Looking forward to some great end-of-summer deals this Labor Day weekend? You’re in good company. According to the National Retail Foundation, the average family with school-aged kids has finished only about half of its shopping so far, since many are anticipating money-saving deals at the end of August. People also have taken advantage of off-season pricing on travel—AAA Travel reports that a record 34.1 million Americans are planning getaways this holiday weekend.
- Amazon: Save on myriad tech gadgets. Deals include $200 off a Bose CineMate 1 SR Digital Home Theater Speaker System, 20% off HP Laserjet and Inkjet printers and 40% off a Magellan eXplorist 350H Handheld GPS.
- Apple: If you purchase a Mac before Sept. 9, Apple stores will give you a $100 gift card. You can also score a $50 gift card with the purchase of an iPad or iPhone.
- Best Buy: Purchase a 4GB Apple MacBook Pro with 13.3-inch Retina display and save $100. The store is also selling marked-down tablets, priced as low as $49.99.
- Brookstone: Brookstone’s online store offers coupons valid until the last day of August. Deals include free shipping on orders over $99, $10 off orders of $80 and $15 off orders of $120.
- HP: Through HP’s online store, customers can save on items like the HP ProBook 4425s Notebook PC (now $699, marked down from $1,073) and the HP Laserjet Enterprise printer (now $699, marked down from $899).
- Radioshack: Until Sept. 1, Radioshack.com and participating stores are giving customers $10 in store credit for every $30 spent.
- Walmart: This weekend customers can buy a 16GB Apple iPad mini for $279 (originally $299) and a 50-inch 1080p Sceptre HDTV for only $378 (originally $599).
Clothing and accessories
- Aeropostale: Get 50% to 70% off everything in the store. With the markdown, tees start at $6 and polos start at $10.
- American Eagle Outfitters: On ae.com customers can get free shipping and 25% off all purchases through Sept. 1 by using the code “952367P1.” The store offers 22 different fits of jeans, all under $30.
- Banana Republic: Take 40% off your entire purchase through Sept. 1. Online customers can use the code “BRLABOR” to get this deal. Discounted fashions include cardigans, blazers, slacks and skirts.
- Barney’s Warehouse: Save an additional 20% off men and women’s apparel, bags and accessories, as well as an extra 30% off clearance items.
- Bergdorf Goodman: Save up to 40% on select ready-to-wear items, including items from designers such as Rag and Bone and Theory.
- Bloomingdale’s: Save up to 60% in stores and online through Sept. 1. Sale items include shirts from Free People, handbags from Kate Spade and Ralph Lauren polo shirts.
- Club Monaco: Save 40% on sale items as well as an additional 50% on clearance with the online code “HEYFALL.”
- Delia’s: Take an extra 40% off you entire order when you use the online code “RELAX.” Orders over $75 also come with free shipping.
- Express: Take 40% off all store purchases. Online shoppers can also score free shipping on orders over $125.
- Gap: Earn $25 in store credit for every $50 you spend at Gap. The only catch: you have to spend your GapCash between Sept. 10 and Sept. 14.
- Guess: Save an extra 40% off all sale items, including shoes and apparel, through Sept. 4.
- H&M: Clothes and accessories are discounted as low as $4.95 during this sale, which runs through Sept. 1.
- Intermix: Get an extra 40% off all purchases, including clothing, shoes and bags.
- JCPenney: Save an extra 20% off when you use your JCPenney credit card or 15% off with other payment methods all weekend. In addition to several clothing discounts, the store also offers deeply discounted furniture and home décor during this sale.
- Jos. A Bank: Get suits, dress shirts and ties 30% off. Deals include dress shirts for only $17.99 and wool dress pants for $29.99.
- Justice: Save 40% off all stock through Sept. 2 when you use the online code “737.”
- Macy’s: Print the online coupon out and save 15% on apparel and jewelry and 10% off all sale and clearance items when you present it to the cashier.
- Neiman Marcus: Save up to 40% off regular prices both online and in stores on seasonal clearance items.
- Nordstrom: Save up to 40% on clearance items until Sept. 7.
- Old Navy: Take up to 50% off your entire purchase both online and in stores until Sept. 1.
- Sears: Online shoppers can save up to 50% on back-to-school fashions. Sears also has other great deals for Labor Day, such as 60% off mattresses and 40% off appliances.
- Wet Seal: Buy one item and get another lower-priced item 70% off. You can also buy five basics (tees, tanks, leggings) for $20.
- White House Black Market: Save up to 60% on apparel and accessories. Online customers can take an additional 30% off select items by using the code “17443.”
- Bath and Body Works: Save up to 50% on sale items while supplies last.
- Ulta: Get $3.50 off any $10 purchase through Aug. 30.
- Alaska Airlines: Save up to $250 on flight and hotel packages when you book before Aug. 31 for travel completed by March 31, 2015.
- American Airlines: Book by Aug. 29 to snag deals on flights across the U.S. departing Sept. 5 or Sept. 6.
- Hertz Car Rentals: Save 40% on car rentals this weekend.
- Midwest Airlines: Save $15 on your tickets bought before Aug. 31 with the code “SAVE15.”
- Priceline: Get select travel packages and flights for the weekend at bargain prices. Destinations include New York, Miami and Orlando.
Furniture, décor and home improvement
- 1-800-Mattress: Get a free two-day delivery on orders over $400. Some mattresses are marked down by more than 50%.
- Ashley Furniture Homestore: Take an extra 20% off sales items in store. Discounted items include mattresses, couches, and panel beds.
- Ethan Allen Furniture: Through Sept. 2, customers can save up to 20% on upholstered furniture.
- Home Depot: With sales on appliances, gardening supplies and décor, customers can take advantage of discounts through Sept. 3. Deals include 10% off discounts on appliances and up to 25% off select furniture.
- IKEA: If you’re shopping for furniture at IKEA this weekend, your meal in the cafeteria will be free if you spend over $100.
- Lowe’s: Save on a variety of home improvement products, including 10% to 30% off appliances and 20% off commercial charbroil grills.
- Mattress Warehouse: With some mattresses more than 50% off, this outlet offers many affordable options as well as discounted bed frames.
- Overstock.com: Save up to 55% on mattresses. Other discounted items include rugs, furniture and home décor.
- Pottery Barn: Save up to 70% on all clearance rugs before Sept. 1. Customers can also find deals on baskets and outdoor furniture.
- Sam Levitz Furniture: Save up to 77% on furniture, including mattresses, sofas and bedroom sets.
- Sleepy’s: Get up to 50% off on every mattress. If your order is over $599 you can get free shipping.
- Target: Through Aug. 30, save up to 20% on bath furniture and décor and up to 25% off other furniture.
- True Value: Save up to 55% on selected items, including folding chairs, outdoor heat lamps and gardening tools.
- Chevrolet: Qualified buyers can get a new Chevy with 0% APR for 72 months and no monthly payments for the first 90 days. The sale applies to most of the new 2014 models.
- Ford: At Ford’s Labor Day Sellathon, you can pick up a 2014 Ford for 0% APR and get cash-back deals. For certain trade-ins the dealership will give you an extra $1,000 in cash.
- Honda– Through Sept. 2, customers get low monthly payments on selected new models as part of Honda’s Summer Clearance Event.
- Nissan: At Nissan’s Bottom Line clearance event, customers can earn cash back and get financing plans with low monthly payments.
- Toyota: Pay 0% APR and get up to $1,500 cash back when you finance a 2014 Toyota this weekend. The sale includes deals on hybrids, trucks and SUVs.
Labor Day shopping tips
Here are some easy ways to make the most of your sales shopping spree this weekend:
Start the day right. If you’re feeling hungry or tired, you might not think twice about spending a lot of money at the food court or on products you don’t really need. Keep your budget in check by making sure you eat a good meal and get lots of rest before going to the mall.
Make a plan. Everyone hates the feeling of going into one store and making a purchase, only to realize another store was selling the same product for less. The good news is, this can be avoided with a little research beforehand. Most outlets post their big sale items online, making it easy to compare prices and find deals. By knowing which stores you’re visiting first and what you’re planning to purchase from each store, you won’t end up wasting time or over-spending.
Be mindful about your spending. If you’re using your credit card to get rewards this holiday weekend, remember to stick to a budget. According to studies cited by Psychology Today, consumers were consistently more willing to pay more for items if they were paying with credit rather than cash. Knowing this could help you make smarter spending decisions in the store.
Traveling strategies for the weekend
Looking for ways to save money on travel?
Keep the weather in mind. If you’re going to Las Vegas to take advantage of off-season deals, don’t let the hot desert summer catch you off-guard. Bring summer clothes, water bottles and sunglasses so you’re ready to enjoy the heat. You’ll save some money by not having to purchase these items while you’re away from home, and you’ll be able to spend more time enjoying your vacation rather than shopping.
Bring snacks. Dining out three times a day can add up quickly. Consider saving some extra cash by stocking up on snacks at a grocery store near your hotel or bringing packed lunches.
Buy unique, inexpensive souvenirs. Instead of overspending in gift shops, go off the beaten track and find unique items for lower prices at places such as flea markets or festivals. Taking the time to look for these items will save you money and cause their recipients to feel a bit more special.
Buy tickets for future travel. The peak summer travel season is winding down, and it’s the perfect time to book plane tickets—even if you’re not planning on traveling this Labor Day. As the CEO of FareCompare.com told Forbes, the end of the summer season this year was Aug. 25; tickets bought after this so-called “magic date” will be lower in price. If you’re booking travel plans for Thanksgiving or Christmas, now could be the best time to do it.
Buying the right car during clearance season
Wondering which car you should buy?
Calculate the actual cost. Before driving home in a new car, consider the cost of maintenance, gas and insurance. Buying a hybrid or other fuel-efficient car could be worth the investment in the long run, considering the rising cost of gasoline. Using NerdWallet’s Car Insurance Estimator Tool, you can also figure out how much car insurance will cost and factor that expense into your budget.
Test-drive on a rough road. To get a feel for how your new ride might handle certain conditions, test-drive it on a rough or hilly road and take note of the noise level. Before making a decision, compare the safety features, visibility and seating configurations on different models to make sure that your new vehicle fits your needs.
Bring your paperwork. When you visit the dealership, come prepared with a copy of your credit report as well as a list of auto loan rates from banks and credit unions. This way, if the dealership offers you a pricier financing deal, you can be prepared to negotiate or finance the vehicle another way.
Corporate chains aren’t the only ones trying to get rid of their seasonal stock or hurrying to fill rooms during an off-season. Lots of local shops, hotels and dealerships offer great savings this time of year, too. Ask your neighbors and check your local paper to get more information about deals in your hometown. And keep an eye on your favorite store’s social media accounts for special deals that may be posted there.