black friday en-US Best Money Tips: Ways to Save $1,000 by Black Friday <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-ways-to-save-1000-by-black-friday" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="man doing finances" title="man doing finances" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some great articles on saving $1,000 by Black Friday, why you should book holiday travel now, and finding ideas for part time business.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="">Ways to Save $1,000 by Black Friday</a> &mdash; Adjusting your tax withholding and ditching your gym membership can help you save $1,000 by Black Friday. [Kiplinger]</p> <p><a href="">Why You Should Book Holiday Travel If You Haven't Already</a> &mdash; If you plan on traveling the day before Thanksgiving, book your ticket now! [MainStreet]</p> <p><a href="">How to Find Ideas for a Part Time Business</a> &mdash; When trying to find ideas for a part time business, make a list of things you are good at doing. [Cash Money Life]</p> <p><a href="">Tips for a Frugal, Fun and Enjoying Road Trip</a> &mdash; Keeping an average speed and setting a food budget can keep your road trip frugal and fun. [One Cent at a Time]</p> <p><a href="">How to Stop Being Poor</a> &mdash; Changing your mindset and getting out of debt can help you stop being poor. [Kylie Ofiu]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="">32 College Hacks You Won't Learn From Your Professors</a> &mdash; Chances are your college professors won't teach you not to shop for food when you are hungry or inebriated. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="">5 Lessons Learned From My First Year of Homeownership</a> &mdash; If you are going to purchase a home, invest in a toolbox and remember that most things are really easy to DIY. [L Bee and the Money Tree]</p> <p><a href="">How to Survive a Night Out on the Town When You&rsquo;re on a Budget</a> &mdash; To survive a night out on a budget, only bring cash! [ReadyForZero]</p> <p><a href="">Top 4 Finance Lessons for Your 30s</a> &mdash; In your 30s, it is vital to revamp your retirement plan. [SmartAsset Blog]</p> <p><a href="">Celebrate the Season With These Fall Dishes</a> &mdash; Celebrate fall with roasted root vegetables! [Parenting Squad]</p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Best Money Tips: Ways to Save $1,000 by Black Friday" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Ashley Jacobs</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Shopping best money tips black friday save Tue, 30 Sep 2014 19:00:12 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1222419 at Best Money Tips: Don't Fall for These Black Friday Tricks <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-dont-fall-for-these-black-friday-tricks" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="black friday box" title="black friday box" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread&#39;s <a href="">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some stellar articles on Black Friday tricks you shouldn&#39;t fall for, working part time in college, and frugal Christmas decorations.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="">Black Friday Deals: Don&#39;t Fall for These Dirty Tricks</a> &mdash; Don&#39;t fall for advertisements that make you think a price is good when it&#39;s not. [Consumerism Commentary]</p> <p><a href="">Working Part Time in College: Four Common University Jobs</a> &mdash; College students can make extra money as note takers or tutors. [Young Adult Finances]</p> <p><a href="">Frugal Christmas Decorations</a> &mdash; Keep your Christmas decorations frugal this year by making small bowls of potpourri and placing them around your house. []</p> <p><a href="">3 Reasons Why You&#39;re Unhappy with Your Financial Situation - Even Though You Have Enough</a> &mdash; You may be unhappy with your financial situation because you don&#39;t have a purpose for your money. [Cash Money Life]</p> <p><a href="">Three Ways to Prepare for a Financially Joyful Holiday Season</a> &mdash; To prepare for a financially joyful holiday season, don&#39;t forget that experiences make great gifts. [MoneyNing]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="">Black Friday: 5 good reasons to stay home</a> &mdash; In store prices might not be better than the prices you will find online, so consider staying home this Black Friday! [Living On The Cheap]</p> <p><a href="">3 Ways to Make Thanksgiving Last All Year Long</a> &mdash; To make Thanksgiving last all year long, give of your time and talents. [Christian Personal Finance]</p> <p><a href="">Why Wait? Start Your New Year&#39;s Resolutions Now!</a> &mdash; Starting your New Year&#39;s resolutions now because the sooner you start (especially with financial resolutions), the less money you waste! [NarrowBridge Finance]</p> <p><a href="">Genius! Unclog Your Toilet Without a Plunger</a> &mdash; Did you know you can unclog your toilet with dishwashing soap and warm water? [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="">Grateful for Moms Night Out! 5 Ideas You and Your Friends Will Love</a> &mdash; During your next moms night out, host a &quot;favorite things&quot; party. [Parenting Squad]</p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Best Money Tips: Don&#039;t Fall for These Black Friday Tricks" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Ashley Jacobs</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Shopping best money tips black friday shopping tricks Tue, 26 Nov 2013 10:48:07 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1098750 at For the Best Deals of the Year, Shop Labor Day and Skip Black Friday <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/for-the-best-deals-of-the-year-shop-labor-day-and-skip-black-friday" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="woman with shopping bags" title="woman with shopping bags" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Labor Day marks the unofficial end of summer. And while your weekend plans probably include a final hurrah at the beach and perhaps a quick cameo at a few cookouts, don't forget to hit your local retail malls. (See also: <a href="">The Store Sales Cycle)</a></p> <p>Any holiday is an excuse to shop as retailers advertise big sales and clearances on just about everything. But like most shoppers, you may feel that Black Friday and Cyber Monday offer more bang for your buck.</p> <p>Sure, if you have the patience to fight crowded retail lines, plus the willpower to wake up at 4 a.m. for doorbuster sales, you can score amazing discounts on Black Friday. But don't set your alarm clock so fast. Black Friday is the busiest shopping day of the year, but according to data released by Shop It to Me, a personalized shopping website, Labor Day might offer better discounts &mdash; and not just on last-minute back-to-school items. (See also: <a href="">Back-to-School Items You Should Always Shop for at the Thrift Store</a>)</p> <p>The website analyzed &quot;nearly 700,000 markdowns throughout 2011 from over 150+ online retailers&quot; and ranked Labor Day as the best shopping holiday for deals, with average discounts around 48.4%. According to the survey, Black Friday/Cyber Monday discounts only averaged 41%-42%.</p> <p>But seriously, Labor Day? Other experts agree.</p> <p>&quot;Labor Day is like Last Chance Saloon for great deals every year,&quot; says Mark Ellwood, author of <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B008EKOLRQ&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20" target="_blank">Bargain Fever: How to Shop in a Discount World</a>. &quot;The reason is simple: most Black Friday/Cyber Monday offers are artificial &mdash; or, more accurately, the merchandise isn't exactly marked down, but rather bought in specially and always intended to be sold on-sale.&quot;</p> <p>Although the majority of consumers are not likely to associate Labor Day with huge shopping sales, it's &quot;the ultimate clearance opportunity.&quot;</p> <p>With cooler temperatures right around the corner and the holiday season quickly approaching, retailers are in a mad dash to clear summer stock and make room for the arrival of new merchandise &mdash; even if it means letting items go at unbelievable discounts.</p> <p>Of course, the selection of sale or clearance items during Labor Day is small when compared to the selection at the beginning of the summer season. But if you find what you're looking for, &quot;splurge as much as you can over Labor Day, buy as many gifts for the holiday as you can, and then keep your wallet closed until November,&quot; says Ellwood.</p> <h2>Where to Spend Your Money This Labor Day</h2> <p>So, what exactly should you splurge on this holiday weekend? According to Brad Wilson, CEO of, a coupon and savings website, this is the best time to score huge deals on last season's items, such as summer clothes, patio furniture and other outdoor accessories. &quot;Buy now, stash them away for next year, and save.&quot;</p> <p>Kids can never have too many pairs of jeans for school. And since retailers typically stock up on denim in preparation for back-to-school, &quot;there are still piles of blue jeans lingering in stock rooms, and stores respond accordingly,&quot; according to Ellwood. &quot;The annual denim discount period kicks off at Labor Day.&quot; (See also: <a href="">Buy Jeans on the Cheap</a>)</p> <p>Labor Day bargains, however, don't stop with clothes and outdoor supplies.</p> <p>Now's also the time to shop if you're in the market for new appliances: washers, dryers, stoves, etc. &quot;Most new white goods models are issued in September and October, which of course means that last year's models &mdash; which usually look 99.9% the same as the new ones &mdash; are marked down significantly at this period.&quot;</p> <p>The savings also applies to cookware, a staple of Black Friday markdowns. &quot;The deals on Labor Day are as good, if not better, than later in the year.&quot;</p> <h2>Snagging the Best Discounts on Labor Day</h2> <ul> <li>Don't be afraid to open your mouth and ask for additional savings. The sales associate or manager will either say yes or no &mdash; you've got nothing to lose. For example, if you're buying two pairs of jeans, maybe you can ask for a multi-buy markdown, suggests Ellwood. (See also: <a href="">5 Phrases to Avoid When Negotiating</a>)<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Retailers take a hit each time a consumer uses a credit card, as much as 3%-4% per transaction. Use this knowledge to your advantage and ask the retailer to discount the price of a higher ticket item if you agree to pay in cash.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Use automated services to take the stress out of bargain hunting. Sign up for free services &mdash; like <a href=""></a> &mdash; that will track your favorite brands and notify you of sales. &quot;Pre-select everything from brand to color to trend and wait for the deals to roll in.&quot; Additionally, create a Twitter handle or email account specifically for shopping and subscribe to your favorite retailer's feeds and email clubs. This is a convenient, reliable way to learn about the day's sales and receive exclusive coupon codes.</li> </ul> <p><em>Will you be shopping this weekend? Do you have tips for other Labor Day shoppers? Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="For the Best Deals of the Year, Shop Labor Day and Skip Black Friday" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Mikey Rox</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Shopping black friday discounts labor day sales shopping Thu, 29 Aug 2013 10:36:28 +0000 Mikey Rox 981584 at Best Money Tips: Black Friday Sales With Your Pet in Mind <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-black-friday-sales-with-your-pet-in-mind" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="Black Friday Sales With Your Pet In Mind" title="Black Friday Sales With Your Pet In Mind" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some great articles on Black Friday sales with your pet in mind, how to make savings a habit, and getting the best deals on toys.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="">Black Friday Sales With Your Pet In Mind</a> &mdash; Petsmart is offering 50% off thousands of products for PetPerks members. [SavvySugar]</p> <p><a href="">How to Make Saving A Habit</a> &mdash; If you want to make saving money a habit, have a goal for your savings. [Narrow Bridge Finance]</p> <p><a href="">How to get the best deals on toys</a> &mdash; To score the best deals on toys, find low prices in your email inbox by monitoring prices on Amazon. [Living On The Cheap]</p> <p><a href="">4 Steps to Take When You Realize OMG! I Need to Sell My House</a> &mdash; When you realize you need to sell your house, take the time to develop a marketing plan. [Len Penzo]</p> <p><a href="">5 Best Tips To Help With Debt</a> &mdash; One of the most important things to do when trying to get out of debt is updating your budget. [Not Made Of Money]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="">How to Cut Spending and Create a More Profitable Business</a> &mdash; To cut spending at your business, curb your impulse buying. It will make your business more profitable! [Careful Cents]</p> <p><a href="">Rent Collection: What's the Best Way to Collect the Rent from Your Tenant?</a> &mdash; Collect rent from tenants by utilizing a drop box for payments or taking payments by mail. [PT Money]</p> <p><a href="">27 Ways to Entertain Your Kids on Thanksgiving Day</a> &mdash; Keep your kids entertained on Thanksgiving by playing board games and having them start a gratitude journal. [Parenting Squad]</p> <p><a href="">10 Happy Habits You Should Start Now</a> &mdash; Now would be a good time to start the happy habit of counting your blessings one at a time. [Marc and Angel Hack LIfe]</p> <p><a href="">The Sounds Of Marriage: How To Plan Music For Your Wedding</a> &mdash; When planning music for your wedding, consider Karaoke. It's a cost-effective way to keep guests entertained! [How's Married LIfe?]</p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Best Money Tips: Black Friday Sales With Your Pet in Mind" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Ashley Jacobs</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Shopping best money tips black friday pets Thu, 22 Nov 2012 11:00:30 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 957654 at Why People Go Crazy on Black Friday <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/why-people-go-crazy-on-black-friday" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="hiding in clothing rack" title="hiding in clothing rack" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>For many bargain-hunting Americans, the day after Thanksgiving is perhaps one of the most important holidays of the year &mdash; even though Black Friday is not officially recognized on any calendar. The opportunity to get Christmas shopping done at a discount is just too much temptation for the many shoppers who might otherwise be spending the wee hours of that Friday sleeping off a tryptophan-and-pumpkin-pie hangover.</p> <p>But Black Friday isn&rsquo;t just about bargains and deals. Often shoppers will find themselves spending more than they intended on items they don&rsquo;t really want. In addition, otherwise civil individuals may find themselves pushing and shoving fellow shoppers over coveted merchandise. And in the worst cases, shoppers and employees have been hurt and <a href="">even killed</a> in stampedes to get to cheap video game consoles and laptops. These are not the actions of rational individuals.</p> <p>As easy as it might be to simply look down our noses at those involved in the most egregious excesses of Black Friday, the sad truth is that human psychology primes all of us to potentially act in the same way. And of course, retailers are savvy enough to recognize our baser impulses and take advantage of them. Here are the five psychological quirks that retailers exploit and we blindly follow on Black Friday, often to the detriment of our wallets, our dignity, and potentially our very hides. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="">Party Like It's 19.99: The Psychology of Pricing</a>)</p> <h3>1. Time Pressure Makes Us Act Without Thinking</h3> <p>Even if you generally take your time to research and think about big purchases, the idea that a sale is for a limited time can make you forget your usual deliberate approach.</p> <p>For example, you might be thinking about buying yourself a flat screen TV, but you would like to do some research and comparison shopping. If you happen to be in a store with an incredible one-day sale on their flat screen TVs, your plans to research your purchase are likely to go out the window. You would hate to miss out on big savings because you were being too deliberate, wouldn&rsquo;t you?</p> <p>Art Markman of <a href="">Psychology Today</a> explains that when stores offer the time pressure of Black Friday only sales (or sales only within a certain window on Black Friday), it affects what psychologists Arie Kruglanski and Donna Webster have called a &quot;need for closure.&quot; This concept refers to an individual&rsquo;s need to finish with a decision process and subsequently take action. Some people have a high need for closure, meaning they want to make their decision quickly and move on, while those with a low need for closure are more comfortable thinking carefully through each decision before taking action.</p> <p>What happens when retailers put a time limit on their bargains is that it raises the need for closure, even for normally low-need-for-closure shoppers. Since the retailer has created a sense of urgency for the shoppers to take advantage of a good price, those shoppers are less likely to spend time carefully thinking through their purchases.</p> <p>And this is why you may find yourself wondering why on Earth you put five crock pots in your cart on Black Friday when no one on your Christmas list cooks. You are reacting to the low price and urgent time limit rather than taking the time to think about whether this is a good purchase.</p> <h3>2. Doorbusters Play on Our Fear of Losing Out</h3> <p>Most chain retail stores will offer an incredible deal on a couple of big-ticket items. The problem with these doorbusters is that the stores generally only have limited quantities in stock &mdash; as low as <a href="">10 guaranteed units per store</a>. Not only does the advertised item get you up and waiting outside the store with the slavering hordes first thing in the morning, but its very scarcity really primes your competitive instinct. You want to beat out all the other suckers in line.</p> <p>And if you are one of those suckers who misses out on the doorbuster? Very few people will then head home in a huff after losing out on the advertised sale. If you&rsquo;ve already dragged your rear end out of bed at 0-dark-30 the day after Thanksgiving, you might as well do some shopping. Your fear that you have gotten up early for nothing can lead you to making purchases you didn&rsquo;t intend.</p> <p>In addition, the doorbuster&rsquo;s incredibly low price might convince you that the rest of the merchandise at the store is also on sale, even if you don&rsquo;t have any idea if that&rsquo;s true.</p> <h3>3. Competition for Merchandise Makes Us Enjoy the Hunt Even More</h3> <p>We all get a charge out of saving money. Add in the potential competition of every other early-rising Black Friday shopper, and it turns a mundane activity &mdash; shopping &mdash; into a pleasurable one.</p> <p>According to <a href="">Sang-Eun Byun</a>, assistant professor of consumer affairs at Auburn University, the competition of other shoppers &ldquo;creates what&rsquo;s called hedonic shopping value, or a sense of enjoyment from the mere process of buying goods.&rdquo;</p> <p>Retailers take advantage of this sense of pleasurable competition by limiting the number of doorbusters and loss leaders and by adding time pressure. They create a sense of implied scarcity by imposing these limits, which engages our hoarding and hunting instincts.</p> <p>Shoppers can take great pleasure in figuring out the best ways to take advantage of retailers&rsquo; limits, as it makes them feel superior to other shoppers. Actually buying the sought-after item feels like winning.</p> <p>Unfortunately, shopping competition can lead to even darker behavior.</p> <h3>4. Planning Your Shopping Strategy Can Make You More Prone to Misbehavior</h3> <p>You might remember the California woman in 2011 who pepper sprayed her fellow Wal-Mart shoppers at the very beginning of Black Friday sales last year. What got less coverage was the fact that this walking affront to Miss Manners <a href="">turned herself in</a> 24 hours after the pepper-spraying incident. Presumably, she had come to her senses by then.</p> <p>According to psychologist <a href="">Jane Boyd Thomas</a>, it&rsquo;s likely that the pepper-sprayer had planned her shopping strategy and mapped out her route through the store. Thomas&rsquo;s research into the consumer psychology of Black Friday showed a correlation between those shoppers who strategically planned out their shopping expedition and those who engaged in rowdy behavior.</p> <p>While most shopping misbehavior is limited to nasty looks, rude hand gestures, and the occasional scuffle over an item, it does not change the fact that normally polite individuals may find themselves acting in ways that would shock their grandmothers on Black Friday. Having a vision of how your bargain-hunting triumph will play out can apparently make you more aggressive when other bargain hunters get in your way. Your dashed hopes for a successful &ldquo;hunt&rdquo; can lead to negative behavior.</p> <h3>5. A Store&rsquo;s Environment Can Put You in a Buying Mood</h3> <p>Retailers recognize that making sure you&rsquo;re in the right mindset to shop will improve their profit margin. Everything from the crowds to the store décor to the music playing over the loudspeaker to the scent of warm cookies filling the air can help to convince you to stay longer and spend more money. This is particularly true during holiday shopping, as Christmas has a warm-and-fuzzy connotation and mood for most shoppers &mdash; and especially those shoppers who are likely to go to the stores on Black Friday.</p> <p>As Stephanie Pappas reports in <a href="">LiveScience</a>, studies have shown that &ldquo;positive feelings make products seem more desirable.&rdquo; By taking advantage of holiday mood-setters like Christmas carols and decorations, retailers prime their shoppers to feel upbeat and excited for the holiday, which can make them purchase more.</p> <p>The fact that so many other people are out shopping with you can also make you feel positively about the coming holiday. It positions you as all celebrating the holiday together &mdash; even if you are at the moment in competition for specific gifts.</p> <p>And the psychology of smell is such that a pleasant scent can make you feel great &mdash; and spend more. Scent is very closely associated with memory, and smelling tempting aromas that we associate with holidays &mdash; like cookies, peppermint, or fir trees &mdash; can make us <a href="">remember happy Christmases past</a>, which can lead to more spending. We want to pass that happiness along to next generation, after all.</p> <h3>Avoiding the Madness</h3> <p>Black Friday has been engineered to play on our spending weaknesses. It often brings out the worst in us, whether that is our competitive nature or our budgeting weakness in the face of $200 laptops. If you plan to partake in Black Friday shopping this year, be intelligent about it.</p> <p><strong>1. Do Your Research Ahead of Time, so That You Will Not Be Tempted Into a Purchase Just Because of the Sale Price</strong></p> <p>Remember, you&rsquo;re not saving money if you <a href="">wouldn&rsquo;t have bought the item at full price</a>.</p> <p><strong>2. Be Willing to Go Home Empty-Handed If the Item You&rsquo;re Shopping for Is Sold Out</strong></p> <p>Heading home for a couple extra hours of sleep is a better idea than buying something just to make your trip worthwhile.</p> <p><strong>3. Enjoy the Shopping, but Don&rsquo;t Make a Competitive Sport Out of It</strong></p> <p>Buying something isn&rsquo;t &ldquo;winning,&rdquo; the other shoppers aren&rsquo;t your opponents, and this is all theoretically being done in order to buy gifts for those you love. So don&rsquo;t act in a way that would make them ashamed. They&rsquo;d rather have you come home empty-handed than with a black eye and missing teeth and the cheap video game in hand.</p> <p><strong>4. Embrace Your Inner Humbug</strong></p> <p>While it is lovely to enjoy the holiday mood at your favorite retailer, remember that it is being cynically used against you. Keeping that in mind can help you to keep your wallet fat and the questionable purchases to a minimum.</p> <p>You might want to refrain from saying &ldquo;Bah!&rdquo; to anyone who wishes you a Merry Christmas, however.</p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Why People Go Crazy on Black Friday" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Emily Guy Birken</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Shopping black friday holiday shopping sales Tue, 20 Nov 2012 11:36:32 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 955665 at Even More Black Friday Savings Tips From Shopping Experts <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/even-more-black-friday-savings-tips-from-shopping-experts" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="shopping bags" title="shopping bags" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="216" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Black Friday is widely regarded as the unofficial start to the holiday buying period, and for good reason &mdash; most retailers offer deep discounts the day after Thanksgiving to jump-start sales in anticipation of Christmas and Hanukkah. You can browse the Internet endlessly trying to find the best tips and tricks to help you make the most of Black Friday (and Cyber Monday), but that would seriously cut into your turkey and family time. To save you a headache, I&rsquo;ve reached out to financial and frugal-living experts to compile this comprehensive list of their best advice. When the pie is polished off and the dishes are put away, I hope you&rsquo;ll remember these savvy shopping tidbits to help you walk away a winner as you usher in the holidays. Happy shopping and happy holidays! (See also: <a href="">Black&nbsp;Friday&nbsp;Tips From Money-Saving Experts</a>)</p> <h3>Price Matching</h3> <p>Andrew Schrage, founder of <a href="">Money Crashers</a>, advises to keep an eye on price-matching offers while making sure you&rsquo;ve read the find print:</p> <blockquote><p>Price matching can be tricky. Retailers love to advertise price matching, but when you get down to the fine print, you may find a number of caveats. For example, many stores require you to provide a physical ad displaying the better price in order for the retailer to honor your request.</p> <p>However, Walmart has led the way with consumer-friendly price matching. Last year, Walmart instituted a policy stating that if you purchased something from one of its locations during December and then found it elsewhere at a reduced price, you would be refunded (with some exclusions) as long as the better deal was offered before Christmas Day. It remains to be seen if it will offer a similar program this year.</p> </blockquote> <h3>Boost Your Buying Power</h3> <p><a href="">Swagbucks</a>, a top online rewards destination, has launched a new program called <a href="">Shop &amp; Earn</a>, which helps budget buyers stretch their money by offering exclusive discounts to more than 300 big-box retailers like Target, Walmart, Best Buy, Apple, Kohl's, and Macy's, among others.</p> <p>As an incentive for participating in the program, users earn Swag Bucks (&quot;currency&quot; redeemable for gift cards and products from these stores), which help boost consumers' holiday buying power. In addition, for peak shopping periods around Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Swagbucks will double and triple its Shop &amp; Earn rewards on Friday, Nov. 23, and Monday, Nov. 26.</p> <h3>Shop In-Store, Buy Online</h3> <p>Leslie Linevsky, co-founder of <a href=""></a>, thinks taking part in the Black Friday is a good idea, but you can save time by avoiding the long lines and making the actual purchases online:</p> <blockquote><p>Avoid back-breaking heavy bags, skip the check out lines, and pay for everything all at once. How? Enjoy your shopping experience: go to the store, try on, touch and make your selections &mdash; putting everything in your online shopping cart at the store's website. Check out while you relax at the food court and have all your purchases delivered right to your door.</p> </blockquote> <h3>Use Black Friday Sites to Streamline the Process</h3> <p>Black Friday veteran Jon Vincent is the co-creator of and, both of which recently merged with <a href=""></a>. Vincent says that Black Friday-dedicated sites make it easier for shopper to plan their attack by providing email alerts, all the ads in one place, and the ease of comparing prices between stores. Another weapon in Black Friday sites&rsquo; arsenal is social media. &ldquo;Social media is another way to keep on top of breaking ads,&rdquo; Vincent says. &ldquo;Follow or &lsquo;like&rsquo; Black Friday sites or the stores you want to shop to get updates on ad breaks.&rdquo;</p> <h3>Just Say No to Credit Card Offers on Black Friday</h3> <p>Jeanette Pavini is the resident household-savings expert at <a href=""></a>, and she warns that while it may be tempting to <a href="">sign up for a store credit card on Black Friday</a> to score even more savings, it&rsquo;s a trap you should steer clear of unless you plan to pay off the balance immediately.</p> <p>&ldquo;Every time you have your credit checked you may be lowering your credit score which can have long-term ramifications, like paying a higher interest rate on a car<br /> purchase or a home refinance,&rdquo; Pavini says. &ldquo;Only open a card in store if you can pay the entire balance off when you get the bill &mdash; paying interest is not saving<br /> money.&rdquo;</p> <h3>Stock Up on Discounted Gift Cards to Pay for Purchases</h3> <p>This tip from Andrea Woroch, who provides consumer advice to top news outlets like &ldquo;Good Morning America,&rdquo; CNN, and the New York Times, is often overlooked; but it can help you keep more money in your pocket when you&rsquo;re at the cash wrap.</p> <p>&ldquo;The best way to enhance your savings is by using discounted gift cards to purchase items on Black Friday&rdquo; says Woroch. &ldquo;Sites like <a href=""></a> offer gift cards at less than face value to popular retailers like Kohl&rsquo;s, Target, Macy's, Best Buy, and more with an average savings of 12% off.&rdquo;</p> <h3>Black Friday Can Help You Save on Things For You, Too</h3> <p>While you&rsquo;re out buying for people on your list, also keep an eye on items you may need for yourself and your home, says Cherie W. Lowe, aka <a href="">The Queen of Free</a>: &ldquo;Not all Black Friday sales are about gifts. Kitchen appliances, bath towels, coats, and countless other items drop to their lowest prices of the year the day after Thanksgiving. Keep in mind that you might not see these items so cheap until next year.&rdquo;</p> <h3>Beware of Doorbusters</h3> <p>Brad Wilson of <a href=""></a> maintains that while doorbusters can be a boon to savvy shoppers, they can also be a source of a major headache during the morning rush.</p> <p>&ldquo;Be wary of Black Friday doorbusters with quantity limits,&rdquo; Wilson says. &ldquo;If a store only has 10 items at that price, go elsewhere. Remember that you only need to hit the stores early if the object of your desire is a doorbuster. If you aren't after a $5 coffee maker or a $200 flat screen, you can probably skip the morning rush and hit the stores in the afternoon once things have calmed down.&rdquo;</p> <h3>Stack Your Savings</h3> <p>Couponing expert and founder of cash-back rewards site <a href=""></a> Jon Lal reminds us that sometimes, you can use deals on top of deals. &ldquo;When you shop online on Black Friday, you can often get free shipping offers... [and] use an online coupon code, plus earn free cash back.&rdquo;</p> <h3>Shop Differently on Black Friday vs. Cyber Monday</h3> <p>&ldquo;From our 13 years of Black Friday experience, tech gadgets and other &lsquo;hard goods&rsquo; will be at their lowest prices on Black Friday. Cyber Monday is the day to get the best deals on 'soft goods&rsquo; like clothing, makeup, home décor, and more,&rdquo; says Julie Vlahon from <a href=""></a>.</p> <h3>Make the Most of Mobile Apps</h3> <p><a href="">Shopping apps</a> have become a huge part of Black Friday over the past few years. Here are a few to look into before heading out to shop till you drop:</p> <p><a href="">Extra! Extra!</a> is a new app that curates deals from thousands of sites and retailers in one place. It&rsquo;s perfect for shoppers looking for quick and easy coupons while they&rsquo;re out holiday shopping. Forgot to clip coupons from the paper? No problem! If you have Extra! Extra! on your phone, you can redeem deals like 20% off at Famous Footwear, $10 off a purchase of $30 or more at Bath and Body Works, or a free chicken sandwich at Sonic. These deals are instantly redeemable via mobile devices and require no extra effort from shoppers. The average user saves about $100 a month. Best of all, it&rsquo;s absolutely free to download on iOS and Android.</p> <p><a href="">List Bliss</a> is the best way to organize your holiday shopping this season. Let&rsquo;s say mom and dad are tag-teaming a shopping list for their kids. List Bliss syncs their shopping lists in real-time, so you always know what your significant other has already purchased. Split up at the mall and shop in half the time, while staying up to date on what&rsquo;s in your partner&rsquo;s basket. It also helps families stay on budget &mdash; you would never shop online without knowing the cost of your &quot;shopping cart,&quot; so why do so in real life? List Bliss is free for iOS and Android.</p> <p><a href="">CheckPoints</a> is the premier shopping rewards platform that &ldquo;gamifies&rdquo; the shopping experience and awards consumers just for checking out products in over 2 million U.S. stores. No other shopping rewards app is available in as many retail locations. CheckPoints users have earned nearly $2 million in rewards thus far, and there&rsquo;s plenty more to go around!</p> <p>While apps are an excellent additional savings resource on Black Friday, PayPal shopping specialist Claudia Lombana advises that you still need to practice common sense:</p> <blockquote><p>Stay safe when using a mobile device to shop this season,&rdquo; she says. &ldquo;Use a PIN/password that is set to time out so the phone locks automatically. Don&rsquo;t click on links sent via SMS (text) that ask you to verify personal information; call or log on to those accounts directly instead. If you download apps, do so from reputable sources only. Respond to all upgrade notifications on your mobile device promptly (whether for an operating system or an app). And check your account transactions regularly so you can address problems right away.</p> </blockquote> <h3>Look Into Debit Rewards Programs</h3> <p>Make money while you save money &mdash; that's the advice of Jessica Howell, a rep with Ally Bank:</p> <blockquote><p>When it comes to saving money during the holidays, an area of savings often overlooked are debit rewards programs. Ally Bank&rsquo;s program, <a href="">Perks,</a> automatically gives our (free) Interest Checking Account customers money back when they make qualifying purchases at participating retailers (think: Crate &amp; Barrel, Best Buy, Target and Whole Foods) &mdash; nothing to sign up for, and no cost. Our national offers are published weekly on our <a href="">Straight Talk Blog.</a></p> </blockquote> <p>This is just an example of what one bank is doing to help soften the holiday-shopping blow to its customers, but there are plenty more. Check with your banking institution to see if it offers a similar program.</p> <h3>Understand the Return Policy Before You Buy</h3> <p>It&rsquo;s easy to get blinded by deep discounts, but Steven Zussino at <a href=""></a> warns you to be informed about return policies so you don&rsquo;t get stuck with something you don&rsquo;t want.</p> <p>&ldquo;Make sure you are not stuck with any purchases that do not meet your expectations by reading the return policies in advance. Some retailers allow you to return online orders to a local store at no extra cost, while others may charge you for return shipping as well as a restocking fee.&quot;</p> <h3>Be Mindful of Identity Theft When Shopping Online</h3> <p>One of the best ways for your holiday season to be ruined is to <a href="">have your identity stolen</a>. That&rsquo;s why you MUST heed this advice from Jodi Burack of <a href="">LifeLock Consumer Education</a>:</p> <p>&ldquo;&rsquo;S&rsquo; is for Santa <i>and</i> security. When it comes time to insert your personal identifying information (name, address, phone, credit card number, etc.) when shopping online during the holidays, be sure that the URL on the site begins with https://. The &lsquo;s&rsquo; lets you know that your information is encrypted during the transmission.&rdquo;</p> <h3>Be Vigilant With Daily Deals</h3> <p>Tricia Meyer from <a href="">Helping Moms Connect</a> offers this helpful tidbit for daily-deal lovers: &quot;Be wary of &lsquo;daily deal&rsquo; sites and check that the prices are actually better than usual. For example, one daily deal site today is advertising a &lsquo;special&rsquo; on a product for $9, but perhaps you can buy that same product any day for $5. Just because a site says it's a special for that day only, does not mean that it is. You still need to compare.&rdquo;</p> <p><em>These are all excellent tips from Black Friday and shopping experts, but there are plenty more tips and tricks to keep in mind. If you have a good one to share with Wise Bread readers, let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Even More Black Friday Savings Tips From Shopping Experts" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Mikey Rox</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Shopping black friday expert advice holiday shopping Thanksgiving Thu, 15 Nov 2012 10:36:44 +0000 Mikey Rox 955796 at The Best and Worst Things to Buy in July 2012 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-best-and-worst-things-to-buy-in-july-2012" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="fireworks" title="fireworks" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The dealnews staff published more than 6,000 deals last July, which we've analyzed so that we can offer our readers a bit of advice while planning purchases this month. And it's a particularly important month to do so, since a number of sales will appear to be better than they are. So in order to protect your wallet and spend your money wisely, be sure to read through our July buying guide below for everything you need to know to shop smart this month. (See also: <a href="">Shopping Calendar: The Best Time to Buy Anything</a>)</p> <h3>Black Friday in July</h3> <p>Beginning in July, we start to see Black Friday-labeled sales. While this trend appeared to have lessened in 2011, as compared to 2010, there were still a few offenders. <a href="">Target</a> once again offered its &quot;Back in Black Friday&quot; sale in the middle of July, with other retailers following suit later in the summer. While enticing, be leery of the labeling; few of these Black Friday sales actually feature the rock-bottom pricing consumers come to expect from the &quot;darkest&quot; of shopping days.</p> <h3>A Few Choice Sales Bursting With Savings on the 4th</h3> <p>During <a href="">Independence Day weekend</a> last year, some vendors like <a href="">Saks Fifth Avenue</a> and <a href="">bebe</a> offered their best sales of the year so far, while most stores (like <a href="">Macy's</a>) mainly peddled middle of the road discounts. As usual, a discount is still money saved, but don't be tricked into thinking these are fleeting offers; many will reappear, or could potentially get better if you carefully keep an eye out for a <a href="">coupon</a>.</p> <h3>First Chance for Sizable Sandal Sales Mid-Season</h3> <p>As per usual with seasonal <a href="">apparel items</a>, the longer you wait this summer to buy sandals, the better the price you're likely to get. However, mid to late July is when we start to see some notable discounts on <a href="">footwear</a>. Look for flip flops for under $5 and sales on popular brands like <a href="">Steve Madden</a>, <a href="">Polo Ralph Lauren</a>, <a href="">Crocs</a>, and <a href="">Teva</a>.</p> <h3>Mixed Messages on Sunglasses</h3> <p>Many people crave a new pair of <a href="">sunglasses</a> in the middle of summer, but according to our deals last year, the best storewide sales (from retailers like <a href="">Sunglass Hut</a> and <a href="">6pm</a>) popped up in September, November, and December. That said, as far as individual shades styles go, we fairly consistently see Editors' Choice deals from <a href="">Oakley</a> and <a href="">Ray-Ban</a> throughout the year. So, if you're not picky about the style and you just want a great price on one of these top two sunglasses brands, set up an <a href="">email alert</a> and wait for an Editors' Choice deal to roll in at any time.</p> <h3>Grill Deals Slowly Sizzle</h3> <p>Post Independence Day sales at department and hardware stores tend to discount summer-friendly purchases, like <a href="">grills</a>. However, if you can wait until August, you will likely see a greater selection of appealingly priced options; there were 30% more deals in August of last year than there were for July. That said, June this year already saw a greater number of grill deals compared to last year, and hopefully that trend will continue throughout July and into August.</p> <h3>Wait Until September or October for Patio Sets</h3> <p>We saw a large spike in <a href="">patio and garden items</a> in September of last year, but October brought the best markdowns. Several patio sets and gardening items from <a href="">Sears</a>, <a href="">Amazon</a>, and other merchants hit their lowest prices in October, as they were available for significantly less than we had seen them at over the summer. If you can wait to replace your existing patio set, cooler months will offer better deals on outdoor goods than July.</p> <h3>Digital SLRs Are Trending Hot</h3> <p>Typically, we see a huge spike in the number of Editors' Choice <a href="">DSLR camera deals</a> during November and December, as well as new markdowns on old models once new cameras are released in the first quarter of the year. But lately we've been seeing a surprising number of all-time low deals on consumer DSLRs. For example, May saw more than twice the number of Editors' Choice deals, and June has continued to pump out a slightly above-average number for this time of year. <a href="">Digital cameras</a> are a good category to keep an eye on for belated graduation gifts.</p> <h3>A Month to Tinker With Tool Deals</h3> <p>Does your arsenal of DIY tools need a few new items? Or do you need to tend to repairs while the weather is warm and relatively manageable &mdash; heat excluded? July happens to be one of the best months of the year for top-shelf <a href="">tool deals</a>, matched only by November and December. Look for sales on tools sets, accessories, and tool storage units.</p> <h3>Retina Display Takes the Spotlight, But the MacBook Air Brings the Deals</h3> <p>Throughout the month of June, no laptop received as much media attention as Apple's new <a href="">MacBook Pro Retina</a>. And while we did see one deal shave $105 off the Retina's list price, chances are any deals we see in July will be modest. But fear not Apple fans, for July is bound to ring in an abundance of <a href="">laptop deals</a> on Apple's much-loved <a href="">MacBook Air</a>. We've already seen Sandy Bridge-based MacBook Airs hit new lows with prices starting at $740. So if you don't mind having a generation-old MacBook Air (which is still just one year old!), July is your month to buy.</p> <p>On the Windows front, <a href="">Ivy Bridge-based systems</a> will continue to see new lows as 15&quot; Ivy Bridge systems continue to flirt with the $600 mark (as they did in late June). So $600 is the price to beat if you want an Ivy Bridge Windows machine. Meanwhile, desktop replacements continue their plateau at $800, so any deals you see under that price will offer the most savings.</p> <h3>46&quot; HDTVs Are the Ones to Watch</h3> <p>HDTV prices have generally remained the same for the past few months and we predict we'll see little to no price differences in <a href="">TV deals</a> throughout July. However, not all news is bleak. Last month we mentioned brand-name <a href="">46&quot; HDTVs</a> hit new lows, and we expect those lows to remain through July. So if you're in the market for a new HDTV, we recommend looking at 46&quot; to 47&quot; brand-name models and to look for prices in the $500 range. Anything at or below $490 is an all-time low for this category.</p> <p>Set up an <a href="">email alert</a> now to keep abreast of any and all of these best buys in July. And for more price trend information, check out the <a href="">consumer shopping research page</a> at dealnews.</p> <p><em>This is a guest post by <a href="">Dealnews</a>.</em></p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Potect your wallet and spend your money wisely in July! Read through for the best and worst things to buy this month. </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Dealnews</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Shopping bbq grills black friday electronics sales Wed, 04 Jul 2012 10:24:17 +0000 Dealnews 938262 at Best Money Tips: Black Friday Myths <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-black-friday-myths" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="Black Friday Myths" title="Black Friday Myths" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some great articles on Black Friday myths, things to do before the new year, and ways to make money in college without a job.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="">Black Friday Myths</a> &mdash; Don't be fooled: Black Friday deals are not just offered on Black Friday. [Free Money Finance]</p> <p><a href="">Three Things to Do Before the New Year</a> &mdash; Before the new year, remember to schedule appointments. [Money Ning]</p> <p><a href="">30 Ways to Make Money in College Without a Job</a> &mdash; Make money in college without a job by selling your notes. []</p> <p><a href="">Top 25 Black Friday Freebies</a> &mdash; Be sure to get a free collectible Disney snow globe at JCPenney this Black Friday. [Mr. Free Stuff]</p> <p><a href="">Reduce Business Travel Expenses</a> &mdash; To reduce your business travel expenses, make your own travel arrangements. [American Express OPEN Forum]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="">Savvy Tip: Keep Your Credit Card's Offer Letter</a> &mdash; It might be a good idea to hold onto your credit card's offer letter incase you have problems redeeming your rewards. [SavvySugar]</p> <p><a href="">A Reality Check for Young Adults</a> &mdash; As a young adult, it may be better to seek out cities with bright job prospects and affordable living costs. [Kiplinger]</p> <p><a href="">Unusual Ways To Save Money</a> &mdash; Save money on coffee by purchasing a semi-automatic espresso maker. [Cash The Checks]</p> <p><a href=";utm_medium=feed&amp;">7 Ways to Clear the Clutter and Find your Life</a> &mdash; To clear the clutter in your life, remember that objects don't define a person. [Stepcase Lifehack]</p> <p><a href="">How to Make Cranberry Sauce in 3 Simple Steps</a> &mdash; Did you know making cranberry sauce only requires sugar, water, and cranberries? [Parenting Squad]</p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Best Money Tips: Black Friday Myths" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Ashley Jacobs</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Shopping best money tips black friday Wed, 23 Nov 2011 11:00:43 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 797045 at Ask the Readers: To Shop or Not to Shop? <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/ask-the-readers-to-shop-or-not-to-shop" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="To Shop Or Not To Shop?" title="To Shop Or Not To Shop?" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>Editor's Note: Congratulations to </em><a href=""><em>Jenn</em></a><em>, </em><a href=""><em>Margaret Davis</em></a><em>, and </em><a href=""><em>michelle</em></a><em> for winning this week's contest!</em></p> <p>The Black Friday ads have once again invaded TV screens and mailboxes across the nation. With many stores offering insane early bird specials, many people are planning on waking up at the crack of dawn to take advantage of sales. However, there are plenty of people who would rather sleep in than be up before 5am .</p> <p><b>To shop or not to shop?</b><span style="font-weight:normal"> That is the question! Will you be up early to take advantage of sales? Or will you still be sleeping when the stores open their doors on the morning of Black Friday?</span></p> <p>Tell us if you will be shopping this Black Friday and we'll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!</p> <h2>Win 1 of 3 $20 Amazon Gift Cards</h2> <p>We're doing three giveaways &mdash; one for random comments, one for random Facebook &quot;Likes&quot;, and another one for random tweets.</p> <h3>Mandatory Entry:&nbsp;</h3> <ul> <li>Post your answer in the comments below&nbsp;</li> </ul> <h3>For extra entries (1 per action):</h3> <ul> <li>Go to our <a href="">Facebook page</a>, &quot;Like&quot; us, and leave a comment telling us you did, or</li> <li><a href="">Tweet</a> your answer. You have to be a follower of our <a href="">@wisebread account</a>. Include both &quot;@wisebread&quot; and &quot;#WBAsk&quot; in your tweet so we'll see it and count it. Leave a link to your tweet (click the timestamp for the individual URL) in a separate comment.</li> </ul> <p><strong>If you're inspired to write a whole blog post OR you have a photo on flickr to share, please link to it in the comments or tweet it.</strong></p> <h4>Giveaway Rules:</h4> <ul> <li>Contest ends Monday, November 28th at 11:59 pm Pacific. Winners will be announced after November 28th on the original post. Winners will also be contacted via email.</li> <li>You can enter all three drawings &mdash; once by leaving a comment, once by liking our Facebook update, and once by tweeting.</li> <li>This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered, or associated with Facebook.</li> <li>You must be 18 and US resident to enter. Void where prohibited.</li> </ul> <p>Note: Due to recent changes in Facebook's promotions guidelines, we have restructured the entry format of our giveaways.</p> <p><strong>Good Luck!</strong></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Ask the Readers: To Shop or Not to Shop?" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Tell us if you will be shopping this Black Friday and we&#039;ll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card! </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Ashley Jacobs</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Giveaways Ask the Readers black friday Tue, 22 Nov 2011 11:36:51 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 791970 at All About Black Friday <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/all-about-black-friday" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="Mall on Black Friday" title="Mall on Black Friday" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Whether you're a dedicated deal-hunting warrior or you try to avoid the crowds entirely, around this time of year, it's hard to not hear about the shopping frenzy known as Black Friday. From some history on the event to how to handle it and more, read on! (See also: <a href="">3 Ways to Beat Holiday Shopping Stress</a>)</p> <h3>When Is Black Friday?</h3> <p>The &ldquo;busiest shopping day of the year&rdquo; traditionally takes place on the day after Thanksgiving, although longer shopping days and earlier store hours have now taken the one day holiday into the &ldquo;Thanksgiving zone.&rdquo; Some stores are now set to open as early as 11:59 p.m. on turkey day itself, and Black Friday-like sales can be found happening online beginning November 1<sup>st</sup>. A few select stores have also dabbled in replacing the annoying &ldquo;Christmas in July&rdquo; marketing strategies with their own misplaced &ldquo;Black Friday&rdquo; promotions, which have appeared throughout the calendar year.&nbsp;The purists, however, still claim that there is one day (the Friday right after Thanksgiving), and anything else is just a marketing ploy.</p> <h3>Why It's Called &ldquo;Black&rdquo; Friday</h3> <p><a href="">Investopedia</a> (and most everyone else) credits the dark name to the fact that stores are likely to turn profitable for the first time on this shopping holiday, and that their business ledgers would actually see their numbers go from &ldquo;red&rdquo; (indicating a fiscal loss) to &ldquo;black.&rdquo; Others (specifically, anti-commercialism groups) have more recently taken some of the most newsworthy incidents that have occurred on the holiday (store tramplings or robberies, for example) and have assigned new meaning to the &ldquo;black&rdquo; portion of the term.</p> <h3>Deals Offered on Black Friday</h3> <p>In addition to &ldquo;door buster deals,&rdquo; which claim to offer shoppers up to 60% off popular items like TVs, toys, and clothing, there are special promotional perks, such as in-store refreshments and giveaways. Many who participate, however, just like the rush of the deal, waiting in line, and communing with other deal-seekers.</p> <p>Wise Bread has covered the topic of Black Friday and its deals extensively over the years, including articles such as <a href="">Black Friday Tips From Money-Saving Experts</a>, <a href="">5 Things You&nbsp;Shouldn't Buy This Black Friday</a>, and <a href="">6 Ways to Spend Black Friday at Home</a>.</p> <h3>Black Friday Facts</h3> <p>In addition to the essentials of how and why, I thought it would be fun to share a few random facts about the shopping holiday.</p> <ul> <li>Cyber Money is the online version of Black Friday, offering shoppers exclusive deals at their favorite dotcoms; many of the best prices, however, are still available only on Black Friday, and most stores have moved to sharing the best deals online on the day after Thanksgiving.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>In all of Black Friday history, 2008 was the only year to see a <a href="">drop in electronics sales</a>.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>In recent years, Canada has held its <a href="">own version of Black Friday</a> to discourage border-hopping on the big day. As their deals haven&rsquo;t been as aggressive as many U.S. retailers, however, many Canadian consumers have continued their &ldquo;field trips&rdquo; across the border to buy up good deals on consumer goods.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>In an effort to control the messaging of their deals (and to pre-empt the &ldquo;leak&rdquo; sites that have been sharing deals before their official release), many major retailers, including Walmart, have taken to officially &ldquo;leaking&rdquo; their own sales. For example, this year customers were asked to sign up for a special email list to be among the first to view an official Black Friday ad &mdash; weeks before the ads were distributed in newspapers and online.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>The emphasis on buying has caused some groups to rebel; AdBusters will again this year celebrate their own &ldquo;<a href="">Buy Nothing Day</a>&rdquo; to coincide with the hype of commercialism that Black Friday often brings about.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Mobile payment technology has created growth in the Black Friday market; just last year, PayPal <a href="">reported an increase of 27%</a> over 2009&rsquo;s transactions (thanks, in part to the 310% increase in mobile shopping).</li> </ul> <p>If you are not already tired of hearing about this year&rsquo;s &ldquo;Black Friday&rdquo; event, chances are good that you will be.&nbsp;The hyped-up holiday, however, is an important part of many stores&rsquo; annual budget, and cash-strapped shoppers will always be looking to take advantage of the deals.&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Will you venture out this year?</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="All About Black Friday" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Linsey Knerl</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Shopping black friday holiday shopping Thanksgiving Fri, 18 Nov 2011 11:36:25 +0000 Linsey Knerl 789466 at Best Money Tips: Black Friday Shopping Tips <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-black-friday-shopping-tips" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="Black Friday Shopping Tips" title="Black Friday Shopping Tips" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some awesome articles on Black Friday shopping tips, holiday gifts for under $25, and including your spouse in financial planning.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="">Black Friday Shopping Tips</a> &mdash; To gear up for Black Friday, remember to create a shopping schedule. [The Centsible Life]</p> <p><a href="">Holiday Gifts Under $25 for 2011</a> &mdash; This holiday season, give the awesome frugal gift of Funny Papers. [CNBC]</p> <p><a href="">Four Ways to Include Your Spouse in Financial Planning</a> &mdash; Include your spouse in financial planning by setting goals as a family. [Five Cent Nickel]</p> <p><a href="">Save Money on Food by Buying at a Grocery Store Instead of a Drug Store</a> &mdash; Unless you are buying candy to take to the movie theater, opt to buy food at a grocery store. [Free Money Finance]</p> <p><a href=";utm_medium=feed&amp;utm_campaign=Feed%3A+budgetsaresexy+%28Budgets+are+Sexy.%29">4 Tips For The Coin Monster</a> &mdash; If you are headed to a coin machine to get cash for your coins, don't waste your time trying to trick the machine with foreign coins. They won't be accepted. [Budgets Are Sexy]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="">Turkey Roasting 101</a> &mdash; When preparing your turkey, don't forget to insert the meat thermometer. [Parenting Squad]</p> <p><a href="">13 Things That Are Causing Your Bills to Skyrocket</a> &mdash; If you don't check your bills for mistakes, you may be unintentionally causing your bills to skyrocket. [SavvySugar]</p> <p><a href="">Do You Want to Work Abroad?</a> &mdash; Want to work abroad? Consider taking short term work like working at a hostel. [Green Panda Treehouse]</p> <p><a href=";utm_medium=feed&amp;utm_campaign=Feed%3A+investinternals+%28Money+Hacker+Blog%29">10 Must Do Things Before You Sell Your Home</a> &mdash; Before you sell your home, remember to de-personalize it. [Moneyhacker]</p> <p><a href=";utm_medium=feed&amp;utm_campaign=Feed%3A+CoupleMoney+%28Couple+Money%29">4 Quick Tips to Save Money on Your Groceries</a> &mdash; Save money on your groceries by eating more fruits and veggies. [Couple Money]</p> <h2>News &amp; Events</h2> <p><a href="">Money Crashers Tweetchat (#MCchat)</a> &mdash; Don't miss Money Crashers weekly tweetchat at 1pm PST! They will be giving away prizes!</p> <p><a href="">The Consumerism Commentary Podcast</a> &mdash; Be sure to check out The Consumerism Commentary Podcast, published every Sunday!</p> <p>Be sure to check out our <a href="">News &amp; Events Calendar</a>to see all the awesome upcoming events in the personal finance world!</p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Best Money Tips: Black Friday Shopping Tips" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Ashley Jacobs</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Shopping best money tips black friday shopping Fri, 18 Nov 2011 11:00:20 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 790885 at Early Holiday Shopping: Why I Finish by Thanksgiving <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/early-holiday-shopping-why-i-finish-by-thanksgiving" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="Holiday mall crowd" title="Holiday mall crowd" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I&rsquo;m not the busiest guy on the block. Many of my peers are true multitaskers who juggle families, career, side businesses, and various twisty-bendy Pilates and yoga appointments. I&rsquo;m not that guy. I enjoy my downtime, and I defend it ruthlessly &mdash; even during the holidays. To make sure I dodge that the distant roll of holiday thunder, I do my shopping early. I usually target Thanksgiving as my personal deadline for having every last gift wrapped, bow tied, and holiday card artfully addressed. (See also: <a href="">36 Green Gift Wrapping Ideas</a>)</p> <p>That final month is just for me, and I&rsquo;ll admit it &mdash; I mock the maddening crowds as I relax with my eggnog. I chuckle at the stressed shoppers, the traffic jams, and the long lines as I dig into my first cheese log and plan my re-gifting strategy for last year&rsquo;s fruitcakes.</p> <p>Why am I so focused on early and efficient holiday shopping? First, shopping early lets me relax about the entire process. I start gingerly &mdash; picking up that perfect gift during some random sale in July or August. Then I ramp up gradually and find a few more gifts in September and October, I&rsquo;ll arrange a few gift baskets in early November, and wrap things up by the time the grocery stores are pushing Butterballs and cranberry sauce.</p> <p>Planning ahead and starting early lets me take my time and find exactly the right gifts, too &mdash; without all the competition and cold sweat. I&rsquo;m sure I&rsquo;m not the only person out there who subconsciously shops for holiday gifts all year long, secretly collecting and storing just the perfect thing for mom, dad, or the kids. It&rsquo;s an art, isn&rsquo;t it?</p> <p>Getting a head start on the throngs of over-caffeinated shoppers (are they foaming at the mouth or is that just a bit of latte on their lips?) also lets me enjoy the holiday season. That hard-won week or two off of work is for sleeping in, reconnecting with friends and family, having snowball fights, sledding, deciding how much holiday weight gain is acceptable (five pounds), and burning at least one apple pie. Why would I want to trade a night of watching <em>Miracle on 34<sup>th</sup> Street</em> for an evening of living <em>Nightmare on Elm Street</em> at a mall or big box store?</p> <p>Finally, at the risk of getting flamed, I still believe the best deals aren&rsquo;t found during the holidays. I don&rsquo;t care how vast the <a href="">Black Friday</a> crowds are, how desperate the retailers are, or what the economists say about consumer confidence. If the concept of supply and demand holds any water at all, the best bargains are found right after the holidays or at any other time of year. When you factor in the logistics of battling the crowds, the stress, the credit crunch of buying everything at once, the last-minute splurges just to push through to the finish line, holiday shopping during the holidays is a budget-buster.</p> <p>So, let&rsquo;s put a bow on this idea &mdash; shopping early lets you take a more leisurely approach to the holiday season, gives you time enough to find just the right gifts, keeps you a safe distance from stressed shoppers wielding sharp credit cards, and even gives you a running chance at scoring better deals.<span> </span>Isn&rsquo;t it time to reclaim the holidays and snatch December from the jaws of the mall escalator?</p> <p>Just imagine yourself reading by the fire on December 20 &mdash; no panicked online buying at 3:00 am, no catalogs spread out on the dining room table, no Scotch Tape stuck in your hair. Listen &mdash; the honking horns off in the distance almost sound like bells ringing.</p> <p><em>How early do you start your holiday shopping? Are you a year-round shopper and if so, what advice do you have for readers who might be trying to get a head start this year?</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Early Holiday Shopping: Why I Finish by Thanksgiving" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Kentin Waits</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Shopping black friday holiday sanity holiday shopping Wed, 26 Oct 2011 10:24:22 +0000 Kentin Waits 760250 at 6 Ways to Prepare for the Holiday Rush <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">Link:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="" target="_blank"></a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/small-business/6-ways-to-prepare-for-the-holiday-rush" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="6 Ways to Prepare for the Holiday Rush" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><p>Black Friday. You know it&rsquo;s coming, and depending on how you look at it, these two words can be a curse or a blessing. This gateway to the <a href="" target="_blank">holiday shopping season</a> can mean big profits for businesses prepared to handle the rush. Any business&mdash;retail or service-based, online or brick-and-mortar&mdash; can benefit from the holiday shopping season. The key to success is early preparation.</p> <p><strong>1. Brainstorm</strong></p> <p>A meeting of the minds is a great way to start planning for the holiday shopping season. Taking a serious look at what&rsquo;s working for your business, what&rsquo;s not, and how to make things better can help you formulate your holiday plan. Meet with the people whose input you value&mdash;employees, a business partner, spouse or best friend. Then go over key aspects of your business that can make or break your holiday shopping season.</p> <ul> <li>How well did your business do during last year&rsquo;s holiday shopping season? What products or services were best sellers? How can you offer those things, or similar goods, this year?</li> <li>What snags did you encounter during the holiday season in past years?</li> <li>How can you make things run smoother this year?</li> </ul> <p><strong>2. Prepare What You Can</strong></p> <p>Some tasks and preparations can be taken care of ahead of time, before the mad rush begins. Retailers may want to begin some preparations a month before Black Friday. Service businesses like caterers, event planners and cleaning services may begin taking appointments, and making some preparations, two months or more before the Christmas season.</p> <ul> <li><b>Order supplies early</b>. Have on hand the things you use most and are likely to use more of: Product packaging, business collateral like business cards, labels and brochures, and office supplies like printer ink and paper.</li> <li><b>Perform maintenance and upgrades on essential equipment</b> like computers and software, printers, registers and production equipment. You want to avoid malfunctions and breakdowns when you need them the most during the shopping season!</li> <li><b>Make your work space more efficient</b>. If your desk is overrun with mess, now is the time to clean it. Consider how you can make your workspace, and that of your employees or helpers, more organized and efficient.</li> <li>If you have a store front or office space, <b>perform any needed cosmetic and functional repairs now</b>. Have carpets cleaned or floors polished. Update the aesthetics and functionality so customers feel welcome and ready to spend or book an appointment.</li> </ul> <p><strong>3. Revisit Customer Service</strong></p> <p>If you haven&rsquo;t completely nailed down customer service essentials, or have been thinking about revising your current policies, now is a good time to carve them out. Both retail and service-based businesses should have clearly defined policies in place to help customers through their buying or service experience.</p> <ul> <li><b>Merchandise returns.</b> Do you accept them? If so, how long after purchase may an item be returned? Do you provide return shipping reimbursement? What are your stipulations for returns?</li> <li><b>Hours of Operation.</b> While regular working hours may get thrown out the window during the holiday shopping season, it&rsquo;s still a good idea to have them. Having set hours of operation allows customers to know when you&rsquo;re around to answer questions or offer assistance.</li> <li><b>Shipping Policies.</b> Determine how fast you&rsquo;ll ship products after an order is placed. Also consider pricing for international and state-side shipments and whether insurance is offered. Most importantly, consider the cutoff date for holiday shipments.</li> <li><b>Email and Phone Service. </b>Consider how your email and phone services will be staffed. If you have a business phone, will you have a real-life person answering it, or let it go to callback? How quickly will emails be answered?</li> <li><b>Consider a FAQ.</b> If you have a website, consider posting a frequently asked question (FAQ) page. This can answer common questions and help reduce the amount of email or phone inquiries you have to return.</li> </ul> <p>If you have a website or business blog, be sure to update it with your customer service information. This also includes any social media accounts that may display your operational hours or business info, like LinkedIn and Facebook.</p> <p><strong>4. Where&rsquo;s Your Help?</strong></p> <p>While retail businesses may take the hardest hit when the rush starts, any business that expects to see an increase of activity may benefit from an extra hand or two.</p> <p>If you&rsquo;re considering hiring help, don&rsquo;t wait too long. You&rsquo;ll want ample time to provide training for employees to become acclimated to the job.</p> <p>If hiring an employee is out of budget, consider rounding up help from family and friends. Ask early and make a schedule of when you&rsquo;ll most likely need the help and the duties to be done. Be sure to offer training just as you would for an employee so your helpers know exactly what&rsquo;s expected and needed.</p> <p><strong>5. Organize Your Budget</strong></p> <p>Adding a little boost to your business before the holiday rush takes capital and some budget-tweaking may be required. Advertising opportunities, supply and inventory purchases, and hiring employees can make a dent in your operating budget.</p> <p>Consider how your advertising dollars will be best spent during this season. You&rsquo;ll likely be presented with many opportunities to participate in paid advertisements; be sure to hone in on the ones best suited to your target market and opportunity for return on your investment. Take a look at where else your money may be spent in preparing for the holidays:</p> <ul> <li>Upgrades to your website or business collateral materials;</li> <li>Equipment and materials purchases;</li> <li>Repairs or upgrades to your physical office space;</li> <li>Increased utilities expenses for extended office hours.</li> </ul> <p>Be sure to leave money in your budget for unexpected overages, like miscalculated shipping costs, product returns or refunds, last-minute purchases, or business emergencies. A little padding for the unexpected is a good thing when you&rsquo;re up to your elbows in holiday madness!</p> <p><strong>6. Prepare Yourself</strong></p> <p>You can&rsquo;t run your retail or service business with the big dogs during the holidays if you&rsquo;re not physically and mentally ready. The stress of trying to handle a million things at once can certainly take its toll. Just as you&rsquo;ll put a plan in place to prepare your business, you should also plan to prepare yourself. All of the things you should really be doing all year long are especially true once Black Friday comes to pass.</p> <ul> <li><b>Rest often</b>. Even if you can&rsquo;t get a full eight hours, resign to go to bed at a specific time each night and stick to it. Lack of sleep drains the mind and the body of precious energy and focus-two things you can&rsquo;t afford to lose when the holiday rush is in full swing.</li> <li><b>Skip the holiday goodies and eat healthfully</b>. A balanced diet (OK, a few sweets here and there shouldn&rsquo;t hurt!) with plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can help energize you through the rigors of the season.</li> <li><b>De-stress every day</b>. Find a way to lower your daily stress level and make a commitment to de-stress each day. Yoga, a long walk, mindless television watching, or twenty minutes at the gym may be the ticket to take your mind from hyper-overdrive to calm and relaxed.</li> <li><b>Get a check-up</b>. If you&rsquo;re currently feeling unwell or have questions about your health, meet with your doctor now instead of later. You may think that waiting until after the holiday rush will be better to have your symptoms or complaints checked-out. But, just think of how the bustle and stress of running full-throttle over the holidays might make things worse; check it out now and feel better sooner.</li> </ul> <p>As the holidays approach and get into full swing, you&rsquo;ll be grateful for the time spent preparing for the season. Remember to make notes of what you did this year to prepare, and what worked and what didn&rsquo;t, for future planning. Hats off to a successful and smoother holiday shopping season!</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Justine Grey</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Small Business Resource Center black friday event planning holiday planning holiday preparation holiday shopping Holidays sales planning small business Thu, 20 Oct 2011 19:35:37 +0000 Justine Grey 747395 at 6 Ways to Spend Black Friday at Home <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-ways-to-spend-black-friday-at-home" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="couple at home" title="couple at home" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I am not a Black Friday shopper. My dislike of large crowds generally trumps my love of good deals, unfortunately. Plus I couldn't bear for my mother to see me on the front of a newspaper as the poster child for shopping madness, trying to wrestle the last Barbie doll at Target away from some mother hopped up on turkey leftovers, adrenaline, and coffee. (See also: <a href="">Why People Go Crazy on Black Friday</a>)</p> <p>This is why I plan to not leave my house on Black Friday. If you're in the same boat (the boat that is anchored at home), there are still plenty of ways to spend Black Friday that will help you get an early start on the holidays.</p> <h2>Clean House</h2> <p>Winter gift-giving means you'll potentially have lots of new things coming in. Take the day to go through your closets and drawers and get rid of anything you don't use. You might find some re-giftable items, or at the very least a bag of things you can bring to Goodwill next week (don't forget to get a receipt so you can deduct it from your taxes!).</p> <h2>Start Crafting</h2> <p>While I love giving homemade gifts, I often leave myself too little time to make everything I want to. This year, my hope is to spend Black Friday knitting, sewing, and <a href="" title="For Delicious Cocktails, Infuse Alcohol">infusing alcohol</a>. Wise Bread's writers have plenty of other great homemade gift ideas as well, including <a href="" title="DIY Christmas Gifts for Young Kids">homemade gifts for young children</a>, gorgeous <a href="" title="DIY Silk Flower Brooch">silk-flower brooches</a>, and <a href="" title="25 Things to Do With old Jeans">25 things you can make from old jeans</a>.</p> <h2>Shop Online</h2> <p>Cyber Monday is all well and good, but that doesn't mean there aren't Black Friday deals to be had online. If you haven't already subscribed to our <a href="" title="Daily Deals Newsletter">daily deals newsletter</a>, do so now; we'll be sending out emails both Friday and Monday with deals for those days.</p> <h2>Exercise</h2> <p>Okay, this doesn't help you with your gift-giving, but it does help you get an immediate start on curbing the holiday weight gain so many of us complain about.</p> <h2>Make Cookies</h2> <p>The day after Thanksgiving might seem like a bad time to mix up some sweets, but if you make and freeze cookies, you're halfway to having your holiday baking done. Check out <a href="" title="Batch Cooking for the Rest of Us">Linsey's article on batch cooking</a> for some more information about making and freezing big batches.</p> <h2>Rest</h2> <p>December can be a constant whirl of holiday parties, shopping excursions, and decorating-laden weekends. Take a day off!</p> <p><em>Are you avoiding the stores on Black Friday? If so, why?</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="6 Ways to Spend Black Friday at Home" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Meg Favreau</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="">Shopping articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Home Shopping batch cooking black friday cleaning exercise homemade gifts Thu, 25 Nov 2010 14:00:07 +0000 Meg Favreau 331939 at Black Friday Tips From Money-Saving Experts <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/black-friday-tips-from-money-saving-experts" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="Black Friday shoppers at Target" title="Black Friday shoppers at Target" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I recently had the chance to hear top money-saving bloggers Miriam Kamin of <a href=""></a>, Cassie and Alex Michael of <a href="">TheThriftyCouple</a>, and Tiffany Ivanovsky of <a href="">MyLitter</a> (so called because the lady has seven kids). They all presented at <a href=""></a>'s Save Up conference in Chicago, and they shared their top tips for saving the most money possible on Black Friday. Here's a sampling:</p> <p><strong>From Mir of;Prepare for online Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping at least a day ahead of time (as in, now)</strong></p> <ul> <li>Try filling your shopping cart in advance. Some retailers will save it, some won't. If you're not sure if it will save, jot down the item numbers so you can quickly throw them into your cart on the big day.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Layer on the discounts. Black Friday sales may look good, but you can probably do even better by combining that sale with a coupon code, or shopping through a rebate portal like Ebates. (Carrie here: If you have a <a href="">Groupon</a> or other daily deal certificate, try using that on a Black Friday sale.)<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Assemble your coupon codes in advance. (Carrie here: You can find them at <a href="">RetailMeNot</a>, <a href="">Ebates</a> or just by Googling the store name and &quot;coupon code.&quot;)<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Follow your retailers on Twitter and Facebook. They might announce limited-time deals or release coupon codes.</li> </ul> <p>For more tips from Mir, see my <a href=",0,297199.story">Black Friday planning post on my blog, Frugalista</a>.</p> <p><strong>From The Thrifty Couple:&nbsp;Take advantage of the deals without blowing your budget</strong></p> <ul> <li>If you're married, work together to set up a specific per-person budget and gift list. For example, the Michaels budget $50 for each immediate family member and $15 for extended family.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>As you shop, update the list so you know when you've spent your allocated funds.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Also note on your list where you hid each gift.</li> </ul> <p>For more tips from Cassie and Alex, <a href=",0,2431540.story">see my Black Friday budgeting post on Frugalista.</a></p> <p><strong>From Tiffany of MyLitter: Tips for buying for a large family</strong></p> <ul> <li>No matter how many children you have, leave them at home on Black Friday.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Don't feel like you have to budget exactly the same amount for each child. &quot;There's no reason that my 4-month-old child is really going to get anything at Christmas. She's going to get the token wrapped present from Santa at Christmas so the other kids don't get suspicious.&quot;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>If you see a good toy on sale, buy it. Chances are, one of the kids will be ready for it by the holidays.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Look&nbsp;for large toys sets, like the huge&nbsp;Lego bucket&nbsp;with lots of pieces, or multipacks that can be divided and wrapped individually.</li> </ul> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Black Friday Tips From Money-Saving Experts" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Carrie Kirby</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="">Shopping articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Shopping bargain shopping black friday cyber monday holiday shopping Thu, 25 Nov 2010 13:00:06 +0000 Carrie Kirby 332736 at