As you get started on your #holiday shopping, the New York Times’ Wirecutter says, remember that not all sales are created equal. List prices may be inflated to make store discounts look bigger, and you’ll likely need to comparison-shop to save real dollars on any merchandise that’s in demand. If you see a sale price on something you want, compare that price across multiple sellers with a simple internet search. To get the lowest prices, use online price-tracking tools and/or subscribe to alerts from your favorite retailers to hear about flash sales and member specials — but don’t be shy about unsubscribing if you don’t want those messages #cluttering your feeds. #HolidayTips
Black Friday Arrived Early This Year
Facing ongoing supply-chain issues worried about consumer spending, the nation’s retailers have put #holiday promotions into overdrive, announcing early Black Friday deals before most kids even had a chance to sort their #Halloween candy. Though #Christmas “creep” seems to kick off the season sooner every year, consumers concerned about the high cost of gift-giving and inflation’s effect on their pocketbooks would do well to start their shopping now — and remember that the #thrift and #secondhand stores supplied by generous #donations to ClothingDonations.org offer lots of great #deals on lightly used #clothing and household goods. #HolidayShoppingTips
Use a Price Tracker to Find Online Deals
If you’re looking for something specific and don’t want to spend more than necessary, try a price tracker such as CapitalOne Shopping (formerly WikiBuy), Honey or Pricegrabber. Not only will such sites and apps seek out the best offers on the internet, some will also find the latest coupon codes to further reduce the prices paid. Almost any Google product search will also deliver price comparisons to help shoppers check everyone off your list from the comfort of your desk or couch, too. With supply chain issues and the dangers and frustrations that crowded stores bring, you’ll want to buy soon. #ShoppingTips
Building the Back-to-School Spirit Amid Uncertainty
This year’s back-to-school to-do lists likely include more than equipping the kids with new clothes, crayons and backpacks. #COVID-19 — and in particular, its highly contagious #Delta variant — has brought new uncertainties to reentry.
Parents must navigate mask mandates and consider the level of risk their children face in returning to in-person classes. One vaccine is approved for use in children 12 and up in the U.S., and availability may expand to all school-aged children in the next few months.
Until the #coronavirus is conquered, it may be difficult for parents and students alike to be enthused or unworried about the start of school. But there are some strategies you can follow to ease kids back into the swing.
The New York Times suggests returning to a regular school-year routine that includes regular bed and wakeup times, as well as consistent mealtimes. For grade-schoolers, a ban on screens starting an hour prior to bedtime can help establish a rhythm.
Outings such as hikes and picnics can help everyone cope with the transition back to in-person activity after a year-and-a-half of restrictions. Decide how much risk is acceptable when it comes to kids’ participation in sports and other activities, especially those held indoors.
Families may want kids to avoid “high-breath” activities held in close quarters such as choir, band or wrestling, for example. Follow the recommended safety precautions and try to emphasize what kids can do as they return to classrooms, CNN says — not what they can’t.
Students may not need as many new clothes if some of their classes are held remotely, but they may need new laptops and tablets to pursue their virtual lessons effectively. Shop retailers’ many back-to-school sales for the best deals.
Anything that won’t get used this year — stuff such as too-small clothing, last-generation phones and laptops, and equipment for the sport no one in the family plays — can be donated to ClothingDonations.org.
Sort out all of that that extra stuff, put it in bags and boxes, and leave in a designated location on the scheduled day for #contactless #pickup. You’ll be glad you have the room for all of the new stuff that every new school year seems to bring in.
Make a Budget for Black Friday
To ensure you don’t overspend at the Black Friday sales this week, start out with a strict budget, Consumer Reports advises. Whether you do most of your holiday shopping in-store or online, decide how much you’re ultimately going to spend, and stick to that number. If you are not sure that you’re getting the best price on something, move on to the next web page or display. And if you can’t resist using a credit card to overspend, only carry cash to stores instead. Finally, check retailers’ return and exchange policies on Black Friday items to avoid paying a restocking fee or having to keep merchandise you don’t want.