to the North Pole.

Place an interest-free, pay-over-time order with Kmart through Nov. 17 and there’s no charge. Toys R Us also is scrapping its upfront layaway service fee — but just for in-store orders, and only through  Oct. 31. (Look out for trick-or-treaters on your drive home from Christmas shopping.)

A big help for parents still strapped for cash, or a sales booster to lock in some early Christmas receipts?

A fuel-efficient way to shop for all your Halloween and Christmas needs in one trip, or a new reason for a constitutional amendment banning yuletide shopping until Black Friday?

Find consumer news and deals throughout the week, from a range of experts, at the Atlanta Bargain Hunter blog. You can follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

In print, our Deal Spotter section in Thursday’s Atlanta Journal-Constitution is full of great local deals and exclusive offers.

– For the AJC Atlanta Bargain Hunter blog

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