The Best and Worst Things to Buy in September

We've mined the archives of sales and coupons from the past few summers to find out the best and worst things to buy this month.

The Best and Worst Things to Buy in September Photo (cc) by MAZZALIARMADI.IT

The following post comes from Lindsay Sakraida at partner site

September signals the end of summer and the beginning of fall – and if you’re a deal shopper, the countdown to November, Black Friday, and the holiday season. (Yes, we’re already thinking about it.) But September has its own deal virtues…

Cozy up to bedding deals

For the past two years, deals have been strong in September for bedding, towels, and more. Keep an eye out for discounted home items from the likes of JCPenney, Macy’s, Sears, Designer Living, and Kohl’s. In particular, look for stacking coupons at Kohl’s and a mattress sale at Sears that beats its summer-month offerings. (Keep in mind, however, that last year we saw excellent discounts on mattresses around Black Friday and Cyber Monday, so you’ll have another opportunity to cash in on strong deals later in the year too.)

Tangled up in blue jeans

We’ve made it through the height of back-to-school shopping season, which means you can start taking advantage of clearance sales for the student staple of denim. While you’ll see modest discounts this month that take about 40 percent off, keep in mind that these sales will continue into October, likely growing stronger. Come November, many jean specialists like Levi’s could offer their best coupon of the year around Black Friday. Now is a good time to start looking at discounted jeans styles for a wider selection, but if you’re not particular, next month will see steeper cuts.

SSD storage deals are solid

We’ve mentioned before that Solid State Drives (SSDs) are on a constant downward price trajectory, but this trend really ramped up this summer. The number of deals nearly doubled each month since the spring, and we continue to see new all-time low prices for both specific models and overall drive capacities. Newegg is overwhelmingly the store to go to for such deals, but Micro Center, Amazon, TigerDirect, and have all also had strong offerings.

Get your caffeine fix for free

Are you a devout coffee drinker? Then make sure to mark Sept. 29 in your calendar, when several food chains will offer a free cup o’ joe in honor of National Coffee Day. Last year, Krispy Kreme, Waffle House, 7-Eleven, and Caribou Coffee all offered a special promotion to celebrate, and it’s possible that other chains and local cafes will do the same.

New price points for the iPhone

Supposedly, the newest Apple iPhone will be announced on Sept. 12, which means it’s very likely that the company will slice prices on its older models. If the smartphone follows a similar pattern as the last update, then the iPhone 4S could drop to $99, with the iPhone 4 potentially sticking around as an even more affordable model – a need that the 3GS will likely leave open, as it’s expected to be discontinued.

A slew of iPhone accessories, new and old

Supposedly, the iPhone 5 will feature a completely new dock connector, which means all existing accessories that use this port will become outdated overnight. Old accessories will see aggressive deals as stores try to clear their shelves for brand-new, full-price replacements. If you’re upgrading to the iPhone 5, consider at least waiting a few months to add to your collection of dock accessories so that you can avoid paying retail price.

Rock-bottom airfare rates

The cheapest flight deal we saw throughout all of last year came in late September, when both Vision Airlines and Spirit offered one-way fares for a whopping $1. Not a fan of those budget airlines? JetBlue also offered one of its best sales in September, dropping rates to just $29 each way. (However, we did see the airline hit that price at various other times in the year.) Of course, in order to take advantage of these rock-bottom prices, you have to be a lucky or flexible flier to make use of the restricted routes and times.

Keep an eye on hot sunglasses sales

If you managed to make it through the summer without buying a new pair of sunglasses, you’re about to be rewarded. According to our deals last year, the best storewide sales popped up in September, as well as November and December. In particular this month, look to Oakley Vault, Sunglass Hut, REI,, and for discounted styles. Last year, Oakley Vault’s sale was the best it offered all year.

Patio furniture deals are sitting pretty

Finally, it’s a great month to buy patio furniture! September will see an increase in the sheer number of sales and deals that discount the seasonal outdoor items, while October will see an uptick in the level of Editors’ Choice caliber prices. But since several patio sets and gardening items from Sears, Amazon, and other merchants hit their lowest prices in October, as they were available for significantly less than we had seen them at over the summer, what’s another few weeks of waiting?

Wait and see with tablets

We’re on a path toward a very interesting, competitive, budget-friendly tablet market in the coming weeks and months, and it would benefit the consumer to hold off on purchases for the moment – increased competition could likely yield deals that either cut prices or bundle devices with useful media credits or gift cards. Amazon is rumored to be debuting the Kindle Fire 2 in a few days, resulting in a new lower price on the original Kindle, while Apple might announce an “iPad mini” a week later.

Big-screen 3D HDTVs show some promise

Fall will soon be upon us and if you can refrain from any HDTV purchases over the next two months, you’re bound to see the year’s best HDTV deals come November. However, if you’re in dire need of a new HDTV, you’ll want to look at name-brand 55-inch 3D LCD HDTVs, as those are seeing the most action these days in terms of deals.

Over the summer, 55-inch 3D HDTVs dipped under the $1,000 mark, a price we hadn’t seen since Black Friday 2011. In early August, prices hit an all-time low as we saw the 2012 LG 55LM7600 hit $949. While we still recommend waiting for the holidays, shoppers who can’t wait till Black Friday should look at 55-inch 3D LCD HDTVs under the $1,000 mark.

Ivy Bridge laptops on the move again

Ivy Bridge-based laptops are in a price free fall. Whereas 15-inch Ivy Bridge systems debuted at $1,000 in April, they closed out August at $480 – a price drop of more than 50 percent. We expect to see even more aggressive deals as Microsoft preps systems for its Windows 8 launch in late October, so shoppers would be wise to wait a few more weeks.

Again, if you can’t wait, look for 15-inch Ivy Bridge systems between $480 and $550. Anything under $480 and you’ll know you’re getting an all-time low price.

Meanwhile, Mac fans who live near a Fry’s Electronics store are in luck, as the electronics retailer has been offering Apple’s 13-inch MacBook Air (Ivy Bridge model) for $999 with in-store pickup. That’s $200 under Apple’s retail price and the lowest price we’ve seen this summer for the 13-inch model. Don’t live near a Fry’s? Best Buy, Amazon, and B&H Photo-Video have each listed the 13-inch Air at $1,099 (which is $100 under Apple’s price).


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