As we get closer to Christmas, stores are offering more and more discounts, deals, and special offers to entice customers. this year, there are more Christmas-focused pre-Black Friday deals than ever before, with stores in a never-ending competition to snag the most customers and the biggest profits during the most shopping-focused time of year.
Some pre-Thanksgiving deals have already come and gone, and the Black Friday deals are too numerous for me to detail here. Instead, I'm simply listing some of the current offers that I find to be the best deals / the ones I'm most likely to use myself.
Because there are so many deals this time, I'm putting them all below the fold, so to speak. Click through for all 8 deals, which include Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Sears, Target, J.Crew Factory, Snapfish, and Bath & Body Works. Happy shopping!
I just placed an order on Target.com for a baby gift. Since I was shipping the gift to the mom-to-be and wouldn't be able to attend her shower in person, I wanted to include a gift message. I attempted to include the following message:
Congratulations! We're so excited for you. We can't wait to meet the little one!
Love, Andrea & William (Mike)
(We had to go with a turtle theme; the mascot of William's alma mater is a terrapin, after all.)
Yet Target told me that they could not include my message because it contained special characters or unacceptable words. Um, what?
On top of that, Target had erased my entire message and didn't bother to tell me which characters or words were unacceptable. So I tried again, removing all line breaks.
Still unacceptable. I tried again, removing all parantheses and the ampersand. Still unacceptable. I tried again, thinking that perhaps Target's vocabulary wasn't quite large enough to include "alma mater" and "terrapin," so I changed them to "college" and "turtle," respectively. Still unacceptable.
When I was on the verge of hitting my computer, I simply tried,
Congratulations! Love, Andrea and William
Finally, Target deemed my message acceptable and attached it to the gift.
But Target, I'd really like to know...
What was unacceptable about my original message?
Since I'm not as big a shopper as Andréa, I tend to favor different stores than she does. She asked me to share my shopping tendencies.
Like Andréa, I like secondhand stores such as Salvation Army, Goodwill (although their prices aren't as good as Salvation Army), and Savers (I think they're only in New England) for super low prices, especially when shopping for something really basic like jeans. I get shopping fatigue really fast, however, so that kind of store can also be pretty overwhelming for me.
Unlike Andréa, I don't really like to shop at stores like TJMaxx and Marshalls, because they have that same overwhelming nature (crowded racks with all sorts of things on them), but their prices aren't as good as a thrift store.
Probably the stores that I enjoy shopping at the most are Old Navy, Target, and—slightly less—Kohl's, because those stores have decent prices and fairly basic stuff, but they also have organized racks so I don't have to look through every single item. Kohl's can get a bit crowded and messy, though.
I think I'm always trying to find a balance between easy shopping and finding a good bargain, because truly frugal shopping takes a lot of energy.
My sister Juliana recently asked me to help her get pretty much a whole new, coordinated wardrobe. (Read the details of the mission here.) She set me a budget of $100, but I know she likes to be able to pick from choices, plus it's hard to know exactly what will work for another person, so I went over budget, knowing that many items would be returned.
All in all, I spent just around $300 for 36 items, providing a plethora of wardrobe options.
Read on for all the details on prices and stores.