What You Need to Know About Black Friday


1. This year, the best deals are actually on Thanksgiving, though more people will shop on Friday. This makes sense. Retailers know their biggest crowds are coming on Friday, so why give the “best” deal, then? Despite the hoopla, much less people will be on Thanksgiving, partly due to an increased push to ban Thanksgiving shopping. Less crowds means better deals to draw you out of your house.

2. Really, the best incentives come closer to the holidays. If you wait to buy, you’ll find better deals. The deepest discounts come in the second week of December. Either you’ll get a similar deal as you would on Black Friday, or you’ll come really close (maybe better). If you love Black Friday for the experience, go for it. But if you’re goal is to actually save money, there are other ways to go about it.

3. Get online. Stores are competing for your business every single day up until Friday. Many stores are doing “early Black Friday” today, and tomorrow, but again, if crowds aren’t your thing, just go online. You don’t need to search for codes; most stores plaster their sales on their homepages. Less people are shopping on Black Friday this year because there is always a sale. No need to buy into the hoopla. If there is something you really want, and you want to count on a sale, don’t get in line–go online.

4. Do your homework. Many stores, especially electronics stores, sell cheaper versions of the actual product. Shortcuts may have been taken, or the product comes with less features. Unless you read the fine print, you’ll miss this. Black Friday deals on electronics are notorious for being lesser quality products. Don’t compromise. Check model numbers and cross reference.

5. To avoid crowds, follow these simple tips:

  • Shop early morning or late evening. Crowds peak between 2 and 4PM.
  • Call first to make sure the store has what you want, if shopping for a specific thing. And find out how many. If there is one left and you are in your pajamas, wait until next week. They will restock.
  • Avoid electronics–these stores have the highest foot traffic by far.

Above all, be safe and happy saving!

Pre-Black Friday Sales 2015

pre black friday sales

T minus 3 days until Black Friday! It’s the biggest shopping day of the year, but this year you don’t have to wait until the big day for big deals. Many retailers are running pre-Black Friday sales that will allow you to save before the stores get crowded.

Don’t get us wrong; Friday is when you’ll see the most volume. But if you just can’t wait, be sure to check out these amazing deals from some popular retailers:


Leading up to Friday, Target will be running a different deal each day of the week. Today, you can get 40% off men’s, women’s and kids’ sleepwear. Wednesday the deal is buy one get one frozen pizzas. Thursday is reserved for doorbusters, and then on Friday you can get 20% off a future shopping trip between December 3 and December 14 when you spend $75.

Wait! There’s more! The sales continue past Friday. Saturday you’ll be able to get $50 off when you spend $100 in Target’s holiday shop, Sunday is reserved for buy 2 get 1 free action figures and/or fashion dolls, on Monday you can get 15% off when you shop online, and next Tuesday, one week from today, you can get 25% off beauty and personal care products.

For most of these sales, you’ll need a promo code, so be sure to sign up for Target alerts!


While Walmart’s deals aren’t themed by the day of the week, they do have great sales ahead of Black Friday. Here are some of our favorites:


  • $32 off Barbie Dreamhouse. Originally $199, now $167.
  • $150 off Dell 15.6” Inspiron 3452 Laptop PC with Intel Core i3-4005U Processor, 4GB Memory, 500GB Hard Drive and Windows 10. Originally $449, now $299.
  • $70 off iPad mini 2 16GB Wifi. Originally $269, now $199.
  • ??? off Keurig Elite K40 Single Serve Coffeemaker Brewing System. Originally $109.99. Sale price steep enough that you have to enter your email to find out what it is! (The product comes in well under $100 after the sale price.)
  • $155 off Black 500W Portable Folding Electric Motorized Treadmill. Originally $349.95, now $194.95.
  • $241.01 off Samsung UN32J4000 32″ 720p 60Hz LED HDTV. Originally $419, now $177.99.
  • $80 off My First Trampoline 7’. Originally $179, now $99.


Best Buy

Best Buy hints that its Black Friday sales may extend beyond the weekend frenzy. They also give you some deals to chew on in the meantime:


  • $100 off Epson Expression Premium XP620 Small-in-One Wireless Printer. Originally $149.99, now $49.99.
  • Up to $150 off MacBooks. $100 off the following models: MacBook Air 13.3″ Display Intel Core i5 4GB Memory 256GB Flash Storage in Silver, MacBook Pro 15.4″ Display  Intel Core i7 16GB Memory  512GB Flash Storage in Silver, MacBook Pro 15.4″ Display Intel Core i7 16GB Memory 1TB Flash Storage in Silver, and MacBook Pro 15.4″ Display Intel Core i7 16GB Memory 512GB Flash Storage in Silver. $150 off MacBook Air 13.3″ Display Intel Core i5 4GB Memory 128GB Flash Storage in Silver.
  • $150 off Sony 2.1 Channel Soundbar with Wireless Subwoofer. Originally $349.99, now $199.99.



Happy shopping, savvy readers!

What to See This Week

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part II (PG13)

Released last Friday, you’ll want to see this final wrap up to the Hunger Game series. Reviewers called Mockingjay Part I better than the book. Part II is full of action, heartache, and, passion. Mockingjay is at the top of the boxy office and has received a respectable 70% from Rotten Tomatoes. The official synopsis from Movie Insider is:

With the nation of Panem in a full scale war, Katniss confronts President Snow (Donald Sutherland) in the final showdown. Teamed with a group of her closest friends – including Gale (Liam Hemsworth), Finnick (Sam Claflin), and Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) – Katniss goes off on a mission with the unit from District 13 as they risk their lives to stage an assassination attempt on President Snow who has become increasingly obsessed with destroying her. The mortal traps, enemies, and moral choices that await Katniss will challenge her more than any arena she faced in The Hunger Games.

The Good Dinosaur (PG)

Got kids? The Good Dinosaur is much anticipated, opening on Wednesday 11/25. The word is, this film is visually stunning, but script is rather predictable. But, we don’t really think you kids will care.

An Apatosaurus named Arlo and his unlikely human friend travel through a harsh and mysterious landscape, where Arlo learns to confront his fears, discovering what he is truly capable of. The Good Dinosaur asks the question: What if the asteroid that forever changed life on Earth missed the planet completely and giant dinosaurs never became extinct? Pixar Animation Studios takes you on an epic journey into the world of dinosaurs where an Apatosaurus named Arlo makes an unlikely human friend. While traveling through a harsh and mysterious landscape, Arlo learns the power of confronting his fears and discovers what he is truly capable of.

The Night Before (R)

Looking for a silly comedy? Seth Rogan has you covered. Be advised: there is graphic language and nudity in this film. But you know, it’s Thanksgiving. Who doesn’t love a raunchy comedy after a day with the fam? The bottom line on this comedy is that it lacks some consistency, containing some big misfires, but bigger laughs. The critics predict this will quickly become a holiday classic to watch every year.

Ethan (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), Isaac (Seth Rogen) and Chris (Anthony Mackie) have been friends since childhood, and for a decade, their yearly Christmas Eve reunion has been an annual night of debauchery and hilarity. Now that they’re entering adulthood, the tradition is coming to an end, and to make it as memorable as possible, they set out to find the Nutcracka Ball – the Holy Grail of Christmas parties.

Victor Frankenstein (PG-13)

Daniel Radcliffe delivers a fresh take on the Mary Shelley classic gothic novel. This version places greater emphasis on the relationship between Victor and Igor and they’re mutual encouragement of near madness. The film is said to be aesthetically stimulating and engaging.

James McAvoy and Daniel Radcliffe star in a dynamic and thrilling twist on a legendary tale. Radical scientist Victor Frankenstein (McAvoy) and his equally brilliant protégé Igor Strausman (Radcliffe) share a noble vision of aiding humanity through their groundbreaking research into immortality. But Victor’s experiments go too far, and his obsession has horrifying consequences. Only Igor can bring his friend back from the brink of madness and save him from his monstrous creation.

Tip: Check out movie tickets at Costco.

How Home Security Has Become More Affordable

home security

Back in the day, only rich people had cameras installed in their homes to watch out for burglars and home security issues. Today, our technology has leveled the playing field. IP cameras not only make video surveillance affordable, but also intuitive.

Hook It Up to Your Smartphone

IP cameras operate as streaming devices. That means instead of recording footage somewhere on a physical tape, you can watch the stream live from your smartphone or other device. Some models, like the Xiaomi Xiaoyi Smart CMOS Camera, will intuitively start recording the stream when it senses signs of an intruder. It will also send you a notification on your linked device when there is an intruder detected. All you have to do is download the accompanying app to unlock these features.

This camera also responds to motion, and the view can be adjusted using your phone as a remote. Simply move your phone in the direction you want to look, and the camera back home will start to rotate. The features make it sound expensive, but this camera only runs you $32.99

Outdoor Cameras

If you want a camera that will watch the outside of your property, you’ll have to figure weather-resistance into the equation. The Wanscam P2P-JW0011 is not only waterproof, but also offers night vision features. Motion detection triggers an alarm and email, and the stream is accessible to up to four people at a time on both iOS and Android devices. Right now, this camera is on sale for $59.98, though its regular retail price of $90 isn’t shabby when you take into consideration its 2-year warranty.

Around the holidays, outdoor security is of special concern. This time of year, people have packages delivered to their homes in droves, and thieves know this. All around the country there are stories of people robbing porches, and there is little the intended recipients can do about it. Outdoor security cameras solve this problem as they can catch the perpetrator in the act, and possibly deter them from trying to nab your gifts in the first place.

More Than Just Security

Models like Xiaomi Xiaoyi offer more than just security. You can use them as a way to communicate with your family, like Facetime, only all through the IP cam. The video is only one-way, but your family will be able to hear you on the other side. It can also serve as a video baby monitor, and a very reasonably priced one at that. You can use it as a pet cam, and even zoom in on your feed remotely.

Where to Get Affordable Home Security

Both of these cameras can be found on GeekBuying. There are a slew of additional options there, as well, if you want to do some comparison shopping before you purchase. Products like these are merging the technological capabilities between cameras, streaming, and smart phones to bring better, affordable security options to everyone, allowing you to feel confident about your home’s security on any budget.