Showing posts with label Black Friday. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Black Friday. Show all posts


SOS Mom Saver: Shop Black Friday Without Leaving Your House

 This was my "haul" last year on Black Friday.

Did you know that most Black Friday deals that are in the stores are ALSO found online?  This doesn't apply to some of the biggest sales & limited-supply items...but usually those only constitute a handful of things from the ad.  Nearly everything else you'll find in the ad...and even most of the door busters can also be found online.

There's even an unknown bonus to shopping online.  Often, the stores will open up their online Black Friday sales at midnight.  For stores that are still opening at 4am or 5am, this means you get a good 4 or 5 hour jump start on those waiting in line.

Anyone who has shopped Black Friday online in the past knows that sites slow down considerably once their sales go live.  There are a couple of things you can do now to make sure that your online purchases go as smoothly as possible:
  • Peruse the ads beforehand and know what you're looking for from each store.  Make a list just as if you would if you were going to the store itself.  This helps you stay focused and makes sure you don't overspend.  (Which is very easy to do on a sale day like this!)
  • If you don't already have an account with the stores from which you want to purchase items, open one now.  (Typically, online stores don't hold any Black Friday items in your cart.  They're not really yours until you hit the "submit" button to finalize checkout.  If you don't already have an account, that could add 10 minutes between the time you put the item in your cart & the time you checkout.  On Black Friday, that 10 minutes is a LOT & someone could easily buy the item out from under you.  Having an account already set up speeds up your checkout time considerably.)
  • If you do have an account, log into it now to make sure you remember your password and are ready to go.  It takes so little time to make sure you get in & out quickly (and back to bed) on Black Friday.
  • How will you pay?  If you pay through Paypal, Google Checkout, or any other way...make sure that your account has current info, all cards are current (I just had to update the expiration for mine on Paypal), your mailing address is current, etc.  Again, log into it now to make sure you remember your password and are ready to go. 
  • You don't want computer issues like an outdated browser or Java to slow you down when sites will likely already be bogged down.  Update your IE, Firefox, or Chrome as well as Java now to ensure you don't have issues on Black Friday.
  • As you get closer to the day (like...while your husband is watching a game on Thanksgiving.  Okay...just typing that made me laugh hysterically.  If you know my know why.  He is so NOT a sports guy.)...anyway, you can go to the actual item and save the URL.  When the sales go live, you just enter the URLs in and proceed to check out.  If the store creates a new item number for the Black Friday item, you won't be able to do this, but I'd still try.
  • Some stores will let you save the item to your cart NOW.  Some will actually clear all carts of that item.  Yet other stores will create an entirely new item number for the Black Friday sale item.'s worth a try to add the item to your cart now, but it might not work.
  • Many stores have free shipping offers on Black Friday.  You'll often find these on their home page.  Be sure to look for them before checking out!
  • Don't forget to check for any additional coupon codes that you can usually use in addition to the sale prices.  (A bonus of buying online!)  RetailMeNot is my favorite site for finding online codes.
Do you shop on Black Friday?  Do you do so online or are you brave enough to go in person?


My Best Black Friday Ever: The Details

Yes, I was a tease.  I showed you pics of all of my Black Friday finds on Friday but left you hanging on the details.

For me, Black Friday isn't just about what deals I can get on THAT day, though.  I prep very carefully for that day knowing what deals will likely be there.  Once the ads come out, then I can firm up my preparations.

Here's what I started Black Friday with:
  • The following gift cards:
    • (2) $10 Land's End gift cards ($20 total) which can be used at Land's End, Sears, and/or Kmart
    • $20 Gap gift card which can be used at Gap or Old Navy
    • (10) $5 gift cards ($50 total) from Swagbucks (plus (3) more $5 gift cards pending from Swagbucks)
    • (2) $25 CVS gift cards ($50 total) from prescription transfers
    • (2) $25 Walgreens gift cards ($50 total) from prescription transfers
    • (2) $5 Target gift cards ($10 total) from previous promotions
  • $100 from my husband to spend on a Kitchen Aid if I could find a good deal (which I did), and of course...
  • A detailed list outlining what I needed, what we wanted for gifts, where we needed to go when, and what we could get online (and through Ebates and/or Upromise to save even more money)
How much did I spend?
  • $1,820.50...Oh I kid!  (You didn't believe me did you?)  You know better than that!  What is that figure?  It's what everything I got the week of Black Friday WOULD have cost me had I paid full price.
  • You know I'd at least want everything to be on sale, right?  Sounds good...except that even on sale, everything I got the week of Black Friday would still have cost me $1,021.91.  Yeah.  I'm not spending that much.  Not even close.
  • But wait!  You know I'd also use coupons to reduce what I pay.  THAT will make it affordable.  Right?  Close...but at $506.31...still no cigar.  Not gonna pay THAT much either!  (What?!  You've already knocked the total down by almost 75%, and that's STILL not enough?!)  Nope.  It sure isn't.
  • Why?  Because I also had gift cards (and the $100 my husband gave me for my KA).  They had been saved just for this day!  After my gift cards and cash from my husband had been applied, my total ended up being $271.28.  THIS was my final price at the store.  But wait, I'm not done yet...
  • I am expecting rebates back from products I purchased at and Walgreens.  When they are received, my total out-of-pocket will have dropped down to $202.46.
  • But wait...I also got register rewards (RR's) back from Walgreens and extra care bucks (ECB's) back from CVS.  Although I don't actually count them in my savings until I spend them, I'm going to here just so you'll see my net total.  After taking the ECB's and RR's into account, my total net spending was $96.81...less than the total price of my KA mixer alone after the sale and rebate is applied!
  • For those trying to do the math, that's a net savings of over 95%.
Here's a recap:
  • Regular price:  $1820.50
  • Sale price:  $1021.91
  • Price after coupons:  $506.31
  • Price after gift cards (what I paid up front):  $271.28
  • Price after rebates (total out-of-pocket):  $202.46
  • I have the following left to use on future purchases:  $185.62
    • Register Rewards (can use at Wags or a local grocery store):  $73.72
    • Extra Care Bucks:  $31.93
    • gift cards:  $15
    • CVS gift cards:  $34.97
    • Gap gift card:  $20
    • Target gift cards: $10
What did that $202.46 ($96.81 after RR's and ECB's) get me?
  • Kitchen Aid Professional 600 Series 575 watt 6qt mixer (orig. $499)
  • Artist's Loft Creative Design Table (orig. $149.99)
  • Wii Cabela Hunting Game w/gun (orig. $39.99)
  • Kingston 8gb Flash Drive (orig. $39.99)
  • (2) Wii games (orig. $29.99 ea/$59.98 tot)
  • (2) Sealy Posturepedic Pillows (orig. $19.99 ea/$39.98 tot)
  • Kingston 4gb Flash Drive (orig. $19.99)
  • Fiskars 12" portable paper trimmer (orig. $19.99)
  • Body Pillow (orig. $19.99)
  • Walgreens Warm Steam Vaporizer (orig. $15.99)
  • Walgreens Heating Pad (orig. $15.99)
  • Phillip's Ear Buds (orig. $9.99)
  • Creatology 100 pc Art Set (orig. $6.99)
  • Eucerin Lotion (orig. $6.99)
  • (4) Scotch Gift-Tape 3-pk (orig. $5.99 ea/$23.96 tot) 
  • (2) Old Spice Body Spray (orig. $5.99 ea/$11.98 tot)
  • (6) Photo Boxes (orig. $4.99 ea/$29.94 tot)
  • (18) Secret Scent Expressions Body Splash (orig. $4.99 ea/$89.82 tot)
  • (18) Olay Body Wash (orig. $4.99 ea/$89.82 tot)
  • (7) Centrum Vitamins (orig. $4.99 ea/$34.93 tot) 
  • (3) Gillette Odor Shield Deodorant (orig. $4.99 ea/$14.97 tot)
  • (3) Herbal Essences Shampoo (orig. $3.99 ea/$11.94 tot)
  • (3) Herbal Essences Conditioner (orig. $3.99 ea/$11.97 tot)
  • (12) Herbal Essences Spray Gel (orig. $3.99 ea/$47.88 tot)
  • (4) Herbal Essences Gel (orig. $3.99 ea/$15.96 tot)
  • (16) Nivea Men's Shave Gel (orig. $3.99 ea/$63.84 tot)
  • (6) Pure Water 24pk (orig. $3.99 ea/$23.94 tot)
  • (16) Crest 3D Vivid White Toothpaste (orig. $3.99 ea/$63.84 tot)
  • (12) Oral-B Indicator Toothbrushes (orig. 3.99 ea/$47.88 tot)
  • (6) Listerine Pocket packs (orig. $3.99 ea/$23.94)
  • (6) Colgate Toothpaste (orig. $3.49/$20.94 tot) 
  • (10) Gum EZ-thru Flossers (orig. $2.99/$29.90 tot)
  • (3) LA Looks Styling Gel (orig. $2.99/$8.97 tot)
  • (12) Scunci Pony Tail Holders double packs (orig. $2.49/$29.88 tot)
  • (16) ThermaCare Heat Wraps (orig. $2.49/$39.84 tot)
  • (2) Robitussin DM To-Go (orig. $2.49/$4.98 tot)
  • (30) Advil PM 2ct (orig. $1.99/$59.70 tot)
  • (3) Carmex Lip Balm (orig. $1.99/$5.97 tot)
  • (15) Mars King-Size Candy (orig. $1.79/$26.85 tot)
  • (16) 2 ltr bottles of pop (orig. $1.59ea/$25.44 tot)
  • (2) Photo Calendars (orig. $1 ea/$2 tot)
  • (2) Magnetic Calendars with notes (orig. $1 ea/$2 tot)
  • (2) Pocket Calendars (orig. $1 ea/$2 tot)
  • (15) Reese's Candy Singles (orig. $.99/$14.85 tot)
  • (4) cans Mandarin Oranges (orig. $.69/$2.76 tot)
  • (4) cans Mushrooms (orig. $.99/$3.96 tot)
In other words...a dump-load of stuff.  How did you do on Black Friday (or did you hide out at home attempting to avoid all of the Chaos?)


    My Best Black Friday Ever

    Look what I got for Black Friday!!!

    What? Why are you looking at me like that? Doesn't everyone have a crazy-huge amount of receipts after Black Friday?  Granted the most important (in my opinion) receipt isn't pictured there.  It's the one from where I got a Kitchen Aid mixer!!!!!

    So what did all of these receipts get me?

    What you don't see are some candy items that a certain husband in my house may or may not have eaten (i.e.-totally did) before I could take the pic.  We've also already taken a bunch of the HBA items up to our linen closet to be used.  Also, you see the bags for our 2 new pillows (Sealy Posturepedic pillows), but not the new pillows...because our old pillows were crummy and we wanted to use the new ones.  You can't see them in the pic above, but there are also a ton of toothbrushes hiding.  You can see them here ( you squint really, really hard...and use your imagination):

    And from the missing receipt:

    Isn't she pretty?  (I call her Betsy.  She promises me many, many loaves of spelt bread...that don't have to be kneaded by hand.  My hands are thanking me as we speak.)

    And of course, you know me...I didn't pay anywhere NEAR full-price for the things I got.  Because really...why would anyone do THAT?  You don't have to!

    I do don't mean to be a tease, but I'm going to make you wait for the details.

    I'll give you a hint, though.  I purchased over $1800 worth of stuff...and...spent...???.....


    SOS Mom Saver: Turkey Talk and Black Friday Realities

    You can thank me on Thursday when your turkey is fully thawed (or close).  If you haven't yet, do this immediately:
    • Stop Reading.  Wait.  Scratch that.  Perhaps you should KEEP reading until the other steps are done.  Yeah.  That's probably best.
    • Walk over to your freezer.
    • Pull out the big, frozen dead bird loaded with mind-numbing tryptophan.  (Sounds appetizing, doesn't it?)
    • Place said bird in your fridge.
    • Smile when you open your fridge on Thursday morning.
    Why are you still reading?  Go ahead and do it!  Now!  It's okay.  I'll wait.

    (Insert Jeopardy music...)

    Done?  Good.  Now, before I give you the emergency Turkey Talk numbers, let's talk Black Friday reality.

    A friend said to me today that she planned to hit Target first thing on Black Friday.  She only had an hour to get in, grab her stuff, check out, & get home.  Umm.  Not gonna happen.  (I may have even laughed at her a little.  Okay.  A lot.  In love, of course.) ain't gonna happen!  There is no "quick" anything on Black Friday.  There will be a long line to get into the store.  Once you're in the store, there will be hoards of people trying to find their deal items.  There will then be people upon people upon people in line waiting to check out (many of whom have friends out doing the shopping while they wait in line).  2-by-2 is a good strategy for Black Friday.  Once you've paid, there will be the cars.  Lots and lots of cars in the parking lot.  In other words, it's gonna take awhile.

    So be prepared.  

    Oh!  I almost forgot!  If you have a "turkey emergency" on Thursday you need to know who to call!  Calls are free and they are more than happy to help you: 
    •  Butterball Turkey Hotline
      • (800)Butterball (288-8372)
      • 7 am – 7 pm on Thanksgiving Day
      • Tweet them at
      • They are known as the most turkey-friendly hotline (Which is a little ironic, don't you think?)
    • Foster Farms Turkey Hotline
      • (800)255-7227 (select "1" at prompt)
      • 24 hours a day; including Thanksgiving Day
    • USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline
      • (888)674-6854 (select “1″ and then “0″ at prompts)
      • 10:00 am – 4:00 pm EST on Thanksgiving Day
    • Perdue Consumer Help Line
      • (800)4-Perdue (73-7383)
      • 7am-3pm EST on Thanksgiving Day
    • Turkey Confidential (A call-in radio show)
      • (800)537-5252
      • 1am-1pm on Thanksgiving Day
    Have a fantastic Thanksgiving!


    SOS Mom Saver: Black Friday At Stores Without Ads

    Do your favorite stores (that would be Build-a-Bear and The Disney Store for my kids) not release Black Friday ads?  They still probably have Black Friday deals! 

    Call the store you're interested in going to and ask them what their Black Friday deals are.  Some stores might not tell you until Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday.  However, some (like Build-a-Bear) might tell you early so it is definitely worth it to call now!

    What?  You know what Build-a-Bear is doing for Black Friday?  You bet I do!  Hal & Holly will be $5 each on Black Friday while supplies last.  There will also be other in-store specials but those won't be announced until & unless you go in.

    I haven't yet called The Disney Store, but in years past, they have had 50% off of everything in their store including sale and clearance items from 5am-9am.  That has made for some really good clearance finds!

    If you call any stores that don't typically have ads, I'd love for you to post here, on Facebook or Twitter, or e-mail me to let me know what deals you find out about!


    SOS Mom Saver: Save Even MORE Money On Black Friday!

    I don't think it's any secret that I love a good deal.  We don't always have something that we want to shop for on Black Friday, but when we do...I want the BEST deal possible!  Often, that means staying at home in my pajamas & ordering what I want hours earlier than those waiting outside in long lines in the cold can.  Plus, I SAVE money doing so!

    You earn money back by going through one of several online sites when you make your purchase.  You'll get  a percentage of your purchase (usually 3%-5%) back from the site you go through just for making your purchase through them.

    There are many sites you can go through to earn money on online purchases.  By far, my favorite is Ebates.  I have used them for quite awhile and have always been properly credited my cash back & gotten my checks when payment time rolls around.  (Note:  If you sign up for Ebates by clicking on that link, then I will get referral credit for you doing so.  Granted I'm not complaining, just informing.  And thanks if you do.)

    The bonus in ordering online is that not only do you save money, but many stores will put their sales up online hours before they open their "regular" stores.  They don't always announce that they're going to do this either.  I would start checking at midnight the day the sale goes live in the store.  For example, if the "regular" store opens at 3am, then I would start checking at midnight to see if the sales are up online.

    If you shop on Black Friday, do you shop online or do you go to the "regular" stores?  Do you go when the store opens (waiting in line if necessary) or later in the day?


    Get the Black Friday Ads Early!

    I've held off on posting this until a good bit of the big ads were out.  This morning, several more were posted.  If you're at all interested in Black Friday, you'll want to start looking at the ads and making your list now.  There are umpteen (I don't know if that's actually a word or not, but I like it)...anyways...there are umpteen sites that provide you with the early ads.

    Here are my favorites:
    My biggest word of advice right now is to copy any ads you are interested in on to a Pdf or Word file on your computer until you have made your list.  That way, you've still got it in the event that the store pulls the ad.

    Enjoy prepping!