November 18 2010|01.52 PM UTC

Samantha Eckles

“Get the Gift of Money” Contest and Black Friday Tips

Category: News, Personal FinanceTags: , , , , ,

In 2009, the American consumer spent an average of nearly $900 during the holidays. This just lumps more debt on top of your already burdened credit card and you know, over here at BillShrink, we think that is as unhealthy as a gallon o’ eggnog.

To help you avoid seasonal weight gain on your credit card, BillShrink is giving away $300 to a lucky BillShrinker. That way, you can remain generous with your gift-giving, keeping the holiday cheer high and the debt low.

“What’s a gift you’d like to give, but think is too expensive to buy?” Tell us on our Facebook wall or answer via Twitter with a @BillShrink mention and #contest hashtag by December 1, 2010 at 5:00 pm EST. Only one submission per person please, but feel free to share with friends and family!

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While we’re talking about the holidays, here are a few Black Friday deals and tips to help you be a smart holiday shopper.

Lots of stores have released information about their Black Friday deals, and more will continue to do so as the big day (November 26, 2010) approaches. Be clever and save on holiday purchases. Here is a list of our favorite deals so far. There’s something for everyone: girls, guys, gadget-lovers, families, pet-lovers, and more.


Amazon: new deals all day, every day for a week of Black Friday deals starting Monday, November 22, 2010.

Free shipping through Dec 20th: (orders of $25 or more), (orders of $100 or more), (orders of $25 or more), (orders of $150 or more when you pay with a store charge card; all orders of $300 or more), (orders of $40 or more), (orders of $25 or more), (orders of any amount), (orders of $50 or more)

Free Shipping Day, Dec 17th: 1,000+ merchants will offer free shipping with delivery by Christmas Eve. Details here.

Girls and Their Girlfriends

Bealls: sterling silver jewelry (70% off)
Belk: pearls, diamond rings, and diamond pendants (60% off), coats (60% off)
Calvin Klein: everything (up to 50% off, additional discounts with coupons.
Express: everything in-store or online (40% off before noon, 30% after noon)
JCPenney: dresses (60% off), handbags and wallets (50–60% off), gold and fine sterling silver jewelry (70% off)
Macy’s Women’s Clothing: clearance dress and casual shoes (extra 50% off)
Old Navy: outerwear (50% off), vests (50–70%5 off)
Sears: handbags (50–60% off)
Smashbox: Wish for the Perfect Palette ($59 for $260 value)
Urban Outfitters: everything in-store (50% off)

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Belk: coats (60% off)
Calvin Klein: everything (up to 50% off, additional discounts with coupons
Express: everything in-store or online (40% off before noon, 30% after noon)
JCPenney: men’s dress trousers (55–70% off), men’s dress shirts (60% off)
Macy’s Men’s Clothing: clearance dress and casual shoes (extra 50% off)
Old Navy: outerwear (50% off), vests (50–70%5 off)
Urban Outfitters: everything in-store (50% off)

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Gadgets, Games & Home Entertainment

Best Buy: Barnes & Noble Nook ($99.99 from $149.99), Samsung LED HDTV ($1499.99 from $2499.99)
Costco: Vizio 55” Widescreen LCD HDTV ($190 off), set with 46” 3D Plasma, 3D Blu-Ray Player, 3D Glasses ($520 off)
Office Max: all computer games and Sony CDs and DVDs (50% off)
Radio Shack: phones with qualifying 2-yr agreement and feature, including Samsung Captivate (FREE)
Staples: McAfee 2011 for 1 PC (FREE), Norton 2011 for 1 PC (FREE), photo paper (50% off), photo printer (FREE with digital camera purchase)
Target: Nikon S205 Digital Camera ($79 from $139.99)
Wal-Mart: Xbox ($199 from $388), Blu-Ray Player ($138 from $249), iSymphony ($99 from $249)

TIP: If you’re buying cell phones or TVs this holiday season, remember to check out BillShrink’s wireless service comparison tool to make sure you’re getting the best deal on your wireless and cable service.

Gear Up for Winter

Lowe’s: DeWalt Cordless Combo Kit ($249 from $389), Shop-Vac ($29 from $79), DeWalt Cordless Drill/Driver ($99 from $189)
Michael’s: 100-count light sets (50% off), 7-ft Christmas trees (50% off)
Sears: 4 Michelin, BFGoodrich, Bridgestone, Goodyear tires ($70 Sears Gift Card with purchase)
Target: KitchenAid Ultra Stand Mixer ($199 from $249.99)


Bealls: pillows and mattress pads (60% off), Discovery Kids Teach and Talk Laptop (60% off)
Big Lots: remote control helicopter (60% off)
Jo Ann Fabrics: Crayola craft supplies (30% off)
Kmart: Lego Atlantis, City, World Racers (B1G1 50% off), Lincoln Logs Fort Hudson (50% off)
Kohl’s: newborns holiday dresses, Jumping Beans tops and bottoms (60% off), toddlers holiday dresses, character tees, OshKosh Playwear, sleepwear, outerwear, sweaters, Jumping Beans tops and bottoms (60% off)
Macy’s Kids: Melissa & Doug, Animal Adventures, Mattel, and more (B1G1 free)
Sears: girls’ dresses and fleeces (60% off)
Target: board games ($3.99)


Macy’s Pet Shop: reversible bet bed ($17.99)
JCPenney: Animal Planet bed leash or blanket ($8.88)
Various animal shelters: Some animal shelters offer the adoption of animals with black fur for free or 50% off, and often discount the adoption price for other animals. If you’re looking for a pet, check out nearby animal shelters to see if they’ll be doing this on Black Friday!

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Shopping Tips

Do you drive more during the winter holiday season to pick up gifts, decorations, and food for get-togethers? Remember to check out our gas station comparison tool before you head out so you can bring down your gas bill!

When you’re out Black Friday shopping, use apps like Pic2Shop and RedLaser if you have a smartphone. These apps let you scan barcodes on products and compare prices online and in stores.

Do you have holiday shopping tips? Share them!

Follow us on Twitter and Facebook!

For more tips and tricks, please visit our blog Shrinkage is Good. You’ll find articles like
“20 Tips to Help Stay Within Your Holiday Budget”
The Growth and Trends of Online Spending
Dining on a Budget

We found some of these deals on Black Friday and Black Friday 2010. A shout out to those sites for their work finding and organizing deals, scanning ads, and helping us all save. If you like updates via Facebook or Twitter, check out Black Friday Deals, @blackfriday_fm, and @blackfriday.

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