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Don’t Get Fooled By A Phony Black Friday Deal

November 22, 2016

Black Friday in only a few short days away.

That might invoke love or hate in some households but in ours? We love it.

Growing up, Black Friday was an extension of an already awesome day – Thanksgiving. I remember having a second serving a pie while scanning the toy ads with my trusty permanent black marker. Of course I circled about $100,000 worth of toys knowing full well I’d only get 1-2 items but it was a lot of fun to dream. We’d hit our pillows that night knowing that in a few short hours we would hear mom and dad getting up to go sniff out and snag the best deals to be found.

When we got older, we actually got to¬†join them in going out, hunting down the bargains, and meeting people in line at all hours of the night. It was super fun (and no I never saw anyone get run over or punched or anything you see on YouTube…because Nebraska). Jonathan and I have continued the tradition into our marriage and absolutely love being part of the action.

Ahhh. Black Friday. ūüôā

Y’all know we are Dave Ramsey peeps. We are deal hounds who have a knack for sniffing out and snatching the best of the best prices available.

But aren’t all prices and items on Black Friday the best of the best?

No, my friend, they are not. And that is what I want to walk you through in this blog post. If you plan to shop this Black Friday, I want you to know you’re getting the best deal you possibly can.

Craigslist/Ebay

Wait, what? Why would I look for a used item on Black Friday when all these brand new items are deeply discounted?

Jonathan and I have found stellar deals on used items the day of Black Friday or the weekend following because so many people ran out and bought new items and now need to sell their used ones to make room. And when they already have the new item, they are much more willing to take lower offers just to get the old one out the door.

The year Josie was born, I was stocking my cloth diapers and I knew that Rumparooz Black Friday sale was 25% off brand new inventory. So I went on Craigslist and a Facebook Buy/Sell/Trade group and used that sale as leverage in my offer to buy barely used diapers for 50% off…when typically they would have sold for about 25% off.

And that’s how we¬†do.

Do Your Homework

Is that 85 inch TV on sale for $139 actually worth it? This is where you have to put your detective hat on and do some sleuthing.

Black Friday is all about padding the bottom line for these stores. Some of their “deals” are actually duds, as you could walk in the store anytime of the year and buy the item at that price. (Totally happened to me once when I was a teenager…went back to The Nebraska Furniture Mart months later and my $19 DVD player was still $19. All that after I had stood in the cold for 3 hours to buy it.)

Market Watch LLC claims that 42% of the prices they are seeing on 2016 ads are the same as last year! So look at past Black Friday ads for insight. If¬†it’s an Amazon item – check CamelCamelCamel to watch price comparisons.

Pay Attention to Quality

Sometimes stores will not specify the brand of the item being discounted – which matters in certain areas like a refrigerator or a computer and not so much on pajamas. While in your mind you know that a Black Friday LG washer and dryer set sell for $900 for a set, buying random-no-one-has-ever-heard-of-it brand set for $500 might¬†seem¬†like deep savings but if it’s nothing but junk that will break within a year, you should’ve just spend a little more for higher quality.

Read item reviews. Take the actual model number and input into Google and read all the reviews associated with the item. Or check out The SweetHome to read tested reviews on common household items. Sometimes stores use low end models (or even known brand models that didn’t sell well) to draw people in during Black Friday just to get rid of last year’s inventory. Be careful to make sure you aren’t buying a pig with lipstick.

Use Technology

Times are a changing and our smart-phone world has even crept its way into Black Friday. There are many apps you can use to ensure you’re getting a great deal even while out and about shopping.

Or hey, if crowds aren’t your thing, go ahead and Black Friday shop from the comfort of your own home online. Most of the deals these days are also available via the company’s website! One year I pounded the pavement all night long looking for a black peacoat in my price range. I got home in the wee hours of the morning, empty handed and exhausted as could be. I jumped online¬†to Wilson’s Leather and what do you know? The perfect coat at way better prices that the brick and mortar stores I hit up.

Pay With Gift Cards

One last tip I’ve got for you is to buy discounted gift cards to shop with on Black Friday.

If you already know you are buying something at Sears, why not buy a gift card at 5%-15% off to maximize even more savings? We do this all the time with stores we regularly go to: Chipotle, Starbucks, Ebay, Target, Old Navy, you name it. Free money, people! And if you can combine a coupon on top of these Black Friday and gift card discounts? Even better!

I hope that helps you snag the best deals out there this Black Friday! Last and certainly not least –¬†don’t Black Friday shop unless you have it in the budget. Any sale that makes you go deeper into debt and/or wasn’t planned for at your budget meeting isn’t a sale we’d recommend.

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Little Happies: BY JONATHAN

June 2, 2014

Time for this week’s Little Happies, and I thought I’d take a turn recalling some the things that made me smile this week.

-one-

Memorial Day. We office was closed and we spent the day with another missionary couple.

We spend the day by:
Playing Bocce (lost and then found 2 balls in the last round!)
Grilling burgers and dogs
Playing Dominion.

A good day.

 

-two-

What’s better than a 3-Day Weekend? (thanks Memorial Day!)

A 5-Day Weekend.

Not sure what this smells like, but it smells good.

Not sure what this smells like, but I’m guessing top notes of fresh laundered pillows and maple-topped pancakes, followed by a base of playing cards, with slight under notes of sweaty runs. Mmmmm!

Working at the FOCUS office has some cool advantages. Among those are a chapel, daily Mass, fun coworkers, and days off. We get a certain number of days we can use when we’re sick, vacationing, or just need a day to chill. The policy governing these days states we¬†must use 10 days per year. The FOCUS fiscal year runs June-May (aligned with the academic year), so the year ended this week. Turns out I had only used 7 days so far this year. If I didn’t use 3 more, I’d lose ’em. So, after being at work one day (Tuesday) I took the rest of the week off.

And I’m glad I did, because we have a MOUNTAIN of paperwork to do as part of our adoption process. Thanks to the time off, we have most of it done. I also had a great time hanging out with Amanda a ton. A lot of our adventures lately have been related to Happy #4.

 

-three-

Running again.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=lKRHW-6M3zQ

I love running. I was a sprinter in High School, but got lured onto the cross country team with the offer of delicious brownies after practice every Friday. To this day, Coach Berkowitz’ wife’s brownies are the best I’ve ever tasted. By a long shot. Anyway, that turned me into a runner. The weather started getting nice around my birthday at the beginning of May, but then I got sick for 2 weeks, then it snowed, but now it’s sunny and I feel great, so I laced up my shoes (a great pair courtesy of our mission partners at Greg Baum’s Flying Feet) and hit the road. I downloaded a new running app, Zombies, Run! which is an audio story that unfolds between songs. I am “Runner 5” and I go get supplies for our base. Of course, throughout the missions, I encounter “Zombs” and have to increase my pace 20% for a minute or so to outrun them. It’s really fun, AND it can run at the same time as Nike+ (which I’ve been using for years to track my runs) and Stitcher, which I use to stream podcasts.

 

-four-

SWIMMING!

The complex in which we currently live HAS A POOL. We finally¬†took the¬†plunge and visited the pool. You might think we were hesitant, but regarding this decision, we¬†jumped in with both feet. Aaaaaaaand that’s all the pool puns I have.

Anyway, it’s been really hot this week in Denver, and it was quite refreshing to take a dip in the pool. Our friend Lindsay came over so Amanda, Lindsay and I hit the pool. We hung out at poolside, swam around a bit, and then when the girls went back to lay poolside, I grabbed my kindle in it’s waterproof case (A.K.A. a ziplock bag) and read IN THE POOL. I started reading¬†Zero to Maker, a book that chronicles a man’s journey from passive consumer of technology to active maker and co-creator of openROV, an open-source underwater robot project. After that, I paged through an Arduino project book, Make: Simple Arduino Projects to get some ideas for my next project.

Pool Books:

-five-

DEAL CITY.

As you may have seen in some of our other posts, we bought a townhouse and will be moving in about a month. As of late, we’ve been doing our best to sniff out deals for furnishing the new house. Hunting for these deals has been a lot of fun and the bulk of our fun adventures lately. I’ll hold off on most of the¬†details because we’ve got a full post coming up explaining¬†“How We Furnished Our New Home for Only 1/X the Cost!” It’s felt like a game¬†trying to get that fraction as small as possible. Each little success there has certainly been a happy, but I won’t share them all and ruin the upcoming post.

But, since you asked nicely, here’s one (very) small preview:

We wanted a sectional for the basement. We found one on Craigslist that would perfectly fit our smaller space down there, so we jumped at it. Here’s what it looked like on Craigslist:

couchclist

And here’s what it looked like when we finally got it in the small SUV we borrowed from friends to haul it home:

couchcar

It fit! Kind of…

We made it safely home and the couch is chilling in our garage (along with a number of other sweet deals waiting until they move into their (and our) new home.

 

Thanks for checking out my week! How was yours? Leave it in the comments below.