Archive for November, 2010

Meet the new Bargain Hunter

Good morning and welcome to the week of Black Friday!

The Bargain Hunter blog has been in transition recently. The fabulous Rana Cash has accepted a position elsewhere, and we wish her luck in her new adventures.

Meanwhile, I’ve been hunting down the best Black Friday promotions, ad scans and online deals so we can get to shopping this week. And beyond that, I look forward to helping you find the best deals and steals Atlanta has to offer.

A little about me:

I’m a Southern girl whose grandparents lived through the Great Depression on teachers’ salaries. They reared four children in a tiny project house with one bathroom. My parents adopted an equally frugal lifestyle, teaching their children how both to manage money in the short-term on individual purchases and in the long-term through savings. I am a product of a long line of bargain hunters, deal spotters and hagglers − and am proud of it.

See a great deal I should know about? Email me at You can also …

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Black Friday doorbusters in Atlanta

It’s the biggest shopping week of the year for us bargain hunters, and if you haven’t started scoping out stores yet, now’s the time! Sites including Black Friday 2010 and Black Friday info will give you a leg up if you haven’t checked them out. Here’s a roundup of some of the best deals out there, along with opening/sale times for stores.

Getting out there early? The forecast is for cold, wet weather so start your shopping off with a free coffee from any Atlanta RaceTrac gas station (12 a.m.-10 a.m.) or from any Burger King (breakfast hours only).

Best Buy (opens at 5 a.m.): Doorbusters include:

● Sony Vaio 15.5″ Laptop w/Intel Dual-Core Processor, 3GB Memory, 320GB Hard Drive for $399.99

● Nook eReader for $99.99

● Toshiba Blu-ray disc player for $59.99

● LG Front-Load Washer And LG Electric Dryer Combo for $999.98

● Panasonic VIERA 50″ 1080p Plasma HDTV for $699.99

● Nintendo Wii w/Wii Remote Plus, Nunchuck, Wii Sports & Wii Sports Resort for $169.99

Brandsmart (12 a.m.-10 …

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DROID phones for 1 cent

DROID phones for 1 penny?! Well, yes, as the Black Friday before Black Friday deals keep rolling out. is offering Verizon DROID phones starting at just 1 cent. To get the deal, you must sign a 2-year service agreement on an individual or family account now through Monday (Nov. 22). They also are tossing in a $35 activation fee credit but make sure to read all the fine print for details.

A fellow Bargain Hunter also pointed out that those who have service and want to upgrade can. It will cost about $39. 99 to $149. 99, depending on your plan and upgrade.

Happy Hunting!

And if you find other unbelievable deals or Black Friday buzz, Tweet us @atlbargains (use #blackfridayatl) or send us a text message at 404-890-0AJC.


Metro mall hours

Thanksgiving Day deals

Store hours for Thanksgiving and Black Friday

Your Atlanta Holiday Guide to shopping, entertainment, events and more

– By AJC staff, Bargain Hunter blog

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iPads at TJ Maxx? Yes and no

Just in time for Black Friday TJ Maxx will sell iPads for $399, the store confirmed on Twitter today. In fact it told potential customers they didn’t have to wait till Nov. 26 for the $100 discount: “Not Black Friday. NOW! (select unadvertised stores only)”.

Bloggers immediately set out to see for themselves and found that it was indeed true. Some even got photos to prove it.

But don’t rush out just yet! We just made some calls to metro Atlanta stores and got a big-fat “no.” In fact, one associate went so far as to say only stores in N.Y. and N.J. got them and they are “sold out and will not sell anymore.” Not so sure this scripted response is 100% accurate but alas, Atlanta likely will not benefit from the deal. So who will?

TJ Maxx tweeted that “We aren’t advertising the iPad locales. This speaks to our ability to deliver WOWs! Never know what you’ll find!”

Oh well, you can still find Atlanta deals and steals right here for Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

And if …

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Clark Howard: Be cautious when buying extended warranty

clarkhowardConsumer expert Clark Howard’s column appears here each Thursday in conjunction with Deal Spotter, a new weekly print section in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

As we ramp up the Christmas holiday shopping season, you’re likely to get pitches for extended warranties on electronics, appliances and other products. But the latest numbers from the December issue of Consumer Reports say extended warranties are an unnecessary waste of your money.

I’m known to be very outspoken about not liking extended warranties. Whenever I go to a store, I have salespeople who come up to me and tell me that I’m taking food out of their kids’ mouths because of the advice I give.

But it’s not just me. Consumer Reports finds the failure rate of cameras during the first four years of ownership is four percent. That’s 96 percent reliability! Why would you waste your money on an extended warranty when the odds are so overwhelmingly in your favor that your camera will work perfectly for so many …

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Black Friday deals minus the chaos

In an attempt to make up for a year of lackluster sales, retailers have begun Black Friday sales early this year − as in weeks early. Here’s a list of ways to shop ’til you drop (Right now! Go!), without entering the chaos the day after Thanksgiving.

Shop this week

Target is advertising a 4-day sale starting this Sunday with an emphasis on electronics, movies and toys. Look for coupons in the AJC Sunday paper to increase your savings.

Kohl’s is holding a full-store sale this week with extra discounts during “Power Hours” on Friday (3 p.m. – midnight) and Saturday (6 a.m. – 1 p.m.). Make sure to redeem any Kohl’s Cash you earned the week before. Save an extra 10 percent on kitchen electrics, which are already 10-33 percent off. Save an extra 20 percent on all toys, including Fisher-Price, Barbie and Matchbox. Men’s and women’s clothing is also heavily discounted.

Shop on Thanksgiving

Target will have a 1-day, online-exclusive sale featuring some items that won’t be included in …

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Atlanta deals: Save over 50% on hot yoga class


DealSwarm, a new deals site in Atlanta, is offering 58% discount on unlimited Red Hot Yoga for a month. For $39.99 you can stretch, pose and sweat it all out in classes for beginners or experts. Plus there are sessions at different times throughout the week.

Granted, sweating in 105-degree heat can seem daunting especially considering fall weather is making select cameo appearances in Atlanta these days. But with the onslaught of holiday cheer (i.e. shopping, preparing and clearing clutter for guests), we imagine that this is much healthier than some other forms of therapy (eggnog, anyone?)

But if this isn’t your thing, sign up on to get daily deals alerts on local entertainment, dining and other services.

Cox Media Group’s DealSwarm, a new site offering discounts of 50 percent or greater, will be found in Atlanta; Austin, Texas; Dayton, Ohio; and Seattle, before expanding to other cities throughout the country in 2011.

CMG, like the Atlanta …

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Enjoy holidays by following a budget

By Rana Cash

The holiday sales have landed in your in box, mailbox and newspapers. Whether it’s holiday travel discounts or deals on the must-have toy, temptation lurks everywhere and it will only heighten as we get deeper into November.

Black Friday is no longer a post-turkey day highlight. It’s right there with the pumpkins and scarecrows. With so much pulling at you, it can be challenging to make it a festive rather than frustrating season.

To keep the stress level low and the smiles wide, adhere to some fast and true strategies this time of the year, said Patricia Stallworth of Johns Creek.

Stallworth is a certified financial planner and author of “Minding Your Money.” She also hosts the blog.

She shared seven strategies to enjoying the holidays without blowing your budget:

1) Start with a clearly defined budget. The holidays can impact several parts of your budget, from food to gifts to possibly even travel, so come up with a total budget in each of the …

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Win two nights free at Ritz-Carlton Lodge

Need a break from your holiday preparations? Enter our weekly Holiday Guide contest for your chance at two nights free at the Ritz-Carlton Lodge, Reynolds Plantation on the shores of Lake Oconee. Located about 75 miles from downtown Atlanta, this resort offers outdoor activities like golf and fishing as well as an indoor pool and spa.

article-0-0A6388D0000005DC-766_468x378And just in case it sounds a bit familiar, this is the secluded luxury hotel that country music star Carrie Underwood and hockey pro Mike Fisher picked for their posh wedding this summer.

The Ritz-Carlton contest ends Nov. 21 and there can be only one entry per person per contest. Check every week for a new giveaway.

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Wes Moss: Life insurance 101 – what to buy and avoid

Wes_Moss-for-Web-smaller-fiCertified financial planner Wes Moss provides personal finance advice and accessible investment strategies. His guest post appears here weekly.

Let’s face it – dealing with life insurance is a drag. Just thinking about it makes you ponder some unpleasant possibilities, and insurance sales pitches are the definition of boring. Plus, who wants to write a check every month for something they hope they never use?

Yes, life insurance is a drag – until it pays off. In truth, insurance is a powerful, essential financial planning tool for most people. A CFP® professional can help assess your insurance needs and recommend policies that meet them. Among the issues to be addressed when considering life insurance:

Do you need life insurance?

Maybe not. If you have no dependents, life insurance is optional.

But if you have a family that counts on your income, life insurance is a must-have. You won’t really understand this until you have children. I remember racing to get a policy …

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