Cyber Monday used to be the leftovers from Black Friday. However, it’s becoming one of the biggest shopping day of the year – if not the biggest.
To help you make the best choices for your Black Friday shopping, you need to know what to buy and what not to buy. Even on the biggest sales holiday of the year, not every deal is a good deal.
This year, instead of Amazon Prime Day being in July, it’s Oct. 13 and 14. What bargains should you look for? The most important thing to do is to compare prices. The “bargain” may or may not be saving you any money.
Safest Family on the Block podcast creator Jason Brick is a martial arts practitioner and journalist. As a father, he’s a staunch advocate of a safe home and that’s why he created the safety podcast. I’ll be a guest on the podcast Tuesday at 3 p.m. PT. We’ll be discussing consumer and product safety. Over two decades as a consumer journalist, I’ve written many times about safety in the home, including child safety. On the safety podcast, we’ll be discussing toddler injuries and deaths from accidental poisonings, furniture and TV tip overs, swimming and other water accidents, window covering cord entrapments, strollers, toys, hot cars, and more. Update: Due to a technical issue, the interview wasn't able to be placed on YouTube. Stay tuned for updated information about the interview.
Memorial Day sales have begun, even though stores aren’t operating like they usually do due to the coronavirus pandemic. Shop online for safety or pick up items you’ve ordered from local retail stores. Many states have opened retail stores, including Georgia, Florida, Texas, and Iowa. However, I wouldn’t take the risk to go shopping for clothes yet. About a dozen states – Alabama, Arizona, Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota, North Dakota, Texas, Wisconsin, and Mississippi – have opened retail stores even though their coronavirus cases are going up or have plateaued rather than dropping. See this New York Times article on the reopening plans of states. DealNews.com suggests consumers look for Memorial Day deals on:
March can be a slow shopping month, especially if you compare it to February, with its Valentine’s Day and Presidents’ Days sales. However, March isn't totally blank when it comes to sales. Look for sales on television sets, cruises, luggage, winter sports gear, and seasonal fruit, according to DealNews.com. On the what not to buy list are android phones, spring apparel, gym memberships, and lingerie.
Cyber Monday has a reputation for being the leftovers from Black Friday. However, it can actually have the better deals. Americans spent an estimated 27 percent more money online on Cyber Monday than on Black Friday last year. One reason is probably it’s more convenient to order deals on Cyber Monday than fight the Black Friday crowds. Tips for shopping on Cyber Monday include: Make a plan. You need to have a holiday budget for spending. Don’t let possible deals on Cyber Monday lead you to overspent. Do research. Know what the prices are for the items on your list. That way, you won’t be fooled by deals that really aren’t deals. Abandon your cart. Sometimes, when you leave items in an online cart, a company will say they noticed and will send you a 10 percent off coupon to try to get you to go back and purchase the items. However, again, compare prices. Make sure you’re not paying more.
An analysis of 72 hours of children’s television programming in 2018 found that junk-food marketing hasn’t decreased since 2012, according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a consumer advocacy group. Almost all the food and beverage advertisements reviewed during CSPI's analysis were for unhealthy products, as defined by nutrition standards developed by a federal interagency task force. The lack of progress comes despite the adoption in 2013 of uniform nutrition standards by an industry self-regulatory group. In 2018, CSPI researchers recorded six hours of children’s television programming on each of the 12 biggest channels that offer it. Twenty-three percent of all the ads during the six hours were for foods or beverages, up from 14 percent in 2012. Restaurants were the top category of food and drink advertised to kids, 35 percent; followed by candy, 22 percent; breakfast cereals, 12 percent; beverages, 10 percent; and snack foods, 6 percent. Ninety-nine percent of the food and beverage ads – 362 out of 364 – were for items that wouldn’t have met the nutrition standards developed by the Obama administration’s Interagency Working Group on Food Marketed to Kids, whose voluntary recommendations were abandoned due to intense industry lobbying.
Black Friday can be an exciting time; however, it also may be overwhelming. By being prepared for Black Friday, you won’t miss the best deals. Dealnews.com recommends these strategies to help you have a smoother experience: Make a budget now The first step is deciding how much you can afford to spend this holiday season. Determine the items you absolutely must have, including gifts and other purchases you've been saving for. And be sure to leave room for incidentals, such as pop-up holiday parties or friendly gatherings. After you’ve made a list, calculate the maximum amount you can afford – and be prepared to stick to it.
n Washington state, we moved our clocks back as we move toward winter. Now, the sun is setting about 5 p.m. The “fall back” doesn’t bother me as much as the “spring forward.” However, it’s jarring to be in the dark so early in the evening. As winter approaches and we long for spring, baby boomers are writing about life’s changes: The five love languages. Senior sex. Binge-watching bliss. Ways to stretch your money this holiday season. Shelter in place when a man has a gun.