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Deals That Are Nifty by Sister Thrifty: November 2011

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!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Cyber Monday Mahem


While I’m not one to stand outside a store at 4:00 am for Black Friday bargains, I definitely get 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 I 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 year:

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! Some stores will even allow you to "double dip" which means you can stack discounts. Before you purchase anything online, remember to do an online search of the name of the store you're interested in buying from, along with the words "discount code" and you'll be pointed towards sites that give you special codes to use in the shopping cart to save even more money!

Some of my favorite discount code web sites are:






Each year consumers spend more than $80 billion shopping on the Internet. It’s fast. It’s easy. No crowds. No searching for parking spaces. And who doesn’t love shopping in their pajamas? Unfortunately, one out of ten adults reported being victimized by online fraud in 2011, so you definitely need to be careful. Computer security experts have come up with some shopping tips to help protect you from cyber crime.

1. Investigate the vendor. Check the site for refund policies and contact information. It only takes a minute to review a company’s track record at (Better Business Bureau).

2. Protect your private information by never giving financial information by email.

3. Start a paper trail. Print online receipts, product information and email confirmations.

4. Choose carefully where you shop. Only shop online at sites that provide password protection and encryption. When you see “https” you know the site is secure.

5. Protect your computer with antivirus software and firewalls.

The Internet has also made the world a much smaller place. There might be a company in Wisconsin who has exactly what your son’s school needs but can’t afford. is a great resource where charities, businesses, and individuals donate items and can get free items in return! Be sure to sign up your kids’ schools or your church!

The holidays are a busy time to be sure. Remember to pause and reflect on what’s truly important. Toss the guilt if you can’t buy the expensive gift for others that you wish you could. There is no shame in writing up some of those hand-made gift coupons, good for one back rub or car wash. People on their death bed never say they wish they had that gadget; rather, they often express regret for not having spent more time loving and serving others.

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Monday, November 21, 2011

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 in the United States.

The term dates back to at least 1966.  "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 (posting a loss on the books) to being in the black (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 in stock. On occasion, some shoppers are so overly enthusiastic about the savings that injuries and even fatalities have been reported.   No savings is worth that!

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:

Now, having said all of that, the best gifts are those which come from the heart, and not the shopping mall.  In a tight economy, we should never go into debt just to purchase gifts.  There are plenty of inexpensive, yet meaningful gifts we can give to our loved ones without breaking the bank.  Remember, spending quality time with others is priceless!

Many retailers allow discount code web sites to "leak" their sales information several days before Black Friday.  If you love to shop at a particular store, do a Google search with the name of that store, plus the words "Black Friday" and you might get to find out what steals and deals they'll be featuring after Turkey Day!  Target and Wal-Mart have already released some sneak peek info about nice discounts on their flagship door-buster electronic items.  BJ's Wholesale Club, Harbor Freight, and Ace Hardware have already released their Black Friday catalogs as well.

While the best deals are usually found in the wee hours of the morning when the stores first open, most retailers this year are planning on extending their bargains through the Thanksgiving weekend to encourage more consumers to spend their dollars and kick-start the Christmas shopping season.  Do a web search with your city’s name, plus the words “Black Friday” and you’ll find some store listings with their special hours.

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Wednesday, November 09, 2011

The Big World Network Launches Today for FREE

Are you a die-hard page turner?  Do you love dog-eared pages and insist on touching actual paper when reading your favorite book or are you a converted fan of the new electronic readers?  Perhaps you use both. Now there's another way to read books...

I'm really excited about a new web site called which launches today!  They're featuring one of my new books, "How to Stay UP in a DOWN Economy: Saving and Earning Money From Home", but that's not the only reason why I'm excited.

Their goal is to change the way we read books and interact with authors online. On their web site they say "Think of us as a television network, but for literary series written in episodic format."   Sixteen books will be featured during this first season.  You can choose between either reading each week's episodes or listening to the audio versions.

Each day, two books are spotlighted, offering new episodes to enjoy.  Several of my author friends have been selected to participate in this first season's launch, so I know you're going to love their work and become addicted! I highly recommend Steven Booth, Tristi Pinkston, Heather Justesen, and Amanda Meuwissen.  I'm excited to get to know the other authors.  My episodes will be featured every Wednesday for 12 weeks. It's the only non-fiction book to be chosen for the series!

The audio chapters are also going to be made available on iTunes each day, and they're currently working on developing formats for the iPad and iPhone, so stay tuned!  You'll be able to interact with the author, write comments, and offer suggestions.  Many of the authors on the site have also been invited to record the audio of each chapter, so you get to meet new writers and hear their actual voices bring their words to life.

As an author, it doesn't matter to me how you read books, only that you do! There is a wonderful world of imagination and knowledge out there to discover!  The Big World Network hopes to create a new way of reading books and creating communities for authors and fans.  Did I mention that all of this is FREE? Check it out!

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