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Best Things to Buy in September — and 5 Things to Skip

Written by Amy Boyington | September 1, 2021

School is back in session, and that can only mean one thing: Labor Day sales are on the way! The holiday celebrates American workers in a big way, especially when it comes to all the discounts your favorite stores offer. This includes everything from home goods to outdoor adventure gear. Here's what to consider spending your money on in September and what to skip until later this year.

The Best Things to Buy in September

Appliances

Appliances

Appliance shopping is all the rage in September when Labor Day sales are in full swing. As soon as September hits, watch for sales on major kitchen appliances, like gas and electric ranges, refrigerators, and dishwashers. You can also snag deals on washers and dryers and small kitchen appliances, such as blenders, toasters, and stand mixers. Home Depot and Lowe's are well known for their significant savings during Labor Day sales, so they're great places to start your appliance-shopping spree. Look for the best deals on appliance bundles, giving you as much as 33% off regular prices.

Summer Clothing

Summer Clothing

Summer apparel typically starts clearing out as early as July to make room for new inventory for fall. But you won't start seeing discounts on fall essentials, like jeans, outerwear, sweaters, and fashion boots until the end of fall. Check out Macy’s, Kohl's, SHEIN, and Old Navy for Labor Day savings on clothing for women, men, and kids. Don't forget to browse their clearance sections, too — you might just find super-low prices on summer apparel for next year!

Cars

Cars

Labor Day is one time of the year when you can expect to find excellent price drops on all kinds of vehicles, from sporty coupes to family-forward minivans. Whether you want a Jeep, Ford, or Toyota, your local dealer probably has several sales in store for the holiday. When shopping, be sure to ask the dealer about all the specials available for different makes and models. For instance, some manufacturers offer 0% financing, while others gift shoppers cash rebates for specific models and trims. One offer might be better than another for you, depending on your financial goals and budget.

Mattresses

Mattresses

Labor Day sales at home goods and furniture stores almost always have steep discounts on mattresses. The best part is that you might even be able to find everything you need to go along with your cozy new mattress too. This is one of the best times of the year to find sales on bed frames, sheets, comforters, mattress pads, pillows, and other bed accessories from Mattress Firm, Kohl's, and others. Also, keep your eyes peeled on bedroom sets that include a bed, dressers, and other furniture essentials to save hundreds of dollars on regular prices.

School and Office Supplies

School and Office Supplies

Most people have probably completed their back-to-school shopping by the end of August, so you'll commonly find office supply retailers clearing out their inventory for current seasonal items. And, regular office supplies are often included in the discounts. That means markdowns for shoppers at Walmart, Office Depot, and other office supply retailers on everything from new laptops to notebooks and planners.

Outdoor Gear and Furniture

Outdoor Gear and Furniture

The weather starts cooling down in many regions across the country starting in September, so retailers take this time to clear out their inventories of outdoorsy items. Expect to see sales on camping gear, outdoor backpacks, fishing items, and patio furniture. Starting in early September, check out Overton's Deals page to find discounted boat parts, outdoor lighting, insect control products, and more. Camp Chef is a go-to place for deals on fire pits, flat-top grills, and smokers.

Home Improvement Items

Home Improvement Items

Home Depot, Lowe's, and other home improvement retailers aren't just beneficial to those looking for appliance sales during Labor Day weekend. During the popular September shopping holiday, these stores are renowned for having some of the best promotions on home improvement products like tools, faucets, and flooring. Look for discounts on just about anything to make your home look just how you want, from paint and decor to bathroom fixtures and kitchen cabinets.

5 Things to Skip in September

1. Fall Decor

Fall decorations for inside and outside of the home are starting to hit shelves, but if you can hold off a little longer to start decking your house in all things autumn, do it. For now, stick to what you used last year and purchase your new stuff in November after Halloween is over. Sure, you'll find some discounts for Labor Day, but the largest markdowns come after trick-or-treating, when stores clear out fall stuff to make room for winter goods. Don't forget to check out our home decor coupons and deals to save even more.

2. Electronics

It's not uncommon for electronics stores to mark down phones, gaming systems, and PCs as part of their Labor Day promotions, but Black Friday in November is still the best time to shop for electronics. Plus, the most popular smartphones usually don't get their new models released until August or September, so it'll still be a few weeks for sales to make their way to older models. If you can, try to wait until Black Friday deals hit the shelves at Best Buy and other electronics retailers to keep more money in your pocket as you shop for the holidays.

3. Vacation Packages

It's a fact that most people tend to travel during the summer months and around the holidays. September isn't a big travel month, so travel deals just aren't as readily available right now. Instead, book a vacation in October, and you'll probably snag the lowest prices on vacation bundles, flights, hotels, and even car rentals.

4. Toys

Like electronics, toys tend to get their best prices near Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Unless you're strictly looking for outdoor toys, which you could see excellent buys on in September, hold off a little longer. Kohl's, HSN, and Sam's Club are just a few toy retailers from which you can expect to see holiday-focused promotions.

5. Halloween Costumes and Candy

It's tempting to get all the goodies ready for Halloween during the month of September, but now is definitely not the best time to buy candy and costumes. Mid- to late-October is when stores will start marking down these items to clear out leftover inventory as much as possible. Wait until then to get BOGO free deals on candy, BOGO 50% off deals on Halloween costumes, and to take advantage of other fabulous sales.

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