Category Archives: Coupons & Deals

6 Free Shipping Hacks to Keep Gift Costs Down

FatWallet Free Shipping WeekIf you’re still planning on doing the majority of your last minute gift shopping online and are starting to panic about getting good value on shipping costs, then you’re thinking right. Remember last year when many millions of packages didn’t make it to holiday celebrations on or before Dec. 25 … even though stores said they would. Well, keep in mind, online shopping set massive records this season already, and postal workers are actually delivering packages on Sunday this year.

If you really want to avoid the last minute store rush late next week, standing in long lines, driving around for far away parking and dealing with over-worked cashiers, get that shopping done by this Friday, which just happens to be Free Shipping Day. 

Did you know that 76% of online holiday shoppers buyers say free shipping most influences their gift purchases (FatWallet survey). These six free shipping hacks will help you take advantage of online discounting and secure on-time delivery.

Six Free Shipping Hacks

1. Shop Free Shipping Day on Friday, Dec. 18

This may seem like the most obvious way to secure free shipping on gifts, but, although thousands of stores will offer huge discounts during this event, few will drop their existing spending thresholds to free. However, many may drop the threshold to a more reasonable spending requirement. For stores that do offer free shipping for this event, make sure you read any restrictions that may apply. Keep in mind that there are dozens of stores that offer free shipping all the time and others that offer a flat fee year round. In fact, you may be able to find free shipping right now.

2. Haggle

If you can’t find free shipping offers for a particular store and don’t want to buy extra items to meet their minimum spending threshold, contact customer service and ask how to get free shipping. Your chances are pretty good this time of year the customer service representative will share a coupon code with you that can be used in checkout to allow for a shopping discount. Even if your haggling just gives you expedited shipping at a lower cost, it can be worth a couple of extra minutes to secure it.

3. Buck up

If you’re shopping on a retail website that requires you to spend a specific amount of money to get free shipping (like Walmart, which offers free shipping with $50 spent and 3% cash back), do some quick math and decide whether paying the shipping cost is a better value than buying more stuff to meet the minimum spending threshold.

4. Site to Store

One way to avoid online shipping costs is to choose in-store pickup (if available at checkout). Yes, it may seem like a stretch to save money avoiding shipping by having to go to the store, especially this time of year. But, if you’ve procrastinated and expedited shipping is the only way to get your item, this could save you time, money and your tooshie! It’s also a good way to take advantage of online only coupons and deals and for avoiding shipping costs for items that can only be bought online. 

5. Subscribe

Some shopping subscriptions including free or expedited shipping with membership. Amazon Prime is $99 a year and offers free two-day shipping on most items. Members also enjoy other exclusive benefits, and Fatwallet shoppers can get up to 10% Amazon cash back. Shoprunner which charges $79 a year for free two-day shipping and returns from hundreds of top stores, like Hugo Boss. You can do a 30-day free trial, or you may be eligible for a complimentary subscription if you use an AMEX card.

6. Compare Store Offers

One store might offer an item with free shipping but sell it for a higher price than another store that doesn’t offer free shipping. That’s easy math unless you can find coupons and rewards that make one clearly better than the other. If you can stack coupons with cash back by shopping through sites like fatwallet.com, which offers cash back from more than 1,700 stores and often features increased cash back during holiday seasons, you choice can be a no-brainer, especially if the credit card you use offers cash back, too.

Do you have any free shipping hacks? Let us know in the comments!

What to Buy in September: 2014 Shopping Trends

Best time of year to shop clearance and shop early!

2014 shopping trends

When is shopping early, smart? Waiting for “after clearance” clearance can produce the absolute lowest price, but settling for what’s left will sacrifice selection, and most likely quality. This is where jumping on Labor Day sales and summer clearance deals on the bigger ticket items for the home, patio furniture, grills, lawn mowers can save you big bucks on great stuff…ditto for back to school clearance items. Apply the same tactic for incoming fall fashion, with new selection of styles (prime color and sizes) fully stocked at Labor Day discounts. Here the savviest online shoppers will snatch up these bargains quickly, taking full advantage of first choice and then stack on additional cash back (there’s always a sale), creating some of the best deals of the year.

September also kicks off the countdown to Black Friday (2 months until early Black Friday deals begin…Yikes!). But that’s a ways off and on the heels of your fantasy draft comes real football, making a deal now on a new HDTV more urgent. With late summer prices on big screen TVs (40”-60”) hovering around the same pricing we saw before the Super Bowl, why wait until the season is half over. The savings will be comparable, as will laptops and smartphones (yo RedZone fanatics). Microsoft Store and Newegg offered spectacular September laptop deals last year, and FatWallet’s Tech Week raises the savings game this year with increased cash back from HP, Dell, T-Mobile, Newegg and other top tech retailers from 9/2-9/8.

Labor Day Deals, Summer Clearance and Final Back to School Deals

Expect multiple weekend sales in excess of 50% off Home & Garden items this time of year with summer “closeout pricing”.

  • Outdoor Furniture: (limited choices on patio furniture clearance and back yard accessories at 50% off or better)gas grill deals
  • Clothing: (summer clothing and shoes at 50-80% off)
  • Sports & Outdoors: (deep discounts on baseball, golf, camping and fishing gear and apparel)
  • Grills/Grilling: (Up to 50% off w/2-burner grills under $100)

Last chance for back to school clearance savings:

  • Dorm Furniture: (futons, small appliances, bed/bath linens will all be on sale at bigbox stores)
  • Tech: (laptops, desktop computers, tablets, smartphones, software)

Tip: Early bird gets the deal, and the pick of the litter, but these Home & Garden deals sell out fast.

Fall Fashion and Autumn Seasonal Sales

Autumn’s new fall fashion trends sales hit their full stride mid-month. Expect deep discounts on jeans and pants, long sleeve tops and coats, shoes and fall sports apparel.ankle boot deals

  • Clothing: (long sleeve shirts, pants, jeans, sweat shirts)
  • Outdoorwear: (jackets, hoodies, work boots, sweats)
  • Footwear: (ankle boots, fall casual shoes, clearance running shoes, socks)
  • Sportswear: (golf, football, cycling, hunting, fishing)

Tip: Try shopping for fall fashion early during Labor Day sales to nab the biggest selection of styles during store-wide discounts from Levi’s and American Eagle.

Early Holiday Travel Deals and Packages

This is the best time to book in advance for the best choice and lowest package deal savings on your Thanksgiving and Holiday family travel.holiday travel deals

  • Airfare: (start looking eight weeks out to get a good price and seat)
  • Hotels: (stay at business hotels during the holidays for cheap rate rooms and non crowded pools)
  • Car Rentals: (look for discounts when bundled with hotel bookings)
  • Local Deals: (check Daily Deal sites for travel activity deals)

Tip: Start monitoring prices now – sign up for low price alerts for your holiday destinations and keep tabs on FatWallet’s Deal Discussion forum for some of the hottest travel tips and insider tactics for finding the mega savings.

What to buy in JULY: Shopping Trends 2014

Best time of year to buy laptops, and hit the big summer sales.

”bestJuly is traditionally one of the best times to find deals on laptops and computers (2nd only to Black Friday/Cyber Monday), but there is also good reason to hit storewide sales, including a huge mixed bag of savings from early/extended 4th of July sales thru to mid-summer clearance, with just about every retailer participating in a variety of shopping categories. This, combined with pricing competition from a rapidly growing trend to use mobile tech over traditional computer products, like smartphones and tablets, present the perfect storm for consumers to nab a deal ahead of the long back-to-school shopping season.

During July sales events, we can expect notable price drops on outdoor toys and games for the pool and yard, patio/party supplies and summer clothing bargains. Other July savings include final clearance on furniture, mattresses (especially during 4th sales), tools/tool boxes (Father’s Day leftovers for the DIYers), and health and fitness products. Once the weather gets really hot, and it will, keep an eye on price drops for air conditioners and fans (box, floor-standing and ceiling fans) and expect them to sell fast, if not sell out completely. July shoppers can stack these savings with increased Cash Back from more than 100 top retailers throughout July. And NOTE: Back to School is the second longest seasonal shopping event of the year. Except for textbooks, start monitoring prices in early July to help you land a good deal and assure you get the stuff your kids actually want before your stuck buying what’s left in stock.

Read below for this months shopping trends:

4th of July Deals

”toolStarting in late June, the weekend before holiday celebrations, retailers blast out week long deep discounts during Independence Day Sales, allowing consumers to buy what they need in advance to having fun with family and friends.

  • Patio/Party: (furniture, decorations, flags, dishware, lighting/candles)
  • Outdoors: (camping, fishing, grilling accessories, patio furniture & accessories)
  • Air Conditioners: (window AC units and installation discounts, fans, shades, etc)
  • Summer Outdoor Toys: (pool and water toys, swings, yard games, etc)

Tip: Shopping the weekend before is smart for all the right reasons…selection, savings and having items in-hand to enjoy during your holiday.

Summer Deals and Cash Back Sale

”toolJuly heats up with a variety of savings that tops out with double cash back from 100s of top stores.

  • Sports/Outdoors: (golf, cycling, running, baseball, camping, fishing, swimwear)
  • Workout Equipment: (treadmills, weights, yoga accessories, workout apparel/gear)
  • Audio Tech: (ipods, mp3 players, boom boxes and accessories, earbuds, speakers)
  • Big Appliances: (microwaves, refrigerators, stoves, laundry, AC)
  • Furniture: (couches, chairs, dining room sets, bedroom sets, outdoor furniture)
  • MISC: (tools, paint, summer clothing, suits, jewelry, some grills and patio furniture)

Tip: Start looking for summer product pricing to start hitting clearance in mid-July as retailers start to restock for back to school and early fall sales events.

Early Back to School Deals

”toolThe savviest online, and FatWallet, shoppers flock to the web for some of the lowest pricing of the year on laptops and computers, as well as early retail sales featuring Back-to-School needs, ahead of the August in-store rush.

  • Tech: (laptops, tablets and iPads, cell phones and iPhones, PC’s)
  • Supplies: (writing supplies, backpacks, lunch bags, art supplies)
  • Apparel: (uniforms, shirts, blouses, jeans, shoes, jackets, hoodies, shorts)
  • Dorm Furnishings: (luggage, furniture, lighting, rugs, small appliances, storage)

Tip: Check our Ultimate Laptop Buying Guide and/or Student Laptop Buying Guide for smart money-saving buying tips and a comprehensive overview of the most important components and features before you make such a big investment.

Best Time To Find Deals On Tools? Survey Says Father’s Day Sales

81% of Americans buy new tools every year, while popular tool brand Craftsman and lawn & garden tools top their lists in 2014.

Deals on ToolsIt’s not a shock that Father’s Day ranks tops with shoppers for the best time to find tool deals, as we’ve witnessed this buying trend for a few years now. However, the fact that Father’s Day Sales outrank Black Friday, December Holiday and Cyber Monday combined is indeed revealing. Add 30% of respondents that rank Spring Sales as the second best time to buy tools and technically, we could conclude almost 70% of annual tool buyers look for the best deals…right about now!

8 in 10 surveyed (81%) said that they buy new tools at least once a year, with half of those (40%) more than once (20% 3-4 times a year). Of these, 3 in 10 will spend between $100 – $249 and 13% spend more than $250 on new tools annually. With all this tool buying, we asked what would curb their desires…1/3 of males said the only thing to stop them from buying tools was if they “run out of money”.

Note: 21% of females said “a hammer, screwdriver and duct tape” are the only tools they need!

Other interesting tool buying trends report nearly 4 in 10 say they want lawn and garden tools and are most popular by far, especially for females (46%) and those w/children (44%). Cordless Combination Power Tool Kits (20%) and hand tools (20%) ran a distant 2nd with power drills (14% – see Top 5 Cordless Drills Review) and tool boxes (13%) next in demand. Better than 2/3 of respondents say Quality/Durability most important feature for power tools. Craftsman was the big winner for most desired tool brand with 38% liking while budget brand Black & Decker held good standing at 26% and the popular DeWalt tools came in 3rd favorite at 19%. Savvy tool shoppers will be sure to add increased cash back to bolster their savings!

FatWallet 2014 Tools Shopping Survey Results (*TNS Global):

 

81% of Americans buy tools at least once a year!

Q: How often do you buy tools (for using at home) or home improvement related items?

  • 40% Once a year or less often
  • 16% 2 times a year
  • 19% 3-4 times a year
  • 6% Monthly or more often
  • 19% said “I have never purchased tools” (only 13% for males)

Note: HALF of those under the age of 40 buy tools more than once a year

Dads want tools and know when to buy them!

Q: Of these options, when is the best time to find deals on tools?

  • 39% Father’s Day
  • 30% Spring Sales
  • 18% Black Friday Sale
  • 12% December Holiday Sales
  • 1% Cyber Monday

Note: Of those age 30 and under, 63% said they rely on family and friends for their vacation information.

We spend but we also budget.

Q: Approximately how much do you plan to spend on tools this year?

  • 58% Less than $100
  • 29% $100 to $249
  • 10% $250 to $499
  • 3 $500 or more

Note: Those under the age of 40 will spend about 30% more than 40+ (Perhaps older tool users have what they need already?).

[STATISTICS]:  Overall home improvement spending is expected to grow 6.8% this coming year to nearly $313 billion in 2014 (Home Improvement Research Institute).

1/3 of males will buy tools until they run out of money

Q: What would stop you from buying new tools this year?

  • 24% said Too busy to do home projects
  • 26% said “I have way too many tools at home”
  • 28% said “Only if I run out of money”
  • 11% said “Spouse says it’s not in the budget”
  • 17% said “Hammer, screwdriver and duct tape is all I need”
  • 20% said “I have tools I’ve never use”

Note: 40% of Seniors said they have too many tools, while only 12% of those under age 30 said they have tools they’ve never used before.

The yard rules our DIY world.

Q: Which tools do shoppers want most this year?

  • 38% Lawn & Garden Tools
  • 20% Combination Power Tool Kit (cordless)
  • 20% Hand Tools (hammers, screwdrivers, pliers, etc)
  • 14% Power Drills
  • 13% Tool Box (storage)
  • 10 Circular Saws or Miter Saws
  • 10% Automotive Tools

Note: 3 times as many males want automotive tools while 50% more females want yard & garden tools.

Majority of tool buyers don’t skimp.

Q: Of these options, which is the most important feature for power tools?

  • 67% Quality/Durability
  • 13% Battery Life
  • 10% Power/Torque
  • 6% Weight/Size
  • 4% Length of Warranty

Sears keeps tight grip on most popular tools.

Q: Of these options, what is your most desired brand of tools?

  • 38% Craftsman
  • 26% Black & Decker
  • 19% DeWalt
  • 5% Ryobi
  • 5% Makita
  • 4% Bosch
  • 3% Milwaukee

Note: Craftsman is one of the most visible brands during Black Friday sales, and a life-time guarantee and affordability make for a smart tool purchase.

*The national survey conducted online by TNS on behalf of FatWallet.com in March 2013 was fielded among 1,000 adults ages 18 or older, 50/50 male/female.


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What to Buy in JUNE: Shopping Trends 2014

 

June is best time of year to buy TOOLS.

Feels like “guys appreciation month” as Father’s Day sales events start in late May and kick into high gear the first week of June. This is “hands down” the best time of year to buy tools (see our survey), but savings on paint, home improvement, yard and garden and patio stuff for summer fun will be abundant. And, if you miss the first two weeks, most retailers will have these products priced to sell throughout the month.

”what

Shoppers should expect big savings on power tools, yard & garden tools, automotive tools and parts and tool boxes, house paints, deck stains and other home improvement items at 30-70% during Father’s Day discounting. Gear and apparel for fishing, hunting, camping, hiking, biking and swimming will be competitively priced throughout the month, as well. Every retailer will have like-inventory priced to move, so it’s a good time to look for “value” and quality over “cheap”.

Other June savings include deals on specific electronics like laptops, smartphones and tablets) and if your flexible, deals on last minute vacation packages and graduation and wedding gifts from spring clearance sales can be had at huge savings, too.

Father’s Day Deals:

”toolIf May brings flowers, then June brings summer prep and the best time to upgrade tools and outdoor gear on the cheap. Sure, dads want new iphones and ipads, or the Galaxy S5, but what really want is an excuse to get away from them!

  • Tools & Auto: (power drills, cordless combo tool kits, yard & garden tools, automotive tools and parts, tool storage)
  • Sports & Outdoors: (golfing, fishing, hunting, camping, hiking, biking, swimming)
  • Electronics: (laptops, tablets, smartphones, cameras, streaming media, wireless devices)
  • Local Deals: (auto services, restaurants, golfing, movies and health/fitness services)

Tip: Early Father’s Day sales offer best selection and enough time to take advantage of free shipping offers.

”home

Home Improvement Deals:

It’s a good idea to get these projects out of the way before the heat, and the prices, go back up.

  • Paint & Coatings: (interior and exterior for walls, ceilings, floors, fence, garage and house)
  • Materials: (faucets, light fixtures, wall board, shingles, fencing, etc.)
  • Tools/Garden: (saws, drills, tools, boxes/benches/storage, ladders)Tip: These hidden savings often get mixed in with Father’s Day sales that offer store-wide discounts and increased cash back through FatWallet all month.

    Summer Vacation Deals – late season and last minute bookings:

    ”travelFinding last minute summer vacation deals is about being flexible with dates and destinations. Plus, FatWallet features added savings of cash back on all the major travel sites like Priceline, Expedia, Travelocity, Booking.com and Orbitz.

    • Airfare: Bundling airfares with hotels as a package should get you there and back at a bargain if you’re willing to come and go at off hours.
    • Hotels: Get cash back along with the best vacation packages staying in hotels like Hilton, Marriot, Westin, Ramada and more.
    • Car Rental: Look for free rental car upgrades, one-way discount codes and rental car packages.
    • Local Deals: Find 50% or more off local events, activities and getaways + cash back!

    Tip: Always, but especially last minute, when you see a good rate, book it, and factor in what is included as some travel sites include taxes and fees – others don’t.

    Graduation/Wedding Gifts:

    ”GraduationIf you’re looking for wedding and graduation gifts, June sales can be good for your budget, especially during Spring Clearance.

    • Home: (dishware, cookware, bedding, small appliances)
    • Flowers, Gifts: (flowers, gift baskets, frames, photo albums, jewelry)
    • Clothing: (jackets, hoodies, pants, long sleeve shirts, rain coats, spring colors)
    • Travel: (caribbean vacation packages, hotel and car rental deals, summer event tickets

    Tip: Often spring clearance store-wide discounts (e.g., 50% off $100 purchase) can satisfy a few gift/home needs in one purchase if you shop smart.

    Early Summer Activities:

    ”localFatWallet Local Deals provide daily deal shoppers a one-stop resource with all the available offers from Groupon, Living Social, Gilt City and other sites in more than 150 cities, including savings on hundreds of timely national deals. Perfect for summer events and cheap meals on the road.

    • Activities & Events: (concerts, sports, theme parks, museums, arcades, movies, bowling, etc.)
    • Beauty & Spa: (half off hair cuts and color, manicures, hair removal and spa packages)
    • Food & Drink: (coupons for pizza, burgers, drinks and a variety of full course meals)
    • Health & Fitness: (gym memberships, pilates, yoga, golfing, chiropractic, acupuncture, etc.)
    • Shopping: (50% and more off select products and services year round)
    • Travel: (complete vacation packages, hotels stays)

    Tip: If your traveling, look at these deals a week or two ahead to save a ton of money on vacation, or just visiting family and friends.

    You can find and tweeting about suds and other substance @brentsheltonnow.

Military Discounts: Welcoming Military Families with Savings

Military discounts

Happy Memorial Day! As a thank you to all the men and women who serve our country, we have spent the last few weeks rounding up a list of more than 190 stores that offer military discounts!

In addition to showing you which stores on FatWallet also offer cash back on your purchases, we’ve grouped the list into categories and alphabetized the stores to make it easier for you to find the stores you need. Many stores don’t publicize this, and some stores offer discounts only at the owner’s or manager’s discretion. So while this list is big, it’s a good habit to ask the stores you do business with whether they have a military discount, and be sure to have your military ID available for verification.

Many discounts will only be valid in-store only, but you may be able to call before purchasing online to receive discounts on online purchases as well. We’ll keep this list updated periodically so that it can be a great go-to resource for you! Be sure to follow along with our Military Discount Pinterest Board, too! Thank you for all you do for our country! Heather

P.S. I want to give a special “thank you” to Brent Shelton, Sarah Kuehneman, & Peter Siess who spent hours and hours helping me to create and update this list! **Please note, cash back amounts are subject to change, so please see the store coupon page on FatWallet for current cash back details.**

Military Discounts List

Technology/Electronics

Apple Store

AT&T

  • AT&T Coupons
  • Visit a local store with DD form 214, am vets membership card, or veteran’s ID card to inquire and qualify for discounts.
  • Military service members and veterans are enjoy a 15% discount on qualified monthly service charge.

Audible

Best Buy

  • 10% off your purchase with valid Military ID or VA approved veterans ID card. Only at select stores.

Dell

HP

Microsoft

Radio Shack

  • 10% discount in store with valid military ID

Verizon

Sprint

Retail/Apparel

Aeropostale

Banana Republic

The Buckle

Eastbay

Eddie Bauer

Express

Finish Line

Foot Locker 

Gander Mountain

Gap

Hanes

Kohl’s

Macy’s

Maurices

Nautica

New York & Company

Nike

Oakley

Old Navy

Overstock

Payless

Sally Beauty Supply

Timberland

Tommy Hilfiger

Under Armour

Walgreens

  • 4% Cash Back
  • Walgreens coupons
  • On Tuesdays only 10% off with military ID. Have had 15-20% off specials for memorial and veterans day in past years.

Other Retail and Apparel Stores with discounts:

Home, Auto, Tools, & Sporting Goods

Ace Hardware

Advance Auto Parts

AutoZone

Barnes and Noble NOOK

Bass Pro Shops

Bath and Body Works

  • Military discounts vary by locations. Present valid military ID when checking out in store.

Boscov’s

Cabela’s

Champs Sports

Fathead

The Home Depot

Lowe’s

Turbo Tax

Other Home and Auto Stores with discounts:

  • Crate & Barrel – 10% off discount in store only with valid military ID
  • Dick’s Sporting Goods –Discount varies with valid military ID
  • Ford – Discount varies
  • Geico – 2 % to 15% in all states except in: GA,IN,ME,MA,MI,MS,NJ,NM,TN and TX
  • General Motors – Varies, military members and spouses can sign up online for a new car discount.
  • Jeep – $500 off with military ID
  • Jiffy Lube – 10% off, with military ID
  • Meineke – 10% off parts. with military ID
  • Midas – 10% off with military ID
  • NAPA – Discounts vary with valid military ID
  • O’Reilly Auto Parts – Discounts vary with valid military ID
  • Pep Boys – 10% off with valid military ID
  • Suzuki – $500 off with military ID (includes immediate family)
  • Toyota – $500 off with military ID, plus an additional $500 for first time buyers.

Travel

Avis

Budget Rent-A-Car

Budget Truck Rental

Choice Hotels

Days Inn

Delta Airlines

  • Savings vary, contact Delta’s Military and Government Desk at 8003251771

Dollar Car Rental

Marriot Hotels

Ramada Hotels

Sandals Resorts

SatoVacations

  • A travel aggregator that specializes in trips and flights for military families and government employees.

SeaWorld

Travelodge

Other Travel Stores with discounts:

  • American Airlines – Discount varies with valid military ID
  • Amtrak – 10% off with military ID
  • Azamara Cruises– Discounts vary with military ID
  • Best Inns & Suites – Discounts vary with military ID at check in
  • Best Western – Rates within allowable per diem, must present military ID
  • Carnival – 10% off cruise, but must be booked over the phone and not online, as proof must be faxed in.
  • Clarion Inn – Rates within allowable per diem while on travel orders, with valid military ID at upon check in
  • Comfort Inn – Rates within allowable per diem while on travel orders, with valid military ID upon check in.
  • Disney Resorts – Discount varies, with valid military ID
  • Disneyland – Military discounts are available only for tickets purchased at installation MWRs. Prices vary per date and length of visit
  • Great Wolf Lodge – Up to 20% discount at all locations when booking online using promo codes “HEROES”
  • Guide to Military Travel – Another great site for military families to go when looking for travel discounts.
  • Hertz – Allowable per diem rates with valid military ID
  • My Cruise Club – 9% off all cruises
  • Nickelodeon Hotels – Discounted rates and perks, ask for the Military Family Package
  • Sierra Suites– Discounts vary, rates at or below per diem depend on location with military ID. 
  • Southwest Airlines-Discount varies with valid military ID
  • Wyndham Hotels – Discounts vary by location, present military ID at check in.

Restaurants/Foods

Entertainment

  • AMC Theaters – Discounts vary by locations. Inquire at local theater and bring valid military ID
  • Anheuser – Busch Amusement Parks – Discount varies by location, with a valid military ID
  • Cinemark – Discounts vary by locations. Inquire at local theater and bring valid military ID
  • Disney Parks and Hotels – Discounted admission and other tickets. Eligibility may vary by park and season.
  • IMAX – $1 off a movie ticket with valid military ID
  • MLB Hall of Fame – Discount varies by location, with a valid military ID
  • Regal Movie Theaters – Matinee prices with a military ID at all times
  • Ripley’s attractions and museums– Discount varies by location, with a valid military ID
  • Shedd Aquarium (chicago) – Free general admission with military ID
  • Six Flags – Service members receive special discounts on admission for special events and specific dates. Tickets must be purchased in advance MWR and ITT 143. Recreation offices, not at the park.
  • World of Coca Cola – $2 off the standard admission price with military ID, up to four guests

Misc./Regional

  • AgentSource.com – Up to 40% off standard real estate closing costs for active duty in the United States or Canada
  • Armed Forces Eyewear – Discount varies, get the discount online.
  • Ashford University – Discounted tuition at $250 a credit, books are covered for all required courses, waived application fee, waived technology fee and more! Benefits apply to all Active Duty, National Guard, Reservists and spouses, dependents eligible for survivor benefits, plus civilian DOD employees & separated vets/retirees still using their GI Bill.
  • Armed Services Mutual Benefit Association (ASMBA)– Membership in this non-profit association is free, when you join, you get $3,000 of free AD&D coverage.
  • Capella University – 15% tuition reduction on undergraduate programs and 10% tuition reduction on graduate programs
  • Devry University – Special military pricing and waived application fee.
  • GNC –Discount varies by location, with a valid military ID
  • IAVA – IAVA Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, is an organization that looks to help take care of the newest generation of American veterans. They work with companies, such as JC Penney, to provide up to $200 in vouchers to certain retail stores.
  • Leslie Pool Supplies – 10% off with military ID
  • Mary Kay Cosmetics – Military personnel and dependents receive 10% off online orders. Reference your service affiliation and status, and ask for additional free gift and bigger discounts by contacting website.
  • MilitaryContacts.net – Up to 30% off contact lenses, with free shipping on orders over $50
  • Play It Again Sports – Discount varies by location, with a valid military ID
  • Sports Clips – Sport Clips honors Veterans with special pricing.

What to Buy in MAY: Shopping Trends 2014

May comes to consumers with a plethora of opportunities to save money on big ticket items. From Mother’s Day sales to Memorial Day sales to spring clean up discounts, there is a variety of products and services ripe for purchase if you know when and where to shop. For the last 4 years, May spending has seen growth, aided by huge increases (14.6 billion in 2010 to 21.7 billion in 2013) from Mother’s Day gift purchases, especially for tech products like tablets and smartphones.

”what

Tech related products prices continue to drop in 2014, lower than what we experienced last Black Friday, so we expect this May spending growth trend to continue this year. Note: FatWallet’s 2014 Electronics Buyer Survey reports that 53% of females said they will purchase new smartphones and 26% new tablets.

Early May is “the” prime-time to book summer family vacations, snag savings from local deals on events and activities and score excellent deals on sports and outdoors equipment during aggressive deep discounting. In all, May equates to a very solid month of savings on things we need for summer fun, especially by adding increased cash back from dozens of top stores all month long.

Mother’s Day Sales– not just for moms:

”mothersMother’s Day sales bring out big discounts and increased cash back savings from dozens of top stores on purchases for traditional gifts, items moms want for the home and exclusive deals on wireless and mobile devices for moms that want the latest tech.

  • Flowers & Gifts: flowers, candy, books, crafts & supplies, jewelry
  • Home & Garden: cookware/kitchenware, pots, plants, tools, feeders, outdoor decor
  • Gift Cards: restaurants, retail, craft/fabric stores, electronics
  • Local Deals: Groupon offering FatWallet members exclusive discounts on spas, events, activities and getaways with double to quadruple cash back through May 11.
  • Tech: laptops, tablets, smartphones, cameras, streaming media, wireless devices

Tip: Not sure what to get mom…Gift cards let moms go shopping for “free”. FatWallet features dozens of stores offering Mother’s Day discounts on e-gift cards–many with additional cash back savings, including Starbucks cards, iTunes gift cards and American Express.

Sports and Outdoors Deals – will run amuck:

”golfAll outdoors-fanatics will at least take a peek at the cost to upgrade their sports equipment, camping/fishing/hiking gear and athletic shoes. Look beyond discounts for the biggest savings as mail-in-rebates and in-store pickup can save you hundreds of dollars when shopping online.

  • Sports: golf, cycling, baseball, athletic apparel/shoes
  • Outdoors: fishing, cycling, running, camping, swimming, hiking

Tip: Look for trade-in value, especially for golf clubs, bicycles and some fishing gear and utilize inexpensive extended warranties by using AMEX or Squaretrade on these types of products.

Summer Vacation Deals – book them fast:

”travelFinding the best summer vacation deals is timely (like now!). Plus, FatWallet features added savings of cash back on all the major travel sites like Priceline, Expedia, Travelocity, Booking.com and Orbitz.

  • Airfare: Book now to fly cheaper on popular airlines like Delta, American, Southwest, Jet Blue, Virgin Atlantic and compare prices.
  • Hotels: Get cash back along with the best vacation packages staying in hotels like Hilton, Marriot, Westin, Ramada and more.
  • Car Rental: Drive summer vacation savings by comparing prices and cash back rates from all the top car rental companies and look for free rental car upgrades, one-way discount codes and rental car packages.
  • Local Deals: Find 50% or more off local events, activities and getaways + cash back!

Tip: Booking early not only saves you money, but often gives you the best selection of plane seats, hotel room views and model of rental cars.

Memorial Day Sales – shop them early:

”MattressMuch like President’s day and Labor Day sales, the 3-day weekend sales events have more of a a captive audience, especially from both heads of household creating opportunity for families to make big ticket purchase decisions. The majority of retailers participate in Memorial Day sales by offering aggressive pricing, deep discounts and exclusive coupons for several days leading up to the holiday. This means there’s some really great deals and you can really save a bundle on these key products:

  • Home Furnishings: mattresses!!, furniture, patio sets
  • Appliances: refrigerators, washers, & dryers, stoves/ranges
  • Clothing: kick-off of Spring Fashion Clearance
  • Travel: “last minute specials” on summer vacation bookings

Tip: Last year (2013) like Black friday, memorial Day sales started a week early–look for that to happen agin this year and use that early time to compare prices before you buy.

Father’s Day Sales – best tool deals of the year:

”toolStarting the end of May into the first 2-3 weeks of June, it’s tool time for savings. Whther you’re looking for gifts or shopping for yourself, there will be ample deals with 30-70% discounts on power and hand tools, plus home improvement products, including paint and exterior and interior building materials

  • Sports and Outdoors: golf, camping, fishing, grilling, gym memberships
  • Tools: power tools, storage/boxes, automotive, home improvement, garden and yard
  • Electronics: laptops, tablets, smartphones, wireless gadgets

Tip: When purchases these items (which are usually big and heavy), try to stack cash back and coupons with free in-store pickup, or better yet, free delivery. Sometimes that can make a higher priced item/shopping cart a better deal.

You can find and tweeting about suds and other substance @brentsheltonnow.

PREDICTIONS: Black Friday 2013

Best of Black Friday Deals 2013What will be HOT for BLACK FRIDAY 2013?

PREDICTIONS:

The number of advertised deals in FatWallet’s Black Friday Deal Finder was up 60% in 2012 (27,000+) with more than 110 official ad scans. Add that Thanksgiving Day (again) officially kicked off Black Friday online and was more active than any other day besides Cyber Monday (on FatWallet). Thanksgiving comes late this year, so we should see volatile advertising as retailers have more days in November to drive early sales and less days for shoppers in December. Shoppers can expect the total number of Black Friday deals to eclipse 40,000 in 2013, (50% more than 2012 – not counting Cyber Monday). Walmart Stores president Mike Duke expects Walmart to have it biggest Black Friday ever, by offering a mix of e-commerce and in-store sales and plans to market heavily during NFL games on Thanksgiving (rare!). This will force other retailers to raise their game, leaking ads earlier and hosting more pre-Black Friday sales than we’ve ever seen (see recap of early 2012. Industry analysts are predicting in-store sales to be flat, but we should expect e-commerce to flourish.

Our lead prediction last year was for huge price drops on big screen HDTVs and although it will be hard to top the deals we saw for 50″ TVs under $300 in 2012, we may see 60″ TVs under $400 in 2013. With the PS4 and Xbox One finally released, we should see the PS3 and Xbox 360 prices plummet to under $150 (we saw bundles under $200 last year). Tablets are fast becoming the choice over laptops, so older but still high performing tablet models and laptops will be extremely affordable and some reputable models will dip under $200. But with shutdowns, looming fiscal “cliffs” and fragile consumer confidence, the biggest trend will be budget deals under $20 and expect these in record numbers (see recap). Smart shoppers can purchase everything from quality small appliances to coveted toys for under $20 and still have money to look for that big screen bargain. HOW? By doing their homework!

 

HDTVs

Expect new 4k TVs to push down the price of older 1080p TVs with some 60″ models under $400.

– See Black Friday 2012 Recap of Best TV Deals.

As we predicted, the 2012 Holiday shopping season was the first time we saw dozens of big screen TVs (50″ and up) on sale for 30-50% off (or more). Smart TV’s, 3D, LED, LCD and Plasma technology were all readily available and purchased in big numbers, although the real steals were more budget models w/o smart technology or WiFi. (Ditto leading up to 2013 Super Bowl.) 2013 will offer much of the same, however we expect many of the thinner, lighter and “smarter” models will be at “good deal” pricing as shoppers who missed last year’s TV sale frenzy will get another crack at upgrading their main TV, possibly bundled with a Netflix or Hulu Plus subscription!

AVOID!!! (won’t be a deal): …buying 4k TVs. It may seem like you are getting a deal, but as Tom’s Guide puts it, there are virtually no video sources that support this HD technology yet and we may not see 4k prices (currently 2-3x the cost of 1080p) come down much until the Super Bowl, after CES 2014!

LAPTOPS

Expect Windows 8 touch enabled laptops for around $200 and a host of other low end laptops as tablets take the favored spot for web surfing/simple word processing devices

– See Black Friday 2012 Recap of Best Laptop Deals.

Last holiday shopping season, we saw dozens of laptop models become available for under $400 and many under $200 for 50% or better savings and holiday shoppers can expect to see similar pricing on 14-15″ laptops again and perhaps even in early November. And as desktops all but disappear and the general public turns to tablets for their daily communication and entertainment, we expect to see some attractive price drops on 17″ models and some older ultrabook/hybrid laptops as shoppers will be looking to upgrade their main computer with a Black Friday deal.

AVOID!!! (won’t be a deal): Any laptop that has older Celeron CPUs, and a max of 2GB of ram. Beyond basic web browsing, and email, these machines tend run significantly slower, and lack basic things like HDMI. Even under $200, you can find a tablet that will rival needs and performance of these models, unless you just like laptop styles.

TABLETS: iPads, Androids and Kindles

Expect Amazon to Discount their new

– See Black Friday 2012 Recap of Best Tablet Deals.

Last year the Android tablets, along with the Kindle and Nook (being considered tablets), found their place beside the iPad as legitimate holiday competition. With a Google Nexus 7 price under $200 and the iPad 2 at a final cost under $300 in 2012, it’s safe to say we’ll see more of this kind of pricing in 2013. And with new iPads, Kindles and other Android tablets being made as we speak, plus the outbreak of “Phablets” like the popular Galaxy Note III and just announced Sony Xperia Z1, last years tablet models should see sharp price reductions across the board, making it the perfect holiday shopping season for tablet-less consumers to get in the game.

AVOID!!! (won’t be a deal): Like cell phones (below), avoid buying very low end Android devices. They are usually running older OS, and performance is slow, which may impact your experience/enjoyment with the device, and any new coveted apps could have performance issues.

SMARTPHONES

Apple’s iPhone 5C will be FREE with a 2yr contract (it will happen).

– See Black Friday 2012 Recap of Best Smartphone Deals.

Apple’s iPhone 5S will influence this year’s holiday smartphone purchases. With this and expected discounts on iPhone 5C (and iPhone 4S), some analysts are forecasting 30+ million iPhones to sell by the end of September, meaning Black Friday may not be about cell phones deals as much as it may be about accessory deals…at least for Apple peeps. But as predicted in our TABLET/iPAD recap, “phablets” (those really huge smartphones, so fun to watch smaller hands try to manage:) are prime for a one-weekend “price reduced” competition (including Samsung’s Galaxy Note models, Sony Xperia Z Ultra, ZLPPO i6, and hopefully, the awesome Asus FonePad 7 will surface stateside). We expect these will creep into FatWallet’s Black Friday Deal Finder for 2013 with some attractive discounts.

AVOID!!! (won’t be a deal): …very low end Android devices running older OS, as performance is lackluster at best. If you are looking for a cheap no contract phone, check out Lumia 520 or the soon to be released Lumia 525. Performance for both of these phones is very good and you’ll get them around $80-$100 on Black Friday.

TOYS

Early November deals will tempt, but Black Friday prices will WIN vs. similar pricing and linited stock in December.

– See Black Friday 2012 Recap of Best Toy Deals.

The best “deals” weren’t necessarily the “most popular”…expect this trend to continue this year. Only 5 toy deals made our list from Toys R Us’ “Fabulous 15 for 2012″. Choice may be the key to this market in Black Friday 2013. As Walmart beats Toy R Us to their annual first prediction by surveying 1,000 kids for what they want this holiday (thx to Tiffany Hsu-LATimes), expect more assorted styles and colors on a variety of items and more bundled deals and B1G1-like discounts this year, as well. With more than 150,000 products featured at the 2013 American International Toy Fair (at Parenting.com), it’s overwhelming to try and decide what will stick with holiday shoppers. Some of the hot toys we hope to be competitively priced this year are the Furby Boom, Monster High Dolls and the kids tablet market where Leapfrog’s Leapad Ultra will lead the bunch.

AVOID!!! (won’t be a deal): Early pricing…DON’T PANIC. There will be a select few gotta-have toys that will sell out, and if this is you, forget deal hunting and buy it! If it isn’t you and your list is flexible, don’t fret as there were over 4,00 toy deals in 2012 and we expect more this year. Take a little time to compare prices and additional savings (like cash back, store discounts and even rebates)…last year Kohl’s, Kmart and Walmart offered some of the best prices on hundreds of toys with added advantages if you’re a card holder, doing layaway or price-matching. You’ll have endless options to make toy purchases good deals.

VIDEO GAMES

Last year Walmart and others offered PS3/Xbox360 popular games for 50% or better…Their value has dropped with new consoles…expect them 60-90% off this year.

– See Black Friday 2012 Recap of Best Video Games and Console Deals.

With the new PS4 and Xbox ONE in pre-order overload and the expected hot want for video consoles this coming holiday shopping season (including new games for these new consoles as Hugh Langley from TechRadar points out…they won’t directly play your PS3/x360 formatted discs). Plus, there’s still speculation on available inventory for Christmas after pre-orders have been filled. If there is inventory, we can expect some mild discounts with Xbox ONE and PS4 in holiday bundles, and hailed as the new “do it all” streaming media resources, we can only hope they’ll follow in the footsteps of Google Chromecast and bundle with Netflix. Less bolder predictions would see these very same deals above at even better savings this year, as retailers look to make room for hopeful new console inventory for December.

AVOID!!! (won’t be a deal): …buying these super cheap games for the PS3 and Xbox 360 thinking they will easily be usable on your new PS4 or Xbox One…they won’t.

BUNDLES & SALES

Bundles, whether including extra accessories/software/games/etc. or gift cards/cash/points/etc., will be plentiful and will be the best values of the season. Jump!

– See Black Friday 2012 Recap of Best Bundles & Sales.

It would be safe to say that store sales and bundled deals were some of the most popular Black Friday deals the last few years and we fully expect this to continue in 2013. Look for more 50% store-wide sales, but for limited times and perhaps on limited days, especially on Thanksgiving as stores try to drive even bigger online sales ahead of Friday. Consumers are buying in on bundled sales, especially on home theater and gaming packages as a good way to get shopping done all at once, and these added discounts make it lucrative for the buyer and seller. With new video consoles on pre-order, this trend will continue on Xbox 360 and PS3 bundles this year. We also expect “free in-store gift cards” to be the popular bundle that brings one store’s deal down cheaper than another (plus cash back, which is our little way of bundling every deal on the planet!).

AVOID!!! (won’t be a deal): …buying bundled deals that look good on the surface, but offer add-ons you don’t really intend to use. The value on the pricing can fool you and you’ll be stuck with a shelf full of accessories you don’t need.

DEALS UNDER $20

Don’t under estimate loss-leader bargains…they “make” Black Friday the best time to save. Expect record deals under $20 (12,000+) and half of those under $10.

– See Black Friday 2012 Recap of Best Deals Under $20.

With Government shutdown and looming Debt Ceiling(s) and despite some estimates that consumers will spend more this year, holiday shoppers may be more aware of these kind of extreme savings that help meet their budgets. For the last 3 years, Black Friday deals under $20 have doubled and “Buy One Get One-like” deals were big last year with 690+ related sales (majority under $20 items). Expect this trend to continue, especially for kids clothing, toys, movies, music and video games. Look for another great opportunity to score super cheap flash drives, SD cards and tech accessories for under $5 bucks. Also look for deal sites to make additional discounts, coupons and cash back even easier to find for shoppers that want to stack even more savings to these already crazy low prices.

AVOID!!! (won’t be a deal): …Buy one get one half off kind of deals we see all year long. However, many B1G1 deals will serve as getting two gifts for the price of one, or two different colored shirts, sweater, jackets, etc. for the price of one.

DOORBUSTERS

Last year some of the cheaper doorbusters were incredible-keep your eyes peeled for kitchen gadgets and tools for under $10 (50-75% off).

– See Black Friday 2012 Recap of Best Doorbusters.

Last year, we saw some new tactics really take hold, like offering “VIP” members not only a sneak peak, but first shot at their Black Friday Deals online days before Thanksgiving (the real day Black Friday pricing begins), including some of the doorbusters and social media channels joined in this tactic, offering their audiences exclusives and doorbusters just for them. We can expect this to continue and expand into exclusive mobile doorbusters, too! Clothing will still lead the way this year for the shear amount of doorbusters, but shoppers should keep their fingers fast on the trigger for doorbuster like deals on digital cameras, blu-ray players, GPS, and any older tech that is being replaced by tablets, smartphones and media streaming devices. They should also expect increased store-wide discounts for early shoppers, both in-store and online, as retailers compete for the sales from the mad rush.

AVOID!!! (won’t be a deal): …the hype. Doorbusters, although prices are always some of the lowest we’ll ever see on these products, are usually medium to lower quality items. With that said, if you’re a deal hunter, you can find extremely awesome, limited quantity deals with doorbusters, especially for clothing and home items at $20 or less (many at 75% off or better), it just depends on what you “need” (and we stress “need” to help you avoid having a stable of garage sale items a year down the road).

TOP RETAILERS

Most major retailers will have 1,000+ Black Friday deals…and they will price match and offer VIPs/subscribers first shot at these deals in pre-sales…take advantage.

– See Black Friday 2012 Recap of Top Stores

These are the big dogs when it comes to Black Friday deals and low prices, but don’t under estimate online sales and deals from BJ’s Warehouse, Fry’s, TigerDirect, Buydig.com and brands (Aeropastale and Levi’s will simply offer everything store-wide at 50% off). Expect even stronger competition in niche category stores like Bass Pro Shops, Cabela’s, Adorama and the like this year as well. With early predictions for a slower buying holiday season, the competition will be fierce and we expect Thanksgiving Day, even the week leading up to Black Friday to be noisy, and hopefully worth it! The early-bird (both store and shopper) may just get the worm this year.

AVOID!!! (won’t be a deal): …Black Friday comes at it’s latest possible date in November this year, meaning we should see massive attention to early sales. Be patient, as history shows prices keep coming down leading up to Thanksgiving Day, when big buying heats up.

BIG BRANDS

Apple and Samsung will be the buzz, but each year there are great discounts offered from newer brands looking to find a Black Friday presence.

– See Black Friday 2012 Recap of Top Brands.

As is every year (notably since Best Buy and Walmart tried to take FatWallet to court…and lose), the big retailers have allowed their Black Friday Ads to leak in early November, exposing extreme deals and doorbuster prices on mostly the major brands’ products. This has pushed some of the mid-level brands to market themselves to the big retailers, gaining their placement in these heavily sought advertisements. Thus we’ve seen the rise of Lenovo, V-tech, Under Armour, Leapfrog and Razor (to name a few) as players in a space normally reserved for just a few big brands. With that said, Apple (especially if the new iPad Mini makes manufacturing deadlines), Samsung, Sony (PS4) and Microsoft (Xbox One) should dominate the media as the “have-to-have” tech gifts again this year. With clothing coming in as the #1 purchase for most Black Friday Shoppers the last few years, expect niche apparel brands like Diesel, Kate Spade, Jos A Bank and Columbia to keep making big strides w/timely online discounting.

AVOID!!! (won’t be a deal): …the typical 20% off that we see every other weekend all year long, unless you have to have it…in that case, make sure you get free shipping and cash back (typically increased for holidays) to make it worth it.


SERIES Master List: “Best of Black Friday 2012″

FatWallet’s in-depth series reveals the top products and deals from last year…some you’ll wish you didn’t miss! Featuring expert deal reviews, shopping tips and predictions for 2013, series content is based on sales and shopping activity recorded from FatWallet’s Black Friday Deal Finder (and mobile app) in 2012 which featured 27,000+ deals and doorbusters, 100+ Black Friday ads, and the hot Thanksgiving Day Deals, as well as Cyber Monday Deals from last year.

WANNA BE A HOT HOLIDAY DEALS “INSIDER”!Sign Up for Black Friday Deals 2013

Be first-to-know when Early Black Friday sales start and VIP access to all 2013 Black Friday ads and deals, sign-up for timely email alerts, follow the hot deals in our Black Friday forum and Twitter feeds, or download the best Black Friday mobile app for the latest holiday news and shopping on-the-go.

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Top 20 Deals Under $20: Black Friday Recap and 2013 Predictions

 

Best Black Friday Deals Under $20Ready for BLACK FRIDAY 2013 big bargains?

Top 20 Deals Under $20:

If you were on a tight budget for buying holiday gifts in 2012, then these SUPER CHEAP deals represent what Black Friday is all about. With over 10,000 deals under $20 and 5,000 under $10, last year raised the bar on finding quality Christmas presents at cut rate prices. There were 1.670+ deals under $5 making stocking stuffers cheaper than a six of Pabst. We’ve scanned this extensive list of deals to find what shoppers chose to buy most and vet out which deals were worth pulling the trigger on. Walmart alone advertised more than 900 deals for twenty bucks or less.

But which budget deals rank as the best? Do they even stack up to Today’s Best Deals? FatWallet tech/finance expert Bryan Marsden reviews the Top 20 Deals Under $20 from Black Friday 2012.

sherlock holmes Sherlock Holmes (DVD) or The Hangover (Blu-ray) from Walmart

– Holmes Details or – Hangover Details.
$1.96 (was $7.96) or $3.96 (was $13.96)

Walmart had an impressive, but short list of popular movies you could own at rental pricing. “Watch it and sell it” would have been a profitable strategy with these deals. And they still would have been good deals today as current prices at Amazon are $6.99 and $9.70 respectively.

crock pot Kitchen Selectives 1.5-qt. Slow Cooker from Ace Hardware

– See Details.
$2.99 (was $15.99)

This was a FatWallet community favorite deal that was perhaps one of the best Black Friday 2012 savings at 80%. These smaller crocks are perfect for dipping sauces and single serving meals. The current price is back up to $15.99, so it’s held it’s value!

pittsburgh automotive jumper cables Pittsburgh Automotive 12-ft. 8 Gauge Jumper Cables w/ Inline Battery Tester from Harbor Freight

– See Details.
$4.99 (was $17.99)

The inline battery tester makes these dual purpose and for 5 bucks, a stellar Black Friday deal. You can pick them up on sale currently for $14.99 (msrp $24.99), but if you don’t need the inline tester, for the same price you can get 16 ft. set which are much easier for jumps in awkward spaces.

maxell sd card Maxell 8GB SDHC Memory Card from Kmart or SanDisk 16GB Flash Drive $6.97 from Walmart

– Maxell Details or – SanDisk Details.
$4.99 (was $14.99) or $6.97 (was $15.88)

It was a great event to find these kind of memory cards at cheap prices and there were plenty of brands and storage sizes to choose from. You can currently get either of these products for around $10.

headphones Samsung EHS60 Stereo Headsets from OfficeMax

– See Details.
$4.99 $19.99

$5 for a quality hands-free set of earbuds was a steal last year and this was a much better product than several competitive brands selling for $20 or more. You can currently pick these up at All4Cellular for $6.95.

disney treasury book Disney Treasury Books (Entire Stock) from Toys R Us

– See Details.
$5.99 $19.99

A hard to find item (new) and collectable (used go for $5-50), this was a superb deal at $6 and depending on which story book ir was, it was a deal at the retail price. We won’t see these, but there is a Disney “Sound” Treasure Book version that looks fun and should be discounted this year.

lauren ralph lauren pillow Lauren Ralph Lauren Medium-Extra Firm Logo Pillow (Standard/Queen) from Macy’s

– See Details.
$6.99 $20.00

This 4.5 star rated pillow was a quality buy for $7 and was very popular with Black Friday Deal Finder shoppers. You can grab these today at about half price at many retail stores.

bieber believe cd Justin Bieber – Believe (CD) $7.00 $17.99 from Target

– See Details.
$7.00 (was $17.99)

Like “The Biebs” or not, this was one of the hottest selling albums in 2012 and the video for the hit Brother was the most watched song of all time on YouTube. So for its demand and popularity, this price was spectacular, especially considering the price at Target is back at $17.99 a year after its release, or get it for just under $8 with Amazon Prime or even less with exclusive Amazon cash back from FatWallet (when music is available).

pyrex storage Pyrex Storage 14-pc. Container Set from Bonton

– See Details.
$9.97 $34.99

One of the best Black Friday kitchen deals under $10 and a 5 star product at the current price of $23. At the sale price, you could afford to get a new set of Pyrex containers once a year. What more can we say?

fisher-price Fisher-Price Activity Walker from Bonton

– See Details.
$9.97 $29.99

This discontinued well-made toddler toy was an excellent deal from a very under-rated retailer (they brought dozens of the lowest-priced deals to Black Friday in 2012). The newer Fisher-Price replacement is a bit safer and has newer features to keep you kid active, but at $10, this is a great walker on a budget.

targus ascend Targus Ascend Backpack Laptop Case (Black) from Best Buy

– See Details.
$9.99 (was 29.99)

This is still a popular back pack even though the price is back up to $30 at most stores currently offering it. Why? It’s one of the few backpacks in this price range that is solid black, and to many, including some web coders we know personally, all black is cool, especially at $10 bucks. That and the reviews for a quality, lightweight ergonomic laptop bag couldn’t be much better.

bella rocket Bella Rocket Blender (12-pc.) from Macy’s

– See Details.
$9.99 (was $44.99)

It’s slender design and versatility makes this a decent product for the current price of $25 (Walmart), but at $10 bucks, it was a bargain and there is a great assortment of colors to match your kitchen.

brother p-touch Brother P-Touch Simply Stylish Labeler from RadioShack

– See Details.
$9.99 $39.99

Discontinued clearance at better than better than close-out price for this PT1290 model. With 4 star ratings, this product has been replaced by the Touch PT90, but for $10, this labeler beats the PT90 current cost of $32+ in value. Makes ya wonder why they change things so much:)

logitech webcam Logitech C310 Webcam from Staples

– See Details.
$14.99 (was $49.99)

This is a great low cost HD webcam at full price, but at $14.99, you could get 3 for its current “average” price. However, you can pick it up at a current killer bargain price of $21.99 w/free shipping at Meritline (+3.5% cash back) – we like them because they always seem to have one of the lowest prices anywhere on tech gear like this…making this BF deal pretty amazing.

e.l.f. essential makeup e.l.f. Essential Makeup Collection – 83-pc. from Target

– See Details.
$15.00 (was $25.00)

This was the hottest Health & Beauty deal with our community and a real value for $15. For entry level make-up with a ton of style options and features, this was a great holiday gift. Even at the current price of $25, it gets a 5 start review. (Add 2.5% cash back for more savings from a target=”_blank” href=”http://www.fatwallet.com/Soap-coupons/”>Soap.com!)

eureka Eureka Quick Up Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner from Sears

– See Details.
$19.99 (was $39.99)

A versatile, lightweight cordless vacuum at half-price from one of the top brands in the industry. It converts to a hand held and stores on the wall in a closet while it charges. The current price is $33.98 and Sears customers give it 4.6 stars, making the $19.99 Black friday price the kind of deals we look for in late November.

werner aluminum stand Werner Aluminum Work Platform from Lowe’s

– See Details.
$17.00 (was $44.00)

If you want one of these, and what handy person doesn’t, it will cost you about $50 bucks today. At $17.00 last Black Friday it’s surprising there’s any left. Seriously, of the 1200+ tool deals we saw from more than 23 different 2012 Black Friday store ads, this was one of the best.

carthart hooded sweatshirt Carhartt Women’s Midweight Zip-Front Hooded Sweatshirt (Friday Only) from Gander Mountain

– See Details.
$19.99 (was $46.99)

As a Friday only deal from Gander Mountain (fairly common for the intermediate niche retailers), they were able to provide a price point that was hard to resist, especially for the handy man that wants his girl to look carpenter trendy (although they do offer this zip-hoodie in “creamsicle”). The current price is back up to $46.99 making the Black Friday price from last year perhaps the best ever for this item.

clarks danville slipper Clarks Danville Mocs and Venetian Slippers from Cabela’s

– See Details.
$19.99 (was $59.99)

Any Clarks shoe products under $20 is a deal, so at 65% off, it’s most likely only going to be a Black Friday deal and Cabela’s found a way to do. You can still get these at regular price, if that’s any indication how good this deal was.

celebrations reathe Celebrations 30-in Prelit Great Falls Wreath (4-pack w/Multi-Color Lights) from Ace Hardware

– See Details.
$19.99 (was $79.96)

Any 30″ quality pre-lit wreath for $19.99 is a good deal. Although the “was” price indicates $80, you can get a 4-pack for a little more than $100, so doing the math, this wasn’t a great deal for one of a 4-pack pricing, but as a single price, it was a score for your front door:)


Budget Deals Predictions for 2013 Holiday

For the last 3 years, Black Friday deals under $20 have doubled and “Buy One Get One-like” deals were big last year with 690+ related sales (majority under $20 items). Expect this trend to continue, especially for kids clothing, toys, movies, music and video games. Look for another great opportunity to score super cheap flash drives, SD cards and tech accessories for under $5 bucks. Also look for deal sites to make additional discounts, coupons and cash back even easier to find for shoppers that want to stack even more savings to these already crazy low prices.


SERIES Master List: “Best of Black Friday 2012″

FatWallet’s in-depth series reveals the top products and deals from last year…some you’ll wish you didn’t miss! Featuring expert deal reviews, shopping tips and predictions for 2013, series content is based on sales and shopping activity recorded from FatWallet’s Black Friday Deal Finder (and mobile app) in 2012 which featured 27,000+ deals and doorbusters, 100+ Black Friday ads, and the hot Thanksgiving Day Deals, as well as Cyber Monday Deals from last year.

WANNA BE A HOT HOLIDAY DEALS “INSIDER”!Sign Up for Black Friday Deals 2013

Be first-to-know when Early Black Friday sales start and VIP access to all 2013 Black Friday ads and deals, sign-up for timely email alerts, follow the hot deals in our Black Friday forum and Twitter feeds, or download the best Black Friday mobile app for the latest holiday news and shopping on-the-go.

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