thI’m going to be in Phoenix for about a week starting midday Feb. 16. Although my daughter and I have several jaunts planned, we’re also interested in having a blogger and/or reader meet-up.

Anybody interested?

It would almost certainly take place after the workday ends at 5 p.m. or so, although we’d certain push it further if other folks work later. We know that several other PF bloggers live in Phoenix, but are there other writers, too? And would readers be interested in hanging out with us?


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thIf you’re ordering any holiday gifts from Amazon, this week’s giveaway will boost your budget somewhat.

Specifically: I’m giving away a $10 Amazon gift card, and doing so earlier than usual to allow for on-time shipping. The drawing will be on Saturday evening instead of Tuesday evening.

Rather than mail the card I’ll simply e-mail the code for the scrip. Those with Amazon Prime memberships could order gifts as late as Monday and have them delivered in time for wrapping on Christmas Eve.

(That is, if the requested items are in stock, you procrastinator.)


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thWise Bread recently posted an article called “What can I do with the gift cards I don’t want?” Sounds like a flawed premise, right? Who wouldn’t want a gift card?

Not so, according to writer Holly Johnson.

“You might end up with a gift card to a store or restaurant you unquestionably dislike,” she says.

“Even worse, you might get an inexpensive gift card to a place where nothing is cheap — like a $10 gift card to a restaurant where entrees start at $19.”

She suggested half a dozen ways to deal. I’ll see her those six, and raise her another seven.


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th-1Fun fact: During the holiday season, the lowest price for toys is about 10 days before Christmas.

Funner fact: You can get a $50 head start on your toy-buying (or anything-else-buying) if you win this week’s giveaway.

The Swagbucks rewards site has offered to award one lucky reader his or her choice of a $50 e-gift card from the Rewards Store. It’s quite the lineup of cards for restaurants, electronics emporia, retaurants, entertainment and other categories (including my personal favorite, Amazon).

This giveaway is a little different: You must be a member of Swagbucks and earn at least 50 points between now and 7 p.m. PST Friday, Dec. 5. Instead of entering up to five different ways, leave one comment with your Swagbucks user name.


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thSome people think Black Friday is fading away. Me, I think it’s simply spreading out.

Gray Thursday, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are on the way whether you like it or not — and you can bet that Saturday and Sunday will have their own forms of deal-mongering, too.

Don’t want to shop on Thanksgiving or Black Friday? Prefer to buy locally? Do what works for you. But this week’s giveaway is designed to provide a little help for shoppers of all stripes, plus a little entertainment afterwards.

Up for grabs are:


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