Shopping deals: What to buy in September

- Labor Day is packed with sales. So many sales, in fact, that if you're not taking an end-of-summer vacation, Trae Bodge, smart shopping expert at Slickdeals, says shop till you drop this weekend.

Trae suggests hitting the mall, where you'll find end-of-summer clothes for both adults and kids on sale. She recommends checking out J.Crew, Eddie Bauer, Hollister, H&M, Old Navy, and The Gap. Expect summer clearance sales with deep discounts.

The big-box stores are also offering Labor Day deals. Look for up to 70 percent off in the home category at Home Depot, Lowe's, and Sears.

Surprisingly, mattresses are on sale this month. (They're typically on sale over Memorial Day weekend, not Labor Day.) Trae is seeing discounts at mattress standbys like Sears and Tempur-Pedic, but also at some of the mattress startups like Nest, Nectar, and DreamCloud. Trae says they're offering dollar-off discounts from $25 off to $550 off and are also throwing in a free box spring or free pillows.

This is also a great time to gear up for your next camping trip. Trae says there are nice deals on backpacks, tents, and other outdoor gear at REI, Paragon, Patagonia, and EMS. Expect around 40 percent off.

And if you've been putting off back-to-school shopping, the deals this weekend can't be beaten. Trae says the reliable retailers that you always go to for school supplies, like Staples, will be trying to clear out that merchandise. Expect up to 85 percent off. Walmart also has up to 70 percent off school supplies.

Avoid any kind of appliances this month. Smaller appliances go on sale in October. The big appliances will be on sale around Black Friday. So it pays to wait another month or two.

Also, if you see a coat that you like in a store window, Trae says keep on walking. It's too early for sales on any winter clothes just yet.

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