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11 Holiday Gifts You Can Get at the Dollar Store

Posted on 11/24/2014 11:16 EST

Stocking stuffers, hostess gifts, and presents for teachers are generally relegated to the "inexpensive" column at holiday time. Then it turns out you need to buy a lot of them, and as the numbers mount, the prices don't seem so cheap anymore. Dollar stores are the ideal shopping solution -- they carry gift-worthy items that rarely cost more than $20 and most often settle in the $5 to $10 range. Read More

Black Friday Predictions: Are They Accurate?

Posted on 11/24/2014 8:37 EST

If you're reading this, you must be as excited about Black Friday as we are. The predictions for this year's best Black Friday deals are in and retailer ads are proliferating rapidly. So, are the prognosticators correct or are they just getting consumers' hopes up? We tabulated the various predictions and studied this year's ads to see how they match up. It turns out that most Black Friday price predictions seem to be slightly lower than the advertised prices, but not all. Read More

Weekly Update: Black Friday Shopping & More

Posted on 11/21/2014 16:26 EST


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Thanksgiving and Black Friday festivities are less than a week away! Set yourself up for a successful shopping trip by learning which stores price match, the ins and outs of rebates, and which items to avoid entirely. Pick up useful stocking stuffers and gifts for the traveler in your life. Band together with other parents to save money on toys. Choose holiday cards and consider the surprisingly low cost of having someone else cook your turkey dinner. Alternatively, plot to escape the family chaos with a cheap ski getaway or big-city vacation. Finally, find out whether an ultra-cheap "burner" phone is right for you. Read More

8 Christmas Gifts for Travelers Under $20

Posted on 11/21/2014 9:50 EST

Travelers come in many stripes, from minimalist backpackers to 5-star jet setters. We've got holiday gifts for most any wanderluster on your list at no more than $20. Bonus tip: Add a travel-inspired touch by wrapping a gift in a map. Read More

5 Tips for Efficient Black Friday Shopping

Posted on 11/21/2014 8:30 EST

It's no secret that Black Friday means long lines, crowded aisles, and general chaos. If you plan to head out to the stores come Black Friday, be prepared. Here are five tips for effectively and efficiently conquering the best Black Friday deals without letting the day take its toll on your time and your wallet. Read More

13 Stocking Stuffers They'll Actually Use

Posted on 11/20/2014 9:57 EST

If you're on top of your holiday shopping this year, you probably have a nice list of what you're getting for whom. Have you thought about stocking stuffers yet? Many people forget this little gifting necessity until the last minute, and then throw away money on useless sundries just to fill the stockings. Don't make that mistake this year. Here's a list of stocking stuffer ideas that won't tip the budget scale or sit idle in the next year. Read More

Which Stores Price Match on Black Friday?

Posted on 11/20/2014 9:38 EST

As shoppers line up and count down the hours before stores open on Black Friday (or Thanksgiving morning, depending on the store), some will come prepared with ads -- but not from the stores where they're waiting. Why, you ask? This year on Black Friday, price-match policies at some retailers promise to honor deals advertised by competing stores and occasionally online competitors, as well. This is great news because consumers can visit only one store at a time, and it's often hard to hit all the stores with desirable deals before their shelves have been cleared. Read More


5 Things to Buy and Not to Buy on Black Friday

Posted on 11/20/2014 8:48 EST

Black Friday is historically the biggest shopping day of the year. Indeed, the National Retail Federation reported that by mid-November, 45 percent of holiday shoppers had not yet started buying gifts and seasonal goodies. This year the trend is shaping up to be, hold back until Black Friday when the price cuts and promotions are in full swing. Read More

9 Best Cheap Ski Destinations in 2015

Posted on 11/19/2014 10:00 EST

High-end ski resorts claim all the glamour but they're pretentious and expensive, not to mention flooded with crowds. Finding the elusive cheap ski destination is a challenge. Ski resorts often charge $100 for an adult lift ticket, and that's just for the daytime activity. Then there's the cost of transportation, lodging, local travel, dining, and equipment rental. Read More

Is a 'Burner Phone' for You? Compare 4 Cheap Prepaid Providers

Posted on 11/19/2014 8:31 EST

Perhaps a loved one visiting the country for a while needs a phone, or you're not quite ready to give your teenager a smartphone for Christmas. Whatever the reason, you're looking for a cheap, no-strings-attached mobile phone that can make and receive calls and possibly send text messages -- in other words, a burner phone. Read More

Are Black Friday Rebates Worth the Hassle?

Posted on 11/18/2014 10:42 EST

Read the small print on Black Friday offers for 2014 and you'll find that some of the low prices reflect mail-in rebates (MIRs). The rebate process can be a bit of a pain, and too many consumers seduced by the potential savings never realize the lower price. One widely cited academic study from 2003 reported that shoppers never got around to redeeming about six in 10 consumer electronics rebates. An industry consultant quoted in The Wall Street Journal in 2006 put the number for all redeemed rebates at four in 10. Regardless whether those redemption rates hold true today, they call into question the value of a Black Friday offer that hinges on a mail-in rebate. Read More

4 Ways to Stop Wasting Money on Toys

Posted on 11/18/2014 8:33 EST

Do you have kids at home? If so, it's time to band together with other parents and stop wasting money on toys. We're all familiar with the eternally tiresome holiday routine that demands budget-busting expenditures on playthings. By now the Great Big Toy Book and other advertising flyers have arrived on your doorstep, all gussied up to entice deep yearning in your youngsters -- and begging and pleading upon entering any toy-friendly retail establishment. Read More

7 Big-City Vacation Rentals as Low as $10 a Night

Posted on 11/17/2014 13:05 EST

Whether it's a $300-a-night stay at a New York City hotel or a few weeks with a backpack staying in hostels, accommodation takes a large bite out of a travel budget. Websites such as Airbnb, Roomorama, and HomeAway let travelers rent private residences at thrifty prices, especially when sharing the cost of an entire home or reserving only a guest room. We scoured Airbnb to find the rentals that are flat-out cheapest near popular tourist cities across America. Most are available only on limited dates and must be booked far in advance, but if the timing works out, you can save a bundle. Read More

5 Ways to Find the Cheapest Holiday Cards

Posted on 11/17/2014 9:27 EST

As holiday decorations go up indoors and out and Christmas songs begin looping through stores and on the radio, folks are pulling out address books and sending holiday cards to friends and family. If you're still hunting for that perfect card and don't want to spend a bundle, check out the information below. We compared prices for cheap holiday cards at several online and offline sources. Read More

Thanksgiving Dinner: Comparing the Cost of Cooking, Takeout, and Dining Out

Posted on 11/17/2014 8:17 EST

Thanksgiving is a time for friends and families to gather, share a festive meal, and reflect on their blessings. Along with that comes the expectation of a full-on turkey dinner, not to mention the stress associated with planning, spending, and cooking. Read More

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