Valdosta Daily Times

November 3, 2013

Brittany's Budget Diary: Celebrating Thanksgiving is for shopping amateurs

Brittany D. McClure
The Valdosta Daily Times

SAVANNAH — Merry Christmas! In case you haven’t heard, it is officially holiday season. Sure, it’s not even Thanksgiving yet, but who cares? There are only 53 shopping day’s left before Christmas and for this budgeteer, that means crunch time!

Let me break down some math for you real quick. This year, Thanksgiving falls on Nov. 28 while last year it fell on Nov. 22. That is robbing us of six entire socially deemed appropriate holiday shopping days between Thanksgiving and Christmas. So, I’m going against the grain. I’m not going to wait until Black Friday to officially start my rampage; I’m going to start now. Well, honestly I started like a month ago, but as of now, it’s super-duper on! Sound crazy? Well, get ready for a whole lot of crazy because I am not the only one.

On Nov. 1, Walmart rolled out their early bird, holiday specials online. Last year, Walmart offered about 100 holiday deals online after Halloween, and this year they have boosted that up to more than 300. The “big 7” deals include a 42-inch JVC LED television that goes for $299, a XELIO tablet for $49, and more. Walmart is also offering free shipping deals for most orders of $50 or more.

While Target doesn’t have a big, holiday themed ad at the forefront of their website, they are also making moves similar to Walmart. If you’re ready to plan your assault on Black Friday, Target is already offering a sneak peak at their Black Friday ad. All you have to do is sign up for their emails and they will send savory email peeks at the deals. They are also

already starting their Christmas décor sale, which offers savings up to 20 percent. Go ahead, completely disregard Thanksgiving and put up your light up, plastic Santa. I won’t judge you . . . for putting them up early I mean. I will however still judge you for owning one.

Toys R Us, not so surprisingly, has already unleashed the annual toy catalog. Its whopping 80 pages full of items that your children will whine about for months and only play with for days. Deals and coupons in the big book are valid Nov. 3 through Nov. 23. Similarly, Amazon has unleashed the wish book for grown ups by already starting their countdown to Black Friday deals. All day, every day you can shop deals on and even subscribe to daily deals e-mails.

I know what some of you Black Friday and Cyber Monday veterans are thinking. You’re scared that if you shop now, better deals will come. While you will never know for sure until Black Friday comes around, here is what experts are saying: The best things to buy ahead of Black Friday include Android Phones, clothes and shoes. However, televisions, appliances and Apple products should show better deals on Black Friday. Keep in mind though, nothing is guaranteed. Retailers are as fickle as a fawn, and anything can startle them. My best advice is to go with your gut. Research your items, know their value and pay what you are comfortable paying. Don’t hold out for a better deal if it’s your kids dream item and it is already on sale. This is where people get into trouble.

Closer to Black Friday, I will tell you how to go black ops on Black Friday, but right now it’s nothing but predictions and gambles. I would like to add that you can’t win the lottery unless you play the game, so you can decide whether to play it safe or take a gamble. Don’t forget to like me on Facebook at and follow me on Twitter @BudgetBrittany.