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Deals That Are Nifty by Sister Thrifty: November 2009

Deals That Are Nifty by Sister Thrifty

Great Steals and Deals around town and online to save you the big bucks and help you keep more of your hard-earned money!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Cyber Monday

How did you all do on Black Friday? Get any incredible bargains? I snagged a few steals and deals, but I’m even more excited about Cyber Monday. Why? Because I can get great prices from the comfort of my home by shopping online!

Cyber Monday has become so popular and a part of our Christmas shopping lexicon that it’s even in Wikipedia now. The term Cyber Monday refers to the Monday immediately following Black Friday. Whereas Black Friday is associated with traditional brick and mortar stores, Cyber Monday symbolizes a busy day for online retailers. The premise was that consumers would return to their offices after the Black Friday weekend, making purchases online that they were not able to make in stores.

Each year offers some of the best bargains and this year they’re in a price war with We love that! Some of the common discounts include free shipping and percentages off the sales price. While I love going inside a real store and being able to touch the merchandise and get my picture taken with Santa, I REALLY love being able to stay home and shop in my pajamas!

Below are some really great web sites where you can see at a glance which retailers are offering discounts this week:

One of the great advantages to shopping online is that you can ship directly to your gift recipient, saving you hours of packaging presents, driving in crazy traffic to the post office, and standing in long lines during the busy holiday season!

Enjoy saving money this week online!


Sister Thrifty

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Black Friday Bonanza

Saving money is all about being organized and thinking ahead. Black Friday is a perfect example. Most of us are completely exhausted after all of the busy activities of Thanksgiving and still have dirty dishes in the sink the next day, but the organized shopper wakes up early the next morning, ready to hit the stores and grab the bargains. Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving, and it marks the beginning of the traditional Christmas shopping season.

The term dates back to at least 1966The term "Black Friday" originated in Philadelphia in reference to the heavy traffic on that day. More recently, the media have used it instead to refer to the beginning of the period in which retailers go from being in the red (i.e., posting a loss on the books) to being in the black (i.e., turning a profit). In many cities it is not uncommon to see shoppers lined up for hours before stores with big sales open. Once inside the stores, shoppers rush around and snatch up what they can, as many stores have only a few of the big-draw items. On occasion, injuries and even fatalities are reported. Now that’s a bit much just to save a few dollars!

This year, in hopes of surviving the rough economy, some stores have started their Black Friday sales already! Check out these helpful web sites to find some of the great deals out there:

Here are some examples of what you can find:

Black Friday Free Stuff at Target

Target will open its doors at 5:00am on Black Friday.
Get $10 Gift Card With Any $100 In Store Purchase
Get $10 Gift Card With Select Video Game Purchases
Get $15 Gift Card With Any Apple 8GB iPod Nano Purchase
Get $20 Gift Card With Any DSi System Purchase
Get $30 Gift Card With Any Apple 32GB iPod Touch Purchase
Get $50 Gift Card With Any Call Of Duty Super Elite XBOX 360 System Bundle
Get $50 Gift Card With Any XBOX 360 120GB Elite Game System Bundle Purchase

Staples Freebies at Black Friday
Staples opens doors at 6:00am on Black Friday.
Items that are free after rebate:
- Free Canon Photo Printer With Purchase Of Any Digital Camera
- 4 Device Universal Remote
- Sharp Handheld Calculator
- 20 pack of Duracell Batteries (Free After Staples Rewards)
- Peachtree Pro Accounting 2010

Very cheap items:
$1 - 50-Pack of HP Everyday 8.5x11 Photo Paper

Toys R Us (Black Friday)
Toys R Us opens at 5:00am on Black Friday. Doorbuster items are marked with a *
Free Bendaroos 100 Piece Set With Any 500 Piece Set Purchase - Free
Free Easel Starter Kit With Any Imaginarium Deluxe Wooden Art Easel Purchase - Free
Free EVA Sleeve Kit With Any DSi Holiday Bundle - $0.00 *
Free Imaginarium Big Train Set With Any Arch Train Table Purchase - Free
Uno Card Game - B1G1 Free
Gear Monkey Video Game Accessories - B1G1 Free *
Batman Dark Knight 6 Figures - B1G2 Free
Select Nintendo DS Games - B1G1
School Zone Books And Flashcards - B2G1 Free *
scrabble Card Game - B1G1 Free
Go Fish Card Game - B1G1 Free
Rook Card Game - B1G1 Free
Animal Planet Foam Animals - B1G1 50% Off
Crazy Bones - B1G1 50% Off
Crayola Arts And Crafts Sets - 50% Off
Crayola Color Wonder Sets - 50% Off
Deal Or No Deal Board Game - 50% Off
Disney Wheel Of Fortune Board Game - 50% Off
Gnip Gnop Board Game - 50% Off
Ker Plunk Board Game - 50% Off
Othello Board Game - 50% Off
Pokemon, Club Penguin Or Yu-Gi-Oh! Booster Packs - B1G1 50% Off
Style Six Fashion Set - B1G1 50% Off *
Thomas The Tank Engine Bike - 50% Off *
Thomas The Tank Scooter - 50% Off *
Wii Fit Accessories - 50% Off *

To help you get better organized for the new year, along with a few freebies and coupons, are some free calendars:

Free 2010 calendar from Jump Start Coalition:

Free 2010 calendar from Oriental Trading, which includes:
* A special money-saving offer for you each month!
* New tips & idea starters to help you plan fun events all year long!
* Shopping reminders for guaranteed holiday delivery.
* Tons of unique dates to celebrate every month, such as "National Ice Cream Day!"

And when you’re done with all of that shopping, relax in your favorite chair, light a free candle and read a free magazine:

Beauty Herbal Spa offers free Christmas herbal candle from their salon so that you can test candles out and see how you like it.

For a limited time, receive your own FREE subscription to Successful Living Magazine!

Enjoy this week with your loved ones and remember to take some time to offer thanks for all that you DO have.

Happy Thanksgiving!
Sister Thrifty

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Saturday, November 14, 2009

November deals

Since 2007, November means Daylight Savings begins.  November is now also officially “Movember” ….that is to say that men are wearing mustaches in support of prostate and testicular cancer research.  Wow, I’m glad we girls only have to wear a pink ribbon to show support for breast cancer research! 

You’re probably gearing up for Thanksgiving as well.  Here are some great web sites where you can find deals on turkeys and all the fixins, plus a few other fun Thanksgiving items:    coupons on turkeys and the fixins   free recipes, coupons     free recipes, coupons   all things Turkey Day      free e-cards    free Thanksgiving games    free Thanksgiving screensavers

And what happens the day after Thanksgiving?   The famous BLACK FRIDAY!  In a new retail development, Black Friday deals will be available from now throughout the remainder of the holiday season.

This change comes in the aftermath of Black Friday 2008 when a Wal-Mart employee was trampled to death by a mob of riotous shoppers in New York.

Wal-Mart in particular will be keeping a majority of its stores open 24 hours this year to avert a similar disaster. The mega-retailer plans to open on Thanksgiving morning at 6 a.m. and keep stores open through Friday evening.

But there's no need to wait until then to steal a deal. Retailers are rolling out the deals right now. For example, I saw a laptop at Best Buy for $249 – without standing in the cold or checkout in a long line. It was part of a one-day sale that Best Buy was having to kick off the Black Friday shopping season.

Find more Black Friday deals right now at these websites:

Sister Thrifty

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Friday, November 06, 2009

How to complain and be heard

By the time you read this I’ll be in the air, flying to Boston for a business trip and I just wanted to share a great story about your consumer rights and satisfaction. Maybe you’ve heard about the famous “Gripe” song about United Airlines and how it has become a huge hit on YouTube.

An enterprising musician who had his guitar broken by United Airlines created a protest song that's become a runaway web sensation. Dave Carroll's $3,500 Taylor guitar was broken by United baggage handlers at Chicago's O'Hare Airport in the spring of 2008. During the ensuing 9-month period, Carroll attempted to get some compensation for the guitar, but he was repeatedly given the runaround by customer “no service” representatives.

His response? To film a video for an original song called "United Breaks Guitars" that has now gotten nearly 3 million views on YouTube.

After the surprising success of Carroll's clip, United came back with its tail between its legs and offered to make him whole. But the disgruntled musician refused and told United to donate the money to a charity of his choice.

The lesson here is that the web gives consumers a new level of power against businesses that have wronged them. There's a similar kind of power in sites like Yelp or TripAdvisor. Both sites cull the collective wisdom of users' experiences with a variety of companies so you know who is safe and who to avoid. The best way to have our consumer voices heard is through our spending dollars. If you're unhappy with a company, let them know that not only will you not shop there anymore, but that you will post your complaints online and encourage others to stop shopping there as well! A wise manager will do everything he can to make you happy again.

The Financial Times of London reports that 92% of people say they trust word of mouth from friends, associates and colleagues when it comes to making a consumer decision. 75% say they trust collective wisdom sites like Yelp and TripAdvisor. Only 60% of people report trusting traditional image-based advertising.

In order to have your consumer voice heard, you need to follow a few tips on how to complain properly. Some companies, like United Airlines, has completely eliminated all human contact customer service! Other companies use foreign call centers staffed by people with no authority to solve problems. Try some of these techniques to voice your opinion:

1) Document well – get names of everyone you talk to, the conversation you had, the date and time of day.

2) Know where to complain (the company or store). Know whom to complain to (department/manager/CEO). You can get this information from the Secretary of State's office.

3) Write a letter to that person or party, stating the problem concisely. Be specific and state exactly what you want such as the specific action. Keep a positive attitude and leave out emotions.

4) Ask for a response in a reasonable time and be sure to state how you can be reached.

5) Send the letter via certified mail with a register receipt.

6) If all else fails, make a song and post it on YouTube!

In other airline news, the price-fixing of fuel surcharges makes me cranky! When the cost of a barrel of oil dropped, the surcharges did not go away. The Wall Street Journal reports that the CEO of Virgin Atlantic Airways admits he was involved in the price-fixing of fuel surcharges with British Airways and other unnamed airlines.

Need another clear indication that fuel surcharges are just a bogus ploy? Consider this: A shorter international flight often has a higher surcharge than a longer flight.  There is a simple way to fix this: Require airlines to quote the entire price of a ticket (including fuel surcharges) in advertisements, to travel agents and on the web.

On a brighter note, airfares for both domestic and international travel will be fantastic this fall. Why? Air travel is discretionary and people simply aren't traveling like they once did. So look for deals from now up to mid-December -- except right around Thanksgiving.

When you get where you're going, the hotel rates will be great too. The Smith Travel Research firm says the average room rate has dropped 10% year over year. Travel to Vegas and you’ll see hotel prices drop like crazy! Check out my Columbus Day post to read more tips on how to travel on the cheap.


Sister Thrifty

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