Everybody knows the day after Thanksgiving, known as “Black Friday”, is one of the busiest shopping days of the year. On November 25th, millions of shoppers will be lined up for hours trying their best to secure some of the great “doorbusters” Black Friday is so-well known for. It can be pretty stressful to deal with, but you may not know that you don’t even have to leave your home to get some of the best deals! In this month’s post, we’ve got you covered with the following list of Do’s and Don’ts to save you a lot of headache in planning out your shopping strategy this holiday season. (and if you happen to need some help getting everything cleaned up after that big family holiday feast, we can help you with that too)
DO expect that his year, some Black Friday specials will actually begin on Thursday. With a down economy, many retailers know people have a limited budget, and are launching their deals as early as possible. Keep an eye out in your local newspapers the week leading up to Thanksgiving.
DON’T assume the best deals are in-store. Online retailers like Amazon.com don’t have the overhead of a physical storefront and can typically offer bigger discounts than brick-and-mortar stores. Also, shopping online may enable you to avoid paying sales tax on your order (as well as saving you from braving the weather and letting you shop in your pajamas)!
DO check on the return policy for any item you buy. Many charge restocking fees, or disallow returns altogether if items were created specifically for a Black Friday promotion. Make sure you’re 100% clear on the return policy for the item you’re buying so you can return it if it ends up not meeting your expectations.
DON’T purchase an extended warranty on any big ticket item you purchase. Stores use these to recover a lot of the money they lose on offering big discounts. The salesperson will probably pull out every trick in the book to get you to go for it, but don’t do it. Most defective products will fail well within the typical one-year manufacturer’s warranty. After that, it’s usually clear sailing well past the 3 or 5 year extended mark most stores offer. Besides, if you make your purchase with certain debit or credit cards, that may offer you an automatic protection.
DO brave the crowds if you want to grab an extremely limited item. On the rarest deals, you typically won’t be able to find a match online, or secure what you really want. Make sure you get in line early – people will often camp out to secure the very best deals.
DON’T wait until the very last minute to do your holiday shopping. While you don’t necessarily need to finish EVERYTHING on Black Friday, have a plan to wrap up your shopping well before December 20th-24th. Retailer raise prices dramatically the week leading up to the big day. If you want to save yourself some cash and some stress, make sure you have everything taken care of by mid-December so you can relax and enjoy the season!
With TLC’s hit show “Extreme Couponing”, viewers watch as moms save as much as 99% on groceries. It is only natural to wonder how much you could potentially save with the right help. However, not all of us have 40+ hours to spend a week on clipping, nor do we want to start hoarding hundreds of bottles of ketchup. By following these simple steps, you will be able to save big without losing lots of time, energy, and cupboard space.
The best way to get the most out of you savings is to find a store that matches coupons, automatically doubling your savings. Once you find a store that matches, check the other components of its coupon policy. It’s beneficial to know if you can use more than one of the same coupons, if the store accepts expired coupons, what types of coupons it accepts, etc. Also, be sure to ask what day of the week the store rolls out sale prices!
Organization is the key to any successful grocery store trip. It is important to keep track of when your coupons expire. Expired coupons mean lost money, so be sure to keep them in a safe spot. It would be wise to keep your coupons organized by product or aisle to save time while shopping.
With the internet, there are endless coupon outlets. The traditional coupons found in the mail or newspaper are still good – even better when you have relatives or neighbors to save the best coupons for you. The internet coupons are often preferred because you can search for specific products. Furthermore, you can have coupons sent to your smartphone, so you can keep them organized more easily and don’t have to bother printing anything out. Online coupons give the option of browsing for coupons on the company site, signing up to receive emails with coupons, or even paying for bundles of coupons.
An hour or two a week devoted to spotting savings should be plenty. Dividing the savings earned by hours spent is a great way to determine whether or not your time is being well spent. If it takes you four hours of clipping to save $20, it might not be worth the effort because you are basically working for $5/hour.
Whether you become a coupon mom or an extreme couponer, it is always possible to save. Know what you’re looking for beforehand, and search for deals online. There’s no reason to pay full price if we don’t have to!
Want some easy ways to save energy and save money? Check out this list!
Stop using hot water in your washing machine.
There are now detergents that are formulated to work in cold water. Although you may feel like you’re not getting the same amount of cleaning power from cold water just remember that the detergent is doing most of the cleaning work anyways. By switching to cold water washes you are not using the most expensive and energy consuming part of the washing cycle.
Stop vampire power from sucking your energy savings.
Did you know that any plugged in device will still draw power from the wall? Any appliance that you’re not using or have off anyways should be unplugged. Vampire power has cost the US 7 billion dollars in wasted energy. If you want to avoid having to continually plug devices in and out you can purchase smart power strips that cut down vampire power.
Look for the ENERGY STAR®
Whenever you need to replace a home appliance reach for a product that carries the Energy Star certification. An Energy Star thermostat saves 1-3%, light bulbs .2% for each bulb per hour, You can even replace your windows to be Energy Star certified! That can lead to a 10% energy saving.