th4 150x150 Is orange and black the new black?Before I forget: Women can get a bunch of free medical tests from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 11 (that’s today) at any Sam’s Club with a pharmacy.

Among them: thyroid, total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, glucose and blood pressure. You don’t have to fast for these tests. For more details, see my previous post on the subject.

Now: Back to All Hallows Eve. According to the National Retail Federation, just over one-third of U.S. adults plan to do the Monster Mash this Oct. 31, either at private homes or bars. Remember when Halloween used to be about kids and cavities?

That’s the main topic of my monthly gig at Retail Me Not. “What to buy in October: Look for boo-coup Halloween steals and denim deals” notes that while the Grinch may have stolen Christmas, adults have purloined Halloween.

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th2 Some last minute Mothers Day deals.Yesterday I put up a post about what moms want (and don’t want!) for Mother’s Day. Today I got an e-mail from the FatWallet shopping and cash-back site that mentioned increased cash-back rates in certain categories.

You realize that Mother’s Day is in five days, right?

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th Forget the flowers    Mom wants a massage.According to the website, your mother may not want roses or candy on Mother’s Day (May 11 this year). Of the 1,001 women surveyed, 38 percent chose “a day at the spa” over those stereotypical gifts.

In fact, blooms and bonbons didn’t even make the top five in terms of highest-ranked gifts.

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th3 This just in: Men prefer sex to a Valentine gift.Stop the presses, right? It certainly doesn’t surprise me that 66% of the men polled by Retail Me Not would choose the pleasures of the flesh over, say, a teddy bear holding a red sateen heart embossed with “I Wuv You.”

They’re likely to be disappointed. In the same survey, 70% of the women said they’d much rather have a present than an extremely personal moment.

Selfish? Maybe. But let’s face it: Most women in relationships can get all the sex they want. Gifts, on the other hand, are a surprise.

Well, sort of: Apparently it’s expected that we’ll be getting gifts on Valentine’s Day. Just flip through any store circular, turn on the TV or surf the Internet to be bombarded by ads that shriek some version of, “Feb. 14 is at hand! Buy the right gift or you won’t get laid for the rest of the year!

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th Vegan condoms. Who knew?My new once-a-month gig at The Real Deal has begun and it’s going to be a keeper. How do I know? Because the editor left in my reference to “ethical, vegan and fair-trade condoms.”

Apparently some condom manufacturers use “animal byproducts” in the manufacture of their love sacks. Fortunately for vegans, cruelty-free alternatives do exist – and you can even get coupons for them. 

The Real Deal is a blog published by Retail Me Not, the online coupon code behemoth (and finder of vegan condom coupons). I got hired to write a “best things to buy this month” feature, and since the editor is also a former print newshound I’m expected to do old print newshound things. You know, like research. And interviews. In return the editor will also do old print newshound things, like fact-checking and editing.

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