Shop Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday for Moms.

black I’d love to say that Black Friday should be spent at home with your family, but let’s be real here.  You are full of food and ready to get out of the house for a few hours, why not shop? As a mom, you may be looking for specific items this year.  Maybe a video monitor, a play mat, baby clothes, a carrier, or other child-friendly item that could be drastically discounted.  Typically Black Friday or Cyber Monday will be your best chance for scoring these items at a discounted price. Remember that keeping your money local – or in small businesses is giving back where it counts. So keep your eyes peeled on Small business Saturday for great local or online deals.  Work-at-home cloth diaper sewing moms may be offering discounts, small companies selling organic, handmade salves, lotions, or amber necklaces may host giveaways or deals.  These are the places I love to contribute my dollars too. A smart idea is to create a list of your most wanted items.  Decide if you are willing to venture out to the stores, or if you would rather stay in your pj’s, holding a glass of wine, and click your way through holiday shopping.  (I tend to opt for option 2, but after the wine, I typically order myself a few holiday gifts as well, a few extra kid gifts, another gift for myself…)  Write down every person you plan to get a gift for and an idea or two for each of them.  (Backup plans are always essential) Links to Black Friday Ads: Amazon runs discounts every few minutes throughout the entire shopping weekend.  I like to keep wanted items in my cart and watch for them to drop in price every few hours. Sometimes I score big, other times, my items don’t make the deal list. http://www.amazon.com/Black-Friday/b?node=384082011 Amazon Deals specifically for Baby: High chairs, carseats, strollers, everything baby. http://www.amazon.com/baby-deals-promotions-savings/b?ie=UTF8&node=350393011 AlbeeBaby: An ergo for under $100!!  Carseats, strollers, even the mamaroo swing is discounted. http://www.albeebaby.com/blackfridaybabydeals.html Every Type of Baby Gear – From monitors to clothes: http://tgiblackfriday.com/category/Baby More Baby Gear: http://www.bfads.net/Category/Baby Carseats, Boosters, Travel Systems, Baby Gear… List of Deals:  http://carseatblog.com/35482/2015-pre-black-friday-deals-on-carseats-boosters-strollers-more/ ModCloth: Oh, you don’t know? Every mom needs a little ModCloth shopping in her life! http://www.modcloth.com/shop/tis-the-season-sale Babies-R-Us: http://www.theblackfriday.com/babiesrus-blackfriday.shtml Target: http://www.target.com/c/target-black-friday/-/N-5q0f2 Old Navy: http://www.theblackfriday.com/oldnavy-blackfriday.shtml Gap: http://www.gap.com/products/black-friday.jsp Macy’s: http://www.macys.com/cms/ce/black-friday/index?cm_mmc=YSM_Gemini_Seasonal_New-_-Seasonal+-+Black+Friday_Black+Friday+2015-_-31283974997_b-_-_mkwid_AF2KL1zi%7cdc_31283974997%257C-%257CAF2KL1zi Best Buy: http://www.bestbuy.com/site/misc/black-friday/pcmcat225600050002.c?id=pcmcat225600050002&ref=30&loc=KW-4327&ksid=31c713e7-be49-a0e8-4363-00000f05487a&ksprof_id=3&ksaffcode=795930&ksdevice=c Walmart: http://www.walmart.com/cp/black-friday/1076614 Other Black Friday Deals: http://blackfriday.bradsdeals.com/ads Small Business Saturday:  Follow your favorite small businesses on social media for the inside scoop of their deals.  Most online boutiques will hold discounts, coupon codes, or giveaways to promote their products. Shop http://mybabysheartbeatbear.com/ and support our family-run small business!  All expecting parents LOVE receiving a heartbeat animal. Cyber Monday:  Most Black Friday Links will run through Monday, but there are exceptions.  Some companies will hold in-store sales Friday and on-line sales Monday. Links to all big chain store deals: https://blackfriday.com/cyber-monday https://www.coupons.com/cyber-monday/ Advice for shopping online cyber Monday and staying on budget: (From www.couponing101.com and http://diyadulation.com/ )
  • Beware of Available Stock: In the past there have been issues with both Cyber Monday and Black Friday online purchases where customers did not receive their orders in time for their celebrations.  This can easily happen any time you are purchasing this online, especially when you use the free shipping option.
  • Think About Shipping: When you are ordering online, don’t forget to account for shipping.  A lot of stores have a minimum purchase requirement of $50-$100 or more to be eligible for free shipping.  As mentioned above, this also doesn’t guarantee you will receive your items on time.  If you don’t qualify for free then those shipping charges can start adding up fast resulting in hundreds of extra dollars spent.
  • Be Cognizant of Packaging: In addition to ruining the surprise of the gift, this can expose you to theft. If package is clearly marked with what is inside, anyone going by the house can clearly see what items have been delivered.  Always keep this in mind when ordering anything online, especially larger items less likely to be grouped inside another box.
  • Know You’re Getting the Best Deal: Before purchasing an item that you don’t already know is an amazing deal, do a quick Google search.  It can be easy to get caught up in the flurry of sales.  Luckily, it is so easy to do research when shopping online.  Simply copy the name of the item and paste it into your search engine.  Shopping results are always one of the first snippets listed and you can quickly compare prices. Bonus: You can do this in stores easily as well if you have a bar code scanning app on your phone.  Scan the item and a list of items any prices will come up on your screen.  The caveat is that it does use up data on your plan so keep that in mind if you don’t have unlimited data usage.
  • Don’t Be Afraid to Let and Item Go: One of the most important tips to remember is to let an item go.  It may be an incredible deal but if it’s not on your list or simply not in the budget this year, let the item go.  Don’t give in to the pressure to “buy now”.  I speak from experience when I tell you that there will be other sales.  Don’t let the illusion that if you don’t get it now, you’ll never be able to find another deal on it get you to purchase something you can’t really afford.
  • Stick to a List: Make a list of everyone you’re shopping for this year, and if possible, add a general idea of what you want to buy that person.  Then when you come across a great deal on an item, you can scan your list to see if you have someone to buy it for.  If you don’t have anyone to buy them for, pass up the deal and wait for a deal on something you are shopping for.
  • Stick to a Budget: It’s so easy to get carried away during the holidays and overspend. Whether you have a per-person budget or an over-all budget, set one and stick to it. Even if the item is an amazing buy, if it breaks your budget, it’s still too expensive.
  • Keep Track: Make a list of everything you purchase, so you don’t accidentally buy for the same person twice, or buy two of the same item. With all the holiday busyness, you’re much more prone to forget things.  Write it down or create a word doc to help you remember.
  • Use Coupon Codes: Always, always, always check for a coupon code before shopping. Even if it’s a store that you think wouldn’t have one!
  • Relax and Have Fun: What makes Cyber Monday so much more appealing than Black Friday is that you can shop in your pajamas, snuggled up on the couch with your laptop.  You get the thrill of the hunt without the crazy crowds. So, instead of heading out in the cold to search for deals, just sit back, grab a cup of coffee or hot chocolate, and let the deals come to you!
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