The Master List: Good and Bad Buys in September

Updated June 30, 2020 by Kyle James
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As we enter early September, it’s a great time to make certain purchases. After all, one of the best ways to save money is to time the market on certain items so you remain in the driver’s seat in terms of negotiating power. It is with this in mind that I present the best and worst items to purchase in September.

Fall costs

The Good Buys in September:

Holiday Airfare

~ Will you be traveling home for Thanksgiving or Christmas this year? If so, book your airfare early as these high-demand flights will get nothing but more expensive as we get into October and early November. Also, coupon trends here at show a big decline in travel coupons after September. Book now!

iPhone 5s/5c

~ Ahead of the much anticipated iPhone 6 release on September 9th, Walmart recently discounted the iPhone 5C to .97 cent with a 2 year contract. You can also get the iPhone 5S for only $97 with a 2 year contract. So for those who don’t need the newest and greatest phone (like me) opt for this sweet deal. Don’t want the 2 year contract? Check out what T-Mobile has going on that allows you to buy an iPhone 5S, make a monthly payment on it, and sign-up for a very affordable month-to-month plan that in many cases is cheaper than getting it from Walmart. Finally consumers are getting some solid choices when it comes to smartphone plans.


~ Mattresses notoriously go on sale in September. Labor Day weekend for whatever reason has become a rock star weekend for mattress sellers to offer amazing deals and consumers respond in droves. Easily save 60% off name brand, high quality mattresses, like Sealy, Serta, Stearns & Foster, and Beautyrest. If you and your back are in need of a new mattress shop the deals in early September and save a solid chunk of change.

Swimming Pool Stuff

~ As the weather starts to cool down, so does the market for swimming pools toys, equipment, supplies, and chemicals. Look for screaming deals in September as retailers look to get rid of inventory rather than having to store it over the winter months.

Patio Furniture/BBQ’s

~ Many retailers are slashing the price on both patio furniture and BBQ’s ahead of the cold weather when the market will really enter the toilet. A few of the best deal we have found are at Home Depot, Lowe’s, Costco, Orchard Supply, and Sears. Patio furniture will be marked at up to 50% off. Also look for similar deals on BBQ’s, seat cushions, outdoor fans, and garden decor.

Baseball Gear

~ My son just started playing fall baseball and was in need of a new bat as his old one was a little short as he seemed to have grown 6 inches over the summer. So off we went bat shopping at Dick’s Sporting Goods. The deals were simply amazing, not only did we find a $20 off $100+ coupon, which was awesomely accepted by the Dick’s Sporting Goods cashier, but we also found some really sweet sales on gloves, training aids, balls, and baseball apparel.

This goes way beyond just big-box sporting goods stores too, look for deals at garage sales and places like Play-It-Again Sports which sells gently used baseball gear for pennies on the dollar. Bottom-line is that baseball is not being played in many places as football season ramps up, making September a great time to stock up for next spring if you have a ball player in the family.

Cars (Last Years Models)

~ Toyota, Chevrolet, and Ford are offering 0% financing on many of their 2014 models in early September. Many auto makers also have special Labor Day sales and rebates making September a great month to shop for a new car. As dealerships work to clear inventory to make room for 2015 models, which typically start to arrive in late September and October, it increases your negotiating power substantially.

Summer Apparel

~ Last year, on Labor Day weekend, I made the trek with my wife and kids to a large factory outlet center a couple hours away. I was absolutely blown away with the deals on summer apparel and shoes. Specifically, American Eagle Outfitters was 50% off the ENTIRE store, no joke. Way better than any coupon they’ll have on Cyber Monday or Black Friday. Also, the Nike Outlet had t-shirts for $6.99, regularly $15, and over 50% off many pairs of shoes.

If you can’t make it to an outlet in early September to stock up for next year, then be sure shop online as many clothing websites will be running some great clearance sales in an effort to clear out Summer apparel. This is also a great time to stock up for next year if you have kids by buying stuff a size or two bigger.

Golf Clubs and Gear

~ The summer golfing season is coming to a close in September which leads to some great deals if you are in the market for a new set of clubs or various golf equipment like bags, shoes, gloves, and training aids. According to Golf Digest editor Bob Carney, you can easily save 20%-25% by buying last season’s models in September. If you are a weekend warrior like me you already know that last season’s clubs are just as good as next years.

“Some” Back-To-School Supplies

~ If you are like many and have procrastinated buying several of the items on your back-to-school list, you may be in for some sweet savings in September. Many big-box stores and office supply chains over bought certain items and now need to clear them off shelves, passing the savings along to you. Be sure to shop the clearance racks at Walmart, Office Depot, Target, and Kohl’s and look for deals on binders, pencil sharpeners, backpacks, and other items that didn’t sell well for whatever reason.

The Bad Buys in September:

Laptops and Tablets

~ As we enter September, we also enter a time of year when laptop and tablet deals are fairly limited, especially on newer models. Back to school sales are pretty much over and Christmas shopping has not yet begun. It is definitely worth your while to wait until Black Friday and Cyber Monday at the end of November when the deals really come out of the woodwork.

Halloween Costumes

~ Our coupon trends show that over the past 5 years the best coupons come out between October 1st and the 15th. We typically see coupons and deals in the 30-45% off range. Avoid the compulsion to buy your kid’s Halloween costume early and save money in October.

Fall Apparel

~ If you can wait to update your fall wardrobe until October or early November you’ll save a bunch of money. New fall clothing lines are just now rolling out and they are almost all being sold at full price. Here at, we typically start to see 20-30% off coupons for new clothing lines in early October. Wait and save.


~ In the aftermath of the 6.1 earthquake that shook the Napa Valley, several wineries suffered significant losses to stored wine. Because of this shaker, the price of wine at these wineries may very well be rising. Look for your favorite Cabernet Sauvignons to be affected the most. If you start to see prices inflate, wait and buy when the dust has settled and the prices have come back down.

Hotel Room for Thanksgiving

~ The travel experts at say that it is best to procrastinate your Thanksgiving hotel room as travelers can save $50 on average if they wait until November to book. Hotels are notorious for lowering prices as we get closer to the holidays in order to fill empty rooms.


~ While it may be tempting to go out and buy a big ol’ TV to kickoff the NFL and college football seasons, you’re much better served to wait for the famed Black Friday weekend to pull the trigger on a deal. Not only will you find better deals on name brand televisions, but also on the lesser known discount brands.

November and December create the perfect storm for TV buyers as the deals are prominent in an effort to entice holiday shoppers and clear out models ahead of new TV’s being released in January and February after the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

By Kyle James


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