Ready, Couponistas? Here's your complete shopping guide for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Oh, yes. The turkey's not even cold on the platter and I'm already feverishly coordinating my Battle Plan.
You with me? There's something about the allure 0f a "door buster" $25.99 TV that is just too good to resist--never mind that $1.99 blender or the "Hug Me Elmo" for 53 cents if I can just climb over that mountain of 3,006 mothers going for the same doll--but I digress. Getting in and getting out of the two biggest shopping days of the year requires a plan. (Editor's note: by the way, if you're dreading the thought of dragging sobbing children from store to store, refer back to my post "Hurray, Black Friday! Uh...What Do I Do With The Kids?" It might save someone's life. Yours, theirs, I don't care. Let's all just get out alive.) Grab your notepad and let's get going...
Kmart is rolling out their bargains in three stages, the first beginning at 6am Thursday to 5pm with offers like a 7" android tablet for $39.99 and board games buy one get one free. They really, really want you to sign up for their free membership--many of the offers are "members-only." The next stage runs from 7apm Thanksgiving night to 3am with deals ranging from $30 off the Satellite Electric Scooter (down to $69.99) and the RCA 42' LED for $299.99, down $200 from regular pricing. The third phase kicks off 6am to 12noon with door busters ranging from Sony Playstation games for $20 off to a 12 foot trampoline with safety enclosure for $184.99, down from $349.99.
Meijer also plans to start their sales at 6am Thursday with 50% off clothing brands like Avia, Reebok and Champion and 75% off their diamond and pearl jewelry. The 50% off page is going to be big--circle what you're looking for first. There's the Phillips wireless headphones for $19.99 and the Sony Wi-Fi BluRay player for $54.99.
Walgreen's opens at 8am Thursday and the Black Friday offers are good immediately, including 50% off children's toys, limit 3. Walgreen's is another store that requires you to be a member to access these prices, it's free and easy to sign up, I'd suggest doing it now so you're ready. If you don't mind coming back, there's an additional 25% off coupon (for regularly-priced items) to use on Friday. I had to use a scan here for their Black Friday deals, since this is another retailer who's trying to make you wait.
Toys R' Usisn't messing around. They're opening at 5pm and offering the biggest door busters between 5-9pm Thanksgiving Night. Don't forget to request the "$10 to spend" gift card good for any purchase over $75. There's offers like 50% off the "Despicable Me" Dancing Dave for $24.99. There's some offers of promise for Friday too, like the Xbox 360 E 4GB Gaming System with Kinect for $199.99.
Walmartis open all day Thanksgiving Day at most locations, and the retailer says they're also offering all Black Friday deals online beginning at 6am Thanksgiving Day. Their first door busters start at 6pm, like iPad Minis at $299 and a 32" LED HDTV for $99--however, make note that most 1 hour door busters are good only in-store.
Best Buy opens at 6pm, but they'll be passing out tickets from 4pm on to guarantee your spot in line. There's some excellent bargains on electronics, like the iPad 2 16gb for $100 off at $299 for a final price, and the Toshiba Laptop Essentials Bundle for $349.99. Spare a minute for the DVD/BluRay aisle: newly released titles like "World War z" and "Star Trek: Into Darkness" for $7.99.
Old Navy isn't into "complicated", and the sale is simple. Starting Thursday night at 7pm, the entire store is 50% off. The entire store. The 50% off deals continues through Friday, then drops to 40% off on Saturday, then to 30% off on Sunday. Make sure you sign up for their "Million Dollars Giveaway" for one lucky-ducky shopper--you'll qualify be being one of the first 500 in line at any Old Navy store on Thursday..
Target may be opening at 8pm, but the retailer says most of the sale prices are good online starting at 6am Thanksgiving Day. The "door buster" deals look good, like a 50" Elements led HDTV for $229, and a Nintendo 3DS XL game system for $149.99.
Staples opens 8pm Thursday to midnight, then opens again at 6am Friday. Like many of the other big box stores, Staples is offering their Black Friday deals online starting Thursday morning. The Kindle Fire is 50% off at $79.00 and the Samsung Galaxy is advertised for .1 cent when purchased with a 2 year package from AT&T or Verizon.
Sears opens at 8pm as well, and make sure you print the extra $10.00 off coupon from the ad. Some of the big goodies include 50% off Craftsman tools and 25 cubic foot stainless steel refrigerator for 50% off at $1,299.99.
JC Penney says their Black Friday offers are also good online "all day" Thanksgiving Day. Some of the big standouts include the free snow globes (while they last!) starting at 4am Friday, and the appliances: like the Oster 16 speed blender down from $70.00 to $29.99, and the Bella Juicer down to $39.99 from $80.00.
Macy's is kicking off with some major name-brand deals, like Tommy Hilfiger coats and outerwear for $79.99, down from $250. Cuisinart Choice food processors are $39.99 down from $119.99--limited number there, so make that your first stop. The oh, so fancy Keurig coffeemaker is a big door buster for $99.99, down from $174.99. Like most retailers, the deals are only good though 1pm Friday, but Macy's is offering incrementally higher prices, versus marking the item back up to regular price. Don't forget to print off the $10.00 coupon online to use Thursday night into Friday morning for any purchase over $25.00.
Kohl's is racking up their savings by adding their "Kohl's cash" offer (good through 12.1) offering $15 for every $50 spent. Don't forget to print the additional 15% off savings pass that's good Thursday and Friday. You'll find 50% off all toys from Fisher-Price, Disney Princess, Barbie, Little Tykes, Playskool and more.
Office Depot is opening Thanksgiving night from 8pm-11pm, then opens again on Friday at 8am. The retailer says they're offering all the sale prices online starting Thursday morning. Canon printers are $50 off at $39.99 for a door buster price, and a Toshiba Satellite with Intel processor drops $220 for a sale price of $379.99. The McAfee Security Scan package is down from $65 to $4.99, and wireless computer mice are $9.99.
Lowe'sis playing it coy with a slow, day by day reveal of their Black Friday guide, but the retailer is offering the same bargains online starting on Thanksgiving Day, with free shipping on orders over $19.00. Love the Poinsettias for .99 cents and all their in-stock Dyson vacuums for 25% off.
The Home Depot is also insisting on a gradual layout for their Black Friday ads, but you can sign up for early deal alerts. The Black Friday ad was apparently leaked online, if you want to take a look. The leaked ads are showing Rigid ShopVacs for $39.88 (down from $98.88) and table saws for $100 off at $189. At this point, it doesn't look like the Black Friday bargains will be available online on Thanksgiving Day.
Bed, Bath and Beyond opens at 6am on Black Friday according to BlackFriday.com, but the retailer's offering the sale prices online as well starting at 9pm pst on Thanksgiving Day. The ad is surprisingly short--but there is an additional 20% off pass to use--but you'll need to arrive between 6am and noon to get one. Dyson vacuums are 25%--but you can't stack the 20% off coupon, sorry.
There's the big ones...whew! You wanna take a nap? Get a drink of water? Potty break? I'll wait...
Cyber Monday: now, we're back to the joys of shopping on our underoos.
Amazon.com, the big, bad Grandaddy of online shopping has a customized countdown you can bookmark for Cyber Monday. You can enter what you're looking for and Amazon.com will scour the Web for you to find it.
While we're waiting for the Cyber Monday info to leak, there's some Cyber Monday apps that show a lot of promise for customizing and speeding up your shopping travels through cyberspace. Take a look:
- TheFind Companies are unveiling and improving apps with features that can make shopping faster, less stressful, and easier on the budget. Personalized shopping search engine TheFind’s new app, for example, integrates with your personal preferences on Facebook and lets you scan bar codes in stores to check prices — and compare them across the web.
- Amazon Price Check In a similar vein, Amazon Price Check, a comparison-app pioneer, is always updating its app (iPhone,Android) to let in-store shoppers know if they can get a better deal with Amazon. You can now type, scan, snap or say a product name to instantly shop its warehouses for millions of in-store items. And of course those wishing to shop in their pajamas can do so on Amazon, or the website of their favorite brands.
- BuyVia Sometimes the best deal isn’t available when you’re ready to shop. BuyVia’s app alerts you to real-time discounts on desired products and offers deals picked by professionals, barcode scanning, and price comparisons.
- PriceGrabberPriceGrabber, another app that compares prices across stores, lets you pick your price for an item and notifies you if it drops to hit the mark.
- Shopular Coupons App by Shopular (iPhone, Android) provides access to coupons from top retailers. An alert pops up in real-time when at a store or a mall to apprise you of deals.
- Gift It There seem to be apps for everything this holiday season. Need a mobile gift list? Try Gift It – A Christmas Shopping List app. Assign gifts to friends and family, then swipe each gift after you purchase to indicate it’s done. You can track your shopping progress by percentage or by a color scale.
- Lemon Wallet Want to store practically your entire wallet? Lemon Wallet allows you to photograph items – from receipts to your medical insurance card – and store a digital copy for safety. You’ll be glad to have snapped those receipts when it’s time to return products in the mad holiday dash.
- RedLaser One more that deserves a mention is RedLaser. Named for the laser scanner located at checkouts, this app lets you scan product codes and find items at local retailers. A special feature helps you avoid allergens in foods, which is both a time-saver and potentially a life-saver for shoppers whose loved ones have dietary restrictions.