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staples holiday council

Getting the Best Black Friday Prices with #LessStress

by Tara Kuczykowski on November 21, 2014 · 1 comment

We've seen a number of store release their Black Friday ads this week... Have you started planning your Black Friday shopping trip, yet?

I actually have a very short list of items that we're considering braving the crowds for this year, but I'll be honest, it's been many years since we've done the whole shop-till-you-drop Black Friday thing. I've witnessed some crazy behavior, including a couple of grown women fighting over some Fisher-Price toys that, in my opinion, weren't even that spectacular of a deal...

To be fair, I've also seen incredible kindness from perfect strangers. But the thing is, the retail landscape has changed dramatically over the last few years, and I'm not convinced that hitting the stores on Black Friday is necessarily going to net you the biggest discount in all cases.

So what's changed that can help us all save money while avoiding some of the craziness???

Stores are offering Black Friday prices earlier.

Many stores are choosing to start offering Black Friday-esque pricing well before the day after Thanksgiving -- and many are continuing the deals on through Cyber Monday. For instance, Staples is offering two full weeks of Black Friday deals this year, starting on November 16th. You'll also find many stores are opening the evening of Thanksgiving Day to give shoppers an early start on their shopping.

Create your own pre-Black Friday deals with these just-released Staples coupons:

  • 20% off everything you can fit in the bag, in-store only. Exclusions apply. Valid Nov. 23- Nov. 25.
  • 25% one full priced item, in-store only. Valid only on Nov. 26.

Stores are offering Black Friday pricing online.

If you can’t find the time to get out, you can always shop online! If you're using this strategy, be sure to search for free shipping codes and discount promo codes on Google! And if you're a member of any cashback sites, check them as well to see if you can earn an extra discount. Another little known tip -- some stores allow you to purchase online and pick the item up in stores, allowing you to skip those long checkout lines!

Shop these hot Staples deals both in-stores and online:

  • Kaspersky Internet Security (1 user) $0.01 after Easy Rebate (reg. $59.99, customer pays $45.01, Easy Rebate for $45)
  • $79 APPLE TV (reg. $99.99)
  • $39.99 Android 7-inch tablet from JLab, 8GB (save $30)
  • $99.99 Samsung Galaxy Tablet Lite (save $40)
  • $25 Visa Prepaid Card by mail with purchase of wearable tech (including Fitbit and Jawbone)

Stores are extending Black Friday pricing through the weekend.

I know many of you prefer to be able to actually see and feel products in person, so shopping online might not be for you. Or maybe you just really want to be able to talk with a knowledgeable associate to assist you in making an informed decision. Many stores will be extending Black Friday pricing or introducing new sales all weekend long, and you might have better luck in being able to get some personal assistance if you skip the big day and head into stores then!

I'm not sharing any of this to discourage you from shopping on Black Friday -- there are definitely some big savings on the agenda. But if you're looking for a less stressful approach to Black Friday shopping, consider some of these alternative strategies that will help you stretch your holiday budget while saving your sanity!

I'm so pleased to be partnering with Staples again this holiday season as part of the Staples Holiday Council! Their ultimate goal this holiday season is to "make less stress, more savings happen." Staples will be offering great deals (including exclusive offers!) throughout the holiday season, helping you get more for less!

This post is brought to you by Staples. All opinions are 100% mine.

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This holiday season you can pick up FREE holiday cards while you're shopping Staples' amazing Black Friday deals! All part of Staples' Make Less Stress, More Savings Happen commitment, they're definitely taking Black Friday to a new level this year...

Staples FREE Holiday Cards w/ Purchase

Make any in-store purchase on Thanksgiving Day or Black Friday, and you'll receive a voucher for 25 FREE 5x7 matte holiday photo cards! You'll receive a voucher for your free cards at checkout, which can be redeemed through December 13th.

Need more than 25 cards? Of course, you can count on Staples to have you covered! Customers will also receive an additional 30 percent off any orders over 25 cards, and you'll receive your photo card order the same day when you order in stores.

If you haven't had a chance to take a peek at Staples' new holiday card designs, you should do so now. They have a seriously impressive and beautiful selection of cards just waiting to be customized.

Staples Black Friday Deals

Staples is launching an unprecedented two weeks of Black Friday deals! The first-ever Black Friday Week for Business starts on November 16 with amazing deals in store and online. Deals for the week of November 16 (while supplies last) include:

  • $499.99 after easy rebate HP 14” touch screen laptop with i3 Intel Processor (save $150), Staples.com and in-store.
  • $399.99 Dell Inspiron Windows 7 Desktop with i3 Intel Processor (save $150), Staples.com and in-store.
  • $89.99 2 TB Toshiba Hard Drive (save $20), Staples.com and in-store.
  • $21.99 after easy rebate case of Hammermill Copy Paper (save $32), in-store only.

For those of you who are really just here for the Staples Black Friday deals, I won't make you wait any longer... Check out these hot deals that will be available November 27-28 in stores and/or on Staples.com, while supplies last:

  • Kaspersky Internet Security (1 user) $0.01 after Easy Rebate (reg. $59.99, customer pays $45.01, Easy Rebate for $45), Staples.com and in-store
  • $79 APPLE TV (reg. $99.99), Staples.com and in-store
  • $99.99 Asus laptop with Intel Inside Processor (save $150), in-store only
  • Free Kindle e-reader after easy rebate (reg. $79) with any laptop purchase over $399, in-store only
  • $39.99 Android 7-inch tablet from JLab, 8GB (save $30), Staples.com and in-store
  • $99.99 Samsung Galaxy Tablet Lite (save $40), Staples.com and in-store
  • $25 Visa Prepaid Card by mail with purchase of wearable tech (including Fitbit and Jawbone), Staples.com and in-store

Check out the Staples Black Friday ad for dozens more incredible deals on laptops, tablets and more!

Not sure what time you need to be in line to snag these awesome savings? Visit Staples.com for local store listings and hours.

Staples Beyond Black Friday

Even after Black Friday is in the books, Staples will be helping you make less stress happen every day with:

  • Extended holiday hours in most locations. Visit www.staples.com for listings and hours.
  • Price Match Guarantee both in-store and online.
  • Risk Free Purchase with an extended holiday return policy.
  • New Staples Mobile App is faster with redesigned Weekly Ad page to showcase the best in-store deals and ability to view deals by category.
  • Daily Deals on the Staples.com online storefront.
  • Free Shipping from Staples.com for Staples Rewards members plus up to 5 percent back in Staples Rewards on everything including technology.
  • Ship 7 Days a Week with package drop off and associate assistance.
  • Shop from Staples.com kiosk for items not found in store.

So which deal is going to have you lining up bright and early to shop at Staples this year?

I'm so pleased to be partnering with Staples again this holiday season as part of the Staples Holiday Council! Their ultimate goal this holiday season is to "make less stress, more savings happen." Staples will be offering great deals (including exclusive offers!) throughout the holiday season, helping you get more for less!

This post is brought to you by Staples. All opinions are 100% mine.

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While my kids are counting down the days to Christmas (47 to be exact), I'm sticking my fingers in my ears and singing, "Fa-la-la-la-la," while willing the days to strrrreeeetttccchhhh out somehow. I'm woefully behind on my holiday shopping, but the good news is there's still quite a bit of time and I have a plan.

Well, maybe that's not exactly true... Let's just say that I know what I need to do to get back on track -- because having a plan in place makes less stress, and that's when more savings happen! It looks a little something like this:

5 Strategies For Saving On Holiday Gifts

These tips for saving on holiday shopping may just be a refresher for some of you, while for others some or all may be something they haven't tried previously. Either way, I find that, for me personally, it helps to have a plan laid out in black and white, so I don't have to try and mentally check items off and worry that I'm forgetting something. So let's just start with step one and go from there...

1Start with a written budget.
Yes, I do mean a written budget... I know my faults -- I'm easily tempted and somewhat impulsive, so I know that it's all too easy to slip up and overspend without a well-thought out budget in place.

I love that this Christmas budget worksheet divides your budget into areas beyond just gifts, including food, decor, charity, and more, for a more complete view of your overall projected expenditures.

2Make a combination gift/shopping list.
Talk about a way to minimize stress... Having a list that includes everyone that you intend to buy for, along with a few gift ideas for each, makes shopping a much simpler task.

Be sure to leave extra space to allow your gift list to double as your shopping list! Just write down any deals you plan to take advantage of next to the recipient. I know I often come across unadvertised sales that are perfect for someone else on my list, and having a combination gift/shopping list allows me to quickly and easily see if I've already made a purchase for that recipient.

At the end of the season, if you still find that you missed a person or two on your list, don't throw this year's list away! Save it for next year to give you a head start on seeing who you need to buy for.

3Carry the sale ads with you when shopping.
I know, I know... hauling the sales ads around with you is a giant pain in the you know what, but they can be a huge help in a pinch. Say you're planning to buy a new iPad Mini 3 at a specific store, but it's sold out when you arrive. With a hard copy sales ad, many stores will honor a competitor's sale pricing!

Or you might come across a deal that wasn't listed in a particular store's ad and want to compare the price to the sale prices at other stores to make sure it's a good deal. Having the sales ads with you will save you both time and money, creating less stress overall. I like to make sure my savings are worth the time I've invested in obtaining them!

Smart phone users can also access the weekly ads for most stores directly from their phones while shopping. How convenient is it to just pull up, for example, the Staples weekly ad, to cross check prices and compare features while you're out and about? I keep the apps for the stores I shop at most frequently in a folder on my iPhone -- a total stress minimizer!

4Research current prices.
Prices fluctuate throughout the season, so research pricing beyond the current weekly flyer to be sure you're getting the very best price. Also, be aware that not all advertised deals are as great as they seem. Sometimes retailers over inflate the suggested retail price of a product to make the sale price seem more impressive. Spend some time researching the low prices of any items you're hoping to score, so that you know what's really a deal and what's not.

Be sure to follow the daily deals for your favorite retailers. Many merchants, like Staples, feature online daily deals, hot gift items at a deeper than usual discount, sometimes in limited quantities.

5Know the price matching and receipt adjustment policies.
It's so incredibly disappointing to leave a store thinking you got a fabulous deal only to see your item at an even lower price mere days later. Many stores offer price adjustments when you bring your receipt back in along with proof of the lower price.

I keep an envelope with all of my holiday gift purchase receipts in my purse, so I can easily ask for an adjustment if I spot a better price while I'm out and about. Another stress saver, because I definitely do not want to be making multiple trips back and forth.

Even better, some stores, like Staples, will price match Amazon and other competitors' websites up front this holiday season -- allowing you to score rock bottom online prices in stores, minus the shipping fees!

Have you started making your holiday shopping list and checking it twice, yet? What's your favorite money-saving tip for the holidays?

I'm so pleased to be partnering with Staples again this holiday season as part of the Staples Holiday Council! Their ultimate goal this holiday season is to "make less stress, more savings happen." Staples will be offering great deals (including exclusive offers!) throughout the holiday season, helping you get more for less!

This post is brought to you by Staples. All opinions are 100% mine.

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We're getting down to the wire for holiday shopping now! I don't know about you, but we're pretty much done with our major shopping and just need to pick up a few small odds and ends for our kids' stockings.

I know that Staples might not be your first thought for stocking stuffers, but I found a ton of cute and relatively inexpensive items on a recent shopping trip. Here are my top five faves:

I was thrilled to see these Targus styluses available in a huge rainbow of colors! To prevent arguing over items such as this, we tend to purchase five different colors for our kids to help keep everything straight -- typically pink and purple for the girls and red, blue and green for our boys. These are really nice quality, and will be useful for the drawing apps and more on our kids' tech devices!

I fell in love with these adorable USB drives featuring some of my favorite cartoon characters and more. Again, I always appreciate variety in these items so that we don't have to purchase duplicates. These are great for older students that need to transport digital documents back and forth between school and home!

Earbuds just don't seem to last long in our house. Either they seem to walk off on their own, or they get horribly tangled and break. These colorful pairs from Skullcandy are very affordable at just $9.99 per pair and sound great! There were also several other colors available not pictured.

This one is maybe not so appropriate for kids, but I would love to find one of these adorable Cosmo tape dispensers in my stocking to brighten up my office during these cold winter months. Hope my hubby was taking notes!

Another item in our household that seems to grow legs are all of our USB charging cables. We plan to pick one up in each color so that everyone knows which is theirs, hopefully putting an end to this frustration for good!

Staples also carries a huge variety of tech cases, cute pens, pencils and notebooks, flash cards, and many more items that would make fabulous stocking stuffers. They even have adorable gifts for the family dog -- wouldn't want to leave him or her out!

If you're curious about some of the larger items that have great deals right now, check out this quick video that I put together after shopping last week. I even ended up purchasing myself a little gift, so I know I'm getting at least one thing that I want for Christmas -- yay!

For deals on all the hot tech and fun toys, keep following my blog each week. Be sure to follow me on Twitter too, @Dealseekingmom; I’ll be tweeting out daily deals!

And, while you’re looking for great, personalized gifts BEYOND the holidays, take a look at Create.Staples.Com where you can make personalized phone, tablet cases, mugs and more for you or your loved ones! Just upload your photo and choose your design and message! (Hint, hint to my husband, I’d love the personalized iPhone case for Valentines day….) It’s affordable, easy and a really cute gift idea for any holiday.

I'm thrilled to be on the Staples Holiday Council this holiday season, bringing you fantastic deals to assist you in finding the perfect gift for every person on your list. Staples will be offering great deals (including exclusive offers!) throughout the holiday season, helping you get more for less! For more holiday tips be sure to check out the Staples Holiday Center.

This post is brought to you by Staples. All opinions are 100% mine.

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5 Last Minute Shopping Tips #PerfectGifts

by Tara Kuczykowski on December 13, 2013 · 0 comments

Black Friday Shopping Tips

Do you still have a number of holiday gifts to pick up? We're closing in on Christmas Day rapidly, but there's no need to panic just yet. Deals abound, and you should have no problem getting them wrapped and under the tree with time to spare!

1. Pull out that shopping list again.

Is it well worn and filled with chicken scratch? Mine usually is by this point, so I find that rewriting a fresh list with just the info for gifts I still need to buy helps me maintain focus. This is also a great time to take inventory of what you've already purchased and do a budget check to make sure you're staying on track.

2. Check the weekly ads.

Go through the ads before leaving the house to plan your trip. Add the names of the stores that have the best prices to your list, but don't feel like you have to run to 6 different stores to save your budget! Consider whether or not you can condense your trips into just a few stops by using programs like Staples' Price Match Guarantee. You may be pleasantly surprised that it's a one-stop shop!

3. Consider purchasing online.

Save time and gas by purchasing those last few gifts online. Staples has online daily deals, that offer big savings on what could be that perfect present for the last person on your list. Also, now that shipping cut-off deadlines are later than ever, you can often shop right up until just a few days before Christmas.

Plus many stores offer free shipping. At Staples, shipping is always free for rewards members, or for non-rewards members it’s free for purchases of $19.99 or more.  You also have the option to buy online and pick up at a local store on the same day, helping you streamline your trip.

4. Utilize rewards programs and cash back sites.

Make your shopping pay off by really taking advantage of Rewards programs!  By getting points, rewards or cash back you’ll carry those savings into your next purchase!  Staples Rewards program members receive 5% back in rewards on everything including technology, plus score FREE shipping on Staples.com!

When shopping online, take a minute to click through a cash back site before placing your order to gain a small rebate on your purchase! Beware that not all sites offer the same amount though, so check out a few before settling on which one to use.

5. Check for coupons and promo codes.

Finally, before you check out, be sure to check to see if there's a coupon or promo code available for the retailer you're shopping. Whether it's a percentage off or a gift with purchase, it can help turn a so-so deal into something to brag about!

I'm thrilled to be on the Staples Holiday Council this holiday season, bringing you fantastic deals to assist you in finding the perfect gift for every person on your list. Staples will be offering great deals (including exclusive offers!) throughout the holiday season, helping you get more for less! For more holiday tips be sure to check out the Staples Holiday Center.

This post is brought to you by Staples. All opinions are 100% mine.

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