The Deals of Fall
As the temperatures start to fall, so do prices on some items. Here's what you can expect to find deals on during September and October.
Appliances. Retailers lower prices on appliances this time of year to make room for new models. Buying a floor model with a scratch or dent can save you even more money. And about half the states still are offering rebates to consumers who buy energy-efficient appliances to replace old ones. You can use the Department of Energy’s interactive map to find out if your state's program still is open.
Landscaping plants. Nurseries in four-season regions offer deals on trees and shrubs to clear out inventory before winter. A few trees can have a significant impact on your home's curb appeal (see Cheap Ways to Improve Curb Appeal).
Grills. Demand drops as the weather cools down, making fall a good time to buy. Last fall, my husband bought a grill for about 45% off the original sticker price. Lawn furniture also is marked down dramatically. We scored a table and chairs for 50% off and can actually use them now because it's not too hot outside.
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. See our picks for the best 2010 models.
What not to buy ... yet
Electronics. Hold off on any smart phone or computer purchases until Black Friday (or later), says Noah Kravitz, editor-in-chief of PhoneDog.com. The deals will be better then and the latest versions of popular devices and software will be out by then. Kravitz expects new tablet computers, 4G smart phones, Windows Phone 7, Nokia N8 and MeeGo to appear on the market before the end of the year.