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What to buy and what to avoid at Labor Day sales

Appliances, furniture, beds, clothing and more
Posted: 7:58 AM, Aug 31, 2018
Updated: 2018-09-01 17:55:01Z

Is that bed sagging in the middle? Refrigerator looking like something off the set of "The Brady Bunch?"

Good news: Labor Day weekend is the biggest weekend for store sales between the Fourth of July and Black Friday, according to the savings sites  DealNews.com and BestBlackFriday.com .

We combed their recommendations for a list of the best things to buy this weekend, and some things you may not want to buy, if you can wait, because they will be cheaper in late November.

What to buy Labor Day Weekend:

  • Large appliances: Refrigerators, microwaves, washing machines and dishwashers are up to 40 percent off at Sears, Home Depot, Lowes and Best Buy. This is a great weekend to update to that stainless steel refrigerator you have wanted.
  • Furniture and Mattresses: This is one of those great holiday weekends, like Presidents' Day, when you truly can find great deals on beds and couches at Macy's and regional furniture stores.
  • Barbecue grills: Stores with too many grills still on display are now slashing prices. Some will even have rare markdowns on Weber Grills. Check Lowe's, Home Depot and Ace Hardware.
  • Patio furniture: As stores make room for Christmas displays, they are clearing out everything patio related. Lowe's and Home Depot have table and chair sets 30 percent or more off their summer prices. Grab them now, because next April everything will be full price.
  • Mulch: Home Depot and Lowe's are marking down bags of mulch to as low as $2 each. It is a great time to freshen the garden. 
  • Perennials: Garden centers are clearing out next spring's blooming flowers. Buy them now, not in May, when they are expensive.
  • Summer clothing: Now is the time to grab summer clothing at 50 to 75 percent off and still have weeks left to wear it. 
  • School supplies: Anything that didn't sell is now on deep discount, including school backpacks.
  • Apple Watch: Walmart is offering $100 off the first generation watch, which is a great starter watch if you have been considering one.
  • 2018 cars: The 2019s are here, and dealers are offering great markdowns and rebates on 2018 models while they last.

What to wait on until Black Friday

  • Fall clothing: You'll find some 30 percent discounts now, but that is normal. Hot fall items from The North Face, Patagonia and other brands go on sale closer to Thanksgiving and Christmas.
  • iPhones: The new iPhones will be unveiled in two weeks, and about one week after that, Apple typically drops the price on older models, which in this case would be the iPhone7 and 8. Ditto for MacBooks. Keep using that cracked screen three more weeks if you can.
  • Big screen 4K TVs: Best Buy and Walmart have some good deals this weekend if you can't wait until November, but the real deals come the week of Black Friday.
  • Laptops: Walmart and Best Buy are advertising some laptop markdowns now, but they will be better on Black Friday.
  • Toys: You'll find a few deals now, but the real savings start Black Friday and get even better closer to Christmas.
  • Video game consoles:  See toys, above.

But don't overspend

The savings site CardRates.com says it's important to set a budget if you plan to buy a big-ticket item like furniture or appliances this weekend.

That's because you may head out to purchase a basic fridge, but then end up in awe of that stainless, French door model with a soft drink dispenser and internet access, and end up spending $1,000 more than you intended to.

CardRates says also ask about delivery and setup fees, which can add another $100 or more to your bargain.

So enjoy the holiday sales, and remember that if you don't find what you want, it will be on sale again around Black Friday.

And that way you don't waste your money.

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