What to Buy (and Skip) in September 2022

Sep 1, 2022

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money.

Thanks to seasonal retail cycles, products tend to go on sale at the same time each year. September is known for blowout deals on select products like mattresses.

Much like in 2021, supply chain challenges stemming from the pandemic still loom large this year. And let’s not forget about inflation. But, in a bit of a twist, some larger, general merchandise retailers — think Target, Walmart and Kohls — are dealing with a surplus of stock in some product categories after overcompensating for anticipated delays, according to the Wall Street Journal.

It’s still an unpredictable retail environment, but stores with too much stock could be to your September shopping benefit. Keep that in mind as you look for deals online and in-store this month.

Buy: Mattresses

Labor Day is on Sept. 5, and retailers typically observe the federal holiday with weekend sales. Traditionally, these events include discounts on items for the home, such as mattresses and appliances.

In past years, these deals have happened at brands such as Purple, Serta, Casper and more. Check these sellers again this year if you’re in the market for a new bed. Mattress brand Tuft and Needle is advertising up to $600 off mattresses during its Labor Day sale.

Skip: Electronics

If Labor Day is known for home deals, Black Friday is known for electronics deals. Black Friday, arguably the biggest shopping day of the year, always falls on the day after Thanksgiving. This year, that’s Nov. 25.

Hold off on buying any electronics now in anticipation of what’s coming in the months ahead. Last year, Target offered savings of $220 on a TCL Roku 4K smart UHD HDR TV, and Best Buy knocked $360 off a Microsoft Surface Pro tablet bundle.

Before you build a budget
NerdWallet breaks down your spending and shows you ways to save.

Buy: Summer apparel and pool toys

By Labor Day, retailers will be ready to clear out summer inventory, especially those who may have too much of it.

Clothing items like shorts, t-shirts and even flip-flops may be a good score for those who live in places where it stays warm into the fall months, according to Jane Boyd Thomas, professor of marketing at Winthrop University in South Carolina.

Thomas suggested pool toys as another under-the-radar product category that could be marked down significantly. Use them now if the weather stays warm, or save them for a sunnier day. “Depending on where you live, you could even give pool toys as a Christmas or birthday gift,” she said in an email.

Skip: Decorations

Another category to skip? Fall and holiday decorations. Decorations get cheaper when the holiday gets closer. So as long as you don’t mind last-minute decorating, wait until mid-October for Halloween decorations and mid-December for Christmas decorations.

Buy: iPhones

Apple’s special product launch event is confirmed for Sept. 7, and sources agree the company will probably put out a new iPhone. While the new model (or models) won’t come with a discounted price, retailers will mark down last year’s models. The savvy cell phone shopper buys at least one model back. Opt to buy a used iPhone and save even more.

Bonus: Coffee and a cheeseburger

Wait, what? No, not together. Sept. 18 gives you a good excuse to indulge since it’s National Cheeseburger Day. And you might be able to find a free cup of coffee on Sept. 29, which is the national day of America’s favorite caffeinated bean. As always, check for deals on your favorite social media platforms.