Christmas Shopping Has Begun!

Yeah I know we’re only a few days into February, but I’m glad to say that I’m already ahead of the game.

You see, this weekend we bought a few more Christmas gifts for this year. (In case you’re wondering, it’s only 342 days away!) Sure, go ahead and call me crazy but my plan is really quite simple: when cool stuff is on clearance for really cheap, you buy it.

One of said items was so cool and inexpensive that not only did we buy two for gifts, I bought two for ourselves. I can’t say what they are since, well, the intended recipients may be reading but trust me, they’d never guess how little we spent.

Our other reason for doing this? Things are a little unpredictable right now in terms of the economy and the job. Hell, who knows if I’ll even be working at the same place at the end of the year so we’re starting to stow stuff away now for the holidays. At least we’ll have something to give people despite what lies beyond the horizon.

We are going to try and buy a few items each month in the hopes that by September, we wil be completely done with everything. That would be very nice because we won’t have to fight the throngs of people at the stores which, to be quite honest, we never have a problem with anyhow since we usually finish before Thanksgiving.

Speaking of shopping, I went to Best Buy today to take advantage of a few things.

First, they had a spindle of 50 DVD+Rs on sale for $14.99 and although I had already bought one this weekend, I’m currently on a backing-up trip so I figured that having more wouldn’t hurt. They were also giving away a free 64-disc CD holder with the purchase of said spindle. Discs and storage for $14.99–good deal.

But it gets better! I had a $10 Reward Zone certificate that was just burning a hole in my pocket so the cost for the two items would only be $4.99. Now that’s a deal.

Then again, I was at Best Buy.

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iPod Upgrade, Part Deux

You might recall back in February that I was contemplating purchasing a new iPod Touch.

Yesterday I did. Allow me to explain.

No, I don’t absolutely need this. A hole in the head could provide more use in most cases. But given the situation, I think you might have bought one, too.

After many purchases at Best Buy I was awarded $15 in Rewards Certificates the other day. That means that I spent umpteen dollars to get $15 back, but hey, the Best Buy card is paid off almost as soon as it’s used so there’s not a real concern over interest accruing.

So fine, I had $15 to play with. Then I heard of a Web site–thanks, Cyberguy!–that buys back used cell phones and trust me, we have plenty around here. I entered all the information on the site and found out that those phones that had been stored in a freezer bag (but not in the freezer) were about to pay me a cool $188! Right on! (Note that some phones were so old/outdated/in poor condition that I was only given the option to “Plant a Tree” rather than collect the money. That’s cool.)

From there, it was a matter of where I wanted to buy it. Target was offering a $30 Gift Card with the purchase of the 8GB model while Best Buy offered a bundle for $307 that included headphones and a DLO Action Jacket. Considering Apple still insists on packing iPods with those regrettable excuses for earbuds and that I would probably buy a protective case for the thing anyhow, I opted for Best Buy’s offer (and earned more Rewards Points, too).

I see this as killing two birds with one stone. Firstly, it’s my way of rewarding me on my weight loss progress. C’mon, 82 lbs. is twice as much as Valerie Bertinelli lost and I didn’t have to buy any silly foods. Secondly, my iPod Shuffle is, well, getting old. There’s only so long you can listen to the same 200+ songs during your daily walk, on the train, etc. And transferring songs to the thing is slow as hell, so this only made sense. It will be my Shuffle, not my 30GB, replacement.

The final tally: $307 – $15 – $188 (on it’s way upon receiving of cell phones) = $104 out-of-pocket total. Okay, so I used a credit card to buy it while I await my FlipSwap check, but it’ll be paid in full once the bill and check arrive.

All in all, not bad. And it’s a neat-o little gadget.

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Finding My Inner Dork

As you might recall, I had an idea not so long ago on how to spend my birthday money/Best Buy gift card. After much consideration I decided against the iPod Touch and took the family to the store to see what we can buy. Here’s the breakdown:

Ann: Motorola Bluetooth car unit.

Me: Indiana Jones Trilogy DVD.

Anthony: Crayola tin with music CDs and activity books, Snow Buddies DVD, yet another Thomas the Tank Engine DVD, Nintendo DS Paws & Claws game.

Total cost: Just over $150. Hey, at least we all got something and (after using my $20 Rewards certificate) we still had $37 left on the card. And what a surprise, the kid walked away with the most booty.

It then occurred to me that I still had $87 left on my Toys R Us gift card from Christmas. I had already spent $12 on some stuffed animal thing for Anthony; the rest was mine I tells ya. So what did I get? Continue reading