The experts at Consumer Reports are a great source for buying guides, based both on price and on how well the product did in their independent tests. Here are their suggestions for the best types of products to buy in September, along with added suggestions from our Living on the Cheap experts.
Outdoor gear like grills and lawn mowers
According to Consumer Reports, “Labor Day is the last major chance of the year to find grills on sale, though you may still find sale prices for a few weeks after the holiday.” The same applies to lawn mowers and room air conditioners. Just like clothing retailers, hardware and outdoor stores need to make room for fall merchandise. Here are Consumer Reports’ product picks if you’re in the market for a grill.
At the other end of the price scale, check out the clearance aisles in dollar stores for summer gear like kiddie pools and beach toys. In some places in the southern and western United States, you can use them almost year round. Check out our 16 life hacks using pool noodles and other summer clearance items.
You don’t necessarily need to wait till Black Friday to get a new TV. Consumer Reports says its data shows that prices may drop on some models this month. Do your research with their buying guide and product suggestions.
And when you get rid of your old TV, consult our tips on recycling electronics for free to keep toxic materials out of landfills.
Black Friday sales kick off earlier and earlier each year. If you really need a new phone, now might not be a terrible time to buy — especially if the iPhone is your device of choice. Says Consumer Reports: “The brand typically unveils its new devices in September, and rumors are circulating that the new iPhone 13 will be announced this month. As a result, prices on the previous year’s models will begin to drop this month, and there are often trade-in deals that may help you save if you want the new model.”
In addition to saving on your phone, there are ways to save on your cellphone plan as well. Here’s our guide to choosing the plan that best suits your needs. And, as with getting rid of old TVs, cellphones should be recycled if you don’t plan to trade them in or sell them. Read our guide to recycling electronics for free.
“Alexa, Siri and Google, what’s the best time to buy a smart speaker?” September is definitely one of the answers this year. Consumer Reports recommends the Amazon Echo Dot (4th Generation) and Amazon Echo Show 5.
Washers and dryers
Labor Day sales are traditionally a good time to get deals on these labor-saving devices. They’re usually sold as a set, so they’ll both go on sale at the same time, but nothing says you have to replace both your washer and dryer, or that you need to buy matching items if you do. In fact, Consumer Reports says that not all sets make a great couple. See their dryer buying guide for general advice.
Ranges, wall ovens, cooktops, dishwashers
You can find good deals this month on all kitchen appliances, but there are a few things to keep in mind. First, if you’re buying a range or wall oven, there may be installation issues to consider, especially if you’re changing models or from gas to electric or vice-versa. Secondly, purchases of all electronics and appliances are still being affected by the pandemic. Don’t be surprised by long waits if your appliance isn’t in stock at the store.
Paint and wood stain
So you didn’t get around to restaining the deck this summer, or you didn’t feel like tackling that painting project that you saved paint chips for? Procrastinators can sometimes save money! Paint and wood stain are two products that often go on sale this time of year.
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- Train yourself to say ‘no’ to impulse buys