Five Deals to Get You Out On the Town

Hey Friend,

Just wanted to let you know that I have relaunched my blog at a whole new site, with a whole new look! Check it out, re-bookmark the new site, and follow me over there. Lots of new posts to read, like this post, Is AirfareWatchdog Your Low Airfare Dealhound?

Hope to see you there!

Link to the new and improved Let’s Get Deals Today Home Page.

Link to Five Deals to Get You Out On the Town‘s new and improved look.

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The weekend is almost here. Doesn’t a fun day out on the town sound like a great way to spend your Saturday? Sounds a bit pricey, huh! Well, it doesn’t have to be, if you know where to look.

AmazonLocal

So go on, get out and enjoy your neighborhood this weekend. And to help you do that, here’s five favorite Local Deals websites that will have you out the door and enjoying the local ambiance before you know it. And with these money-saving deals, have enough leftover to also book a relaxing spa-day – with another discount deal, of course!

1. Restaurant.com: At these prices, you can take the whole family out to dinner. Don’t know where to dine? Let Restaurant.com help you chose, and with the savings, everyone gets dessert! Use promo code TRIP through today, March 8th, and you can buy select $25 vouchers for only $3. The $3 menu not making your taste buds happy? Then pick from their “non-super-discounted” $10 menu. Still a great bargain for dinner on the town. Looking for a dining idea to go with your Restaurant.com deal? Check out Restaurant.com’s The Dish for a twist on this weekend’s dinner plans.

Restaurant.com

Better yet: Purchase through Mr. Rebates and get an additional 25% cash back!

Learn more about Restaurant.com at Let Restaurant.com Get Dinner Tonight!

2. Groupon: A Groupon Deal might just have you enjoying a Paintball Day Adventure in Maryland, exploring The Kreeger Museum in Washington DC, watching a New Orleans VooDoo football game, or taking the kids to The Original Renaissance Pleasure Fair in Irwindale, CA. You just don’t know what you are going to find at Groupon. When on the home page, click on the All Deals tab to get a profile of all the local deals, not just the featured deal. Who knows? You might just find yourself having a blast at the Funk-A-Palooza concert in the Gibson Amphitheatre in Universal City.

Groupon

Better yet: Purchase through Mr. Rebates, and get an additional 6% cash back!

Learn more about Groupon at Are You a Groupon Groupie?

3. Gilt-City: Get on board with Gilt City and get in on deals like UnCork It Wine Tasting Classes in Chicago, late night sushi at the Red Lantern in Boston, enjoying a concert by Best Coast in Seattle, or tickets to Tony Bennett’s Tennis Event and Benefit Gala in Key Biscayne, FL. Gilt City brings you memorable adventures and exclusive offers, all at prices you’re sure to remember for years to come. Let Gilt City help you enjoy your city more. You might even score tickets to that band you’ve always wanted to see!

Gilt City

Better yet: Purchase through Mr. Rebates and get an additional 5% cash back!

Learn more about Gilt CIty at Is Gilt Your Guilty Shopping Pleasure?

4. AmazonLocal: Save up to 75% off new adventures or old favorites with the deals at AmazonLocal. Join the AmazonLocal family and score a deal that might just have you dining on Italian at Trattoria Guiseppe in Edgemont PA, enjoying a spa treatment at Skin Care by Danielle in Boise, getting your hair done at DC Hair Studio in Parker CO, or sweating to the beat with One Month of Unlimited Cross Fit Classes in Exton PA. Adventure more your style? They’ve got that too.

AmazonLocal

Learn more about AmazonLocal atLoco For AmazonLocal?

5. CouponMap by Coupon Cabin: How easy is this? Put in your location, and up pops a location-generated list of coupons, conveniently mapped for you! All those local coupons are just waiting for you to print and use. So go on, look around and you might just find yourself enjoying a new restaurant this weekend. Get your nails done at Anthony Vince Lifestyle Nail Salon and Spa. Enjoy Greek food for dinner at Kyriaki’s. Better still – at these prices, you can do both! Get your nails done in morning, and then show them off at dinner, all for less than you would have spent without these coupons. Sweet!

CouponCabin

Learn more about Coupon Cabin at Get Coupon Cabin Fever.

Want to learn more about Mr. Rebates? Read Save More With Mr. Rebates.

So sign up today, and by tomorrow, start enjoying everything your town has to offer – for less! Now that’s a deal worthy of a night out on the town!

Are you a member of any of these Local Deals websites? Do you plan to join one, or perhaps all five, now? Let us know what your experiences are in the Comments section below.

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Spring Away with a Groupon Getaway!

Hey Friend,

Just wanted to let you know that I have relaunched my blog at a whole new site, with a whole new look! Check it out, re-bookmark the new site, and follow me over there. Lots of new posts to read, like this post, Is AirfareWatchdog Your Low Airfare Dealhound?

Hope to see you there!

Link to the new and improved Let’s Get Deals Today Home Page.

Link to the Spring Away with a Groupon Getaway! new and improved look.

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Want to escape for Spring Break? Looking for a bargain on a quick getaway? Then you need Groupon Getaway!

What’s Groupon Getaway? It’s a partnership with Expedia.com to bring consumers the best possible deals on a wide variety of vacations for nearly every vacation budget. Find travel deals around your town, or around the world.

How do you get access to Groupon Getaways? Simply sign up for their free membership so you don’t miss the latest escape plan. Here’s how: Click on this link to Groupon Getaways, then follow these three steps:

  1. Choose a city that is closest to you.
  2. Enter your e-mail address.
  3. You’re in!

That’s all it takes to get the latest and greatest travel deals. Best of all: you can access deals from anywhere within the Groupon Getaways system. Simply change the city and you might find deals that are not posted under your chosen city. You can purchase a Getaway from any city offering, not just your own.

Here’s a selection of six hot deals you can buy right now, and escape as early as next month:

Best Western Plus Agate Beach Inn, Newport Oregon: Who doesn’t like a beach getaway, and this one’s a great escape for the whole family. Watch the kids hunt for agates and jump the surf while you sit back and sip your glass of Oregon merlot. Then wander back to your ocean view room at this family-friendly hotel Now that’s relaxing! What you get:

  • The Deal: Rooms for $110. That’s a 50% savings off the regular rate of $221.
  • Includes: One night in an ocean view room for up to two adults and three kids; an insulated canvas tote bag with a bottle of Oregon merlot, two wine glasses, a glass-blown wine stopper, bottle opener, and the DVD, Yaquina Bay.
  • Fine Print: Must travel between March 1st and June 30, 2012.
  • Time to Purchase: Groupon offer expires February 26th.
  • Limit: Two vouchers per visit. May purchase two for self, and one as a gift.

Banner Elk Winery and Villa, Blue Ridge Mountains, North Carolina: Got wine? Banner Elk Winery sure does, and it can be yours for a weekend with this wine-lover’s special deal. Feel like you have just been transported to Tuscany when you take advantage of this offer. What you get:

  • The Deal: A two night package starting at $159. That’s a whopping 64% savings off the regular rate of $436!
  • Includes: Two nights for two in a Blueberry, Bordeaux, or Pinot Grigio suite with winery tour for two and a bottle of wine.
  • Fine Print: Book by July 15 for travel between now and July 31, 2012. Or, book by February 12, 2013 for travel from August to February, 2013.
  • Time to Purchase: Groupon offer expires February 26th.
  • Limit: One voucher per visit. May purchase one for self, and one as a gift.

Sheraton At The Falls, Niagara Falls, NY: Looking for action? Then check out this package, walking distance to the Senaca Niagra Casino and a mile from Niagara Falls. Just don’t take a barrel over the falls, please! What you get:

  • The Deal: Rooms for $79 or $109. That’s as much as 59% savings off the regular rate of $179.
  • Includes: $20 dining credit at TGI Fridays, $30 of free slot play and $30 spa credit at the Senaca Niagara Casino, making this package valued at $229 per night. Now that’s worth a gamble!
  • Fine Print: Must book by May 31 and complete travel by June 1, 2012.
  • Time to Purchase: Groupon offer expires February 26th.
  • Limit: Up to three vouchers per visit. May purchase up to five vouchers.

13-Day China Tour, including Beijing, Xi’an, and Shanghai: Fascinated by the famous TerraCotta Horses and Warriors? Always dreamed of walking along the Great Wall of China? Want to know how an olympic athlete might feel walking into the Beijing National Stadium? If you answered yes to any of these question, then Groupon has a deal for you! What you get:

  • The Deal: From $1369 for package prices starting at $2299. That’s a 40% savings. Don’t want the hassle of booking your own air from the U.S.? Then choose the “U.S. air included” option at $2329. Final price varies on which package you choose, but the savings are still Olympic-sized.
  • Includes: Luxury accommodations, all ground and “in-China” air, English speaking guides, most meals, dinner shows, and entrance fees. If you chose the “U.S. air” option, then practically everything.
  • Fine Print: Must book by March 31 and complete travel by December 31, 2012.
  • Time to Purchase: Groupon offer expires February 26th.
  • Limit: Up to two vouchers per trip. May purchase two for self, two as gifts.

Hotel Villas Playa Samara, Costa Rica: Winter blues getting you down? Then you need a sunny deal to brighten your day. Escape to a jungle paradise and rejuvenate your sunny side with this escape to Costa Rica. What you get:

  • The Deal: $459 or $749 for packages worth $925 or $1511. That’s a bright sun-shiny savings of 50%!
  • Includes: A four or seven night stay for two in a deluxe room with $100 resort credit for four days, $150 credit for seven days, a kayak tour, and breakfast every day.
  • Fine Print: Must complete travel by December 20, 2012.
  • Time to Purchase: Act fast for this one. The Groupon offer expires in 5 days, February 23rd.
  • Limit: Up to two vouchers per trip. May purchase two for self, two as gifts.

Culinary Tour of Abruzzo, Italy: Fancy yourself a chef? Want to learn more about Italian cooking? Then channel your inner chef with this foodie-delicious trip. What you get:

  • The Deal: $1797 for “one traveler with friend,” original price of $2995; or $3475 for two travelers, original price of $5990. That’s a mouth-watering 40% savings you can sink your teeth into!
  • Includes: A seven day, six night stay at the Palazzo Tour d’Eau hotel, four cooking classes, one pastry class, a day trip to the Adriatic Coast, tours of a salami plant, olive mill, and cheese producer, ground transport to and from the local airport, and breakfast, lunch and dinner each day.
  • Fine Print: Must book by August 31, and travel by October 31, 2012.
  • Time to Purchase: Groupon offer expires February 26th.
  • Limit: Only one voucher per trip. May purchase one for self, two as gifts.

Ready to book: So you have now made that big decision to book a Groupon Getaway travel deal. How do you purchase it? How do you claim it? Groupon makes it easy. Just follow these directions and you will soon be ready to take that escape you have been waiting for:

  1. Purchase your Groupon Getaway Deal using the BUY button on the deal’s home page.
  2. Call the travel provider before the deal expiration date. The number will be provided in your Groupon purchase.
  3. Book your dates within the allowable travel voucher dates.
  4. Mention your Groupon Getaway purchase and provide your credit card number.

To help expedite your booking, have your travel dates ready, including a back-up date just in case your preferred date is already booked. Also have on hand the credit card you purchased your Groupon with, and the Groupon deal itself.

Want to know more about Groupon? Then read Are You a Groupon Groupie?

Want to get an even better deal? Click to Groupon through Mr. Rebates. Right now there is a 6% cash back rebate on Groupon purchases. Learn more about Mr. Rebates here: Save More With Mr. Rebates.

Are you planning a Spring getaway? Where are you going? What’s your favorite Groupon Getaway? Let us know in the Comments section below.

Seven Last Minute Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas

Ok, so you procrastinated until the last minute for that special Valentine’s Day gift. No worries! You aren’t alone. It seems that many of us do the same.

What to do about it now? You’ve got work, school, kids’s activities, and a plethora of other things to do today. When are you going to find the time to pick up something? Have no fear, we’re here to rescue your gift giving dilemna.

Groupon

How? Check out these very last minute ideas to make it a sweet day:

1. Express your love with Rattlebox.com: Don’t just say your love: express it in your own unique style with a whimsical or goofy video e-card from Rattlebox. Rattlebox provides 1000’s of free, unique and fun video card choices, or be creative and produce your own!

2. Feed your love with Restaurant.com: No reservations for the big night? That’s ok. Gift your loved one with a Restaurant.com gift card and let them pick the day to celebrate your love. Use coupon code “SWEETIE” and spend only $2 for a $25 gift card. That is a fantastic deal! Hurry: this coupon code expires on Valentine’s Day. But wait: buy through Mr. Rebates and receive a giant 30% cash back. Now that’s a sweet deal of a meal!

Restaurant.com

3. Wrap up your love with Giftly.com: Need a gift for a far-away sweetheart? Send them a Giftly gift card. Does your sweetheart have a cell phone? Have Giftly “deliver” your gift right to their phone with a special text message and a link to your Giftly gift. Surprise your sweetie when you can’t be there yourself.

Giftly.com

4. Send your love in a Hallmark e-Card: Don’t have time to get to your local Hallmark store? Show how much you care with a Hallmark Valentine’s Day e-card. A great last minute option to “heart” your loved one.

Hallmark

5. Be Hip with love notes from Hipster e-Card: Let Hipster help you say your special Valentine’s Day message. Their “out of the box” card styles may be just the ticket to showcase your quirkiness!

Hipster.com

6. Be Stellar with Groupon’s Star Naming Gift Set: Give an “out of this world” gift with the Name-A-Star offer and let them know they are your special twinkling star. A real rocket ship even launches the name and dedication message into Earth’s orbit to mark the celestial occasion. Buy your Groupon gift through Mr. Rebates and receive 8% cash back. How cool is that!

Groupon.com

7. Sweeten your love with chocolate: Your special sweet tooth gotta have chocolate? Then give a chocolate of the month club membership and they will be sweet on you each time a new box arrives. Here’s two chocolate-yummy choices to consider:

Lake Champlain Chocoloates

Bonus idea! Are you an Amazon Prime member? Don’t forget that you can still pick out a gift today and have it delivered by tomorrow. You will need to choose “Next Day” shipment at a small shipping fee, but hey, your loved one’s worth it! Check out these ideas at Amazon Valentine’s Day Gifts.

Show your sweetie how sweet it is this Valentine’s Day!

How do you celebrate Valentine’s Day? Let us know in the Comments section below.

Sweet Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas

Ten Days and counting to Valentine’s Day. Have you found your perfect gift yet? If not, there’s still plenty of time to shop. And to help you on your way, here’s more heart-felt gift ideas that are sure to please everyone this Valentine’s Day.

Samdogs

Set the mood for love with Gilt. Let Gilt’s Gift Giving Guide find gifts for everyone on your list. Just make sure to look for the heart near the “Add to Cart” button to ensure delivery by February 14th. Jumpstart your search with these three heart pumping ideas:

Gilt.com

Bling her out with jewelry deals from Groupon and BlueNile:

  • These Sterling Silver Swarovski Earrings will sparkle her day! $19 at Groupon, originally $70. Shop through Mr.Rebates for another 8% cash back.
  • This Double Heart Pendant might be your ticket to a heart-stopping gift. $247 at BlueNile, originally $380. Click through Mr.Rebates and earn 4% cash back. Free shipping too!

BlueNile.com

Dazzle your man with these cool gift ideas at Etsy and Shari’s Berries:

Lurgasmic at Etsy

Lend Cupid a hand with Personalization Mall. Save as much as 25% off too! Get free shipping on orders of $65 or more with code VALSHIP12. Use Mr.Rebates and get a whopping 15% cash back. Most orders can be customized and ready to ship in 1-2 days, and if placed by Feb. 8, your gift should arrive in time. Get personal this Valentine’s Day with these gifts:

PersonalizationMall.com

Give a sweet gift from Red Envelope. You gotta love the savings with up to 50% off and an additional 20% off with Promo Code SGIFTS20. Make your purchase through Mr.Rebates, add another 7% cash back. Now that’s a sweetheart of a deal! Your loved one’s going to “heart” these gifts for sure:

  • Express your love with this Personalized Love Wall Art. Originally $79.95, now only $39.99. Subtract 20% for a final price of $32.
  • The Inspiration Quote Bangle will remind her every day of your love for her. Originally $99.95, now $74.99. Subtract 20% for a final price of $60.
  • A Murano Heart Bracelet is bound to show how much you “heart” someone. Originally$49.95, now $39.99. Subtract 20% for a final price of $32
  • The Year of Love Candles is sure to melt her heart. Originally $69.95, now $49.99. Subtract 20% for a final price of $40.

RedEnvelope.com

Shop heart-healthy savings at the Macy’s Go Red for Women Sale. Use the promo code RED when shopping online for 20% off your purchase. Don’t forget the Mr.Rebates click-through for another 4% cash back. Shopping in-store? Be sure to wear RED to get an extra 20% off your purchase. Save an additional 10% off select sale jewelry purchase; use promo code EXTRA for online purchases.

  • The Macy’s Jewelry sale is chock-ful of savings. And with jewelry in every price range, you are sure to steal her heart on Valentine’s Day.
  • Want something else? The Valentine’s Day Gift Giving Guide can guide you. Pick your price range, find your gift, share your love, Macy’s style!

Macy's

While at Macy’s, why not also purchase a $2 Red Dress Pin and support the American Heart Association? Now that’s a heart-healthy deal!

Want to learn more about Mr. Rebates? Read Save More With Mr. Rebates.

So what are you giving this Valentine’s Day? Let us know in the Comments Section below.

5 Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas

Have someone special you want to surprise this Valentine’s Day? Don’t want to give the “standard” gift of flowers and chocolate? Here’s 5 gift ideas for all budgets to add pizzazz and sparks to your gift giving plans!

Little Miss Cupcake

1. Cozy Wine and Dine: Who doesn’t love a fabulous home cooked meal with their loved ones? Channel your “inner-gourmet” with a glam new recipe and a bottle of wine to go with it. Where to find that recipe and wine? Try these sites:

  • Gilt Taste: Find tasty recipes ready to cook as well as tips on preparation and food items to purchase at Gilt Taste. Be sure to check out the gourmet food deals to compliment your menu. A boon for the foodie in you. A mouthful of happiness for your someone special!
  • Gilt Wine: Find a wine that best compliments your gourmet meal with Gilt Taste’s weekly wine deals. Make your oenophile’s taste buds happy.
  • WinesTilSoldOut: Follow your home cooked meal with a special bottle of wine. And why not get that wine at a steal! If you don’t have a discount wine store nearby, there’s plenty of tasty wine deals here.

Gilt Taste

2. A Night on The Town: Don’t want to channel your inner chef? Why not try out a fab new restaurant without breaking the bank? Valentine’s Day is one of the busiest nights for restaurants, so if you are planning an evening on the town, make sure you plan ahead with reservations. However, if crowds aren’t your pleasure, why not celebrate another night? Consider an early Valentine’s Day dinner on Monday. Or perhaps a nightclub the following Saturday. These websites offer daily delectable deals perfect for your night out. Sign up and have the latest offers delivered straight to your e-mail:

  • Groupon Deals: Find yourself eating up a great deal at a Zagat rated gastronomically delightful restaurant special discovered at Groupon.
  • Gilt City: Dance the night away with specials of all kinds and make it a night on the town to remember thanks to a Gilt City special.

Gilt City

3. Baubles and Trinkets: Looking for a “gift from the heart” for your Valentine’s Day sweetheart? Perhaps a hand-crafted necklace is the answer for a special woman in your life. And for that special man, here’s a few ideas too!

  • Gilt Gifts for Women: Finding the right necklace can be a bit overwhelming. Why not let Gilt guide you to the perfect piece, and save enough to also get those matching earrings!
  • Gilt Gifts for Men: Find a sweet Valentine’s gift for that sweet man with Gilt Men’s gift guide.
  • Etsy: Want a gift as unique as your someone special? Etsy might just have it! Let Etsy’s artists and crafters’s Valentine’s Day Gift guide find you the perfect “something special.”
  • RetailMeNot Idea List: Stumped for ideas? Then why not let RetailMeNot be your guide. RetailMeNot has compiled an extensive list of shopping ideas in a variety of categories, all at bargain prices! You gotta love that deal!
  • Gifting Grace: Still not sure what to get? Perhaps Gifting Grace’s Valentine’s Day gift guide will have the answer. Be sure to check for coupons with RetailMeNot! Right now, use GG25D to can get 25% off a $100 purchase.

Gifting Grace

4. Framed Memories: A gift that keeps on showing the love! Favorite photos can become great budget conscious gifts. Create a custom 2012 calendar, photo album or coffee mug that shows your love for months and years to come. Simply upload your photos to one of the several online digital photoshops and let them help you create a truly custom gift. Sites such as Shutterfly make it easy.

  • Shutterfly: Act fast to take advantage of Shutterfly’s current sale on “all gifts photo” and to ensure an on time delivery. Don’t forget coupon code SHIP30 for free shipping and Mr. Rebates for an additional 5% cash back rebate!
  • Target Photo: Need a last minute photo gift? Upload your photo to Shutterfly, and then with the “Print Local” feature, have your photos printed at Target that same day. Then drive on over, pick up your photo, and head over to Target’s Home Goods section for the perfect picture frame. Shazaam! A great last minute gift. Don’t forget to print your applicable Target Photo Coupon for additional savings.

5. Weekend Getaway: How about a romantic escape to reconnect with your special someone? Valentine’s Day is on a Tuesday, not a weekend this year, but that’s ok! Gift a weekend getaway in a Valentine’s Day card, and escape the following weekend. Several sites offer great deals to satisfy most tastes and budgets from romantic to adventurous, fireside charm to waterside wonders:

  • Groupon Getaways: From coast to coast, and overseas too, find vacation bargains for as much as 50% off at Groupon GetAways. Escape with a $129 special for a $258 Bed & Breakfast in the Colorado San Juan Mountains, or a fab $129 price for a $218 beachfront hotel in Fort Myers FLA.
  • Hotels.com: A great source for hotels near and far! Follow the Deal-of-the-Day and you might just score as much as 50% off a chic downtown escape. Use coupon code REBATES12 for additional savings of between $20 – $100 on any Hotels.com booking right now.
  • Jetsetter: Looking for just a little bit “more” in your weekend getaway? Jetsetter has quite a selection of sweet escape deals to choose from!
  • Budget Travel: Just not sure what to do? Budget Travel has lots of great ideas that are the “Real Deals” at at these prices.

Groupon Getaway

Just remember: if you are ordering items online, don’t wait until the last minute. They might not arrive in time for your special day! Also don’t forget to check RetailMeNot for new coupon codes and Mr. Rebates for additional rebates before you complete any online purchase.

Want to learn more about Gilt, RetailMeNot, Groupon or Mr.Rebates? Check out these prior blog posts for full details:

Do you plan to do anything special for Valentine’s Day? What’s your favorite Valentine’s Day gift idea? Let us know in the Comments Section below.

Five Consumer Trends for 2012

Did you make a New Year’s Resolution for 2012? According to many polls, these five resolutions top the charts this year:

  • Lose weight
  • Stay fit; Be healthier
  • Save money; Spend less money
  • Enjoy life to the fullest
  • Spend more time with family

It’s not always easy to keep your New Years Resolutions; perhaps these following five top consumer and shopping trends for 2012 will help!

A Healthier You: Products centered around a “healthier you” are expected to be on many consumers’ shopping lists this year. From gourmet cooking products to nutritional supplements to activewear, consumers are expected to spend more on their health in 2012. Retailers like Macy’s have extensive kitchen products, and with their frequent sales and WowPass offers, finding a great deal is just around the corner. Keep an eye on sporting goods and apparel giants like Modell’s and  Dicks Sporting Goods for sales and deals on “all things sporty.”

Modell's

Recommercing: The fine art of reselling your no-longer-wanted items has changed! Yard sales and consignment shops have been the quintessential recommerce market for years. But how many of us want to put our resell items in the front yard? Or “tag-bag-drop-wait” for a consignment shop resell? Enter 2012 and the explosion of more high-tech methods to resell unwanted goodies. Almost anything can be bought and sold in today’s internet recommerce market: books, clothes, electronics, toys and more.

Think eBay, CraigsList, Amazon Marketplace, and Gazelle; all examples of internet resellers of our gently used but no longer wanted items. Check out the partnership between major powerhouse reseller eBay and upscale clothing line, Patagonia: eBay+Patagonia Common Threads Initiative. Consider selling your electronics to Gazelle and let them sell for you. As we move through 2012, recommercing one person’s no-longer wanted item can become another person’s treasure at a great price.

eBay + Patagonia

Consumer Electronics: Looking to “upsize” your TV? 2012 may be the year! Electronics prices historically drop in January and February and 2012 is no different. An added bonus for the consumer this year is that prices are expected to remain lower for items such as TVs, cameras, GPSs and other “not-so-coveted” electronics. Brick and mortar stores are in heavy competition with online retailers for your electronics purchases, helping keep those prices down.

TigerDirect.com

But, lower electronics prices do not extend into all areas of electronics; sales are expected to remain strong in the tablet, smartphone and e-reader markets. Be sure to do your research before you buy to ensure you are getting a great price!

Wine: Got wine? Wine consumption continues to be a very strong market, but the slower economy has many of us spending less per bottle. In 2011 we trimmed our purchases of those $30 or higher-priced wines. But don’t despair: in 2012 the glass is not half empty; it’s half full! Wineries have taken note of this change in consumption and plan to offer more lower priced wines in 2012.

Not willing to give up that high-end bottle of wine? Consider wine flash-sale websites dedicated to selling those high priced bottles at a more “drinkable” price. Take a look at WinesTilSoldOut, whose motto is “Fine Wine. Great Prices. One at a Time.” Sales start at midnight and end when the wine is sold out. With wines at 30%-70% off, these bottles are gone in a flash!

WinesTilSoldOut

However, buyer beware: be sure to read the reviews of a low-price wine to ensure you are getting a quality wine at a great price, and not last year’s dredges.

Travel to Europe: Europe is still expensive, but if you’ve been dreaming of a family trip to Barcelona, 2012 might be the year to do it. The European debt crisis and the relative strength of the US dollar to the Euro mean European hotels and attractions could be substantially lower than they have in the past.

If European travel (or any travel for that matter) is in your 2012 plans, consider subscribing to several free travel flash-sale websites, such as Jetsetter.com, or sign up for Groupon Getaways and receive notifications of travel deals around the world. Budget Travel’s website also keeps you in touch with the latest travel deals.

Budget Travel

So what’s your favorite consumer trend for 2012? Where do you see yourself spending your shopping dollars this year? Let us know in the Comments section below.

Gift Cards For Last Minute Gifts

In a pinch to get a last minute gift? Consider a gift card! Several online websites let you custom design your gift card and deliver it via e-mail. If online shopping isn’t your preference, then consider a local brick and mortar retailer.

Online Gift Card Giving Options: Don’t want to fight the crowds at your local mall? Let an online gift card website be your gift giving answer. Check out these four easy to use online gift card resources:

Giftly.com Giftly is great for last minute gift-giving. Why? Because Giftly can turn nearly any local business into a mobile gift card. Want to send your friend in Atlanta a gift card for that trendy clothing store she loves? Using Yelp’s database, Giftly lets you pick your store, create your own personalized gift card, then send it either by e-mail or Facebook to the recipient. Within a few moment’s time, you can design, purchase and  have that gift card delivered. It’s just that easy. Want to learn more about Giftly? Either click on the above link and go directly to Giftly, or read this helpful article at The Wonder of Tech: Giftly – The Next Generation of Gift Cards

Giftly.com

GiftCards.com GiftCards.com offers several options for gift card giving. You can create your own or choose a predesigned card. Need a gift card today? Then choose the Virtual Card option and have an eGift Card delivered the same day. Have a MrRebates account? Purchase your gift card through Mr. Rebates and get an added bonus of a 1% rebate.

GiftCards.com

Groupon.com: Perhaps a Groupon gift certificate is the answer. You can purchase a specific deal at a great price and have it delivered to the recipient via email or smartphone. Or, you can purchase a Groupon Gift Card that allows the recipient to pick his own Groupon special. Either way, Groupon is a great option to simplify your gift giving. Want to learn more about Groupon and how it works? Check out my earlier blog: Are You A Groupon Groupie?

Groupon

Amazon.com: Amazon offers one of the widest selections of inventory available in one location. So why not an Amazon gift card that is redeemable storewide and never expires? It can be printed at home, or delivered directly to the recipient via e-mail, Facebook or free 1-Day Shipping.  Create your own personalized eGift card with the new “upload your photo” option. Another option: give an eGift with a suggested gift item! Choose an item you think your recipient might like and have a photo of that item put on the gift card. The recipient gets a customized gift card, but is not restricted to purchasing that item.

Amazon

Brick and Mortar Gift Card Giving Options: Don’t want to shop online? Many of your local retailers also stock a wide variety of gift cards. Here are four favorites that might be in your neighborhood:

Walgreens: Have a Walgreens nearby? Then check out their gift card inventory. From restaurants to clothing stores, music to electronics stores, Walgreens’ wide selection of gift cards make gift giving easy. And best of all: no crowds!

Walgreens

Walmart: Walmart brick and mortar stores stock gift cards from iTunes to Visa and Amex cards, restaurants, gaming gift cards and movie theatre gift cards too. Don’t have a Walmart nearby? Don’t want to deal with a crowded Walmart store? The online-only Walmart eGift card may be your solution. With a few clicks of your computer or iPad, your customized eGift card is on its way, arriving in the recipient’s e-mail within minutes of placing your order. Just remember though: eGift cards are only usable for online Walmart purchases, not in the store.

Walmart

Kmart-Sears-Lands’End: You will be sure to make someone happy with a gift card that is useable at all three brands! Use the handy online order feature and create your own custom design. Then pick your method of delivery: mail, email or self-print. Mailing the gift card can take 3-7 days with free standard shipping and as much as $8.99 for next day delivery. If time is too short or you don’t want to pay expedited shipping, then choose either the self-print option or have an eGift card e-mailed to the recipient.

Kmart Sears Lands' End

Your Local Grocery Store: Most major grocery stores carry a sizable number of gift cards, making it easy to pick one up while you are getting groceries. Or give the gift of groceries with a gift card to the recipient’s local grocery store.

Are you in need of a last minute gift for this Holiday? What’s your favorite last minute gift idea? Let us know in the Comments section below.

Are You a Last Minute Christmas Shopper?

You are not alone! But what to do now? You only have a few days left to finish your Christmas shopping. Is that enough time? And can you still get a great deal?

Kohl's

Yes! But you may want to act fast if you plan to shop online. Most free shipping offers for a Christmas delivery are ending either today and tomorrow.

Check out these last minute deals you can take advantage of today to complete your Holiday shopping list:

Toys-R-Us

Toys-R-Us: Toys are one of the most highly sought after items at Christmas and today and tomorrow only, Toys-R-Us is running their 50% off sale. For online shoppers there is free shipping for orders greater than $49. Most orders will need to be placed by tomorrow, though, to be in time for Christmas. And starting today through Christmas Eve, Toys-R-Us brick and mortar stores are open 24 hours a day, making it that much easier to get the toys on your list.

Kohl’s: Kohl’s slogan is “expect great things” and they deliver today with up to 30% off nearly everything! Shopping online? Order by 11:00pm tonight to cash in on their Wrap It Up sale and free shipping with delivery for Christmas. Just request “Standard Shipping” and if your order is more than $50, it will ship for free. Better yet: you get $10 Kohl’s Cash for every $50 spent. Not sure what to get? Check out their handy gift guide: Kohl’s Last Minute Gift Guide.

GAPBrands: Need great holiday outfits for the family photo? GAP, Old Navy, Banana Republic, Piperlime and Athleta each have last minute Holiday sales: Gap and Athleta both have up to 60% of select items; Banana Republic has up to 50%; Old Navy has an extra 20% off online orders. Piperlime is running its twice-yearly Lime Tag sale of up to 40% off. If your order is $50 or more, shipping is free, and if placed by today, it should arrive by December 23rd.

AnnTaylor: Wow! Just announced this morning is another 50% off everything at Ann Taylor with coupon code WINTER50, good for both in store and online shopping. If shopping online, order by Dec. 23rd and your order will arrive in time for Christmas. Better yet: If that order is more than $150, it ships free. AnnTaylor also has a convenient gift guide to help find that perfect gift: AT Gift Guide

Dick’s Sporting Goods: Looking for something sporty? Also just announced this morning is a one-day only online special at Dick’s Sporting Goods: $20 off orders over $100 and if ordered by midnight tonight, free shipping for many items in time for a Christmas delivery.

Dick's Sporting Goods

Sierra Trading Post: There is always a great deal at Sierra, and today, there is an even better one! Check out their 25% off Anniversary sale, as well as free 2-Day air upgrade shipping for guaranteed Christmas Delivery.

Newegg.com: Electronics on your shopping list? Newegg has an extensive list of last minute deals categorized by price-point that might just be your answer. Many items qualify for free 3-day shipping, but today is the last day to place your order and have it here by the weekend.

Retail Me Not: Shopping online but not sure what retailer might have the best deal? Let Retail Me Not be your guide. Their Christmas Coupons page lists their “Top 10” Christmas deals and coupons in nine different categories. That’s a total of 90 store specials all in one convenient location. Not only might you find the perfect gift item, you might also score a great deal with a Retail Me Not coupon! Link to Retail Me Not blog post

Groupon.com:: In a pinch for time? Looking for a gift for someone out of town? Then check out Groupon and Grouponicus deals and give a Groupon gift certificate! Link to Groupon blog post

Do you have last minute shopping to finish? Have you found a last minute bargain you would like to share? Let me know in the Comments section below!

Are You A Groupon Groupie?

Are you looking for a great deal to a new restaurant? Would you love a day at a spa, but you don’t want to pay “spa-pricing? What about Aunt Flo in Florida? Need to send her “something special” for the Holidays?

You might just find what you are looking for at Groupon.

What is Groupon? Groupon is a “deal of the day” website that provides its members the opportunity to purchase discounted gift certificates to a wide variety of  local, national and worldwide businesses. Through Groupon, you can find daily deals on the best stuff to do, see, eat, and buy in as many as 45 different countries. Bet you can find that “something special” on Groupon, and at a great price! What’s not to love about that?

How does Groupon save you money? Because with Groupon, you can purchase items you want at a discounted price! Today’s deal might be a gift certificate worth $20 at a local ice cream store that you buy for $10. Tomorrow the deal might be half off a Swedish massage at a local spa. Next week, you might pay $25 for a gift certificate worth $50 at that new restaurant downtown. Groupon brings you the deal, saving you money, and time too.

Why would you consider joining Groupon? Because you can’t lose! There is no fee to join Groupon’s deal of the day e-mailer. Let Groupon help you decide where to go next weekend. Simply follow their daily posts for your local area, and open your eyes to a wide variety of savings available only to Groupon members. Be sure to also check out each category of available deals:

  • Featured Deal: Lists today’s Daily Deal specific for your local area.
  • All Deals: From Local to Getaway to Grouponicus to Goods deals, all in a one-page easy to find format.
  • Getaway Travel Specials: Find great priced travel options ranging from a weekend in the city to a 10-day safari in Africa.
  • Goods: Lists Groupon’s latest online deals for specialty items in electronics, home goods, and more, all at a sweet price.

What kinds of gift certificates and special deals can you purchase through Groupon? Groupon’s deals and offers are current, not last year’s left-overs. Here is a sample of Groupon offers right now:

  • For $18, get four fitness classes (up to a $60 value) at a local fitness club.
  • For $49, get $100 worth of fresh lobster, seafood, steaks, and more at GetMaineLobster.com.
  • For $179, get one night at the Bentley Hotel in New York City: $106 off the standard rate of $285.
  • For $385, a three-night stay for two at a beach front resort in Costa Rica, with $250 dining credit. Street value: $787
  • For $19, get a $50 iLuv webcam.

How else can you use Groupon? There are so many ways you can use Groupon. Here are several exampls of how you can further expand your Groupon experience:

  • Planning a trip to Anchorage? Then check out the Anchorage daily deals. You might find a great deal on an activity you plan to do on your trip.
  • Need to buy a friend a gift, but just don’t know what to get her? Send her a Groupon gift card and let her pick her own special gift!
  • Remember Aunt Flo in Florida? Surprise her with a Groupon gift certificate to a restaurant in her hometown.
  • Looking for vacation ideas? Be sure to follow Groupon’s travel deals.

Groupon helps make gift-giving easy. By using Groupon’s broad range of locations and offerings, you can find gifts for nearly everyone on your list. And gift-giving with Groupon can save you the hassles and expenses of gift-wrapping and shipping.

What is “Grouponicus?” Grouponicus is Groupon’s annual wintertime celebration, bringing you even more special deals perfect for holiday gift giving. Let Grouponicus help you score great holiday gifts at great prices. Or perhaps something special for yourself! Sign up for Groupinicus e-mails to receive Groupincus deals several times a week. But don’t delay: Grouponicus is only around until the end of the year.

Link to Grouponicus

Do you follow Twitter? Then consider following Grouponicus at @groupothebird to keep you up-to-date with the latest and greatest Grouponicus deals. Right now, GroupoTheBird is giving away $100 Groupon bucks every day as he tweets about his favorite holiday lore and Gouponicus deals.

Refer-A-Friend Program: Want a quick way to earn $10 in Groupon Bucks? Invite your friends and family to join Groupon, and when they make their first Groupon purchase, you get $10 in Groupon Bucks deposited into your account. There is no limit so you can invite as many friends and family you want. Want an invite? Let me know in the comments section below and I will send you a Groupon invite. Help me earn $10, then begin inviting your friends and family to earn your $10 Groupon Bucks.

Have an iPhone or Android phone? Then consider the Groupon App. You can purchase, manage and redeem your Groupon deals right from your mobile device. The app is a great way to keep on top of your Groupon offerings anywhere, anytime. Link to Groupon Mobile App

What if you don’t use the gift certificate before it expires? No problem. Many retailers might still honor it at full value if you ask. But even if they don’t honor the full value, they should honor the amount you paid for it.

So what’s your favorite Groupon deal? And if you are not yet a Groupon “groupie”, don’t forget to ask me for an invitation to Groupon so you can begin saving more too!

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