Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Let the Madness Begin

Okay, I'm a little annoyed with myself for posting this the day before Thanksgiving.
Practice what you preach, Rae.
OK, fine.  Let's talk about tomorrow.  I'm making cranberry relish (fresh cranberries!) and roasted sweet potatoes to contribute to my aunt's spectacular Thanksgiving dinner.  It ain't much, but it's something. Tomorrow, the hubs and I will sleep the paper, eat a nice breakfast, enjoy not being surrounded by 5000 crazy people for one year (I love them, but this is a year for a small own :-))  I will head out in the sunshine and do a nice 10 miler or 17 miler.  TBD.  Wherever the day takes us.  We will then load up and head out to spend a wonderful dinner with some amazing people that I am truly grateful.
That's tomorrow.
But what about that little Thursday  paper?
Oh yeah.  Somewhere in the midst of being grateful, it is time to plan the demise of mankind.  Black Friday.  Christmas Shopping.
Tell me, who goes out at 4am anymore?  For years, my mom and I did.  It was a hot mess.  People yelling, running around for one of the 5 tickle me Elmo's that walmart had (a little too appropriate of a reference today, I think!) and, by 9 am, exhausted, broke, and grumpy.
No Thank you. 
But I still like a deal.
So how do I do my shopping?   One of two ways.
Way #1:  FROM HOME.  Yes, I'll admit it.  I wreck Thanksgiving a bit by going online for an hour or so to do some of the pre black Friday shopping.  My main store?  Kohls.  They not only have their flyer up early this year, but you can put stuff in a bag and checkout at midnight online.  Painless.  And cheap.  Add in black Friday sales, Kohl's cash, and some of these tricks....

*  Ebates - If you don;t have an ebates account, YOU NEED ONE.  Kohl's pays 6% cash back.  So, you create an account, do a search for kohls, and go to the site from ebates.  Shop.  Spend your $100 (or whatever).  Get your Kohl's cash ($30), free shipping, and $6 from ebates.  That's $64 for $100 worth of dirt cheapo black friday stuff (in my case, 2 pairs of jeans, 2 polo shirts, a pair of black pants, 2 go mugs, and 2 sweaters.)  How do you beat that?  I'll tell you.  The best site for coupon codes ever.  Don't EVER check out online without searching here first.  A quick search, and I have my kohl's coupon for 20% (code: THANKSGIVING).  On top of everything else.  OK, FINE, I guess I can add in 2 more sweaters and pay THE SAME PRICE.  Twist my arm.
Look for "rewards":  This is most helpful with stocking stuffers.  Alot of drugstores offer rewards points that you get off your purchase, depending on what you buy.  This week, CVS had some pretty awesome "free" deals - you buy stocking stuffer number 1 for $5 (something mom uses...shhhh) and get $5 RR.  Then you go back the next week and spend that $5 on whatever you want in the store.  Can't be beat.  You can also find rewards on online sites such as LivingSocial.  If you buy anything for $25 or more by 12/15, they will send you a $10 credit on the 23rd.  Perfect for a last minute gift or a treat for "Santa!"

2.  If I do deign to go to the store....
* I'll go about 8am on Black Friday.  The crazies are gone, you can still find some of the awesome deals (dollar DVDs at Walmart!) and I would say about 75% of door busters are still available.  I'm sure this will change when I'm searching out the hot new toy, but for now, it keeps me in the spirit without clobbering the lady next to me for the last $100 flat screen TV (oh wait, that might be worth it....)
*  I take advantage of price matching.  Target and Walmart have a policy up until Christmas where if you bring in the ad of a competitor, they will match the price on the same product.  Even Black Friday deals (for the same day/week, of course).  Can't beat that.  (Especially when you live in the country, like we do!)

And, that, my friends, is black Friday.  But enough of that hoopla.  Let's do Thanksgiving first.  And remember how much we have to be thankful for before we go out and buy more :-P

Have a wonderful holiday!!  I am so thankful for all of YOU for coming back to my humble little blog every day!

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