Your Guide to the Best Labor Day Sales

Where to find the lowest discounts over the upcoming holiday weekend.

Online deal sites hope to capitalize on back-to-school shopping by parents of K-12 students.
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This year, retailers have even more reason to hold back on major discounts, since consumers aren't pinching pennies as much as they were in the economic doldrums of 2008 and 2009, says Grannis. "We're seeing regular sales cycles… retailers had to get back to normal price points," she adds.

That means if you can wait to make a major purchase, such as a new refrigerator or dishwasher, you'll probably be better off waiting for Black Friday, which is in about three months, or for a random sale that hits outside of any particular sales holiday. "If you have patience, sit and wait," advises Wilson.

For those who still want to hit the stores this weekend, shopping experts suggest doing background research. "Extra discounts aren't always prominently displayed in the store," says Sakraida. "Before making any purchase, check online to see if there's an extra discount, then see if the salesperson will honor it at the register," she says. Mobile apps by RetailMeNot.com, BradsDeals.com, DealNews.com, and PriceGrabber.com can also help shoppers make sure they're getting the best deals.

Also, shoppers should check their email: Experian Marketing Services reports that retailers send Labor Day-focused emails between mid-August and September 7, and those emails often contain coupon codes, including for free shipping.

Just another reason to scroll through retail sites while watching the first official football games of the season.

Twitter: @alphaconsumer