Your Black Friday Cheat Sheet
Its almost here. Black Friday. We mean Thanksgiving. Oh, who are we kidding? We love Black Friday almost as much as we love Turkey Day. In fact, the two have become nearly interchangeable for us and most of the country, for that matter. We spend too much money on one day for both of them. They both take oodles of preparation. And they both tend to leave us with a stomachache.
Same for you? We can help with the preparation part. We spend a considerable amount of time scouring Black Friday sites and sales, and our legwork is your gain.
Several sites are dedicated to Black Friday, posting leaked ads, new sales, and updating regularly. Out favorite is BFAds. Truthfully, all of the most-visited sites for Black Friday are typically going to have the same info, so really it comes down to personal preference in terms of site organization. BFAds doesnt just tell you there is an ad and link to it. They also break down the best deals and provide individual links to each of them. Very convenient for those of us who dont have the time to read every detail and want a quick overview that shows us where to go and how to buy.
Without further ado, here is your Black Friday Cheat Sheet.
Breaking News and Early Shopping Opportunities
Walmart has thrown down the gauntlet with an announcement yesterday that starting Friday, Nov. 21 at 8am, they will be "lowering the prices on popular toys, electronics and more to match or beat select Black Friday offers from top national competitors one week early. This event is said to give "customers an early taste of Walmarts Black Friday prices by moving up items typically found on Black Friday."
Walmart will be unveiling the items included in this early Black Friday price match on its website starting on Thursday, Nov. 20. You can read the announcement and get additional details here.
Walmart has also announced they will match Amazons online prices this year. This is huge news for shoppers as it extends Walmarts price-matching strategy from last year to online retailers.
Finally, you can click here and choose "View Your Map" to find your local Walmart location, which will then display a pop-up map of where to find Black Friday deals in store.
Toys R Us
It pays to be a "Rewards R Us Loyalty Member" because the store has announced special rewards for signing up. "Exclusive, early access to Black Friday deals on more than 100 items beginning Sunday, November 23 can be yours with membership. You can sign up here.
If you havent already, download the Target app on your phone to access their newly >
Target has also said that opening the app between 6pm on Thanksgiving and 8am on Black Friday will reveal a special Easter egg we already set an alarm on our phone. For real.
Our Favorite Deals for Home
Speaking of Target, the retailer is our go-to everyday well, twice a week anyway, and it was the only place we Black Friday shopped in person last year. It seems like one of the big winners in terms of deals this year, and BFAds agrees. "With so many good deals to choose from, it was hard to narrow down the whole ad," they said.
Here are a few of their gotta-have deals:
Element 40" 1080p LED HDTV for 119.00
GoPro HERO3 w/ 50 Gift Card for 249.99
Westinghouse 48" 1080p 60Hz HDTV DWM48F1G1 for 235.00
Dyson DC50 Allergy Vacuum for 279.99
Target will also be offering 10 percent off Target Gift Cards from 6am to noon on Black Friday.
An appliance package might not be what youre looking for on Black Friday, but this Frigidaire Stainless four-piece appliance package including Side-by-Side Refrigerator, Smooth-Top Electric Range, Dishwasher and Over-the-Range Microwave Bundle might change your mind. Its available on Black Friday for just 1849.99 from HH Gregg.
We also like this Delta Sectional for 50 percent off, priced at only 499 on Black Friday at HH Gregg.
Beats by Dre headphones were one of the biggest holiday sellers last year and with prices like these are su>Note: the sale price is 129.99 with a mail-in rebate of 60, down from the regular price of 169.99. If you dont want to hassle with the rebate, you can get Beats Solo headphones for 79.99 as part of Best Buys Thanksgiving Day doorbusters.
Walmart always rolls out the incredible deals for Black Friday, and this year is no different. He are a few of the deals that piqued our interest:
32" 720p 60Hz LED HDTV for 98
50" 1080p 60Hz LED HDTV for 218
Vizio 65" 1080p 120Hz Smart LED HDTV for 648.00
Apple iPad Air 16GB Wi-Fi Tablet 100 Walmart Gift Card for 397.00 Note: Targets iPad Air 2 offer is 499 with a 140 gift card.
Flat Screens are always a big draw on Black Friday. One of the most enticing doorbuster deals weve seen this year is this Panasonic 50" 1080p 60Hz LED Backlit HDTV TC-50A400U for 199.99 at Best Buy. Here are a few of best Buys other exciting deals:
100 off all iPad Air 2 models
Dell Inspiron 15.6" Touch-Screen Laptop w/ Intel Core i3, 4GB Memory, 500GB Hard Drive for 299.99
iPad Mini 3 16GB for 324.99
And a few more thingsbecause we cant resist a few good deals on toys and clothing
Some of the hottest toys this year, Skylanders Figures and Traps and Disney Infinity 2.0 Figures will be BOGO 70 percent off and Skylanders Trap Team Starter Packs 37.50 at Toys R Us Off
Target will have Skylanders and Disney Infinity Figures for 10.
Also at Target, PlayStation 4 Console w/ Grand Theft Auto V amp; The Last of Us will be 399.
Best Buy has an Xbox One Bundle - 2 controllers, Assassins Creed: Unity, Assassins Creed: Black Flag, amp; Kinect for 429.99.
Dicks will have 15 off Nike, Adidas or Reebok Athletic Appa>
Walmart is offering Kids Character Pajamas for 4.50
Kohls has Womens Tek Gear Jackets for 29.99. Kohls is also offer 15 in Kohls cash for every 50 spent.
Old Navy is 50 percent off the entire store on Thanksgiving and Black Friday.
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Dont Assume You Cant Get A Mortgage Loan
According to the latest J.D. Power 2014 U.S. Primary Mortgage Origination Satisfaction Study, first-time homebuyers report challenges with understanding the mortgage process and the options that are available to them. It also suggests that lenders may be doing a poor job of educating and helping borrowers navigate the loan process.
Among survey respondents purchasing a home, 58 percent were first-time home buyers, yet only 29 percent of homebuyers in the last three months were first-timers, according to the National Association of REALTORS. The percentage of first-time homebuyers has been less that 30 percent for 17 of the past 18 months. The reason the number is significant is that its well below the long-term average of 40 percent.
Nearly half 48 percent of first-timers headed to a brick and mortar lender to meet with a loan representative and receive personalized advice, yet even then, 43 percent reported that they did not completely understand the process. And only 41 percent of first-timers said their loan officer completely explained the types of loans, terms, special programs, fees and options to reduce their down payment.
First-timers want more transparency in the process, but transparency works both ways. Lack of experience and uncertainty about the process may keep first-timers from asking the right questions that could result in the right loan. Buyers may also be >
For all these reasons, you should assume that your chances of getting a loan are better than you think, but only if youre willing to do two things -- ask questions and share information.
Here are some suggestions to help you:
1. Look for a lender who is willing to take time with you. Be upfront that youre a first-time buyer and that you want to understand the process better. If you dont know a good lender, ask for referrals from people you know who have recently purchased a home.
2. Be willing to provide basic information your lender needs -- income, debts and obligations such as child support or student loan.
3. Share your plans and dreams. If you want to flip the home in two years, say so. If you want to live in it for 10 years, say so. It will make a difference in the type of loan your lender recommends.
4. Come clean about any problems you think you may have getting a loan. If you werent so great at paying bills while you were in school, you may have hurt your credit rating. Tell the lender that you may have possible derrogatories and what youve done to repair the damage.
5. Be flexible about your goals and dont try to get a loan thats beyond your means. Youll build equity and wealth much more quickly if you buy a home you can comfortably afford.
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White Elephant Gifts For The Weird, Wonderful, Wacky And Waiting To Get Noticed
The holidays are just about here, and you know what that means youre about to find yourself at CVS trying to find a decent gift for your office partys Whte Elephant exchange. Before you head for the "As seen on TV" section, take a minute to check out this list of gifts that might make you the hit - or the heel - of your party. Either way, youll have a good time choosing. And no matter what you end up with, its bound to be received better than the WaxVac.
Oh you know the person getting this Nicolas Cage Pillow Cover is gonna be thrilled. Thats if you can part with it.
Go for something that will get a laugh and then quite possibly incite a riot while everyone tries to get their hands on this bacon soup its bacon in name, appearance and smell only. Dont try to nibble. 6 at Popsugar.
P.S. for you high-rollin bacon lovers: this bacon scarf is so bacony. So scarfy. So fashionable? Its too pricey for a white elephant gift, but still. A bacon scarf? Totally.
These Guinea pig sleeping bag covers are cute enough. But a REALLY good gifter would include a live guinea pig. 17.27 from Etsy.
The Toastmaster Personal Coffee Mug and Warmer is not super fun, or cool, or wackadoo. But it is super useful. Dont expect a grandiose thank you from the person who ends up with this, but do expect to see it out on his desk underneath a coffee cup every single day. 18.95 at Amazon.
Cute, kitschy, and cheap, this set of Six Dog Butt Magnets yes, dog butt magnets is only 11 on Amazon. AND IT COMES WITH A FIRE HYRANT. Yes.
We personally know at least a dozen grown men who are going to fight over these Hangin with the Homies Air Fresheners at their office party. Grab a four-pack for 20 for maximum effect.
Guys like beer. Shocking, right? For those that fashion themselves home brewersand for gift exchanges that veer a bit beyond a 20 limitthis Mini Monster Brewing Kit might be the one gift they that gets them excited. 39.50 from gifts.com.
For the science buff or the parent of a science buff, this gift allows you to give them a piece of your mind, we mean a piece of the moon. An authentic moon rock is 39.99 at gifts.com.
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