The 7 Best Things to Buy in September — and 3 to Avoid

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Thanks to summer clearance events, Labor Day sales and back-to-school promotions, September can be a great month to save. But not everything will be worth your hard-earned cash. Check out our list below, and you’ll know what to shop for and what to skip this September.

Apparel at Labor Day sales

Labor Day is coming up this Monday, marking the end of summer and kicking off the best sales we’ll see until Black Friday. Expect nearly half of all Labor Day offers to be for apparel and shoes, as stores clear out the last of summer seasonal stock.

Shop sitewide sales from brands like Puma and Cubavera, which should offer discounts of about 40 percent off. Meanwhile, Nike and BCBG will knock an additional 25 percent to 50 percent off already-discounted sale items.

Previous-gen iPhones

Apple tends to offer the most anticipated discounts in September. That’s when the tech giant generally announces a new generation of iPhone, ushering in a plethora of price drops on older models. When Apple announced the iPhone 8 in 2017, the previous-generation 6s and 7 instantly fell by $100. This September, we’re expecting the same price drop to occur with last year’s iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and X.

In fact, we’re already seeing Editors’ Choice prices on last year’s iPhones. Since early July, we’ve seen an open-box 64GB iPhone 8 Plus fall to $600, and a brand-new iPhone X fall to its best-ever price of $881. (Both units were unlocked.)

Bottom line: We’ll keep seeing iPhone discounts even before Apple announces the new generation phone, but the strongest price drops won’t come until after the event. Right now, we still expect that to happen in September.


Making every buck stretch when you’re heading back to school is vital, and finding ways to save on pricey college textbooks is your first step. Make sure you shop online and compare prices early in September to get the very best deals. You can even share with fellow students to cut down on costs!

Another great way to save is to check Amazon for the Kindle versions of your textbooks. The store is currently knocking 25 percent off the cost of a new Kindle and giving away gift cards worth up to $25 when you trade in an older model — so it’s a great time to upgrade your eBook reader, too.


Although January and October are generally the cheapest months to fly, you can also nab some off-season fares in September. In fact, 10 percent of all the airfare deals we saw in this month last year got our Editors’ Choice designation.

We saw over 90 percent off select domestic fares from Frontier Airlines, while Norwegian Air advertised $89 one-way flights to Europe. Skyscanner also notes that — depending on your location — September is one of the cheapest months to visit Los Angeles and Miami.


September should bring a resurgence of discounts on grills, particularly during the first week’s Labor Day sales. Expect 1 in 3 of these deals to be marked Editors’ Choice on our site, as stores like The Home Depot and Walmart knock up to 40 percent to 60 percent off grills.

Check out our grill buying guide for more info.


National Coffee Day is on Sept. 29 this year, which means you can ditch your at-home brew and head out for a free cup of java. Expect to score free cups of hot or iced coffee at Cinnabon, Cumberland Farms, Tim Hortons and 7-Eleven, while McDonald’s should once again discount its McCafe specialty drinks to just $2.

It’s generally a great day to stock up on discounted beans online, too, as stores like Peet’s and Community Coffee Company knock between 25 percent and 30 percent off a selection of roasts.


September is host to two additional deal-friendly days: National Cheese Pizza Day on the Sept. 5, and National Pepperoni Pizza Day on Sept. 20. In celebration of the former, we expect Pizza Hut to replicate last year’s offer and discount its large cheese pizzas to just $5.

Come Sept. 20, we should see some top multi-buy offers from Pizza Hut and Domino’s. The latter won out last year with its “buy one, get one free offer,” while Pizza Hut charged a buck for that second pie.

Not everything is a great buy in September. Following are three things you should avoid:

New iPhones

If a new generation of iPhone hits the shelves this September, we’d urge Apple-hungry fans to hold off on the purchase. The rumored models are expected to sell for between $600 and $1,099, and are unlikely to see substantial discounts until the second or third week of November — we saw the first significant iPhone 8 deal on Nov. 11 last year!


Despite the back-to-school sales September brings, you should hold off on that laptop or desktop purchase. You can expect to see almost 40 percent more deals — and double the number of Editors’ Choice offers — in October, while the Black Friday shopping season will bring with it more than 2.5 times the number of deals September should have.

Fall fashion

Unless you need the season’s newest trends, avoid the “New Arrivals” section at any store this September. You can still shop long-sleeved T-shirts, showerproof jackets and jeans in clearance sections at Eddie Bauer, Gap, and, but steer clear of anything that’s marketed as fall fashion. These styles likely won’t see discounts for another two months.

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What’s on your shopping list for September? Share with us in comments below or on our Facebook page.

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