Black Friday: No-Fuss Holiday Shopping Options

Melanie Thomassian Health Pro

    "Black Friday" is the unofficial start to the Christmas shopping season in the U.S., and got its name due to the over-crowded sidewalks and long line-ups in large metropolitan cities. 


    For many, the last thing you want to do is spend hour after hour on your feet in hot, crowded stores, especially if you have a heart condition. 


    But fortunately, with these alternative options, you can get your holiday shopping done in no time, and with much less hassle. 


    4 No-Fuss Holiday Shopping Options


    If you can't get out to do your shopping, you can make the shops come to you.


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    #1 Store to Door Delivery

    Sites like We Go Shop, Net Grocer, and My Brands allow you to choose your groceries or merchandise online, then have them delivered to your front door, often for a minimal, or no delivery charge. 


    As a matter of fact, you can often get better deals online than you could by actually going in to the store to get your shopping. And, thankfully there are a growing number of websites getting in on the act, so watch out for them and grab yourself a bargain.


    #2 Twitter Deals

    Cheaptweet is a website that works with your Twitter account (if you don't have an account with Twitter, it's free and easy to set up, just go to Twitter and follow the instructions).


    Cheaptweet searches Twitter for the latest tweets on deals, and sends them to your twitter feed, alerting you to popular deals that are available.


    You can also sign up for a feature called "Deal Stream" which allows you to personalize your search, by choosing specific categories that you are interested in such as entertainment, fashion, food and so on.  


    #3 Group Buying Power

    Another up and coming trend in online shopping, is group buying websites.


    Sites such as Groupon, LivingSocial, and Wagjag can save you money by offerring cheap prices for products or services if enough people choose to buy them.


    For example, Groupon ran a recent deal offering half price admission for ice skating at a local rink. The deal went into effect once 200 people agreed to buy in. This is good for the businesses offering the deals, since it gives them an opportunity to attract large numbers of customers, and it's good for the customers who have access to better deals than they would otherwise be able to get.   


    #4 Discount Vouchers

    Another way to save money on shopping without leaving your home, are websites such as Retail Me Not and Coupon Cabin.


    These sites offer virtual coupons for a wide variety of products and services at over 50,000 online stores. The sites give you a code, which you simply type in when you are making your online purchase. 


    So, as you can see, you don't have to make the choice between standing in crowded shops and never ending queues, versus missing out on your holiday shopping this year.


    You can choose to do your shopping online, have your purchases delivered to your front door, and maybe even save yourself some money in the process. It's a win-win situation!


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    Melanie Thomassian is a registered dietitian, and author of If you need help implementing a healthier lifestyle, check out her new guide, The Healthy Eating Handbook.



Published On: November 16, 2010