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The Best Labor Day Sales — And Other Septembers Savings (and Pumpkin Spice!)

by Nicole Spector /
Starbucks' Pumpkin Spice Latte
Starbucks' Pumpkin Spice LatteStarbucks

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Labor Day Weekend marks the unofficial end of summer, but hold back your tears, dear shoppers: Some of the year's best sales are in full swing. You can find blowout deals on clothing, shoes, mattresses, and possibly even a new car.

We've rounded up some of the best deals, along with retail tips — and taken a peek at items that will be more heavily discounted later in the month, so make sure to save some cash for those sales.

Clothes and Shoes

"With fall styles already in stock on retail shelves, summer apparel and warm-weather shoes represent a great buy during Labor Day weekend," said Kendal Perez, savings expert for CouponSherpa. "These items are already discounted since they're part of end-of-season sales, and Labor Day offers consumers a chance to save an extra 10 to 40 percent on these sale and clearance items with holiday coupons."

At Calvin Klein, you can find 40 percent off sitewide merchandise, 25 percent off underwear, and 50 percent off sale styles, through September 5. Aeropostale is touting an extra 40 percent off its clearance items, and 15 percent off sitewide through September 4. Charlotte Russe has slashed prices on its "summer fave clearance" by as much as 50 percent with no end date noted.

If you're shopping for clothing for the little ones, head to Carter's 50 percent off the entire site and store, and an extra 25 percent off purchases of $40 or more, through September 4.

In the shoe arena, check out Aldo, offering a buy one pair, get the second at 40 percent special through September 4. Sole Society is offering discounts up to 60 percent through September 4. DSW is offering discounts up to 65 percent on clearance items, and giving customers a $10 gift certificate for every $50 spent through September 4.

While you'll find the biggest savings on summer wear, some retailers are shining the savings spotlight on fall apparel; for example, Banana Republic is offering 40 percent off everything — no exclusions, and there are quite a few in-season choices, with the sale running through September 5. Macy's is featuring an extra 20 percent off select departments, and 25 to 75 percent off clearance items, where surprisingly, there are some warm-weather goods to be found (sale lasts through September 4). Meanwhile, Rocket Dog's Labor Day of Love sale, touting 50 percent off sale items, is featuring not only sandals and flip flops, but a number of women's boots and sneakers.

Mattresses

“Mattresses are a hot item to buy this month," said Sara Skirboll, shopping and trends expert for RetailMeNot. "Retailers know that three-day weekends allow shoppers to look, think, and then purchase; so they tend to mark down mattresses in anticipation of the big shopping weekend."

Skirboll added that manufacturers often mark down older mattress models this time of year to make room for new models, adding to the sales madness.

"Among the many mattress sales Labor Day brings, some of the best deals can be found at Costco, offering up to $1000 off top-selling mattresses; SleepNumber, up to $800 off select mattresses; as well as Overstock with deals up to 65 percent off.”

Lindsay Sakraida, director of content marketing at DealNews, recommends checking out Sears, Walmart, and US Mattress for discounts of up to 60 percent. US Mattress hosted a pre-Labor Day sale during which it offered up to 60 percent off plus free delivery; no guarantees but chances are very good that this sale will continue through the holiday weekend.

At Walmart, the Slumber 1 - 8'' Mattress-In-a-Box starts at $79.99, down from $129.99, and the HoMedics 12" Memory Foam Mattress starts at $139.99, down from $299. (Neither sale has an end date noted). Sleepy’s is advertising its Labor Day sale as the biggest of the year, with savings up to $500 all the way through September 11.

Save Big on a New Car

"Labor Day weekend is a big event for car dealerships, representing the last three-day weekend of the year to push inventory," said Perez. "Since car shoppers will be out comparing prices and visiting multiple dealerships, car salespeople often provide extra incentives in the form of special financing (zero percent for qualified buyers) and rebates of up to $5,000, depending on the vehicle."

Deals vary by location, so you'll need to look at local dealerships in order to find relevant offers. You might want to enable location settings on your browser and/or smartphone if you’re searching online or in-app, and also check out your local dealerships' social media pages.

Snuggle Up to Outerwear Sales

“Labor Day sales feature decent discounts on new fall fashions and outdoor wear, but waiting for later in September can result in the deepest discounts on jackets/hoodies, long sleeve tops, work boots and especially denim clothing with up to half price savings,” said Brent Shelton, online shopping expert at FatWallet, adding that consumers can anticipate discounts in the range of 20-40 percent off stores like REI co-op, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and Sierra Trading Post.

The New iPhone Means Sales on Older Models

“Apple launches its new iPhone in September, and whenever that happens, we see discounts on previous generation models,” noted Sakraida of DealNews. “Apple drops the retail price usually by $100, and wireless carriers like T-Mobile and Sprint and resellers like Walmart tend to offer additional price drops — anywhere from $50 to $100 — in addition to freebies.”

Consumers who want to save more should seek out deals on refurbished phones. Sakraida points to the following examples of deals: Refurb Unlocked iPhone 6s Plus 16GB GSM Phone for $330; Refurb Unlocked iPhone 5s 32GB 4G GSM Phone for $139; Refurb Unlocked iPhone 7 Plus 32GB Smartphone for $550.

Coffee and Pumpkin Spice Lattes

“September brings back a season favorite to latte lovers in the form of the Pumpkin Spice Latte,” noted Courtney Jespersen, retail expert at NerdWallet. “The [Pumpkin Spice Latte Twitter account] @TheRealPSL announced on August 28 that Starbucks' version of the cult-favorite beverage will launch on September 1.”

And Starbucks isn’t the only player in the pumpkin spice game. Jespersen added that Dunkin' Donuts is offering its own version of the delectable seasonal beverage as well as other pumpkin-flavored drinks, as is McDonald's.

September 29 is National Coffee Day, and caffeine lovers can expect to find a number of national chains getting in on the brew.

“Caribou Coffee, Dunkin' Donuts, Krispy Kreme, LaMar's Donuts and Peet's Coffee typically participate in National Coffee Day events with free or discounted treats and drinks,” said CouponSherpa’s Perez.

To be in the loop for your local offers, take a scroll through social media closer to the date.

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