Black Friday Tips

It’s that time again! Black Friday is next months, here are some tips to get ahead and get the best deals!

Black Friday_comingEvery year, Black Friday seems to come earlier.. Well this year is no exception. Yet to make things more interesting, here’s something that can be considered TIPS for shopping:

Full disclosure: I got most of these tips from reading The Simple Dollar, one of my most favorite blogs on the Web.

  • Black Friday deals are not really the best the day after Thanksgiving.. Best deals start on Thanksgiving day (The new norm for stores opening early on Turkey Day!), or weeks before Black Friday.. Amazon, Target, Walmart, Kohls is a key example of this
    • So when should you start shopping? USA Today says that Early November is when you should look for deals! So Black Friday now has so many pre-sales that, you don’t even have to wait till Black Friday to get the best deals!
    • Did you know Staples starts their Black Friday sales in Mid November (November 16th!)???

Did you know that for the past few days, Black Friday and Cyber Monday, have pretty much melted together? Oh don’t get me wrong.. You can still get great deals on Cyber Monday, but.. buyer beware.. if you buy stuff on Cyber Monday, your delivery times WILL NOT be guaranteed!

Bottom line friends.. Deals can be had all year round. I’ve seen deals that will beat Black Friday deals starting in October.. That’s how fierce the competition is.

In my frugal mind, each month can be considered to be Black Friday.. as each month will find you the best deals as noted by Consumer Reports table that I excerpted below:

When to Buy
What to Buy
January Bedding/linens, Toys, Exercise equipment, TVs, Winter clothing
February Humidifiers, Indoor furniture, Exercise equipment
March Digital cameras, Humidifiers, Small consumer electronics,
TVs, Winter sports gear
April Computers, Digital cameras, Lawn mowers, Spring clothing
May Athletic apparel/shoes, Camping/outdoor gear, Carpeting, Cordless phones, Lawn mowers, Mattresses, Small consumer electronics
June Camcorders, Carpeting, Computers, Indoor furniture, Pots, pans, and dishware, Small consumer electronics, Summer sports gear, Swimwear
July Camcorders, Indoor furniture, Outdoor furniture, Swimwear
August Air conditioners, Backpacks, Dehumidifiers, Outdoor furniture, Snow blowers
September Bikes, Digital cameras, Gas grills, Lawn mowers, Shrubs, trees, and perennials, Small consumer electronics, Snow blowers
October Bikes, Computers, Digital cameras, Gas grills, Lawn mowers, Winter coats
November Baby products, Bikes
Camcorders, Gas grills, GPS navigators, Toys, TVs
December Bikes, Camcorders, Gas grills, GPS navigators, Home appliances (large and small), Small consumer electronics, Toys, TVs

Personally, Dad doesn’t even bother going out on Black Friday to get his deals.. I just watch my emails and use my iPhone with my Black Friday Apps to send me alerts on deals that allow me to beat the crowds!

How about using price trackers? Below are some that I checked out and found to be worth the click.

  • CamelCamelCamel – Amazon Exclusive
  • Slick Deals – My favorite as it gets me a deal across so many stores that offer in-store pickup and my favorite —> Free Shipping!
  • Price Zombie – This site put’s browser Add-on’s compatible with Safari, Chrome, and Firefox
  • BFAds – All major retailers as soon as they are leaked or published.

What I’ve learned over the past few years… It’s not when you buy, but how and the amount of effort it take to get the bargain. The last time I got up early in the morning as I painfully remember from my personal experience from a few years ago.. when my car’s battery died in the cold as I was amongst thousand’s of shoppers lined up at Best Buy waiting to get in at 5AM on Black Friday.. I said after that experience.. I’ve never stepped away from my keyboard to get the best deals!

If you have any Tips for shopping for Black Friday or Cyber Monday deals, I welcome your insights, after all, a good deal is what makes bargain hunting even more fun!

 

 

Black Friday 2013-Great Tips

Black Friday 2014 promises to be on-line centric, what’s your tip for black friday?

Black Friday(Mansfield)
Black Friday(Mansfield) (Photo credit: George Artwood)

 

I love to shop and that is a fact. Black Friday is the one day where Dad goes out and tries to by new toys.

 

I’ve not been very successful over the past few years, so this year, I’m going to try something different. I’m going cyber-shopping for Black Friday deals. I want to minimize my efforts and get the best bang for the buck.

My goals:

  • Best deals for least effort. This includes free-shipping
  • Avoid the masses at brick-and-mortar
  • Get new toys.. (iPad, iPad Mini, Roku, Apple TV)

 

Not that I need much in my life in terms of new toys, but everyone knows, you can never have too many toys..

 

I came across this Clark Howard  guide-to-black-friday-shopping posting that really gave some really sensible tips for going cyber or being the bricks and mortar shopping.

 

You be the judge. What are your best tips or Black Friday Shopping?

 

 

Oh Canada!

Au Canda! Tips and observations of my Canada vacation!

I know I haven’t blogged in a few weeks! I have a good excuse, Dad and his taxi of life was en vacances in Canada this month!

Last week we took a road trip to Quebec and Montreal respectively. Feel free to comment if you have anything to add!

Driving to Canada takes about 8 hours, well actually 10 if you count the health and hunger breaks! This was the first time we didn’t rent a mini-van (to be a frugal dad). Our Camry was fine for the 4 of us. Everyone was happy. Well most of the time anyway!

I had never really visited Canada before last week (except for a Punjabi Wedding in Toronto about 20 years ago!, but that’s another story for another day!).

I could talk about what we did, but my readers don’t pay to be bored with that, so I’ll give Dad’s perspective on the trip!

We saw two totally different cities in Quebec and Montreal.

  • Quebec had amazing mountain ranges and outdoor activities, walking and lots and lots of history and culture. The Old Town area, the Gondola Ride, the amazing waterfalls, and the outstanding countryside scenes were truly breath taking. Of course I took lots of pics, but they are still on my iPhone and not published yet!
  • Montreal felt like NYC, except it was clean and the underground city, the Basillica of Notre dame, Olympic Park, the Biodome, Old Town, were just magnificent. I’ve decided that this will be another road trip next year here to truly get the impact of this city. Oh! I forgot the Metro trains! So efficient!

Some Dad’s Taxi Observations/Tips:

  • Canada is truly breathtaking and worth the trip. The immigration into Canada is a lot faster (minutes) as opposed to the return to US (over an hour). If anything the return delay coming to US was the only negative thing I experienced during this trip.

 

  • The natives are just amazing with their hospitality and their kindness. Even if you don’t speak French (I speak high school level of course!), you are not at a disadvantage!
  • Take along a credit card that doesn’t charge international fees! American Express or debit cards just don’t cut it. Be prepared to be hit with conversion and fees! Boo! I’d recommend you take cash.. and try to find places with minimal or no currency exchange fees.
    • Canadian $1 and $2 coins, are the norm.. so be prepared to jingle your way through Canada with your spare change..
    • The US Dollar is accepted everywhere! Since it’s only a few pennies difference, many establishments will give you a one-to-one conversion. Try giving Canadian currency anywhere in the US and see what happens!
  • Be prepared to spend, spend and shop! The artisans, the tours, and the things to do in both Quebec and Montreal is endless! Now I know why they say Oh Canada!
  • In Quebec, you quickly learn that “Demi Tour” means U-Turn and “Arret” means Stop.
  • You quickly realize that when the speed limit says 90 it does not mean 90 MPH. that’s 90 Kilometers per Hour (about 55 mph).
  • Do not leave home without your GPS! We lived on our GPS, as Quebec is all french when it comes to road signs (Nord is North, Sud is South, Est is East, what’s west again?)
  • We even saw our first “one day strike” in Montreal at our hotel! Oh gosh can they be loud!
  • Don’t take the Grey Line bus tour where you don’t hop-on, hop-off. The bus only tour (which we took) is a total waste of time and money! Hop-on and Hop-off double decker (like NYC) is the way to go..
  • Wear comfortable walking shoes, because you will be walking everywhere! We averaged about 5 miles of walking per day!
  • Make sure your iPhone is “Juiced”, you will take many, many pictures!
  • Wireless and/or internet is NOT free and available everywhere. Be prepared for some frustration here. In Montreal, our room was wired not wireless. Of course they had plenty of free computers in the lobby, so that took away this pain.
  • Plan, plan, Plan your trip. Trip Advisor is the way to go if you want to plan your trip.
  • Be prepared for delays on return to US, if you are going through customs/immigration. Please do take back the same children you bring into the country. Our immigration officer at the border didn’t think my younger daughter was mine, and wasted quite a few minutes of looking at her “NEW PASSPORT” and her to ensure, I didn’t trade bring back the wrong 13 year old! Perhaps she was kidding?

Well that’s all for now, I’m sure I’ll think of more Dadism’s to add..

I could go on.. as many know, I love to ramble!

Au Revoir mon amis! Je suis fatigue maintenant!

Le Dad..

 

 

 

 

Where I’ve been

Having fun and doing charity work gives new meaning to the word enjoyment and giving back! Try it!

It’g been a pretty crazy few weeks. Every time I decide I need to write a post, something comes up to distract me. Life continues to keep me in the fast lane, that even a seat belt wouldn’t have slowed me down. With doing double duty at work and spending time with the kids at home, I’ve wanted to put on the brakes to stop, but have not been able to do so! So here is a summary of where I’ve been over the past few weeks. Pictures to follow!

Over the past few weeks, I’ve attended multiple marrow drives for a friend nephew and went to NYC this weekend for St. Patrick’s day Parade and festivities. My first parade in NYC! Gotta admit this was truly the highlight of this year for me.

We must have walked over 5 miles in NYC! You know when you are getting old when a 5 mile walk stays with you for days. Oops, forgot the few hours of tennis.. I could remember the ancient days when I could do this and be ready to go at it the next day.. oh well such is life..

Have you ever been to Georgetown Cupcakes and Chelsea Piers! Gotta admit, eating cupcakes and hitting Golf balls was never this fun! Walking in NYC and seeing the throngs of people is just uplifting and shows what life is and how fast it moves.. Just look around if you are in NYC!

We of course went to the happiest place on Earth (of course it’s the Apple store anywhere, but this one is in historic Grand Central Station!), is such a treat! Of course this place is not so happy when your iPhone gets smashed and you have to shell out money to replace it the next day.. that’s what happened to my daughter.. oh well, such is life..

I have to admit that the Marrow drives were the most rewarding! It’s the first time I felt that I gave back to the community and am now thinking of other ways I can do more of this. If you ever want to save a life, this is one great way to do it. If you are between the age of 21 – 61 this is an excellent opportunity!

It’s been a pretty hectic few weeks and I could write pages and pages on each of the activities above as everyone know’s Dad is never one to be word shy…

Spring starts on Tuesday Morning at 1:41 AM… Ready for it?

Gift Cards

Get discuounted gift cards for the holidays.. who doesn’t want to save money?

As we start the Holiday season, I know many of my readers search for gifts that won’t break their budget. How about gift cards?

I liked this site where you can find out of about discounted gift cards. Of course my normal advice is buyer beware. There are many details on Gift cards (expiration, usage, etc.. ) you have to watch out for.

At Gift Card Granny you can buy discounted gift cards and it’s worth the visit if you want to save some money!

I also put this link on my side links for Coupons and steals

Blogging Hiatus

Normally, I try to blog at least once a week, but for the past few week it’s been totally crazy.. I just came back from Dallas from an employee resource group conference.

I tell you Dallas just continues to amaze me at the size of the malls and the number and variety of restaurants that are available in almost any neighborhood and mall. I found a little strip mall which had 10+ small restaurants in Addison, Texas that were all different (Mexican, Italian, Tex-Mex, Grill, etc..)

Another thing is the size of these malls, the sizes are just huge, I guess when they say “Things are bigger in Texas” they must have meant the shopping malls!

The more I go to Texas, the more I realize, I don’t think I could live there. It’s just different. Yes there is diversity, but just the general mood of the city is different. I’ll go into that more in other postings.

Anyway, Dad’s taxi is back in operation and has to hit the road to drop off the younger one to school. I’ll post more later.

Almost forgot to add that the amount of spam that I continue to get on this blog is mind boggling.. People don’t leave comments (that’s ok), but I was gone for 2  weeks and I had over 30 SPAM comments.. How many pairs of UGGS shoes can a person buy?

TTYL for now!

Black Friday/Cyber Monday

Cyber Monday is tomorrow, Monday, November 30, 2009. Happy Shopping!

Ok.. I wrote all last week about how I was not going to shop on Black Friday… blah blah..

I broke my own word and early Friday Morning, I was out there shopping. I spent about $500 on computer hardware and digital camera and felt guilt..

Not only that, I found myself looking constantly at my iPhone app for Black Friday for more deals..

I guess my own words don’t carry much weight… Tomorrow is Cyber Monday and there isn’t much more money left for me to spend… or is there? We’ll see.

I hear that this year’s Black Friday sales exceeded last year’s sales by 3%. Of course I wanted to contribute to this increase.. and I certainly did.

Take a look at the PC magazine’s article for tips for Cyber Monday.. I found the article pretty interesting.

Happy shopping my friends…

Black Friday/Cyber Monday

Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping sites and thoughts.

So here we are as we approach the biggest shopping weekend of the year.. I’ve listed quite a few Black Friday Sites, but are you ready for Cyber Monday? Just Google Cyber Monday and you will see the deals, steals and scams of cyber Monday.

This year I’m sitting this one out.. Yes, you heard right.. I’m sitting this one out.

Of course I’ll be out there and Shopping on Black Friday, but I won’t be buying.. Perhaps I’ll buy some scraps after the hardy stay on lines and grab the gems, but for me, I realized, I really don’t need much!

I’ll be prowling the web for Cyber Monday Deals, but I don’t think I’ll be much of a buyer this year.

My wife and I talked about this. We have everything we need.

Oh wait, my little one wants the new Adam Lambert and Allison (what is her last name?) CD, but I can get these CD’s AFTER the  POST black Friday/Cyber Monday madness. Oh yeah, she wants a REAL digital camera.. not the Sears camera that I bought her last year!

Oh wait, I could replace my CRT 27″ TV with a flat screen with the 32″  or larger that will be on sale in Costco and Target! How can I pass up on Free shipping when I order on-line?

Oh wait, I’m going to have my whole family at my house and the pressure to get out there on Friday. Will I be able to handle the pressure to spend? Probably not.

Ok. I give up. I’ll join the masses that run from store to store looking for deals on Black Friday for things I really don’t need, but must have! I’ll run up my credit card balances with stuff I can’t pay for by shopping on-line for deals on-line.. I’ll deal with the crazy traffic on the roads.. I’ll deal with the guilt of spending when I know I shouldn’t..

I’ll be on Twitter on my iPhone waiting for deals to roll in, so I can buy stuff on-line. And I’ll surf  to sites that my buddy texts me to go for the 1Tera Byte external Harddrive that I absolutely need to get, even though I already have 3 or 4 external drives already!

Oh wait, I forgot I have to load up on the turkey before I can even think about going out there and hunting/stalking for bargains!

 

Take a look at my sidebar links and you will see additional sites where you can spend more money!

On a totally different tangent… If you are shopping at Amazon and need Filler items to get free shipping. The Uberi site links you to Amazon to give you a good breakdown by percentage you could save at Amazon on sale items.

Wow, just writing this post, I’m starting to get into a frenzy to get out there and spend money I don’t have!

Have fun everyone and I hope all my readers have a happy and safe holiday season!

Remember my motto: “Shop with what’s in your wallet, not with your emotions”.

Total Tennis: Review on Travelocity

So you want to learn to play Tennis?

Can you guess which one is me?
Can you guess which one is me?

As many of my friends know,  I’m pretty much a tennis fanatic.. This past week, I spent 4 days in Saugerties, NY at Total Tennis for tennis camp.

I can honestly say that if you want a really great place to get instruction at an extremely affordable price this place is for you.

As with all good things there are bad, but in this case the good far outweigh the Bad..

Take a look at my review on Travelocity.. You might find it entertaining.

I came back a few days ago and I’m still sore in places that I didn’t think I’d still be sore.. Overall the experience (my second) was great. I went with my tennis pals from work (Len, Eli and Bard).  I gotta tell you these guys are the best! Each one has their unique style and flair on and off the court.

Even with the heavy-duty tennis playing 3 to 4 hours a day, I managed to gain 8 pounds.. Simple reason for that.. When you eat high-class restaurant food for breakfast/lunch/dinner you will nullify any Tennis.. Learned this the hard way.. So this week starts my battle of the bulge..

I came back on Thursday evening and played again with my buddies from work on Friday night and I found out that I still had a long way to go AFTER all the brutal drills and practice I did during the week. oh well…

If you want to overdose on tennis and meet some great instructors and people, I would absolutely recommend you visit Saugerties, NY and stay for a few days at Total Tennis. It will be worth your time and money!

Just don’t expect 4 star luxury for accommodations, nor much customer service from the owner..

I recommend you visit the camp during the summer time (brutal heat), or the winter (5 indoor courts). Don’t do what we did.. we went when the weather was changing from late summer to early fall (cold and rain).

That’s all for now..

TTYL

CBS Radio Bargains Site

I haven’t had a chance to update my blog over the holidays, but that’s because of my laziness I guess. I hope 2009 gives everyone a fresh start and happiness.

To start 2009, here’s a site that you can pick and choose your deals.

CBS Radio has a site where you can find their daily bargains.

To get to the bargains, you go to the main page and key in the keyword bargains. Check it out.

Bargains include:

Of course this site has many many more that you need to explore..

Happy 2009 to everyone!