SEPTEMBER: Holiday Airfare
Scout out deals for holiday travel in November and December. September is typically early enough to get a good price as well as a good seat (see How to Score Deals on Holiday Travel).
Keep in mind that Tuesday and Wednesday are usually the cheapest days to fly. (An exception to the rule: the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, the busiest travel day of the year.) Sunday is generally the most costly.
SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER: Health Insurance
Fall marks open-enrollment season for employer health-insurance plans. Policy rates don't drop at this time of year, but now's when you should review the changes to your plan's costs and coverage options.
If you don't update your insurance preferences during open-enrollment season, you risk locking in your previous year's insurance choices, which could cost you money if your family's situation has changed at all. See Ease the Pain of Higher Health-Care Costs to learn more.
SEPTEMBER: New Cars
Shop now for an end-of-the-model-year car deal. You'll get a good combination of price and selection as dealers clear inventory for the new models.
Bargains will, of course, vary by car model and dealer, but it's not uncommon to haggle your way down to the invoice price, or within a few hundred dollars of it.
SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER: Landscaping Plants
Fall plant sales are often overlooked by all but seasoned gardeners. Nurseries in four-season areas want to lower greenhouse costs for the winter by selling inventory. Check your area for pre-winter deals on trees and shrubs. See Create a Greener Landscape for planting tips.
New models of big appliances roll into showrooms in September and October, making autumn a great time to get a deal as stores clear out the old to make room for the new.
And consider buying scratch-and-dent models -- a ding in a refrigerator door could shave hundreds off the price, and most likely, no one will notice.
OCTOBER: Grills Prices on grills heat up in the summer. But as the weather cools down, so does demand, making fall a good time to buy, according to Luke Knowles, founder of FreeShipping.org.
Got a sweet tooth? Mark your calendar for November 1 to stock up on Halloween candy leftovers. You can snag bags of sweets and boxes of chocolate bars for 50% to 75% off.
Black Friday –- the day after Thanksgiving -- has become a deep-discount day for computers. If you want to avoid the crowds in the stores, you can find deals online on Cyber Monday (the Monday after Thanksgiving). Otherwise, hold out until August. College students’ need for laptops has made this a great time to buy, with retailers offering discounts of 10% to 20%. Better yet, look for deals that include free extras, such as a printer.
NOVEMBER: Baking Ingredients
Grocers offer up deals that can't be beat just in time for your holiday baking. Stock up on the basics, including sugar, flour, chocolate and butter (the latter two freeze well), plus other ingredients, such as canned pumpkin, evaporated milk and nuts.
ALL FALL LONG: Travel September through the weekend before Thanksgiving, look for fall shoulder-season travel bargains. Shoulder season is that pause between peak seasons -- the time to travel when you'll find great deals on cruises, resort trips, vacation rentals and international travel. Plus, the weather is typically pleasant and you'll see fewer crowds.
See Best Buys of Fall as a SLIDE SHOW.