As summer makes way for autumn, back-to-school sales dwindle just in time for Labor Day sales to kick into high gear. The first weekend of September is an optimal time to get a new mattress, for example, at prices that slash up to $500 off.
Although you’ll find sales on just about everything imaginable, you’re better off waiting until later in the month or even longer to enjoy the best deals on some products. Here's everything you need to know to find the best deals in September.
Best and worst things to buy in September
Best and worst things to buy in September
Best: A New Car
In September, you can drive away with the best deal on a new car. The month offers some of the best deals of the year on cars as old models get cleared out to make way for newer stock. Bargain prices on new cars aren’t limited to savings at the local dealership.
Manufacturers such as Toyota and Honda are giving special offers on leasing and financing. Get a 2017 Toyota Camry for 0 percent financing for 72 months plus $500 bonus cash or a 2017 Corolla at 0 percent financing for 72 months at their national clearance event.
If you don’t make it in for the Labor Day weekend sales, don’t worry. The last day of September is one of the best four days of the year to negotiate a deal on a car, according to Autotrader. Sept. 30 comes at the end of the quarter, when dealerships are trying to meet sales goals and are most willing to work with you.
TrueCar estimated that buyers save about 7.9 percent off the price of a car on that date. To get the best deal, Autotrader recommended going in fresh at the end of the day when the sales staff is looking forward to going home.
If you let the summer slip by without a vacation — or you just need another one — September is the ideal time for a getaway. Summer officially ends with the autumnal equinox on Sept. 22, but you can still catch some of the best end-of-summer travel deals through the end of the month.
The shoulder season is a great time to travel: Summer crowds are long gone, and winter getaways are still in the distance. Golf getaways, desert destinations, end-of-summer cruises and big cities are just a few places your vacation budget will go the furthest. Enjoy the bargains with dry weather characterizing September throughout much of the U.S.
If the prospect of rainy days doesn’t bother you, go on a Caribbean vacation at a fraction of the cost of what you’d spend during winter months, now through the end of hurricane season on Nov. 30. For example, Royal Caribbean offers up to 70 percent off on select cruises during this time frame.
Best: Picnic Items and Barbecue Grills
Labor Day is the last official picnic and barbecuing holiday of the year, and you can expect to see slashed prices on everything from brisket to plastic silverware during Labor Day weekend sales. In fact, the National Frozen and Refrigerated Foods Association’s theme is “Take the Labor Out of Labor Day” with grocery sales on takeout-style items like wings, pizza, Chinese entrees and more.
Look for sales on potatoes, breakfast items and chicken, as all three items celebrate a “national month.” Cook up your feast on a barbecue grill. You’ll see grills hit low prices during Labor Day sales, according to DealNews, but you’ll find the biggest discounts on clearance items later in September and into October.
Best: Summer Clothing
September is the best month to venture to the back corners of department stores like Dillard's, Macy’s, JCPenney and Kohl’s to reap some of the best prices on clothing for summer and school.
Although August saw sales of up to 65 percent off, hunting the clearance racks in September can score you from 75 percent or more off the original prices. That means you might pick up a T-shirt, sportswear, cover-up or uniform shirt for just a few dollars.
As the weather cools down, don’t forget to shop for a new swimsuit or two. Even with the best care, a suit that has been exposed to chlorine and the sun can emerge from winter storage with rot, sags, snags or broken elastic. Buy one now to make sure you step out in style next summer.
The end of summer is the best time to land a deal on just about anything that has to do with the outdoors, according to Consumer Reports. Go ahead and splurge on that new tent and camping equipment, and be confident that you’re getting some of the best deals of the year.
If you prefer to stay closer to home, enjoy the best sales today on lawn mowers and other landscaping equipment. Check out deals on patio furniture. Although outdoor items are included in Labor Day sales, prices will drop even more as retailers seek to clear space in their stores later in the month.
If you live in a climate that gets plenty of snow in winter, watch for the arrival of snowblowers in September. Teaser deals when the machines first hit the stores can save you money now and hours spent having to shovel once the flakes fall.
Worst: TV Sets
If your TV has those annoying vertical lines that signal a new set is in your future, try to put up with them awhile longer. With Thanksgiving weekend less than 90 days away, a new TV is one item you’ll want to hold off on buying in order to reap the best deals of the year.
After you’ve finished your turkey and pie, shop for TVs on Thanksgiving Day to get the very best deals of the holiday weekend, advised DealNews. That's when you can get the best deals of the year on mid-size sets ranging from 32 inches to 49 inches, according to DealNews.
For sets larger than 50 inches, the weeks before Super Bowl Sunday carry some of the best deals, according to Consumer Reports. Retailers want to clear out the large crowd-pleasing sets just before the new models hit the stores in the spring.
(gpetric via Getty Images)
Worst: A New iPhone or Samsung Galaxy
You’ll also want to hold off on buying a smartphone. Although there’s been no official announcement from Apple when the iPhone 8 will hit store shelves, the release is expected sometime this fall. That means that the iPhone 7 will likely drop to all-time low pricing just in time for the Thanksgiving shopping weekend. DealNews suggested that the best bargains on the older model will be on Thanksgiving Day.
Cyber Monday is the best opportunity to find deals on Android smartphones, such as the new Samsung Galaxy 8 Note phablet. The release dates for pre-orders are expected to happen in September, meaning a little patience will get you a much better deal on a Samsung Galaxy 7 than you’re bound to find before they hit store shelves.
Photographer: John Taggart/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Worst: Kitchen Appliances
Updating your kitchen is one of the best home renovations that will pay for itself in the long run. You’ll see kitchen appliances large and small advertised on Labor Day sales, but if you want to get the most for your money, you should wait.
Scoop up deals on small kitchen appliances and gadgets for as little as $3 when you head out to shop on Thanksgiving Day, according to DealNews. Major appliances will also be at the best deals of the year on Thanksgiving. DealNews noted savings of up to 90 percent off in years past, meaning it’s worth the wait to replace your fridge, stove or dishwasher.
(djedzura via Getty Images)
Worst: Kid’s Toys
Every parent with more than one holiday season under their belt knows to shop as early as possible for the season’s hottest toys that are sure to sell out fast before Christmas. Buy now and pay a premium, or wait for much better prices on Black Friday sales.
You’ll pay $160 now to get a Lego Boost, which lets kids build and code working toys they can run with an app. Or, you could shell out $130 for Roarin’ Tyler, a tiger toy that’s a member of Hasbro’s FurReal Friends that has more than 100 realistic interactive sounds and movements. Chances are you’ll pick up either toy for under $100 if you check out Black Friday sales.
Plan now to make your move. Sign up to get emails from retailers like Target, Walmart and Toys"R"Us so you’ll be in the know as soon as Black Friday toy prices are revealed.
Worst: Dorm Decor
Back-to-college sales roll to a close this month. By October, you can pick up bargain decor for pennies on the dollar at the best sales just in time to impress for parents and families weekend mid-month.
Even if you aren’t a student, you’ll discover how to save money using dorm-oriented decor. Space saving systems, twin XL sheets, cute kitchen appliances, bedding, bath towels and floor lighting are at all-time lows. Retailers are desperate to move out back-to-school items to make room for Halloween, Thanksgiving and even Christmas decor, so save a little money to pick up items at a steal in October.