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What to Buy (and Skip) in September

[Editor’s note: Due to the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, in-store shopping may not be feasible, and some of these items may not be available.]

From mattresses to iPhones, here’s your guide to which products you should buy (and skip) in the month of September.

Buy: Mattresses

In the days leading up to Labor Day on Sept. 7, you’ll see significant discounts on mattresses, which is ideal given that you’ll have plenty of time to test out the various models over the long weekend. You’ll also find online mattress deals and freebies.

While you’re scoping out Labor Day mattress sales, go ahead and expand your search to the rest of the home department. Furniture and appliances will be discounted over the holiday weekend, too.

Skip: TVs

There are a few excellent times to buy a TV. One is in late November when Black Friday deals begin to roll out (last year Best Buy had a 58-inch Insignia 4K UHD TV Fire TV Edition for $199.99 with a free Amazon Echo Dot), and another is in late January or early February, ahead of the Super Bowl. Because of this, we suggest waiting to do your TV shopping for a few more months to maximize your savings.

Buy: iPhones

It’s rumored that Apple plans to launch new iPhones sometime in the near future, which means two things. First, there will be new technology on the market, so if you like the latest and greatest, hold off on buying until then. Second, retailers will likely discount last year’s models. If you’re still using an older version of the phone, this might be the perfect month to upgrade to last year’s model.

If the savings are anything like in the past, Apple will reduce the subsidized cost of the older phone by $100. Shortly thereafter, it’s likely that other retailers such as Best Buy and Target will offer their own deals.

Skip: Halloween costumes

It’s that time of year when retailers pull out holiday displays way too early. In September, stores are already pushing Halloween costumes, fall decor and all things pumpkin spice.

If you can resist the temptation, your best bet on savings is to shop for seasonal decorations and candy after Halloween is over. If you don’t want to reuse, wait for Halloween sales in October.

Bonus: Coffee

Sept. 29 is National Coffee Day. Play it right and you can treat yourself to your favorite cup of joe for free in honor of the caffeine-centric day.

In the past, these offers have been advertised on social media channels, such as Instagram and Twitter, so check for this year’s deals there. You might want to go ahead and give your favorite coffee chain a follow right now to be prepared.

Looking ahead: Columbus Day

If you miss out on Labor Day sales, you’ll still have a shot at discounted clothing, home decor and appliances. Oct. 12 is Columbus Day, and department stores use the holiday as yet another reason to offer sales. Expect bargains over the course of the three-day holiday weekend.


About the author: Courtney Jespersen is NerdWallet’s consumer savings expert. Her work has been featured by USA Today and The New York Times. Read more