How to: Be a Black Friday / Cyber Monday Ninja Without Leaving the Couch

Black Friday cover

I don’t know about you, but the last thing I want to do after a full day of Thanksgiving festivities (eating my weight in food) is get off the couch to snag those KILLER Black Friday deals. As a sale junkie, though, I constantly felt like I was missing out on maximizing on all that the day had to offer.

Enter the glorious technology that is the Internet. Not only does it allow me to be a part of the Black Friday frenzy, but the creation of Cyber Monday makes holiday shopping a lazy girl’s dream.

So where do you start? Thought you’d never ask. Here’s the best of the best:



  • What’s the deal? Almost everything. Here are the highlights:
    • Women’s Apparel – 60 percent off
    • Clearance Designer Handbags – extra 25 percent off
    • Memory Foam Pillows & Toppers – 70 percent off
  • When’s the deal? November 25th through November 28th
  • Where’s the deal?

Best Buy:Best Buy

  • What’s the deal? In addition to FREE SHIPPING, these are the highlights:
    • Up to $125 off iPad Air 2
    • Beats by Dr. Dre Wireless Headphones – $99.99 ($100 savings)
    • Bose Home Theater System – $499.99 ($100 savings)
  • When’s the deal? November 26th through November 28th
  • Where’s the deal?

Kate Spade:Kate Spade

  • What’s the deal? If there was ever a time to splurge, it’s right now – up to 75 percent off!
  • When’s the deal? It’s going on now end ends November 28th
  • Where’s the deal?

Saks Off 5th:Saks off Fifth

  • What’s the deal? Time to get fancy – up to 70 percent off both women’s and men’s items.
  • When’s the deal? Going on NOW and ends November 29th
  • Where’s the deal?

Barnes & Noble:Barnes & Noble

  • What’s the deal? Bookworms rejoice! Here’s what’s up:
    • 30 percent off (almost) everything
    • Nook – $99.99 each (up to $50 off)
    • Up to 60 percent off DVDs and Blurays
  • When’s the deal? November 26th to November 29th
  • Where’s the deal?

Still not satisfied? Worry not – Refinery 29 has tons more highlights to share.


Cyber Monday

Here’s the deal – most retailers won’t let us know their Cyber Monday deals until closer to the “holiday.” That being said, here are our three pro-tips to make sure you’re ready:

  1. Start early – some sites will “preview” their Cyber Monday sales this weekend – which means you have time to snag your must haves early, before they run out. So how will you keep track of your favorite store sales?
  2. Use Unroll.Me – your inbox’s new BFF. Download the free app to manage your subscriptions, getting rid of what you don’t want and keeping what you do. Their Rollup feature is key for Cyber Monday – it’s a daily email digest full of the subscriptions you want to see, at the time of day of your choosing. Make sure to get it in the morning so you don’t miss any deals.
  3. Peek at our Twitter page on Monday – we’ll be sharing all the deals we can find throughout the day so you can cover all your bases

We’re DYING to hear what your best deals were – shoot us a tweet or Facebook post, please and thank you.


Winter Traveling Hacks


As the temperature drops, your heart rate is probably going up with the anticipation of traveling this holiday season. The thought alone probably stresses you out enough – but not to worry, we’ve got a couple quick tips to keep your head on straight.

Hidden Deals


Pro-tip: use layovers to your advantage. Not only are they key nap opportunities, but you’ll also save some cash. Skiplagged is a great service that finds these hidden deals. These wise guys look for flights where your actual destination is the layover. Say, for instance, that you’re trying to fly from New York to Los Angeles and the cost is between $300 and $500. Using Skiplagged, you can find a $170 flight from New York to Seattle with a layover in LA. Hop off mid trip, skipping the second leg of the flight – and BAM – the price is sliced (get it)? Keep in mind, though, that you can only pack carry on, as any checked baggage is going to the final destination.

No Hassle Security


Going through airport security is THE WORST, taking anywhere from 15 minutes to forever. If you’re a frequent flier (no pun intended), get TSA pre-check. This service enables you to walk right through security – no more waiting around, taking your shoes off and putting your stuff into a plastic bin. The certificate approval process can be a little arduous, but it could make the difference between making your flight and being stranded in an airport.

Travel Against the Grain


CRAZY CONCEPT: maybe this is the year you try a family-free vacation! Some of the cheapest days to fly are on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day, so if the thought of seeing family during the holidays makes your stomach turn, this is the option for you.

The Halloween Procrastinator’s Rulebook

As I was on my way home last night, I came across a window sign that said “Christmas is right around the corner – get your decorations before they run out!” To say I was enraged is an understatement… but my initial emotion? Fear. See, Halloween is on Saturday and I am nowhere near prepared. How could I even think about two holidays away? So, after I got home and my mini panic attack subsided, I did my research. If you suffer from holiday procrastination like I do, read on for all the last minute costume and decoration inspiration you’ll ever need (until next year, of course):

COSTUMES – Before figuring out where to get them, you should have some sort of idea of what you want. Trying to go the sultry route? Of course you are. After all, we found that 20 percent of purchased women’s costumes online were marked as “sexy”.


Okay, enough of my anecdote. On to the where (to get them):

Costume Express these guys are your new best friends, because they let you purchase EVEN ON HALLOWEEN. Don’t believe me? Their shipping date chart will change your mind. Even though it may cost you a little more than usual, they also give 20% off your first order. Which is awesome.

Costume Express Shipping chart

Costume Supercenter – similar to Costume Express, only with cheaper shipping for most of the US. Plus, they’ll give you $10 off your first order… check mate.

Still haven’t found “the one”? Have no fear – our costume blog post has everything you need.

DECORATIONS – If there was ever a time to embrace the tacky, this is it. Sure, if you had a few more days, you could find a few rare, classy pieces – but Halloween is a few days away, so put on your spooky thinking hats and get to shopping.

Halloween Express – with “guaranteed delivery” plastered throughout their site, I’d say they’re a safe bet. What’s better, though, is their buy online – pick up in store feature. 31 stores throughout the states? Yes please.


Darkside Displays – the name says it all. The spookiest site of all of ‘em, if you choose one day shipping, they’ll guarantee delivery by Friday, which doesn’t suck.

Darkside Displays

If you’re still not spooked, one last option: make your own decorations! You’ll be the awe of the block AND spend WAY less money than buying your own. Need some help? Who better to provide tips than the home improvement mecca of HGTV? Exactly.

Because you’re dying to know which costume I chose, I’m going with an ever-comfy onesie of Luke Skywalker to accompany the boyfriend, who’s dressing up like Darth Vader. Not coincidentally, Lord Vader is one of the most popular male costumes according to our data… obviously.

And there you have it! We’d love to see all of your SpOoKy creations! Shoot us a comment here, or tweet/Facebook away!

Halloween Costumes – Debunked


Remember when you were a kid and happily wore the same Halloween costume every year? Good times. Nowadays, finding the right costume seems to evoke the same anxiety as, say, picking a name for your first child. Of course, there are those rare creatures that figure out what they’re going to wear a year in advance and prepare for months – but who has time for that? Chances are, you’ll end up scrambling at the last minute and spending way too much money on a getup you only half like.

Well, the time has come to break the pattern. If you start now and use our two step guide, we promise you won’t break the bank – and hopefully, you’ll be the envy of everyone who sees you. Isn’t that the whole point?

Step 1 – Figure out where you’ll be seen

You can’t determine the right outfit until you know where people will see it. If you’re dressing up for work, you’ll want to make sure you’re office appropriate. Heading to a party? You can get away with lots more. If you’re going to a parade, all bets are off.

Step 2 – Determine if you’re buying a whole costume or creating your own

There are pros and cons to both. Let’s break it down:

Buying a whole costumeREGINA

Pros: easier, quicker / Cons: others will be wearing it too, less creative

Where to get ‘em:

  • Costume Discounters – their lowest price guaranteed will make sure you don’t spend too much. Plus, their categorization is so detailed that virtually any costume you can think of is here.
  • Spirit Halloween – 20% off if you join their mailing list. Need I say more?

Making your own costumeKADY

Pros: you’ll be the only one wearing it, you can wear many of the pieces in every day life / Cons: more expensive, takes much more planning

What to do:

  • Get inspired – Peek at this Popsugar list of DIY costumes to get the wheels turning, or head on over to our Pinterest for all the inspiration you’ll ever need!
  • Put it all together – To get the bulk of the outfit, I’d peruse one of two places: Asos, which has Halloween-centric pieces you can probably wear again, and American Apparel, where any single item is PERFECT for your costume. I mean, why else would they have shiny black body suits?! Exactly. Craft stores like Michaels or Factory Direct are perfect for finding all the little details to make your costume a 10.

See, not so hard, right?! Be sure to shoot us a tweet or Facebook post with all of your creations – we’re dying to see!

If you’re still having trouble, worry not – we’ll be tweeting last minute costume sales as we see them. Happy shopping!

Budgeting 101

Woman with coins in jar

I like expensive things… but I live in a big city and have way too many college loans. Sound familiar? Thought so. See, the problem is, I say yes to everything and don’t budget. Catch up date with a college friend at an overpriced restaurant? Of course! 12 overpriced Starbuck’s coffees in a day? Why not?!

I was looking through my Unroll.Me Rollup email digest last night and noticed an email from Mint that read something like, “you’ve exceeded your monthly budget for traveling and food” – great. As annoyed as I was, something clicked. It’s time to start being a grown-up and taking a look at how I could save some moola.

Budgeting bonus: you’ll actually have enough money to TREAT YO SELF once in a while.



So what can you do? Welp, good thing we’re living in the 21st century and have smartphone’s! After some serious researching (and asking around), I believe I’ve found the top three – the best of the best. Here goes:

GOLD – Digit: With a tagline of “save money, without thinking about it,” how could you go wrong? This free app will check your spending habits and take out a few bucks from your checking account whenever you can afford it. When you want to withdraw from your Digit account, you just shoot ‘em a text and magically, you have more money in your checking account. BAM.


SILVER – Wally: If Mint’s dashboard is too complicated, this one’s for you (and me, clearly). This helps you compare your income to your expenses, set and achieve budgeting goals AND understand where your money is going. To sum, it’s the what, where, when, how, and why of your bank account. Pretty nifty.


BRONZE – Mvelopes: “Give us 9 minutes, we’ll change your financial life.” Sounds like a plan to me! Though it’s similar to Wally in what it achieves for you, the method is different. With this, you categorize your expenses into “envelopes” and then Mvelopes will track how much money you have left in each for the month. Also, so you can capture receipts and add to your transactions, making tracking SO MUCH EASIER.


So what are you waiting for?! Play around with each, find your fave, and budget away! Happy shopping!