NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. -- Headed to the mall this Labor Day weekend? Andrea Woroch , a consumer and money-saving expert who grew up in New Rochelle, shares her thoughts on what to buy -- and what to skip.
What To Buy
- Swimsuits and Summer Apparel. Although there are many hot days left to hit the pool or beach, retailers are eager to make room for fall and winter apparel. Expect major markdowns on swimsuits, shorts, sandals, tank tops and more. Many retailers offer extra savings on sale and clearance items in the form of coupons, so track down these discounts to save an additional 10 to 25 percent off your purchases.
- Back to School Items. Macy's is offering 30 to 50 percent off back-to-school goods through Sunday, Sept. 4. Don't miss penny deals from stores like Staples and Office Depot as well as up to 90 percent off gently-used items from sites like ThredUp.com, or search CouponSherpa.com for up to 75 percent off school essentials with a Zulily coupon.
- Garden & Outdoor Items. As temperatures drop, sale prices go up. Grill prices, in particular, continue to get lower through October. Lowe's, Home Depot and Ace Hardware, for example, are all offering $100 off Weber Genesis grills. You can also score deals on outdoor accessories like lighting and fire pits from stores such as Target and Pier 1, with savings between 30 and 50 percent off.
- New Cars. Fortune Magazine calls Labor Day weekend "the Black Friday for car shopping." With the release of 2017 models, dealerships need to make room for new vehicles and lower prices on older-models accordingly. You can also expect more competitive financing offers like zero-percent interest for qualified buyers.
- Travel. Many airlines and third-party travel booking sites offer discounts over Labor Day weekend. If you're planning on traveling over Thanksgiving or Christmas, you should plan ahead and take advantage of flight and hotel deals offered this holiday weekend.
What Not To Buy
- Fall Clothing. Before you get too excited about sweater season, know that fall fashion is in-season over Labor Day, meaning it's at peak price right now. While you will see some deals of 10 to 20 percent off, the real savings come later. There will be plenty of time to change up your wardrobe once the holiday weekend is over and prices start to drop as retailers make room for winter stock. Look for better deals on fall apparel and shoes during Columbus Day weekend.
- Apple Products & Other Electronics. If you're considering purchasing an Apple product, hold off until later in September when the company is poised to announce new versions of popular gadgets so you can snatch up previous-year models for less. The same goes for electronics in general; since college season is starting, items like TVs and MP3 players will be very expensive during Labor Day weekend and are best avoided. The best deals on electronics will become available starting Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
- Winter Apparel. Because this is the time consumers start thinking ahead towards winter, retailers set the highest prices for cold-weather gear this time of year. Wait a few months until these items become more affordable; you likely won't need a heavy parka or snow boots until November, anyway. If you can hold off until after Christmas, you will see sales of up to 75 percent off boots, coats and more.
- Halloween Items. Planning your costume, decor and details for a spooky party is always exciting, but you should wait until after October 15 to buy anything related to Halloween. This is when stores start switching to Christmas and lower the prices on festive merchandise. Craft stores like Michael's start offering deals up to 70 percent off as early as two weeks before the actual holiday.
- Toys. The Christmas shopping season is also toy season. The year's most coveted toys will be announced later in September, and the best time to buy them is actually the Saturday before Thanksgiving, according to experts. If your child is set on something specific, remind him or her that the winter holidays are just around the corner!
For more money-saving tips, go to www.AndreaWoroch.com/ .