Hi, @kimbeth !
An automated collection uses selection conditions to automatically include matching products. You can add up to 60 selection conditions, and you can specify whether products need to meet all conditions or any condition to be included in the collection. I'd recommend opening the Entire Collection in your Shopify admin and determining which conditions are currently set up. From there, you can change the conditions or change the way your sale products are set up, so that they aren't automatically included in the collection.
For example, if the condition for your collection is to include all products with a specific tag, you can remove that tag from your sale products.
Hope this helps!