A survival kit for Black Friday 2013.

thSome people are wondering whether Black Friday is dead. I wouldn’t order funereal flowers just yet.

Sure, some retailers have been testing the waters with early-November sales and are planning to jump the gun with “Gray Thursday” doorbusters. In addition, shoppers are getting savvier; knowing that not every “sale” price is in fact the best price, we’re less likely to blow the entire holiday budget immediately after Thanksgiving.

Yet some of those Gray Thursday/Black Friday/Cyber Monday loss leaders really are pretty splendid. For example, you’re not likely to find decent-quality bath towels for $2 at any other time of the year.

That’s why we have deal-finding apps: They help us sort the wheat from the chaff. This week’s giveaway is sponsored by FatWallet.com, a site that combines online coupons, cash-back shopping, and a community of fierce deal hounds who delight in posting the best possible combinations of low prices, cash-back and rebates.

The FatWallet Black Friday app lets you search by category (towels, Barbies, camouflage) or by retailer. You can filter by price, search all doorbusters, inquire about rebates, collect e-coupons (no clipping), look for free shipping and even purchase the items immediately from your phone.

(Those of us who don’t own smartphones can access the app on our treadle-powered laptops. Woo hoo!)

What’s this got to do with surviving Black Friday? Good question.

The folks at FatWallet have put together a mock “survival kit” for those who plan to shop early on, whether that’s at home in your sweatpants or lining up at a store on a chilly November night. The kit includes:

  • FatWallet T-shirt: Let others know that you are strong with the deal-seeking Force.
  • FatWallet pens: Maybe you, like me, still read the print ads. If so, circle away.
  • A double-walled, BPA-free tumbler, also with a FatWallet logo, that can be used for hot beverages or cold drinks: It’s important to stay hydrated during your shopping trip, after all, or to warm up if you’re visiting actual rather than virtual stores in a cold climate.
  • Snack items: These will help keep up your strength whether you’re on foot or online. The treats include chocolate chip cookies, cheese crackers, granola bars and candy.
  • FatWallet zippered tote bag: Shaped like a typical gym bag but it also has a shoulder strap. Use it to carry some of those bargains home vs. asking for paper or plastic. It’s great to be part of the solution (vs. being part of the precipitate).
  • FatWallet stress ball: Don’t let the holidays freak you out. If you feel yourself tightening up, squeeze the living daylights out of this thing.
  • $25 Amazon gift card: You already know what that’s for, right?
  • Mardi Gras beads: These frankly puzzle me. But they sure look festive.

Incidentally, the app already contains Black Friday ads from more than 60 major retailers, making it easy for you to determine whether something you want/need will be available at an unbeatable price.

If you were about to buy appliances, technology, clothing or some other item, run the info through the app and see if anything resonates. This may be the best time all year to buy camouflage Barbie towels.

To enter:

If you do any (or all!) of these things, please leave separate, additional comments to get credit for each entry.

The deadline is 7 p.m. PST Tuesday, Nov. 19. If I don’t hear back from the winners by 7 p.m. PST Wednesday, Nov. 20, I’ll pull another name.

Note: Due to the high cost of international shipping, a winner outside the United States will be given a choice of gift cards in addition to the Amazon gift card; the bag o’goodies will be sent to another reader.

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  1. thank you for your excellent blog.

  2. Gayle Erwin

    I would love to win. That said,I would be using everything to stay home and shop on the internet, staying warm and dry. 😉

  3. Gayle Erwin

    I hope getting your blog on Inoreader.com counts the same as feedburner or subscribing.

  4. How fun! Thanks, Donna!

  5. Kelly Sangree

    I’ve read your pieces since the original 12K a year post – mostly because I was that broke or worse! I’d love that goodie bag!

  6. Kelly Sangree

    Oh, and I already follow you on facebook. Stalker.

  7. Thanks for sharing!

  8. Joyce Ackley

    I plan to shop online, but I’d love the goodies in the giveaway! thanks.

  9. diane concepcion

    I have won before but lightening (or the random generator) can strike twice!

  10. diane concepcion

    I am a facebook follower!

  11. diane concepcion

    I am a twitter follower!

  12. Thanks for the chance to win.

  13. I subscribe via email.

  14. I follow you on Facebook.

  15. Hummmm. Makes me wonder if I will end up in the black Friday fever now. I do like to get clothing deals on black Friday. People aren’t usually frantic over men’s jeans at Wal Mart. 🙂

  16. I like you on Facebook.

  17. follow you on Twitter.

  18. Subscribe via email with my yahoo email addy.

  19. I like Gray Thursday/Black Friday/Cyber Monday as long as I can shop from the comfort of my home on the computer! Dealing with the crowds no longer appeals to me, and I would rather just go without that “must have” item.

  20. I’m in. =>

  21. Would love to win!

  22. And I’m a long time Facebook follower.

  23. I would love to win the survival kit.

  24. Hope I win! Thank you!

  25. I subscribe via email.

  26. I follow you on Twitter.

  27. I am excited to enter this contest. I am new to your blog.

  28. I just signed up for your newsletter by email.

  29. I follow you on facebook.

  30. Melissa F

    With 6 less days between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year, as opposed to last year, I have already started picking up a few things to help make shopping a little easier. I do not like the fact that some stores are opening on Thanksgiving because I will opt to stay home and continue our holiday traditions with family, but I will feel like I am missing out by not venturing out to the stores. In the end, everything will work out and I will get the gifts I need. I just do not want to see Thanksgiving overlooked just so we can catch a deal and I am afraid that will happen in years to come.

  31. Nice work Donna and thank you! From all the hard workers at FatWallet.com, we so appreciate the Black Friday call outs and wish everyone the most savings they can possibly get this year!!!
    …btw, I’ve been scouring through all the ads and like ’em or not, the Best Buy and Walmart Black Friday deals are very impressive and as good, if not better than last year’s pricing. The best part of this year’s offerings, for all us penny pinchers, is that there’s thousands of choices for great gifts under $20 and several stores are including substantial gift cards with the bigger ticket items like iPads and iPhones (…a smart, and perhaps only way for retailers to offer a discount on Apple stuff!). Have a great holiday everybody! Brent

  32. This sounds like a neat little kit. I’m in!

  33. I follow you on Facebook as well.

  34. And I subscribe to the email updates.

  35. I read your website all the time! This sounds like a great giveaway. thanks!

  36. Lorna Huntley

    Facebook follower. Come on random generator

  37. In_the_808

    Thank you, it would be great to win.

  38. Not to seem intentionally risque, but nice package…

  39. Also, I subscribe to the feed. Thank you!

  40. Thanks for the great blog!

  41. I follow on Facebook.

  42. Barbara Calder

    Thanks for the fun blog and great giveaways.

  43. Barbara Calder

    I follow on facebook.

  44. Barbara Calder

    I also subscribe to the email updates. Thanks.

  45. Love this!

  46. i follow by email

  47. I stay away from stores on Black Friday. I love to bargain shop, however the crowds take the fun out of it for me!

  48. Facebook too.

  49. First year of retirement…need to budget extra wisely.

  50. Barbara A

    Thanks Donna!

  51. Love your blog and your facebook postings. Look forward to reading everyone.

  52. I’ve subscribed to get your e-mails with my new email address.

  53. Would like to win…but Black Friday doesn’t hold the same magic as it once did for DW and I. DD1 has a family of her own now with her own set of traditions that does not include departing at 4AM to go shopping. And DD2 is away at college this semester on the “left coast” and won’t be home as she has her own plans. Tis a sad Black Friday indeed!

    • Donna Freedman

      Sleep in, then, and have cinnamon rolls for breakfast.

      • Why didn’t I think of that? It has been my experience cinnamon rolls … AND ice cream makes everything better! Have a nice Holiday….

  54. Kate Frale

    Everyone needs a set of Mardi Gras beads for shopping!

  55. Hope I win!

  56. Facebook.

  57. Slickdeals, Oakley Vault, Steepandcheap, mypoints, St Vinnies, Goodwill, and sewing. Oh yeah, I’ve got gift coverage for my large Gen X offspring clan. Can pinch a penny and make it yell. Can always use a little help! Great commentary, and love the column.

  58. This sounds like a great prize package.

  59. I follow you on Facebook.

  60. Different Linda! I get a lot of great advice from your blog.

  61. Follow you on Twitter

  62. Like you on Facebook

  63. Receive your emails

  64. I’d love to win. Not sure about going out on Thanksgiving. I like to sit back & enjoy that second piece of pie in the evening.

  65. Veronica Adrover

    Yay FatWallet.

  66. Veronica Adrover

    I subscribe via email

  67. Veronica Adrover

    I folow on FB

  68. Sounds like a good kit… although i will be working on both Thanksgiving and Black Friday. Bracing myself for it now by making casseroles ahead of time.

  69. I’d like this FatWallet Survival Kit, please.

  70. I also like you on Facebook.

  71. Wow! A great kit for shopping! How fun!

  72. I follow you on facebook.

  73. Neat little pack! 🙂

  74. Wow !, lot’s of comments already. Give a way looks like it would work just as well for those of us that have to work on Black Friday too. : )

  75. Such a nice giveaway!

  76. I get your emails

  77. I follow you on twitter-grandmasreading

  78. I like you on Facebook

  79. Loved that pun about “be part of the solution, not part of the precipitate”! And I thought I’d forgotten high school chemistry. thanks for the laughs!!

  80. I follow you on Facebook.

  81. I also subscribe via e-mail.

  82. mrs. short

    Maybe this is just what I need to get into the BF mood. Cuz I’ll tell ya… I’m just not feeling it this year! (I follow on Twitter.)

  83. mrs. short

    And I subscribe via email.

  84. mrs. short

    Let’s not forget twitter.

  85. I get your posts via email. Great blog!

  86. Great giveaway!!!

  87. a faithful facebook follower

  88. and an enthusiastic email subscriber

  89. Carolina Cooper

    Does the app work on our treadle powered desktops as well as laptops, for those of us who are REALLY from the dark ages? I follow you on Facebook and on your blog. Hoping for the random generator to strike twice!

  90. conee corning banks

    follow you on facebook

  91. conee corning banks

    love your blog

  92. What a great giveaway for Black Friday

  93. I subscribe via email

  94. I subscribe by email

  95. Cindy Smith

    Please make me the winning Survivalist!

  96. Chocolate chip cookies and an amazon gift card? You are way too good to your readers 🙂 Thank you for the giveaway!

    • Donna Freedman

      This time it’s FatWallet that’s so good to the readers….But I appreciate the sentiment.

  97. I get your emails

  98. I follow your tweets (moeyshay)

  99. Thank you for your posts.

  100. I subscribe via e-mail as John at darrows dot us

  101. I follow on Twitter as @JD_Denver_SW

  102. I follow on Facebook as Johncee.Darrow

  103. Cant wait til black friday!! My favorite thing is the 2 and 4 dollar dvds at walmart!! What a cool giveaway!

  104. I subscribe by email, love your work, and would love to win, thanks!!!

  105. I am a proud email subscriber!

  106. I am a twitter follower. I

  107. I’m an email subscriber!

  108. Totally interested! Thanks for all the giveaways!

  109. I follow you on Twitter.

  110. I follow you on FB.

  111. And I subscribe via email.

  112. Thanks for another fun giveaway!

  113. I subscribe via email

  114. I also follow on FB and Twitter

  115. Cindy Brooks

    I still love those paper ads! I like sitting at the kitchen table with my morning mocha reading the paper and circling the ads 🙂
    someluckydog at gmail dot com

  116. Cindy Brooks

    e-mail subscriber
    someluckydog at gmail dot com

  117. Cindy Brooks

    following on facebook
    someluckydog at gmail dot com

  118. Alexandru Rusu

    Thanks for this giveaway!

  119. Thanks for this Giveaway. Fun.

  120. I would love to win this one!

  121. Thank you for the giveaway! It has something for everybody.

  122. I subscribe via email.

  123. I would love to win this! Black Friday shopping is a tradition in my family 🙂

  124. Eric the K

    Love Fatwallet.com, especially the Cash Back service.

  125. Sandra Gonzales

    I love all the websites and now the cool apps that help you with the Black Friday madness.

  126. Sandra Gonzales

    I subscribe to your emails.

  127. Sandra Gonzales

    I follow your tweets.

  128. Sandra Gonzales

    I follow you on FB. Also, is it just me or is dragging Black Friday into Thursday a crappy move on the part of the retailers? I loved hitting the stores at 5/6am on Fridays.

  129. I’d be thrilled to win this!

  130. How fun! thanks for the giveaways

  131. What a great prize package! Thank you!!

  132. I am a email subscriber

  133. I follow you on twitter @fhammons

  134. I follow you on FB as Fawn H

  135. This is great! Thanks for the blog and the giveaways!

  136. I Need this one!!

  137. I am hoping to do most of my shopping in my sweatpants… but I may need to venture to brick-and-mortar stores.

  138. I follow you via twitter.

  139. I follow you via email. Great giveaway

  140. This is a great giveaway! I usually try to make it out for Black Friday, but with a newborn this year, I just might be shopping more online. Although I’d still love to get out for a little bit 🙂

  141. I subscribe via email too.

  142. I also follow you on Twitter (@kchowy).

  143. I also like you on Facebook! Thanks again! Hope I win!

  144. Mmmmm black friday from the comfort fo my couch! I’ll be ready to shop while sipping coffee.

  145. sounds interesting, thanks

  146. I’m an email subscriber

  147. Barb from CNY

    I just subscribed! Thanks for the chance to win, I have been following you on MSN for a while and hadn’t seen you in a bit so I ‘binged’ you today and found you site! Good to see you again!

    • Donna Freedman

      Thanks for looking for me! And keep coming back, because I have a giveaway every Friday. (And good articles the rest of the time!)

  148. Always look forward to reading your blog posts!

  149. I’d love to win this! Thanks for the great giveaway!

  150. I subscribe via email

  151. I follow on twitter & Facebook

  152. Maybe this time, I follow via e-mail & FB.

  153. Would love to win this

  154. I follow via email

  155. Thanks for the great giveaway! And all your good advice!

  156. And I subscribe by e-mail! Thanks.

  157. Great goodie bag! With Christmas coming up, & a kid in college, I’ll find a use for everything.

  158. Love this blog—-I subscribe by email!

  159. I’m feeling lucky!

  160. I subscribe via RSS.

  161. I follow on twitter.

  162. I’d like a shot! Thank you.

  163. I subscribe by email.

  164. I can always use an Amazon gift card…

  165. I suscribe via e-mail.

  166. Yep, I follow you on Facebook, too.

  167. This would be a big help right now. Would love to win!


  1. Weekly Favorites, Gratitude, and Giveaways #126 | Budgeting In the Fun Stuff - […] Freedman is hosting a Black Friday Survival Kit Giveaway (including a $25 Amazon giftcard) until November […]

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