It's almost September, and the mad dash of back-to-school shopping has — to the relief of parents everywhere — finally begun to subside. But retailers still need to get consumers in the door, and they're willing to offer deep discounts to do it. Some of your best bets for September shopping include:
Summer Clearance Items
September is the prime month to buy what retailers refer to as back-to-school "hangover" items, things like laptops and lunchboxes that weren't purchased before the school year started. Summer clothing and fabrics, and outdoor appliances like grills and lawnmowers, are also likely to be heavily discounted — especially during big Labor Day sales.
Once summer clearance items are off the shelves in mid-September, many retailers will offer big discounts on fall's newest fashion trends. Look for sales on fall staples like jeans, pants, jackets, hoodies, long-sleeved shirts, and boots.
The cheapest time to buy airfare is eight weeks before your flight, so it's time to start thinking about your Thanksgiving plans. A weak summer travel season has also led to some excellent September travel deals, so if you need a getaway before the holidays, now is the time to go.
According to Consumer Reports, "September remains the official start of the automotive new year." Dealers will soon be ready to make room for newer 2013 models, so if you're in the market for a new car, take a 2012 model off their hands — and park it in your driveway.
Shrubs, trees, and bulbs are almost always discounted in September, so if you live in a warm climate or can store them safely until next spring, now is the time to buy.
Sports and Outdoor Apparel
Sporting equipment and outdoor gear for cycling, hunting, and fishing are likely to show significant savings this time of year, particularly during the end of September. The Sports and Outdoor Deals promotion at FatWallet, for example, will run from September 24 - October 1.
Personally, I don't think there is ever a bad time to buy wine, but apparently, some months are better than others. Early fall is considered the best time to make your purchase, since grapes in the Northern Hemisphere are typically harvested from late August through early October. Not a wine connoisseur? Check out the buying tips from Serious Grape: A Wine Survival Guide for Fall.
Will you be shopping this month? What do items you typically buy in September?