Top 10 Awesomely Outrageous Holiday Gifts

Ever wonder what someone like George Lucas gets for Christmas? It sure can’t be easy shopping for the person who has it all. So it got us thinking. (A dangerous pasttime, we know.) If we had it all or we knew the world was going to end next year, we’d want to make THIS Christmas the best one ever. So we’d put some of the craziest, most-expensively cool items on our wish list. And that’s just what we did!

Although not necessarily budget-friendly, our list of holiday gifts below features items that are as awesome as they are outrageous (and for some of them, wildly expensive).

Isis Impossible Metal Puzzle

$179.99

Much more difficult than a Rubik’s Cube and loads more rewarding is this titanium puzzle from ThinkGeek.com. Solve this insanely impossible puzzle and you could be rewarded thousands of dollars in prizes.

Mega Deals at ThinkGeek.com

Helly Kitty Crystal Dipped Handheld Mirror

$350.00

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s holding the most expensive mirror of all? This limited edition Hello Kitty mirror is encrusted with Swarovski elements and comes packaged in a special jewel box.

Sephora.com Coupons

Victoria’s Secret Embellished Push-up Bra

$250.00

Featuring Victoria’s Secret most popular push-up bra, the Infinity Edge, this bra offers padding for lift and cleavage and is embellished with Swarovski crystals. Sold separately are the matching embellished V-string panties, for a mere $50. Not sold separately are the enormous angel wings.

Free Shipping on $100+ at VictoriasSecret.com

LEGO Super Star Destroyer

$399.99

This is the first time the Super Star Destroyer has been made into a LEGO model. But even more impressive is the size. It weighs in at 8 pounds, measures nearly 50″ and contains over 3,000 LEGO pieces.

LEGO.com Coupons

Power Wheels Barbie Cadillac Escalade

Sale: $349.99 (Reg. $399.99)

The elves at Santa’s workshop are just showing off now. This Barbie Cadillac Escalade features a premium sound system, chrome wheels, and the official Cadillac emblem on the seats and grille.

Free Store Pick-up at ToysRUs.com

CREED 250th Anniversary Limited-Edition Flacon

$1,750.00

What does a $1,750 perfume smell like? A special blend of iris, orange zest, bergamot, and vanilla. This limited-edition fragrance is certainly fit for a queen (no, really. Queen Victoria, Princess Grace and Empress Eugenie have all worn a variation of this Creed fragrance.)

Free Shipping on any order at NeimanMarcus.com

Jura Impressa J9 One Touch TFT Coffee Machine

Sale: $2,799.00 (Reg. $3,500.00)

This coffee maker puts even the Keurig to shame. A simple touch of a button brews up your choice of coffee. It’s capable of making coffee, cappucino, latte macchiato, ristretto and lots more, all served with a unique milk foam on top, if you so choose. It’s even integrated with a rinsing, cleaning and descaling program!

Shop Markdowns in Home & Garden at Amazon.com

Omega Men’s Seamaster 300M Quartz “James Bond” Watch

Sale: $1,657.50 (Was $1,950.00)

The choice watch for James Bond and a bevy of celebrities and sport stars, this Omega watch features Swiss-Quartz movement and an anti-reflective scratch-resistant sapphire crystal face. It’s also water-resistant to 1000 feet, in case you’re planning a little light scuba diving.

Shop Sales & Deals in Watches at Amazon.com

Digital Jukebox

$4,995.95

It may look old-fashioned on the outside but on the inside it’s anything but. This digital jukebox can store up to 1,500 hours of video or music content, which can be transferred directly from your hard drive via the USB port.

BJs.com Coupons

Edible Gingerbread Playhouse by Dylan’s Candy Bar

$15,000.00

A whopping 381 lbs. of gourmet gingerbread and 517 lbs. of royal icing make up this enormous gingerbread playhouse, made by NYC’s largest candy store, Dylan’s Candy Bar. If the loads upon loads of cookies and candy that make up the house isn’t enough, it also features a lollipop tree on the inside. With a gingerbread house this big, the only question will be which one will rot first: the house or your children’s teeth.

The Black Friday Survival Guide

Despite our best efforts, we know not everybody can spend Black Friday on JoeShopping in the comfort of their home, dressed in a cozy robe and sipping a hot cup of coffee. Too many stores are having too many deals that are only in-store, and despite the hassle, they can be tough to ignore. So if you have to go out this Friday, here are a few tips that will help minimize the trauma.

Make a list and check it twice.

No, you don’t have to decide who’s naughty and nice — you have to figure out exactly what you want to buy on Black Friday. Exactly. Go through all the Black Friday ads, make a list of every deal you want to take advantage of, and note where they’re located. And keep your budget in mind — no need to shop for things you can’t afford.

Plan your attack.

If you get in your car on November 26th at 6 am without a plan, you might as well not go out at all. You’ve got to have a plan, and that’s more than just figuring out which stores open at what times (although you need to do that too). Questions to consider:

What store’s deals offer you the most savings?

Which deals are so big they probably won’t be repeated in the next few weeks?

Which stores might be so busy they might not be worth dealing with, especially if they’ll prevent you from visiting other stores? What’s the best route to take to visit all the stores you want to visit? How long should it take to actually do the shopping at each store?

Obviously, there’s no clear answer here — everybody will have their own unique schedule that will maximize their savings. Even if that means skipping the big ticket item that everyone else in the city will also be trying to get.

Be prepared.

Whether you’re the type who can get up at 4am or you’re better off just staying up all night, when it’s time to go, you need to be ready to go. Here’s an easy checklist:

List of items you’re shopping for and schedule printed out. All necessary coupons printed out, and all relevant flyers marked in case you have to argue with a cashier. The car has a full tank of gas. You have a full tank of gas — whether than means a pack of 5 Hour Energy drinks, a thermos of hot coffee, a PB&J, candy bars, whatever. You could very well be shopping from 4am to noon, depending on how much you need to get. Comfortable Shoes.

Stick to the plan.

We don’t mean just stick to the schedule, although it is important — if you’re stuck in a store where the check-out line reaches to the back of the store, it might be worth considering leaving so you can hit the other stores on your list. But the bigger worry is sticking to your list.

The whole point of a store’s Black Friday sale is to get you to buy as much as possible, and once you’re in a store, surrounded by hundreds of frenzied consumers and faced with endlessly unbelievable deals, it can be hard to resist not picking up a few more items. Don’t do it! If you didn’t need it when you made your list, you don’t need it now. Every single thing you pick up costs you time and, more importantly, costs you money.

If you guys have any tips you’d like to share or if you think we’ve forgotten anything, please let us know in the comments. And good luck on Friday!

And for you folks looking for Black Friday deals ONLINE (no need to leave the comfort of your warm, toasty house!), here are a slew of great online deals you can try to take advantage of.

Planning A Halloween Party On A Budget

A Halloween party is a great way to celebrate this festive holiday. You can plan a party that is traditionally pagan, a party that is festive and childlike, or one that is macabre and scary. Regardless of the type of party you plan, however, the fact of the matter is that parties can be expensive. To combat the potentially high cost of a Halloween party, here is a look at some tips to help you keep the cost low and the fun high.

Make your Costumes

As the party host or hostess, you should be wearing one of the best costumes in the house. To achieve a great costume on a budget, you may need to get creative or crafty.

A decade or two ago, most people were making their own costumes, or they were blending a combination of homemade items with store bought items. Now, however, the Halloween costume industry is worth close to 3 billion dollars per year, and countless costume stores are likely to appear in the abandoned storefronts of most cities as Halloween approaches.

Luckily, it is possible to avoid this racket by buying used costumes or making your own. A trip to your local thrift store is one of the best ways to find a cheap costume. Charity shops like Good Will typically have at least one fifty percent off sale per month. These sales which usually occur on a Saturday are a great place for you to stock up on costume essentials.

If you do not find what you want in the costume aisle of your local charity shop, you might consider how the other products for sale may help you. Old clothes make great new costumes while a cheap pair of drapes can be repurposed into a cool new outfit as well. If you are creative, you will succeed.

Shop ahead

Once you have your costume ready, it is time to focus on food. If you are worried about facing a tight budget on the week of the party, you may want to shop ahead. If you buy a little bit of party food with each paycheck leading up to the event, you will have what you need on the day of the party.

Another innovative idea to consider regarding food is the possibility of foraging. A surprising number of people have apple or other fruit trees that they never harvest. If you see a tree dropping fruit, you can knock at that person’s door and ask if they are willing to share. In most cases, they will be happy to let you have a bucket of the fruit that they are not using. This is a perfect way to get low cost apple pies, apple sauce, or even jams made from ornamental berries. Since the fruit is free, you will only need to pay a little money for other ingredients like sugar, flour, and butter.

Plan Old School Activities

At Halloween, apples are not just for pies. They are also for apple bobbing. Old school activities like apple bobbing are perfect for your Halloween party entertainment. The spider web game and the mummy game are also great ones to play at a Halloween party.

In the mummy game, party goers place themselves into groups of two. Each duo has a mummy and a wrapper. The wrapper’s job is to bind the mummy in toilet paper or crepe paper. The first pair to complete their mummy is the winner.

In the spider web game, the host hides several small objects. These could be expensive gifts, food items, or simple thrift store trinkets. Each gift is tied to a stand from a ball of yarn. If you want to save money on the yarn, you may want to search for that at a thrift store as well. Then, the ball of yarn is wrapped around the room. Each player is given one end of the yarn that they then follow to their prize. This fun game may result in a lot of laughing and more than one jumbled set of legs and arms.

To give party goers a break from the games, you may want to set up one area as a screening area. Classic horror movies like The Creature from the Black Lagoon or an old zombie movie are idea. These types of movies will create the scary but funny environment that you and your guests will be sure to enjoy.

Keep Calm And Coupon On

I don’t know about you, but hunting for coupons is actually very fun to do! Prior to writing for JoeShopping.com I admit I wasn’t very coupon savvy.

My mom always would tear out coupons from an ad or she would give me coupons to hand to a sales clerk, but other than that I didn’t really take the time to use coupons. However later I started to grow up and in college I started being a little bit more coupon smart. Especially when it came to stores like Victoria Secret and Juicy Couture, I always used coupons when I wanted to buy an expensive item.

Through the years I’ve been a lot better about using my coupons, but I think I could still be better. Here are a few tips that I have learned and I thought I would share them with you:

Look on the Inside of BoxesĀ

Before you’re quick to throw away an empty box after you are done making muffins or done with all of the cereal from within the box, look on the inside first! Usually cereal and other boxes have hidden coupons inside of them. Side note: this is funny, but even tampon boxes have coupons inside of the boxes as well! Sometimes the actual coupons are a part of the box, so just retrieve a pair of scissors and cut the coupon out of the box. Finding coupons in boxes are an easy way to save and plus, the coupons are usually for the actual products that you just got done using and that you also buy on a consistent basis!

Shop at a Sale, Leave with a Coupon!

If you go to the mall to shop the sale’s rack, that’s a great thing! In fact, I do that all of the time and just a few days ago I left the store with a six dollar top that was originally thirty dollars! What I also love about stores that are having sales, however, is that after you’ve made your purchase, many times they will also include a coupon inside of your shopping bag. So don’t be so quick to throw your shopping bag away because there might be a valuable coupon inside! Of course if you don’t shop at the store that often that’s one thing, but if you happen to go there a lot and need fall clothing or would like to buy an item of clothing but were waiting for a final twenty percent off the price, a coupon will certainly help you out with your purchase!

Paid Store Memberships and Punch Cards

If you happen to shop at a store enough, it isĀ definitelyĀ valuable to spend the extra twenty dollars for a ten percent shopping membership card (I do this for Wet Seal) that you can use every time you go shopping at that particular brand store. No, it is not a credit card, but a card that you purchase one time and use it to get the percentage off your apparel every time you shop. If you can’t afford to spend the money but would still like to get some occasional perks for shopping at the store, ask for a punch card instead. Many stores have them (especially beauty stores) and they are more than happy to punch your card for every purchase that you make. You’ll be surprised how quickly the punches will add up and soon you will have up to ten dollars off of your next purchase!

Of course there are other places to find coupons, such as from ads that you receive in the mail, magazines that you subscribe to (look at the ads in the magazine!), coupon apps on your phone, and the list goes on and on! My advice is to start being coupon savvy because once you get the hang of it, you will save a lot of money. Once you save more money, you’ll be so proud of your coupon saving capabilities! So it’s time to…Keep Calm and Coupon On!

How To Return Unwanted Gifts A Post Holiday Survival Guide

Are unwanted holiday gifts piling up around the house? Were the kids so disappointed in getting socks from Grandma again this year that they’ve been reduced to playing in the cardboard boxes they arrived in for a little excitement? No need to panic. We’re here to help!

We know returning gifts that were purchased online can be as frustrating as waiting in line at the DMV. But it really doesn’t have to be that way. We’ve put together some valuable tips and helpful information on how to get those less than desirable gifts exchanged online for what you really want this holiday season.

Always Keep the Packaging

Once an online order makes it to your front door, the excitement of tearing open the box usually means important receipts, packing slips and return labels get lost in the shuffle. You definitely want to keep these in a safe place, as many of them are required for a full refund. And although kitty is keeping cozy in the new bed she fashioned out of the shipping box, you’ll want to keep that, too. It’s usually just the right size you’ll need for sending those awkwardly shaped items back to the company.

Return Costs

Purchases at online stores like Endless.com, Piperlime.com, Zappos.com, and some purchases on Amazon.com qualify for free returns. However, many stores aren’t so generous, and you’ll be responsible for the costs associated with shipping your return package back. Using the return label (which either came in your original package or can be printed from the store’s website) can simplify the process, as the company will just deduct a flat fee from the amount of the refund to cover the shipping costs.

Also, be sure to check if you’ll need a RMA (which stands for “Return Merchandise Authorization.”) If it does, you’ll have to contact the store’s customer service department by email or phone to receive your RMA number. You may be asked to write this number on the outside of the box you’re returning. This number will help you and their return department verify and track your return.

Times a Wastin’

For nearly all returns, you’ll need to make sure to bring it back within a certain time frame. In most cases, returns will be accepted up to 30 days, although this varies by store. After the deadline, you may only be able to return for store credit or an exchange, if at all. Make sure to account for days in transit time, too, as the store may require for the item to arrive back to their warehouse within that given time frame.

Also, keep in mind that some store’s return policies may vary during the holidays. Usually, the time frame has been extended, but don’t be surprised if seasonal merchandise (such as holiday decor) has to be returned at an earlier date. You may want to double-check with the store’s customer service to verify the correct deadline for your return.

Return to a Store

For immediate refunds or exchanges, many stores offer convenient returns to their bricks and mortar locations. You may still need to bring the packing slip along with you, though. Stores that offer online returns to their local stores include ToysRUs, Target, Express, Walmart, Justice, and JCPenney, among others.

Some gifts can be returned or exchanged quickly and painlessly at local store locations.

Conditions

Some stores will only allow you to return merchandise if it’s in new, unworn, or unopened condition. This is especially true for electronics (like DVDs or computer software), that once opened, you cannot return in any circumstance. You’ll need to make sure all the tags are attached, seals and shrink wrap are still intact, and any additional manuals or accessories which came with the original packaging are included with the return. Other stores, like LandsEnd.com, offer a “satisfaction guaranteed” return policy, happily accepting returns on merchandise that you may have tried that you simply didn’t end up liking.

Gifts with Purchase and Special Promotions

If you received a gift or a free sample with the item you purchased, you may have to return it, too, in order to receive a refund. Sometimes, the value of the gift is deducted from the return price, or in some cases, you cannot return the product at all unless you bring back the gift, too. Otherwise, some retailers, such as Sephora.com, allow you to keep the gift or free sample even if you return the product.

The same can be said for purchases that you received special pricing on by meeting a purchase requirement. For example, if you bought 2 video games and got 1 free at ToysRUs, the “free” game would need to be returned, too, if you should decide to return the other 2.

Restocking Fees

Unfortunately, some stores will charge you a fee for returning a product. NewEgg.com, for example, has a restocking fee of 15% on all returns for refund. BestBuy.com has a 25% restocking fee for special order products. In these cases, it may just make more sense to regift or resell the item rather than losing out on some of what you paid it.

Marketplace Purchases

On websites like BarnesandNoble.com, Sears.com, and Amazon.com, you’ll want to double-check who you’re actually making the purchase from. These sites often offer products sold through a third party in their marketplace, which typically means they’re exempt from the standard return policy.

Of course, when in doubt, don’t hesitate to contact the store’s customer service. They’ll be able to clarify any lingering questions you may have about returning an item and (with a little sweet talking) may even be able to help you if your return falls outside of their return policy guidelines.

Look to these online stores for some of the most customer-friendly return policies:

“Guaranteed. Period.” Land’s End return policy can’t be beaten. If you’re not satisfied with any item, you’re able to return it at any time for an exchange or refund of its purchase price.

For in-store and Lowes.com purchases, no receipt is required to make a return if you have the credit card used to make the purchase on hand. If you made your purchase in-store and paid with cash or check, no receipt is required if you provided a phone number at the time of checkout.

Return any item, anytime, for any reason. If you have your receipt, you’ll get a full refund or even exchange. Without a receipt, you’ll receive a refund, exchange, or merchandise credit.

You can exchange or return most merchandise for a full refund (minus the shipping charges) anytime after purchase. If you are returning a gift, you will receive a store merchandise credit. And if you’re exchanging an item, shipping for the new item will be free of charge.

How To Put Together A September Outfit For Under 100

Happy September! Can you believe that it is already September 1st? I can’t. I feel like it was just January 1st yesterday and now it’s only four months until Christmas. Wait, I’m probably scaring you so I won’t go there yet. I think I’m scaring myself as well. 😉 September for me means a lot of things to look forward to. I’ll be turning 27 years old, the trees will start changing colors, and fall time will officially begin at the end of the month. What does September mean to you?

In regards to fashion, September also means it will most likely start to get chilly. When that happens it will be both a relief from the hot summer sun, but it will also be bittersweet because we won’t be ready for the colder temps to arrive just yet. However, I just so happen to love the fall time because I get to wear jeans, sweaters, long sleeve tops and scarves. Plus I’m finding out that ruffles are still in style, so fall fashion can’t be all that bad, right?

You’re in for a special treat because I’ve pulled together a September outfit for under $100 to celebrate the season. How’s that for savings! Hot deals are on their way to you…

Almost Famous Heavy Stitch Women’s Bootcut Jeans $34.99 – Whenever I find a pair of jeans that are under $50, I always have to give a little hip hip hooray! Great jeans are hard to come by and great jeans under $100 are even more difficult to come by. They look super comfy and get me in the mood even more for the fall season. If looks could kill, these would.

Ruffle Sleeve Scoop Neck Top $18.80 – I’ve heard that bright colors will still be in style for autumn, so why not incorporate long sleeves, the color orange, and ruffles all at the same time? The sweet ruffle sleeves at the end of this long sleeved top are priceless and remind me of a Medieval Renaissance Fair in modern times, of course. Orange also reminds me of Halloween in October, which by the way, will also be here before we know it as well. 😉 Boo! (Get GoJane.com coupons for this top, too!)

Not Rated Women’s Hypnotize Ballerina Flats $16.77 – Now we’re on a roll. These ballerina flats are adorable, not to mention black goes with positively everything. They roll up (to an extent) so if you want to wear heels and then switch to flats that is no problem! Just make sure you have a big enough purse to hold them, which, let’s face it, most of us women do! The jewels also bedazzle and made these ballet flats the star in any show.

Byzantine Silver Crystal Cross Pendant Necklace $11.95 – I actually really like the cross necklace that you can see in the picture of the model in the ruffled top. So I found a cross very similar and it’s simple, stunning, and significant of fashion all at the same time. I like how the cross is a lot larger than your averaged sized cross pendant.

So I bet you are wondering what our grand total is, right? Well, the GRAND total is only $82.51!!!

Guess what that means! You can go get some pizza in your new outfit with your remaining money. Well, if you like pizza that is. I think that sounds like the perfect plan.

Don’t let September overwhelm you into thinking that you only have to wear fall clothing. Ease into it slowly and don’t be afraid to wear ruffles or some cute flats like in the picture above. Flats are still great to wear during the summer but make it easy to transition and wear them during the fall time as well. Personally, I can’t wait for the autumn colors to arrive. I hope they come in time for my birthday.

Get Rewarded For Buying Beauty Products

Wouldn’t it be nice if online beauty stores actually rewarded you for shopping with their site? With the rising costs of cosmetics, something beyond the courtesy “Thank you for shopping with us” email that follows your order would certainly be nice!

Well, believe it or not, there are actually a few online stores that are showing customers their appreciation for their business. These five beauty e-tailers are rewarding you with exclusive coupons, free products, special benefits, and money-off your future purchases just for choosing them over the rest. There’s no special credit card required to earn the rewards and no enrollment fees to get started; all you have to do is join and shop! So if you’re shopping for makeup, hair care, skin care, or fragrances, here are the online beauty stores you’ll definitely want to check out!

Beauty.com‘s great selection of brands (like Urban Decay, NARS, Kevyn Aucoin, and Tarte) and free shipping on every $25 purchase is enough to keep any beauty junkie happy. But throw in a nice cash back program, and you can’t help but be hooked. For anyone who becomes registered for a (free!) Beauty.com account, you’ll receive 5% back in drugstore.com dollars everytime you shop the site, and every time you shop their partner sites at Drugstore.com (where you’ll find beauty brands like L’Oreal, Revlon, Maybelline, Cover Girl, and more) and VisionDirect.com. Every 3 months, the credit you’ve earned shopping with the site is applied to your Beauty.com account as drugstore.com dollars and will be deducted from your total when you shop.

With free 2-day shipping with a $25 purchase, free samples, a laundry list of beauty brands (including By Terry, LORAC, Philosophy, and Stila), and easy, free returns, there’s plenty of reasons to go bananas for BeautyBar.com. But their Familyhood Rewards program is icing on the cake. For every $1 you spend in any one of their 5 online stores, you’ll earn 1 point. Accumulated points can be redeemed for up to $20 off your order!

Additional Perks:

While you don’t have to spend or earn any points to enjoy it, their super cool interactive Makeover Studio is the bee’s knees! The tool allows you to virtually sample dozens of products by applying them to your uploaded photo (shy guests can also choose from a gallery of models.) You can then proudly share your finished look with all of your friends via Facebook or Twitter.

If you’re a frequent CVS shopper, you’re probably saving money and receiving coupons with their ExtraCare savings program. But if you find you’re buying makeup with your mouthwash, you’ll definitely want to register for their Beauty Club. Once you join, you’ll not only receive 10% off your purchase, but you’ll earn $5 in ExtraBucks Rewards for every $50 you spend on qualifying beauty products (like cosmetics, hair care products, skin care, fragrances, and more.) Combine this with their frequent Buy 1, Get 1 50% off sales, and the savings really add up!

Additional Perks:

Birthday girls and guys will receive $3 in ExtraBucks rewards on their birthday.

You already know that Sephora offers free 3-day shipping when you spend $50 and 3 free samples at checkout. But did you know you can also earn points every time you shop? Become a Sephora Beauty Insider, and for every dollar you spend on the site in store, you’ll earn one point. Banked points can later be redeemed at checkout for free beauty goodies (100 points will land you a deluxe-sized sample whereas 500 points will score you a limited edition full-sized product!) Rack up $350 with the beauty retailer, and you’ll be upgraded to V.I.B. (Very Important Beauty Insider), where you’ll get premium perks like 10% off, invites to private in-store events, and more!

Additional Perks:

As a Beauty Insider, you’ll also gain exclusive access to special beauty products that other shoppers won’t.status. They’ll also throw in free birthday goodie when you order online during the month of your birthday.

Money-saving coupons, invites to exclusive events, and pretty cool points earning program awaits the shopper who registers for ULTA‘s free ULTAmate Rewards program (formerly known as The Club at ULTA.) As a member, you’ll receive up to $75 in coupons every year and 1 point for every $1 you spend (2 points if it’s the month of your birthday.) Earned points can be used to save you anywhere from $3-$125 off of your next purchase, or you can opt to use your points for free salon services! Spend $350 throughout the year, and they’ll elevate you to Platinum status, where you’ll earn 1.25 points per $1 and a surprise gift on your birthday.

Football Season A Shopping List

To quote the mighty Bocephus, “Are you ready for some footbaaaaaall?” Because football is ready for you!

No, I’m not talking about soccer. Sorry, rest of the world. I’m talking about the National Football League and the amateur gridiron of the NCAA. The pigskin. The tailgating. The cheerleaders. The hype. The hoopla. The Xs and Os. The strikes and sanctions. You know, good ol’ American football.

Football is kicking off around the country and that means that you, the fan, needs to be on top of your game. Basically, this may be your best chance to purchase a new 55″ 1080p HDTV from LG with TruMotion 120Hz for high-speed action and no motion blur (which is absolutely necessary when guys like Mike Wallace take the field):

Please adjust your set. There should be football on it.

Some other important items are team-specific, like jerseys, caps, assorted cheese hats and some pretty terrible towels.

Terrible towels are great for waving, but also wiping should someone spill a drink on the sofa.

Then there is the grub, which is why most of your friends are showing up for the game. Sure, they like to watch you yell and kick inanimate objects, who doesn’t? But what they really like is pizza, wings, chips and an endless flow of cold beer. The latter is where this comes in:

Be this guy. People will love you.

Anyone can put a bunch of cans on ice, but real football fans know that the best way to recruit friends over is with a barrel of your favorite local brew. Keep it fresh in a keg refrigerator, or “kegerator“. DO NOT BE FOOLED BY BEER COMMERICALS. Yes, those ads help support the NFL and will someday lead to future work stoppages and contract disputes, but good local beer makes good friends. Mass produced bad beer makes fairly amusing television spots. Don’t confuse the two.

Please note, if you are watching college football, make sure that your recruitment of tailgaters and football fans adheres to the code of conduct in place by the NCAA. Also, your spouse.

And there you have it, football fans. Now all you need is the season to start and Sundays off from work. Go team!

7 Frugal Ways To Save On Designer Wear

If you’re a woman, the need for shopping is never enough. Though you may have way too many clothes that you actually need there is always this craving for more! Perhaps for a new skirt that’s in fashion or a designer wear that has caught your eye in a store display.

Although it is easier said than done to cut short your shopping spree it is not always possible. You will need to go out to attend social functions or parties in order to fulfill your social responsibility and be a part of the crowd. You can afford to stop shopping altogether and stay at home in order to save.

So it would be better to frame out certain rules that can help you save money on shopping instead of putting an end to it altogether. Apart from the fact that you need to control your shopping instinct for everyday wear, here are some frugal tips to help you save on designer wear meant for special occasions.

Buy From Retail Stores Only

Retail stores have an advantage over the smaller shops as they offer discounts almost all the year round. If you wish to buy designer wears you can buy them from the retail shops where you can get them at a much lower price than the malls. If you are a regular customer of the shops you may even be offered an additional discount if you get lucky.

Make Use of Season’s Sale Offers

The best time to buy clothes of any kind can be during sale. There is a large discount offered during this period when the previous stocks are cleared up for new arrivals. Buying during this period can thus be a good idea as the dresses come cheap. You can also check out discount stores which have a good designer wear collection as well. The resale shops can also have some good collections but you need to be choosy about them in order to get the quality attires you are looking for.

Look For Stylish Clothing, Not Brands

Though it is quite a habit with women to be freaky about brands and tags sometimes you need to think out of the box. Try to buy a designer item which looks stylish and suits you rather than a brand which costs you a lot of money but does not have the appeal. If you still want to settle for a branded one it would be good idea to check out the resale stores which keep many branded items at reasonable prices.

Organize Clothes Swapping Parties

This can be one of the best ways to save on clothes without spending a penny. You can organize a designer wear swap party where you can swap some of your clothes and accessories with your friends who have the similar figure as that of you. This way you can fulfill the need of attending a function or a party with a new dress without actually buying it.

Innovate on Your Dressing Style

You may have made some impulsive purchases in the past which you have not even tried out a single day. If you have some creative skills you can save some money by getting them out of the closet and implementing some quick fix touches. For example adding a stylish button or a fashionable belt can work wonders. By applying some trendy innovative touches you can give an old dress a fashionable makeover.

Jazz Up with Accessories

Sometimes even a branded designer wear can look bland and even a simple dress with stylish accessories can look appealing. If you have some old designer items which you have not worn yet it is time to take them out from your closet and put to some use. Choose some classy accessories that would be fitting for your dress and give a try. It is surely going to enhance your looks without hampering your finances.

Old Clothes for New

Many designer stores offer the facility of getting new clothes in exchange of old by just adding a few more bucks. You can take advantage of such offers to get rid of the clothes that you do not wear to buy some trendy designer dresses. This means that you need to be updated and prepared in order to grab the offers. So what are you waiting for!

Guest Author Bio: Jonny Pean is a financial blogger and advisor with EasyFinance.com. He helps people to get rid of their financial problem by helping them with expert saving and budgeting tips for various occasions. He also offers advices on personal finance problems related to loans, student loans, home equity etc.

7 Tips For Surviving Christmas Morning

Just because December 25th is supposed to be full of spontaneous wonder and instant joy doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be prepared for it. In fact, preparation can make the day twice as nice! Plus, it can help you avoid some of the annual pitfalls that always seem to sneak up on you that day.

Here are JoeShopping’s seven tips for not only surviving but thriving on Christmas morning!

1) Save all the receipts.

From the moment you start shopping, you should have one location — a box, a file folder, a Ziploc baggie — where you put every single receipt. You never know what may be broken, or missing a piece, or need to be exchanged, and the only way to remember where you put that receipt is to have them all in one convenient place.

2) Make a list (and check it twice).

If you’re buying a lot of gifts — and/or buying a lot of similar gifts for different people — you might want to write down exactly what you’re giving to whom. It might sound silly now, but there’s been more than one mom with three boys who’s forgotten whose gift is whose only to realize the mistake when the kids open their presents and give her confused looks (not that we’re speaking from experience).

3) Buy batteries.

Obvious, but still true. If you don’t want to make the effort of writing down exactly what you need, go get a ton of AAs, some AAAs, and maybe a 9-volt or two. A pack of D batteries couldn’t hurt, either.

4) Charge ‘em and load ‘em!

If you’re giving a gift like an iPod, iPad, Kindle or other electronic gizmos, chances are you’re going to want to let the recipient open it themselves. But you might want to think about charging their batteries before Christmas morning, so that they can be turned on right away. Likewise, why not put a couple of e-books on a Kindle, or load a few songs on an iPod, or download some fun apps on an iPad? It’s like a gift within a gift!

5) Charge the camera.

I’m not talking about cameras you’re giving, but your camera. You want to be able to snap pictures first thing in the morning, and you don’t want to try and explain to your crazed kids why they need to wait a few minutes before they can rip open their presents.

6) Get your “toolbox” out.

Batteries aren’t the only thing you need to have ready and accessible on Christmas morning. You should also have: Scissors (for tags), a box cutter or a pocket knife (for opening packages), wire cutters (for cutting toy twist-ties), and Ziploc bags (for loose pieces). It’s also probaby worth it to get one of those cutting tools made specificaly for safely opening those plastic blister-packs that seem to be made of transparent steel.

7) Make another list.

This isn’t as much a tip to get ready for Christmas morning as it is a tip during Christmas morning: Keep a pen and paper nearby to write down who gave what to whom, especially for big gifts and gifts from people who aren’t there. It might sound a little annoying, but it can be a lot easier than wracking your brain trying to remember what Uncle Lloyd gave you during your annual Christmas call.