Monday, November 23, 2009

An offer you can't refuse

This is a post about bargains. And to start out, I want to pitch the idea of going to Disney World. It's the perfect time around, say, February or March when the crowds will be small and the weather will be perfect. Your tax refund from all those stimulus funds will have just arrived, and your kids will be itching for an early Spring break.. Hotel tickets and park passes are buy 4 days and get 3 days free right now for that time frame, so it's a definite bargain. And, the best part of all? We'll be there to hang out with you (restrictions may apply). Go ahead and book those tickets now. And if you can't come, that's okay, neither can our dog. By the way, can you watch our dog?

Ok, moving along. Last year we did nearly all our Christmas shopping online, and we mainly did it that way because we found really good deals. Here are a few sites and tips for your online Christmas shopping.
  1. Slickdeals.net is a great site to watch. The best of the best from around the web gets posted on the homepage, but you do well to watch the forums too since the best deals sometimes dry up by the time they get so popular that they reach the home page.
  2. Amazon.com has everything, and if you watch carefully you'll find what you want at a really good price. Shipping is always the rub, but if you sign up for an Amazon Prime membership you get free 2 day shipping on all your purchases. You get a month of the service free with a promotion they seem to have perpetually going on. Last year we signed up for our month at about this time and got all our holiday stuff shipped out free. Just remember to cancel if you don't plan to shop online as much the rest of the year
  3. Bing cashback is a concept you should definitely know about. When you do a search on Bing for different gifty things like "digital camera" or "mp3 player", the sponsored results will often have a store that offers cashback on purchases. Last year I got several hundred dollars back on purchases that I was already planning to make by just searching through Bing first. Ebay "buy it now" was giving 30% cashback for a while last year. You can get a 10% cash back on purchases from Walmart online right now too. Just read the rules and understand them and you'll be all set.
  4. Many credit card companies have a similar cashback system where you access merchants through the credit card's storefront site, and you get a rebate. Discover is the one that seems to have the most generous offers, but several others do it too. If you're buying anything online from Dell, HP, Apple, Walmart, Target, JCPenney, Old Navy... etc., then you might as well buy it through a site like this and get money back.
  5. Price match your Walmart Black Friday stuff. My plan this year is to avoid the 5:00 am chaos by strolling into the store at around 8 or 9 with a competitor ad in hand. They tell me that they will price match other Black Friday deals, as long as you have the competitor local ad, it's in the appropriate time window where the prices apply to the competitor, and it's the exact same model/item. Of course, for this to work, you have to know that Walmart carries what you want, but I figure competing for those items featured at other stores and not the actual Walmart Black Friday items will make for a nice sleep-in.
  6. Buy Ooma for Christmas if you have high speed internet. I found it on Amazon for $160 (including the scout that connects all your phone jacks throughout the house), and I figure cancelling my phone service will pay for that in about 6 months or so.

3 comments:

Coach said...

p.s., if you decide to give ooma a try, you can save $50 off telo by putting us in as a referral (and we get $25). Just got an e-mail saying to use one of these codes:

-8E6S1832
-GN6B8835
-NWBN4590

Mrs. Donut said...

This was very helpful. Thanks for the advice. Especially slickdeals.

Amber said...

OK, I'm a wee bit behind and I'm just catching up on your blog. (hilarious photo shoot and commentary on Miles by the way) Anywhoo... we'd love to go to Orlando with you guys but I don't think we'll be able to make it... and our TX based families might have an issue with it (or at least mine would) BUT good news, we'll be here to watch Malcolm if you'd like.