The best Labor Day deals of 2015: How to shop like a pro

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/ Source: TODAY
By Alexandra Zaslow

It can be hard to decipher which sales are worth it over holiday weekends, so this Labor Day we've got you covered.

No need to get up off the couch or step away from your family only to be let down by a bad deal. There are also some great online sales to keep in mind, which doesn't require any movement at all.

Courtesy of Martin Harvey

Our first piece of advice is to start early. Some retailers often open up the sale in the weeks leading up to Labor Day. Last year, stores like Gap, Ann Taylor and American Eagle offered anywhere from 30 percent to 50 percent off merchandise a week before the holiday.

Clothing

If past years are any indication, buying luxury apparel during a Labor Day sale is well worth it. Neiman Marcus, Ralph Lauren, Saks, Bloomingdale's and Lacoste discounted their merchandise between 20 percent and 86 percent off in 2014. When it comes to designer clothing, online sales are just as good. Brooks Brothers and Club Monaco held a site-wide sale at 60 percent off, and Club Monaco even gave an extra 40 percent off sale items. Other retailers like Macy's and Lord & Taylor are offering coupon codes for great online deals in addition to their in-store sales.

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Appliances

Up until Sept. 12, Best Buy is offering up to 50 percent off on appliances like refrigerators, washers and dryers, microwaves and dishwashers. The best part? Free delivery! Before heading to the store, make sure to look for coupons online, like these promo codes for Home Depot appliances.

Food

Through Sept. 8, you can get up to 65 percent off online at Omaha Steaks. This may appear to be random, but hey, a deal's a deal, right? They're also throwing in four free burgers and free shipping.

Travel

Now is the time to plan that trip you've always wanted to take! Orbitz is offering up to 50 percent off hotels, and you can get $40 off select hotel stays over $275 on Travelocity and $150 off flight and hotel bookings over $1,750 through Sept. 30.

RELATED: 5 ways to save money on your next family vacation

School Supplies

School may already be in session, but you can never have too many supplies. At Staples this year, you can find deals like 15-cent notebooks, laptops for under $400, free basic calculators and $40 off Texas Instruments graphing calculators.

RELATED: Back-to-school splurges: Experts weigh in on which ones are worth it

Cars

Chevy, Ford, Toyota and Honda are all significantly marking their popular cars down and also giving out great deals on cash-back allowances.

Mattresses

In the market for a new bed? This is a great time to invest in one. Sleepy's is offering up to 50 percent off every mattress with free delivery. You can also get up to 60 percent off mattresses at Sears. Brands like Serta, iComfort and Beautyrest Worldclass are even throwing in free gifts with purchase like pillows and box springs.

It's important to do your research because retailers can make a deal sound a lot better than it actually is. For instance, patio furniture goes down in price the further away we get from summer. When purchasing electronics, it's best to wait until Black Friday, which is when you'll find the best deals. The same goes for buying toys. If your kids can wait, we recommend you do so.