Black Friday deals come early this year at Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy and more…

We’re only a few days into November, and the frenzy has begun! Sales are on early this year, with stores like Best Buy, Walmart and Amazon.com opening up “Black Friday” deals weeks in advance. 

Yesterday, Walmart brought back their “Amazing Online Specials”  for the 2010 season. The sale currently has 172 items–significantly more than last year.

They also offer free shipping “site to store”, meaning you can save on the shipping costs by picking up at your local store. I’ve used this option before and it’s great for items that you can’t get in the store, or to save you time of having to actually shop for the item.

In other sale news, Amazon.com is having a “Buy Three for the Price of Twovideo game sale with over 800 Playstation 3, XBox 360, and Nintendo Wii games to choose from.  They also just announced that they’ll be matching Walmart’s early Black Friday sale in their Gold Box section. All deals will be available during a limited time window, and the featured Deal of the Day will be available all day or until it sells out.

Today’s theme at Amazon is “Play”. The deal of the day is Medal of Honor (XBox 360, Playstation 3, PC) for $39.99.

Some of the lightning deals include:

  • Compaq Presario 15.6″ CQ62-210US Laptop w/2GB Memory, 250GB Hard Drive, Windows 7 Home Premium for $279.99
  • a VIZIO M260VA 26″ RazorLED 720p LCD HDTV for $198.99, a VIZIO E420VO 42″ 1080p LCD HDTV for $498.99
  • Sony PlayStation 3 320GB Console w/Move Bundle (includes Move Motion Controller, Eye Camera, Sports Champions Game) and $50 Video Games Promo Credit for $399.99

Best Buy announced their early Black Friday sale for the year and they are calling it the “Shop Early Save Big Event”. It will take place Friday, November 5th through Saturday, November 6th with the featured product being an eMachines 15.6″ Laptop w/AMD V-Series Processor, 2GB Memory, 250GB Hard Drive, Windows 7 Home Premium (Model # eME442-V133) for $279.99. They also are offering deals on other electronics and video games.

A note about Best Buy: sometimes when a product “sells out” at BestBuy.com that it can magically come back hours later as in-stock and ready to purchase. If you notice one of the deals you are interested in is sold out, keep checking Best Buy’s website, as you might find it becomes available again.

You can view the full Best Buy early Black Friday sale info here.

Also, Newegg.com is having a “Black November” sale, where each day they’ll release new product deals and coupon codes leading right up to Black Friday.

Last but not least, Target’s Great Holiday Toy Sale begins today and features deals that you can find in the Target Toy Book.

So you can start your holiday shopping now, and grab some early savings at the same time!

I don’t have any big ticket items to purchase this year, but I’ll definitely be checking out the toy sale at Target for my little one. It’s also a good time to pick up discounts on toys to donate to those less fortunate, via your local holiday toy drive. Not to mention, you can avoid having to go to the mall (something I rarely do these days) and have everything delivered to your doorstep.

Buy 1 Photobook, Get 2 free at Snapfish.com – GREAT personalized holiday gift idea!

I just came across this deal on Snapfish.com, and I’m going to try my darnedest to take advantage of it, since I plan to give at least four photo memory books as gifts this holiday season.  It’s a wonderful gift idea for grandparents (which is definitely on my list for the in-laws and my mom), friends or anyone special in your life. And basically you’ll be getting 3 for the price of 1, which brings the pricing to about $10.00 each (plus shipping).

Here’s the deal:

 Buy one 8″ x 11″ Personalized Cover Book,get two 8″ x 11″ Personalized Cover Books FREE, up to 20 pages each! 

This amazing deal is good for four days only, so order your photo books by November 8. Use coupon 1BOOK2FREE at checkout and save BIG today!* 

 * U.S. customers only. Must use coupon code 1BOOK2FREE at checkout with the purchase of one 8″ x 11″ Personalized Cover Book to receive two 8″ x 11″ Personalized Cover Books free. Must have three 8″ x 11″ Personalized Cover Books in cart to receive the discount. Discount on photo books do not apply to additional pages. Pictures and style may differ but all photo book values must be equal. Offer applies to mail-order purchases only and cannot be used for in-store pick-up. Taxes, shipping and handling charges apply. Offer may not be used in conjunction with any other offer. Coupon may be used one time only. Coupon expires 11/08/10.

The only caveat is making sure you have the time to put a photo book together by November 8, because you have to purchase all books at the same time. Easy peasy if you’re just duplicating one book for several people, but in my case, I have four separate people, separate photos and I like to take the time to do very specific background pages and captions. That will take me a few hours.

But it’s still a great deal, and hopefully some of you can make use of it! Now snap to it…

Stock up now for next Halloween–for CHEAP!

This might seem like a no-brainer, but just like Black Friday is a great time to shop for the holidays, and after-Christmas sales are the best time to stock up on things like wrapping paper and decorations–today and the next few days are the best time to score Halloween goodies on the cheap.

No, I don’t mean buy candy and save it for next year, lol. And it’s certainly hard to think ahead as to what you want to be for next year’s office party. 

But if you’re in need of things like costumes, decorations, party supplies, or those smaller accessories like Halloween makeup, wigs, or hats–now’s the time to shop!  Stores usually discount their leftover Halloween items at 50-75% off, right after Halloween is over. Although there’s not always a lot left, you can always find something at a deeply discounted price. Places like Target, Walmart, Sam’s Club, Costo– even Walgreens and CVS (or whoever your local drugstore is) are great places to find deals.

And for me, now’s the time to replenish what I hand out to the trick-or-treaters. I don’t give out candy–I prefer to give out little toys, as it’s better for the kids’ health. Last year I found amazing treasures at my Walmart Neighborhood Store (grocery store). I found Halloween themed activity books, bracelets, bubbles, erasers–all in packs of 20. I think I paid no more than $1.00 for each, possibly only 50 cents for each pack of 20. I also got a huge package of 90 Lisa Frank Halloween items at BJ’s for about $5.00.  So I’ll definitely be stopping in

Halloween treats from Oriental Trading

today to see what’s on sale!  (Because those kids completely cleaned me out last night. I had probably 60 little ones stop by, it was awesome!)

And if you don’t have time to scour the sales at your local brick and mortar stores, Oriental Trading Company is a fantastic online company with a great variety of Halloween itemsand they’re 70% off right now! 

But don’t wait too long. Usually the best of what’s left has been picked over by the end of the week. I know I’ll be heading to Target this evening, and checking out Oriental Trading’s sale sometime today.

Plan ahead, and save, save, save…

Get a jump start on your holiday greeting cards–and save time and money while you’re at it!

I love the holidays, and every year around this time I swear I’m going to stay on top of everything I need to get done. But inevitably, the one thing that always plagues me is getting those holiday cards out before the holiday itself passes.

I always dread sitting down to write out the cards and eek! gasp! even worse—the envelopes.  But this year, I’ve found a way to tackle this task, and save money at the same time! I’m now using a service called Send Out Cards, that lets you create all sorts of fabulous greeting cards via a web-based application, and then the awesome folks at Send Out Cards print out the card, stuff the envelope, put on the postage and send the card for you. It’s like having your own virtual personal assistant!

If you’ve shopped for greeting cards lately, you know how out of control the prices have gotten. Cards are nearly up to $4.00 or $5.00 sometimes…and I don’t know about you, but having time to go to the store to pick out a card is not a luxury I have anymore since my baby came along.  And the cards on Send Out Cards typically cost about 99 cents—a HUGE savings! Postage costs the same as it would from the post office—but—once again, I don’t have to go to the store to buy postage, I can just replenish my account whenever I need to with a few clicks of the mouse.

So…what could be easier than popping onto your computer, choosing a card, selecting your recipient from your Contact Manager, and clicking on Send?  Not much in my book!

It’s truly one of the biggest time and money-savers I’ve found—not to mention I love being able to create my own custom cards. I actually had bought Minnie Mouse themed “thank you” cards for my daughter’s first birthday this year, but ended up taking them back to the store and using Send Out Cards instead—I added a photo of her “cake smash” on the front of the card, and friends and family just loved it!

You can choose from an enormous selection of cards (or make your own), and then personalize it by writing an individual message one by one, or you can even set up a card campaign to send the same card to multiple people. I may use that option for the holidays this year to make things even easier.  The system has a wonderful Contact Management system–also great for having easy access to an address book online!

I use Send Out Cards for birthday cards, condolence cards, thank you cards—everything you can think of, it’s just so incredibly convenient and cost-effective. And while sending an email greeting might be easy (and free), isn’t it nice to receive an actual card in the mail once in a while? I know it means a lot to me when someone takes the time to send me a physical card. Not to mention, you can easily add gift cards or affordable gift items along with your card.

Send Out Cards is super easy to use, and I was so lucky to sign up with Kerry Palmieri and Debbie Shulman of UnitedWeSendCards. These gals are wonderful Referral Specialists, there to help every step of the way with anything you need. It’s rare to find people so willing to take the time to help—but these ladies truly go above and beyond in that regard.

You can even test the program free! Just pop over to their website to send a free greeting card.

If you try it out, let me know what you think! I bet you’ll love it as much as I do.  And why not get a head start on those holiday cards…