Black Friday Shopping Tips

Ok so not everyone feels like waking up before dawn and camp out in the cold to save money for Christmas presents. Then there are those of us that get a sort of rush during this time of year. I’m one of those that love shopping the Black Friday sales. I’m going to share some tips with you, and you can share your own in the comments.

*Preview Leaked Ads- this is my favorite part is seeing all the leaked ads before they come out. I prefer Black http://www.black-friday.net/ This way I can to start planning my shopping list as well as which stores to hit.

*Planning- once I have my list made then I know which stores to hit. I also can see which stores have the best price on the item I want to buy. CVS allows you to shop their Black Friday sales on Thanksgiving day which makes it easier for me. I will hit them first thing when they open so I can beat the crowds. I also check which sales start at what time like Wal-Mart opens at midnight. This is great for me since I don’t want any of the doorbuster items this year. I am planning on doing most of my shopping online this year so no lines or crowds. Then I can go back to bed when I’m done. I will still hit some stores on Friday morning at a decent time.

*Price-Match Ads- this will help you save time and money. None of the stores will price match any ads that offer special deals like gift cards when you buy xx item, spend xx amount, or even doorbuster (early bird) deals. They will match the other sales.

*Shop Online- many of the stores will offer the sales on their website. Again less time in store and you can shop in your pj’s. Who doesn’t love that?!! The only drawback is that many items will be sold out quickly since you are competing with more people. Don’t forget that Wal-Mart is offering free shipping on almost everything online so this is a huge savings.

*Amazon- I love this website. Many times they will have many of the same deals on video games and movies that the other stores are offering. I have done very well the last 2 years buying many presents. I will mention that many times they can be sneaky having an item priced very cheaply and hours later it’s almost retail. So if you see something you like at a great price then snag it!

*Mapping- for stores like Target and Wal-Mart it’s a good idea to get a map when you walk in the store. They will usually let you know where the items are in the store. Toy deals can be in groceries and video games in clothing. It also helps if you can talk another person into coming with you. That way if you want a TV then one person can wait for it while someone waits for a must have toy.

The last tip I can give you is to have PATIENCE and smile. While it can be frustrating for someone to cut you off or be rude, just remember that it’s only stuff. Life is too short to dwell on negatives, and just be happy to get any good deals that you can snag. Most years I can get everything I want, but I’ve missed out on some items. Such is life. I always have fun, and I love how much money I can save.

TMR Frugal Living Tip #77- Split Portions When Dining Out!

split-portions

Today’s thrifty living tip is to split portions when dining out. It’s an oldie but goodie. Many restaurant portions are too big for one person to eat in one sitting. I either try to split the entree with someone else or take half of it home. It will not only help you by not eating too many calories, but it also stretches the entree into two meals. This is cheaper and healthier. If you are at a fast food place, why not order off the kids or dollar menu. I have started doing this by ordering just a burger and then eating a few fries from my husband.

Money Saving Tips on New Wardrobes

When you begin to lose weight, most of the time you don’t even think about how you might need a new wardrobe. This can be the case, not once but several times, if you have a good bit to lose. It can be quite costly but it doesn’t have to be. I love to shop so I’ve made it into more of a challenge to buy nice quality clothing at discount prices. There are many ways to acquire your new clothing whether it be new or used. I hope these tips will help.

Shop your local thrift stores. Some thrift stores have sale days which can save you as much as half off their tag price. I have even shopped at thrift stores that have bag days where you can put as much as you can in a bag for a set price. Many times you can find clothes with store tags still attached. My local thrift store has many clothing priced at $2 each even with store tags. I have scored many great deals this way.

Yard sales can also offer some great bargains. I have seen many clothes with tags attached for a fraction of retail. I usually find mall brands like Gap, Old Navy, NY&Co, Limited, but I have also seen some designer brands. This will greatly depend on the area you are shopping. I have gotten some real bargains over the years.

Clearance sales is the most obvious way to score deals on department store clothing. I love shopping at the end of a season. Many times I have found winter clothing on summer clearance racks and vice versa. I have even found last seasons clothing on clearance racks and those are usually heavily discounted. Always keep your eyes peeled for stores that offer an extra % off on clearance racks. I have walked out paying $2-4 for clothes that were $20-50 originally.

Consignment stores are also a good place to find some good deals. These stores are usually more expensive, but you will pay a lot less for career clothing, suits, special occasion dresses, and even nicer coats. Some stores do offer coupons or have designated discount days to save even more.

Talk to friends or family members. You might be surprised while chatting with someone that they could be getting rid of clothes that would be perfect for you. Many people get rid of clothing after either gaining or losing weight. Some people have gotten together to have clothing swaps. This is perfect in tight times to get new clothing for yourself while helping out a friend or family member. I know that some church groups do this and if not maybe start one in your area.

Check the classifieds or even Craig’s list/Freecycle. People are always selling clothing (many times brand new or hardly worn) which can be a great savings to you. Of course you can buy clothes off the internet like Ebay. I have seen several forum or yahoo groups where members can sell their items similar to an online yard sale. They will post pictures and you pay through Paypal. There is a certain amount of trust you instill which can be a little scary for some people. Speaking of the internet, why not try Facebook if you have an account. You could post if you are looking to sell or buy clothing from your friends. That might be a better way of either asking or offering people a certain size without offending.

New Blog Project

I decided to create a new blog just for my weight loss. I know some of you think I should post about it here but I really feel like I should have a separate one. I won’t have it up and running until the weekend so I won’t reveal the name yet. My wonderful baby sister is making me a header for it. She is a very talented artist and only 13 years old! I am going to post some of her artwork here on the blog. I am planning later to help her run a website to show off her talented work. I’m extremely proud of her.

The other reason I haven’t posted much is school started last month. I’m just so frustrated with his doctor and his medicine situation. Little man has way too much anxiety for an almost 10 year old. No kid should be this worried about so many different things. As if that wasn’t enough, we just found out recently that my step-father has terminal lung cancer. So I’ve been busy helping her making phone calls and arrangements. I’m still working on my weight loss, but I’ll be honest some days it’s hard not to cheat. I do keep trying to remind myself that binge eating due to stress will undo my all hard work. I’m not beating myself up about it either, and working out daily has been a great stress releaser. I am proud for keeping up my workouts and at this point it’s like my therapy. It is definitely helping me to cope with the stress and I have incorporated more yoga during the afternoon. I am hoping to have the other blog up and running by next week. I can’t wait to share it with everyone.

I am 90 Pounds Smaller!

I have to apologize again to my readers for not posting more often. My son started school last week, and I have had a lot on my plate lately. I won’t get into all the details, but I will say life is keeping me busier than usual. I am proud to say that I have been continuing to lose weight. I am now a size 14/Large which is very exciting. I have lost so many inches, that I don’t have an accurate total, and I am down 90 pounds! I haven’t felt this great in many years. My outlook on life is extremely positive and I feel unstoppable. I am doing things that I never thought I could. I don’t limit myself anymore like I did in the past. I know I can handle any challenge that comes my way. If I don’t at first, then I will keep trying until I can.

I started at the very end of August on this weight loss journey not sure where it would lead me. I’m just so happy that I haven’t quit, and I am continually improving my habits. I now eat whole foods, with very little convenience food, drink water or herbal teas, and exercise six days a week. I do take Sunday off for a nice rest. I have also started taking 2 tablespoons coconut oil daily plus I drink Sunrider teas. I am now following more of a Belly Fat Cure plan as of the last three weeks. I find it helps me to eat more fiber and really cut back on my sugar and carbohydrate intake. My belly has started flattening more plus I can see more definition in my abs. I am doing a hybrid program of Beachbody Turbo Fire and Chalean Extreme. I am in the third week of the Push phase, and I can’t believe how heavy I can lift. I am lifting a minimum of 12 pounds up to 25 pounds! I feel so much stronger, and my arms are starting to show definition which is great. I can also see more definition in my legs. These are all things I really want to post more about, but not sure if many people would want to read about my weight loss journey in this blog. Or should I start a blog just for weight loss? I feel like most readers want to read about saving money and frugal living so just wondering what I should do. This is one reason why I haven’t posted anything. I would love to hear what you think.

TMR Frugal Living Tip #76

Today’s thrifty living tip is to bring your own bags to the store. We know all it cuts down on plastic being used to make bags which is great for the environment. It also cuts down on the amount of trash in landfills. But did you know that you can stuff a lot of groceries in them? Not only that, but the majority of them have a reinforced bottom which is great for canned goods plus heavier items. Most people say they have a hard time remembering to bring them to the store. So what I’ve done is to keep them stored in my car side door. This way I always see them before I get out of my car. I have heard that some stores will give a discount for bringing your own. None around me do this, but you might be one of those lucky people. CVS has a key chain one that you can buy for 99 cents, and you will get a $1 ECB for every 4th purchase when you have it scanned. I’m even starting to bring bigger tote bag ones when I go to yard sales. I usually get the bigger ones for free at some stores I have shopped. Another great thing about them is you could make your own customized ones if you wanted to have more stylish bags. I feel that these bags are a great and inexpensive investment.

$25 GC Winner Announced!

I’m sorry this is a little late today, but I got busy with some other jobs I was doing. Then I spent the day with my favorite little man and it was a lot of fun. I just wanted to thank everyone for the wonderful comments. I enjoyed reading them all, and will be doing more giveaways very soon. I have a couple lined up so I’m hoping to have them posted early next week. I used Random Org to pull the winner. Drum roll please…………………….Julieh (honeypie411) is the big winner. Congratulations! I sent her an email, but if she doesn’t see it for some reason then please let me know which store you would like the $25 gift card for. Again thanks so much to all my readers and I hope you keep coming back for more posts about your favorite topics. The main topic of course is saving money, but I am really enjoying writing about my weight loss journey. I will keep sharing as I progress.