The 12 Best Things to Buy in September — and 3 to Avoid

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September marks the end of summer — both officially and unofficially — which is disappointing for many people.

Add to that the fact that Halloween is still several weeks away, and it may seem like September has nothing fun to offer.

But we have good news! This month is actually an excellent opportunity to shop several items, meaning you don’t have to wait until Black Friday for the best bargains.

Even better, it features more than just Labor Day sales, so if you thought the discounts would settle down after the first weekend, know the savings will continue all month long!

Read on to learn what to buy in September — and what you should hold off on for now.

Top September Offers You Can’t Miss

FlexiSpot: Shop deals on home office items, including chairs, standing desks, and other workstation accessories to increase your productivity. The company is hosting a Tech Day sale on September 9, but they have daily offers leading up to the big event.

IHOP: Have your (pan)cake and eat it too at IHOP this month! Get the 2x2x2 Breakfast Combo deal for just $5. The combo includes 2 buttermilk pancakes, 2 eggs cooked however you like, and either 2 strips of bacon or 2 pork sausage links. This offer is good September 6 through October 2 all day at participating locations for dine-in only.

Noodles & Company: Every Friday through Sunday in September, Noodles Rewards members will receive a free small entree with the purchase of any regular-sized dish.

Additionally, all guests will have the opportunity to round up their bills during checkout, with the extra going as donations to No Kid Hungry.

The Cheesecake Factory: Buy $50 in gift cards online and receive a $10 bonus card for free. This offer is valid through September 5, and you can use the bonus cards from September 6-October 28.

The 12 Best Things to Buy in September

1. Summer Clothing

With summer winding down this month, it’s the perfect time to shop for warm-weather apparel. Labor Day sales will be an excellent opportunity to find deals, but even without those, we should still see deep discounts.

If you need kidswear, look at stores like Target, which knocked 20% off its Cat & Jack and Cloud Island lines in September 2021. Watch for kid-specific retailers like The Children’s Place to have great September sales, as well; last year, it knocked up to 60% off.

It’s not just kids’ clothing either. Expect apparel options for the rest of the family to also go on sale.

Keep an eye out for Kohl’s to take at least 50% off women’s apparel, while Belk could offer 50% off women’s shoes and boots, and Jos. A. Bank could drop the starting price of its clearance shirts to only $3, like it did last September.

Check outlet stores, too. Last year, J.Crew Factory knocked an extra 70% off!

2. Large Appliances

Labor Day is one of the last sales periods of the year when you can reliably expect savings on large appliances. You can shop the usual culprits like Lowe’s and Home Depot, but also watch Best Buy and the appliance manufacturers themselves.

Last year, KitchenAid cut a modest 10% off during its sale, while Samsung cut up to 35% off. While Best Buy and Lowe’s offered their own appliance discounts, they varied by category, so there wasn’t a concrete percentage to point to. However, Home Depot offered significant savings that came with a percentage: up to 53% off a variety of large appliances.

3. Mattresses

Labor Day is also an excellent time to shop for a new mattress, with online retailers and brick-and-mortar stores alike holding sales.

You can find mattress deals past Labor Day, too. Last year, Purple cut up to $350 off select bundles in September, while Macy’s cut between 20% and 65% off mattresses, furniture, and rugs.

And you might not think Home Depot is a place to shop for beds, but last year the home improvement store knocked up to 50% off furniture, mattress toppers, and bedding, along with mattress accessories.

4. Grills

Plenty of people enjoy grilling long into football season and during the chilly temperatures of fall, but grills are still a summery item. Because of that, retailers will discount a variety of grills just in time for tailgating in September.

Check Home Depot for discounts of up to $50 off grills and grill accessories, while Costway could take up to 25% off, and BBQGuys could cut up to 60% off and offer free items with select purchases.

5. School Supplies

Back to School shopping may not be at the forefront of many people’s minds in September; they may have already checked off all the items on their lists. But others may have been holding off on buying student supplies as a way to deal with inflation.

If you still need to buy school supplies, watch for a number of retailers to offer up last-minute savings as they try to clear out the shelves and make room for fall and winter items.

Look for Amazon to discount Amazon Basics supplies by up to 37%, while Office Depot and OfficeMax could cut over 50% off a variety of supplies. Watch for brand-specific savings at stores, too. Last year, Amazon cut up to 81% off Bic writing instruments and up to 67% off Pilot pen multipacks. Count on Staples getting in on the action, as well, by offering up to 85% off supplies like they did last year.

6. Previous-Gen iPhones (Maybe)

Apple routinely announces new iPhones, Apple Watches, and other tech it finds thematically appropriate during a big event each September; this year’s Apple event is on September 7. As such, depending on the release date for the new iPhones, we may see permanent price drops on previous-gen models. That could mean if you’re in the market for a new iPhone, you can cash in on immediate savings by opting for last year’s iteration.

However, there’s a good chance any price drops will be modest at this point, and if you can wait until Black Friday, you should. If you see an outstanding offer on an old or new iPhone, then don’t pass it up. But if you’re coming across bare-minimum discounts, wait until November, when we should see significant savings on both new and older models.

7. Bicycles

With summer winding down during the month, September is also a good time to purchase bicycles. Plenty of people use bikes year-round, but demand drops when it cools off, so many outdoor retailers discount these items to clear the shelves.

Watch for retailers like The House to take up to 50% off, and Sierra could boast another clearance sale that takes up to 94% off a variety of items, including gear.

8. Bedding

While you’re shopping for a new mattress, you might as well pick up discounted bedding to go with it!

Some retailers may offer bundled deals on mattresses and bedding, but those might not appeal to everyone. And if you’re just looking to refresh your bedding, you don’t need those bundles, anyway. The good news is that September should bring sales on different kinds of sheets and blankets, so it’s an excellent time to swap yours out for something new.

Look to stores like Amazon to offer 4-piece sheet sets for as little as $17 and up to 50% off 800-thread count sheets, while Macy’s could take at least 60% off select comforters, Kohl’s could knock 60% off bedding, and Wayfair could price bedding items from $50.

9. Airfare

It’s not a guarantee, but you could find a good rate for holiday airfare by shopping in September. In general, about six to eight weeks before departure is when you want to book airfare for the best prices, so the tail end of September will bring the right time frame for Thanksgiving flights.

Online travel agencies will likely be offering sales for Labor Day, but the discounts might not be as great as they were pre-pandemic.

Additionally, when planning your trip, consider long layovers, as there have been a slew of flight cancellations over the summer. By giving yourself longer layovers, you’ll be padding your schedule with extra time to account for delays — or worse.

Also check the dashboard from the U.S. Department of Transportation if you’re going to book a flight. It shows the amenities different airlines offer in the event of controllable delays and cancellations.

10. Summer Gardening Gear

If you need new garden tools for summer outdoors work, know that they’re one more item that sees serious discounts as the season winds down.

Expect to find products like a gardening glove 2-pack for around $5, while hose nozzles could be priced from $13, and you could get a 2-pack of fire ant killer for the same price.

Do you need actual tools? Then watch for shears to be as little as $17, leaf blowers to start at $20, refurbished tree limb chainsaws to go for $35, and cordless string trimmers and edgers to be as low as $55.

11. National Coffee Day Deals

Every year, National Coffee Day falls on September 29, and plenty of restaurants use it as an opportunity to entice customers with deals.

Watch for doughnut shops and convenience stores alike to offer free coffees. Sometimes they’ll be totally free — especially for loyalty program members — while others might require you to make a purchase.

Even if you do have to buy something, you can usually redeem these offers by purchasing a simple item like a glazed donut for relatively cheap, and you’ll receive a cup of your favorite java for free.

12. In-Season Fruits and Veggies

Even though September 22 marks the first day of fall, you still have plenty of time to enjoy seasonal summer produce before it’s all gone.

Shop for ripe fruits that skirt the line between summer and fall, including apples, cantaloupe, figs, grapes, mangoes, persimmons, pomegranates, and tomatoes.

If you’re on the lookout for fresh veggies, be ready to indulge in the tastes of autumn with acorn squash, beets, butternut squash, cauliflower, eggplant, green beans, lettuce, mushrooms, okra, peppers, pumpkins, spinach, sweet potatoes, and Swiss chard.

Interested in shopping local? Check out seasonal food guides to see what kinds of produce are native to your area and what times of year you can find them at their peak.

3 Things NOT to Buy in September

Halloween Items

When to Buy: October

Why: September may bring early deals on Halloween items, but October will be when they really pop up, as people start decorating and shopping for the holiday.

TVs

When to Buy: November

Why: Black Friday still reigns supreme when it comes to TV deals, so it’s best to hold off until then if you’re looking for a bargain on notable brands.

Fall Clothing

When to Buy: November or December

Why: Any fall apparel on the shelves now is brand new, so we won’t see serious discounts for a couple of months at least. Black Friday will be a good opportunity to shop, as will December, when the season starts to wind down.

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