Tuesday, November 15, 2011

How #Walmart and the Internet have ruined my Black Friday traditions!

Oh Black Friday! How I love thee...ye...you?! Seriously. I do a lot of shopping through the year, but I FINISH (well mostly) on Black Friday. It is my big triumphant shopping day of the year...usually...or at least it was before Walmart and the Internet (darn you Cyber Monday!) ruined it for me.

Let me explain by first talking a little bit about "Black Friday" shopping the Beckee's Deals way. (Some of this explanation is reposted from one of my Black Friday posts from last year!)

I have, for YEARS, been a huge Black Friday Shopper and usually have done all my shopping for Christmas on Black Friday (well I do end up getting a stocking stuffer or 2 after). During my husband's residency the last 5 years, he has often been working on Black Friday (Which really was the first thing to ruin Black Friday before Walmart or the Internet stepped up to the plate). In spite of his work schedule, most years I still managed to get in a few REALLY early morning (and late night Thanksgiving) deals before he left for work. I love it...Love my Black Friday Adventures.

Here is my take on how to do Black Friday! When my newspaper comes on Thanksgiving morning, I am like a kid in a candy store! I sit down on my bed with the Macy's parade playing and the food already cooking in the kitchen and I whip out the ads. I go through and circle the GREAT deals I would LOVE to get in each ad-taking special note of the door busters. I write a list of each store, what door busters I would love to have and what time that store opens for their door buster sales. (BEFORE Thanksgiving, I sit down with my husband and we write up a list of who we need to buy for and what we think we might want to get them.)

Before I go on, I must note that already in my plan, the Internet and Walmart have interfered. First, the Internet now posts the Black Friday ads early so I lose that excitement and the anticipation of waiting for and devouring the Thanksgiving day ads. Oh I know it means I can plan ahead, but frankly I think that is overrated! :)   AND that is not all...Walmart you dirty beast! Now you open up for your Black Friday ads on Thursday night?! Really? On the Holiday? Oh and don't think I am forgetting all of Walmart's friends (competitors...) that ALSO open up during the evening/middle of the night hours. Sure, that gives me the chance to shop before my husband (that trouble maker) has to go in to work, but come on! When do I get to hang out with the family, and when do I sleep (I can answer that one-I sleep on Black Friday afternoon!)

Moving on with my Black Friday plan. Next, I compare the 2 lists I have made (the one with who we need to buy for and the one with the best prices and the times the stores open) and prioritize-are there specific items from my list of gifts I am looking for that are great deals somewhere on sale? What Door busters do I really want and are they at a place that usually has a ton of the items (like Walmart usually does here) or a place that limits the number to the first 25 (like Nebraska Furniture Mart)? Basically I look at what my odds are of getting what I want at the stores and PRIORITIZE.

Once I have prioritized and listed which items I actually want to get and at which store they will be sold, then I look at the times the stores open in the morning and write up a plan of action as to where to go first, second, etc.
Here is another place Walmart has stepped in and ruined my traditions. How? Two words: Price Matching. Oh Price Matching how I love and loathe you! Sure you save me more money and make it more convenient to get everything is one place, but really-those are some INSANE crowds and lines!! Wow...

Growing up in Utah, my mom and I would Black Friday shop each year and I LOVED it! We had adventures planning and carrying out the plan. We would do things like drag my teen sister along so we could get enough door busters and we would go store to store dropping off family members to try to get the best stuff at each store (BEFORE we all had cell phones). We would socialize in the long lines, make new friends and fight for the items we wanted! I LOVED our adventures, and I seek after them year to year still...

However, a lovely little thing on the Internet (adventure ruiner!) has arrived in force over the past years that makes it almost too convenient for me to get the same or better deals without leaving my laptop! That would be "Cyber Monday." More and more places have their weekend sales ONLINE (door busters and all) and "Cyber Monday" just seems to grow exponentially from year to year.

To quote Belle (from Disney's Beauty and the Beast), "I want adventure in the great wide somewhere, I want it more than I can tell" And friends, I want that adventure OUT of my House on Black Friday! Curse you Walmart and the Internet for making my adventures harder to come by, and Walmart's Price matching policy this year with Retroactive Price matching is stepping it up again! It will make it even more convenient to do all shopping there!

Sigh...I guess if Walmart and the Internet keep making the shopping so easy and convenient I will have to seek adventure elsewhere...maybe I should try bungee jumping?!


#Carmex lotions #Giveaway and Review ends 11/27

I know I have mentioned before how much I love Carmex. And I am so happy to be a member of the Carmex Blog Squad because it means I get to try out and giveaway a lot of different Carmex products!

One product I have been DYING to try is their lotion, and as part of the Carmex Blog Squad I finally got to try it recently! YEAH! I was sent a package with the following products to try:
  • 1 Carmex Healing Lotion
  • 1 Carmex Healing Cream
  • 1 Travel size Carmex Healing Lotion
  • 1 Travel size Carmex Healing Cream
What did I think?

I like it! My skin is SOOO dry this time of year with the seasone changing, so I am always needing to put on lotion. My hands are the worst! I am always looking to have soft hands without a greasy filmy feeling. I was worried that the lotion would be really greasy but the package says "Non-Greasy, Pleasant Scent" So I tried it out andmy first impression was that I agreewith the pleasant scent. It smells like Carmex lip products but a bit more of a faint scent. I am, as you probably know, a HUGE Carmex fan so the smell was familiar and lovely to me.

When I put the lotion on, it made my hands feel soft and moisturized. I felt like my dehydrated hands were taking a huge gallon of water in. It was awesome! The only downfall for me was that it does, leave a little bit of a filmy feeling on my hands. It is not too much, but enough that I notice it. But even with that I would recommend trying it out for yourself!

Oh and did I mentionhow awedsome it is that this product comes in a cream and a lotion? The cream is a thicker product and meant to repair the toughest skin, the lotion is thinner and meant for everyday use. Oh and the BEST thing is that these come in travel sizes!! I have flown out of town multiple times over the last month or so, and these travel size tubes are SOOO awesome to travel with!

What Can You win?

One Lucky Beckee's Deals reader will win the same product package I was sent for this review:
  • 1 Carmex Healing Lotion
  • 1 Carmex Healing Cream
  • 1 Travel size Carmex Healing Lotion
  • 1 Travel size Carmex Healing Cream

Enter below on the Rafflecopter form (if it does not appear or it appears incorrectly, please click on the title of this post and it should reload and show up correctly!)

Make sure you enter on the Rafflecopter form above! As the form says:
Please note that the giveaway will end on 11/28 at 12:01 AM EASTERN time. That means you have until 11:01 PM on 11/27 (My baby sisters birthday!!) Central time to get in entries. Please note that winner will be picked at random by Rafflecopter after the giveaway ends! Also, Facebook is not affiliated with this giveaway and cannot be help responsible for it in any way. Sorry, but this one is for US only.

Good luck!

Best Omaha Soda Deals 11/16-11/24

Soda Prices have been high lately, so you may want to stock up this week!! Here are the best Soda deals in Omaha beginning TOMORROW, Wednesday 11/16. You can pricematch these!!
  • Coke Product 12 packs 4/$11 ($2.75 each) (HV & NFF)
  • 7UP and Dr Pepper Product 12 packs 3/$6.75 (with purchase of 3-that is only $2.25 each!!!! Best price in a LONG time!) (NFF)
  • Coke, Pepsi, 7Up 12 packs $2.75 each when you buy 4 (B)
Note the key for the stores to match: Hyvee (HV), Bag N Save (BnS), No Frills Fresh (NFF), Baker's (B), Aldi's (A), Super Saver (SS), Fareway (F), Walmart (W).


Beckee's Best of Omaha Grocery 11/16-11/24

**Note that this week's ad actually appears to go for 9 days-starting TOMORROW (Wednesday 11/16) and ending on Thursday 11/24. So it runs 2 days longer than the week to week ads usually run.**
Here are my favorite deals in Omaha grocery this week:

  • Dole Celery $.49 each
  • Hershey's Baking Chips 8-12 oz $1.88
  • Coke Product 12 packs 4/$11 ($2.75 each)
  • Clementines 5 lb pkg $5.99
  • Hy Vee Natural Pumpkin 15 oz can $.69
No Frills Fresh
  • 7UP and Dr Pepper Product 12 packs 3/$6.75 (with purchase of 3-that is only $2.25 each!!!! Best price in a LONG time!)
  • Coke Product 12 packs 4/$11 ($2.75 each)
  • Ritz Crackers 9.5-25.5 oz or Nabisco Snack Crackers 5.5-10oz $1.38 (with in ad coupon)
  • Festive (brand) FrozenTurkey $.99/lb (limit 2)
  • Roberts Sour Cream $.98
  • Farmland Half Spiral Sliced Hams $1.99/lb
  • Our Family canned Vegetables (14.5-15.25 oz) 3/$.99
  • Nestle Morsels $1.88 (10-12 oz)
  • Russet Potatoes 15 lb bag $2.99
  • Vlasic Pickles 16-32 oz $1.98
  • Mrs Smith Pies $3.48
  • Marie Callendar's Pies $4.98
  • Wilderness Pie Filling 20-21 oz Cherry or Apple 2/$5
  • Bakery Cooked Pumpkin or Apple Pie 8 inch $2.99 each
  • Campbells Gravy 10.25-10.5 oz $.59
  • McCormicks Brown Gravy mix $.59
  • French's French Fried Onions 6 oz $2.78
  • Kraft Jet Puffed Marshmallows 10 oz regular or 10.5 oz mini $.99
  • Pillsbury Crescent or Rolls 12.3-13.9 oz 3/$5
  • Pom Wonderful Pomegranates 3/$5
  • EXCLUSIVELY at the Bakers Square location there is also 6 oz Red Raspberries for $1.77
Bag N Save
***Note that BnS is CLOSED on Thanksgiving!***
  • Our Family Premium Turkey $.49 (limit 1 with additional $25 purchase)
  • Butterball Turkeys 10 lb and up limit 2 $.98/lb
  • Pan O Gold Brown N Serve Rolls 12 ct $.88
  • Shank Portion Ham $1.49/lb
  • Yellow Onion 3 lb bag $1.49
  • Bruce's Cut Yam 40 oz $1.99
  • Our Family Butter $2.49
Baker's (Remember their sales are almost always WITH card)
  • Jennie-O Fresh Turkey $.59 (limit 2 with card and additional $25 purchase)
  • Coke, Pepsi, 7Up 12 packs $2.75 each when you buy 4
***Aldi's sale only goes until 11/22***
  • Pineapple $.99 each
  • Cranberries12 oz bag $.99/bag
  • Russet Potatoes 10 lb $1.79
Super Saver
  • Super Saver claims to have "Turkey Insurance" and that their Turkey price will be at least $.02 per pound less than the lowest advertised price of their competitors
  • Fresh Yams $.27/lb
  • Cook's Spiral Sliced Hams half or Whole $1.77/lb
  • Meadow Gold Butter 1 lb $1.88
  • Stove Top Stuffing Mix 6 oz $.88
  • Philidelphia Cream Cheese $.98
  • Best Choice Dozen Large Eggs  $.98
  • Kraft Cool Whip 8 oz $.78
  • Campbells Cream of Mushroom and Cream of Chicken Soups 10.75 oz $.58
  • Ocean Spray 14 oz Jellied or Whole Cranberry $.88
  • Swanson Broth 14 oz beef, chicken or Natural Goodness Chicken $.38
  • Land O Lakes Milk Gallon (whole, 2%, 1%, or Skim) $2.48 (limit 2)
  • Fastco  Basted Turkey $.68/lb
  • Land O Lakes Sour Cream 16 oz $.97
  • Lindsey Black Pitted ( 6 oz) or Green Olives (5.75 oz) $.97
  • Heinz Gravy 12 oz $.97
  • Pillsbury Pie Crusts $1.99 (14.1 oz box)
  • Pillsbury Pet Ritz Frozen Pie Crust 2 packs $1.99
  • Pillsbury Crescent or Rolls 12.3-13.9 oz 3/$5
  • Seedless Red Grapes $.99/lb
In addition to their regular week long special, Fareway also has a 2 Day Price Buster Sale Friday 11/18-Saturday 11/19 that includes the following:
  • Fareway Cottage Cheese 24 oz $.99
  • Fareway Chili Beans $.28 (limit 4)
  • 93% Lean Ground Beef $2.49/lb (sold in 10 lb tubes for $24.90)
  • Green Giant 5 lb Russet Potatoes $.88
  • Libby Canned Vegetable 4 Pack 58-60 oz $2
  • Rhodes Frozen Dinner Rolls 36 ct 48 oz $3.74
  • Fresh Sweet Potatoes $.38/lb
  • Nutella $3.28
***Remember that I generally just price match at Walmart as much as I can rather than go to all the stores separately! I LOVE being able to do that. You can also pricematch at Target, but I find it easier to pricematch at Walmart.


Thanksgiving the Beckee's Deals way...

This is an updated repost from last year about how I do a Beckee's Deals Family Thanksgiving! Just wanted to post it before I post the Thanksgiving price Match post later today or tomorrow morning!
I have to admit something...I am NOT a frugal Thanksgiving cook. I, in fact, go a bit crazy for Thanksgiving, even when I am just cooking for my family of 7 (2 adults, 4 kids ages 3-8 and a baby that will eat very very little). But, over the last 2 years, while I have been cooking for our family and friends on a budget, I have tried to cut down a bit. Just so you know where I am coming from, let me tell you that in the past, I have taken my mom's Thanksgiving menu and made it all plus a few additions I have added along the years (keep in mind ALL items are made from scratch including the cranberry sauce). So, (prepare for overload and shock) here is my mom's menu Plus my additions (I will denote those with *):
  • Turkey
  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Sage "American" Stuffing/dressing
  • "Greek" Dressing
  • Cranberry Dressing
  • Cranberry sauce
  • Orange-Cranberry Relish/Sauce
  • Gravy
  • XiaXia's Rolls
  • Yams/Sweet Potatoes with Marshmallows
  • Ambrosia
  • Jello Salad
  • Olive/Pickle/cheese appetizer tray
  • Cheese Ball with crackers
  • Hot Apple Cider
  • Christmas Pudding
  • Cranberry Cookies
  • Pies-1-2 Pumpkin, the whatever else I feel up to making (Apple, Cherry, cream pies, mince meat)
  • Pecan Pie*
  • Ham/pickle/cream cheese roll ups*
  • Green Bean Casserole*
Ok-I realize that for a family of 7 this is a bit crazy, but I feel like it is not much of a holiday if I am missing anything. However, I am realistic, so I have cut it down a bit, and there are a few things I no longer do from scratch.  So here is the menu as I have streamlined it over the years and which items I no longer make from scratch.  Also, some of the items I make throughout the weeks before and after instead of all on one day (like the desserts).  (Highlit items I still make. Bolded means I have cut it from the menu, and I will put comments next the the items):

  • Turkey
  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Sage "American" Stuffing/dressing (I actually no longer make this from scratch though-we found that our little family likes Stove Top just as well and it is far easier!!)
  • "Greek" Dressing (I actually LOVE this, but it is the hardest/most time consuming thing on the menu and I found I am usually the only one to eat it, so I cut it out-it also has expensive ingredients that are not as easy to find here in Omaha as they were to find growing up in Utah).
  • Cranberry Dressing (I just cut down to 1 dressing)
  • Cranberry sauce ( I just like the one with Orange better so I only make one)
  • Orange-Cranberry Relish/Sauce
  • Gravy
  • XiaXia's Rolls (Admitedly I do not always do these from my XiaXia's recipe/from scratch. Sometimes I opt for pillsbury ones or premade to save time, but I always regret it!)
  • Yams/Sweet Potatoes with Marshmallows
  • Ambrosia (Yes I realize this is both Bolded and highlit-It remains on my menu, but sometimes I don't get to it or have room in the fridge, so it is an iffy one)
  • Jello Salad (As with the Ambrosia, this one is one I often end up skipping, and when I do make it, I rarely make the full Jello salad recipe-often it ends up being just jello made by the kids, and that is perfect for our family!)
  • Olive/Pickle/cheese appetizer tray (This one really depends on sale prices. I like to have it for people to snack on all day while we cook, but if these items do not go on a great sale leading up to the holiday, they are cut out!)
  • Cheese Ball with crackers
  • Christmas Pudding (I save this for Christmas if I make it at all-my family is not big fans)
  • Cranberry Cookies  (I always make these but usually not right on Thanksgiving-it is part of the Thanksgiving week treats though)
  • Pies-1-2 Pumpkin, then whatever else I feel up to making (Apple, Cherry, cream pies, mince meat)
  • Pecan Pie*
  • Ham/pickle/cream cheese roll ups*
  • Green Bean Casserole*
What do you cook for Thanksgiving? What are the MUST haves at your house?  Have youhad to streamline and cut back like I have?  What are your favorite Thanksgiving tips and tricks? Please leave answers to any of these questions in the comments section or on the Facebook wall, or email me at beckeesdeals@gmail.com