We're sure all of our readers love and appreciate their moms, but we'd also bet that a good number of you still haven't bought her anything yet for Mother's Day — which is now just four days away. While that sort of procrastination can often times lead to overpaying ("I don't care what it costs, I just need something!"), there are still plenty of deals to be had for last-minute stragglers.
So instead of hastily buying the first overpriced trinket you see, or comically assembling something "homemade" when you haven't so much as held a glue stick since grade school, take a look at these Mother's Day deals that are still available.
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Go Fresh with Flowers
It's true that you're probably not going to find the best deals on flowers the week before Mother's Day, but there are at least a few promotions floating around that can save you a couple bucks or get you a little something extra for your money. Plus, flowers are an extremely easy last minute option. Currently you can snag a ProFlowers bouquet with chocolates and a vase for $39.99 (a low by $20, May 12 delivery adds $14.99), while 1-800-Flowers takes up to 40% off select items and an extra 25% off via coupon code "VME8" (when you checkout with V.me by Visa). You can purchase a credit for a florist, like this $40 FTD credit for $20, but keep in mind that they frequently won't stack with other promotions that the site is running, especially coupon codes. ( Continue… )
The arrival of summer evokes fond memories of ice cream trucks, long days at the pool, and of course, cross-country summer trips with the family. This year, why not make new memories with a cheap family vacation package to Florida, the Carolinas, Colorado, or California. The whole brood – including your usually indifferent teenager – will thank you one day.
The Best Cheap Family Vacations Start in Florida
The land of Disney-dreams-come-true is a precious childhood memory, so why not take your kids to Florida to enjoy the magic? Grab yourself a roundtrip flight on United Airlines for as little as $159.80 (from $160, a low by $22; expires May 31), then get pumped and ready to be slimed! A 3-night stay at the Nickelodeon Resort in Orlando (from $309, a low by $86; expires May 31) not only guarantees cameos from your kids' favorite friends including SpongeBob SquarePants and Dora the Explorer, but also boasts Nickolodeon-themed KidSuites, two wet and wild water parks, and of course, complimentary shuttle service to theme parks.
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If you'd rather not risk sensory overload, kick back at the Westgate Lakes Resort and Spa for a 3-night stay in Orlando instead (from $195, a low by $73; expires May 10). Less than two miles from Universal Studios and SeaWorld, and just five miles from Walt Disney World, the resort offers just the right amount of serene relaxation after a theme park-filled day, not to mention spacious studios and villas, seven outdoor heated pools, hot tubs, and a fully equipped spa.
Been there, done that? If a trip to Disney World is no longer on your vacation bucket list, why not take the tots to a whole new part of Florida worth exploring: Cape Canaveral. Nicknamed Florida's "Space Coast," the area is both home to the Kennedy Space Center and Cocoa Beach's 72-mile expanse of sandy shoreline.
Settle in with a stay at the nearby Radisson Resort at the Port (from $70 per night, a low by $17; expires May 16); it's the closest hotel to the space station and the nearby cruise terminal, so aspiring kid astronauts can view rockets launch into orbit from right outside their windows. With an outdoor waterfall pool, a poolside Tiki bar, and access to nearby Cocoa Beach, you have the option to unwind or continue to play after a day of space exploration. For the perfect nightcap, parents can also head to Flamingo's Lounge Bar for live jazz and Caribbean music.
Beach Family Vacations and Foliage in the Carolinas
For a more nature-focused summer vacation, head to North Carolina and experience America's most visited national park. With forests straddling the entire border between North Carolina and Tennessee in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, you'll be able to take in plenty of plant and animal life, stunning scenery, and remnants of Southern Appalachian mountain culture. Enjoy all that the Smoky Mountains has to offer with a 2-night stay for two adults and two children with breakfast at the Waynesville Inn (from $129, a low by $49; expires May 17). The inn offers mountain views from 115 guest rooms, 27-holes of championship golf, and food and drink at a lively tavern. Hike through winding trails to take in the breathtaking views, visit Mingo Falls (one of the largest falls in the Southern Appalachian), or scratch your adventure itch by rafting along the Nantahala River.
Had your fill of foliage? It might be time to wander to the other Carolina for an all-American beach-inspired vacation. Unpack your swim trunks and get acquainted with the family-friendly premises at the San Dunes Resort Hotel in Myrtle Beach (from $79, a low by $19; expires May 12). The hotel's got a whole range of freebies including free accommodations for kids, an on-site water park, a free catamaran sightseeing cruise, complimentary golf, and admission to Ocean Drive Pavilion Amusement Park, not to mention firework displays at the biggest public oceanfront pool bar on the Grand Strand: Ocean Annie's Beach Bar. No wonder Myrtle Beach is sometimes called the vacation capital of the nation.
Want to skip the seashore all together? Whether you and Ma want to recreate the Hey Dude dreams of your early teenage years, or would rather just let the kids roam free and create their own ranch sitcom, book your family a 3-night stay for two adults and one child at the all-inclusive Majestic Dude Ranch in Colorado (from $1,647, a low by $1,428; expires May 18). The full-on immersion into dude ranch life includes being paired with a horse and mountain bike for the duration of your stay. You'll then enjoy guided excursions through 200 acres of adjacent open land. What's more, all activities — which entails kayaking, mountain climbing, archery, and fly-fishing — are included. With local rodeos and 600 Pueblo cliff dwellings in nearby Mesa Verde, you'll also access unique Colorado experiences firsthand.
Go West for Cheap Family Vacation Ideas in California
The great state of California offers all of the vacation elements of the destinations we've mentioned already, so why not go all out and head west? First, enjoy the SoCal sun, laid-back beach towns, and surfing culture by calling the Wyndham Garden San Diego (from $61, a low by $17; expires May 11) your home base for a few days. Located just two miles from Sea World in Mission Bay, the hotel provides centrally located accommodations with free WiFi and parking. Don't pass up spending a day exploring Balboa Park, roaming the historic Gaslamp Quarter, touring the San Diego Zoo, or viewing rare birds just outside of town at the Torrey Pines State Reserve.
Much like its east coast counterpart, Disneyland is a kid mecca. Stay near by in Fullerton at the Howard Johnson Inn (from $52 per night, a low by $20; expires May 13) and you'll be just ten minutes away from the park. What's more, the hotel offers complimentary shuttles to and from the park and a complimentary hot breakfast buffet. The best part of staying in Fullerton? Los Angeles is just 25 miles away. Be sure to check out the Walk of Fame, the Griffith Observatory, and the Getty Museum.
With these deals to family-friendly locales across the nation, your summer vacation plans are in the bag. But, if you've got different ideas for a getaway, be sure to check out our daily travel deals for other airfare, hotel, and vacation packages.
At the time of publication, these travel deals offered the lowest prices we could find. Deals may include blackout dates, additional taxes, and fees. Some of our prices may be based on mandatory double occupancy.
Summar Ghias is a contributor to Dealnews.com, where this article first appeared.
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Today's roundup is dedicated to Mother’s Day presents, both the traditional and the techy. From jewelry to jeweled iPhone cases, we've got a little something sparkly for every mom. And for everything else, do check out the other extra special Mother’s Day deals we've stockpiled.
Store: Amazon Local
Expires: May 7. Is It Worth It?: Red Envelope is an incredible resource for thoughtful and beautiful gifts. Specializing in tasteful and useful items including throw pillows, pendants, bracelets, slippers, measuring cups, and so on, Red Envelope just may be the perfect source for this year's charming Mother's Day gift. Plus, this Editors' Choice $40 credit for $20 is the best offer we've seen for Red Envelope in more than a year. What's more, the voucher can be applied to cover taxes, and shipping and handling, and gift-wrapping, and is valid from today until June 30.
Two Row 8mm AAA White Freshwater Pearl Necklace
Price: $14.99 via coupon code "dealnews25" with free shipping
Lowest By: $8 Expires: May 7. Is It Worth It?: Neckties are classic Father's Day gifts; pearl necklaces are the Mother's Day equivalent! Give your mom a stunning double-stranded pearl necklace for the reasonable price of $15. This 15-inch white pearl necklace is stately and elegant. But if such a classic, white pearl necklace doesn't suit her style, consider the 8mm AA+ Black Freshwater Pearl Necklace for $10.19 via coupon code "dealnews40" with free shipping (a low by $38; expires May 10). This 17-inch necklace features a white gold-plated clasp and is professionally hand knotted between each pearl. ( Continue… )
If you’re like most people, you probably don't think you need a prepaid card. But the prepaid cards of five or 10 years ago are not the cards of today, according to a recent study. Many are fee-free and have the potential to save a consumer hundreds of dollars in fees each year. They're worth a second look, even for those with a great credit rating. You can use a prepaid card:
1. In place of a bank
Today’s banks are full of fees and those charges can add up to hundreds of dollars each year. Some banks charge you a monthly maintenance fee, ATM fees, bill-pay fees, and over-the-limit or returned check fees. Any interest the bank pays often amounts to pennies compared with what a bank is charging you to use your own money.
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Some prepaid cards available today are fee-free. You can have your paycheck deposited directly to your prepaid card. Cards like the Bluebird by American Express come with bill-pay features, ATM access, and no monthly maintenance charge. ( Continue… )
With Mother's Day over two weeks away (it's Sunday, May 12!), you've got plenty of time to figure out what your Mom might want this year ... so don't show up with just a card (though you could do worse than 30% off one from Cardstore). Consider picking her up something nice to wear from Macy's (via the best extra discount we've seen since Cyber Monday) or some sweet-smelling roses a la a $40 FTD credit. These are a few of our favorite Mother's Day gifts that'll show her that you care about your budget as much as you do her.
Price: $19 via coupon code "DEALNEWS04" with free shipping
Lowest By: $5
Expires: May 11Is It Worth It?: While this pendant spells "MOM" in cursive and shimmering Swarovski crystals, it might as well spell "BARGAIN", as it's $5 under the lowest total price we could find for a comparable Mom necklace. It is attached to a 14K gold-plated, 18" chain.
- $40 FTD Credit
Expires: April 25Is It Worth It?: Flowers are simple and sweet gifts for Valentine's Day and Mother's Day, so it's no surprise that we're seeing another $40 credit for $20 at FTD.com this month. Note that only one voucher can be used per order. The voucher expires July 31.
World of Watches Mother's Day Sale
Discount: Up to 96% off
Shipping: Free shippingIs It Worth It?: Hey, what time is it? It's time to take advantage of this sale on women's watches, that's what! Offering the largest percent-off discoun we've seen from World of Watches in recent months, prices on watches from Invicta, Adidas, Movado, BCBG, and more start at just $9.99.
Cardstore Mother's Day Cards Sale
Discount: 30% off
Shipping: Free shipping
Expires: April 24Is It Worth It?: You could try writing your own card: "Dear Mom, You're the bomb. You shine brighter than a CD-ROM." Then again, you can't go wrong with 30% off a nice Mother's Day Card. Or a ch funny card. Or a photo cards. There are also grandma cards, romantic Mom cards, and fortunately, not a single card that tries to rhyme "Mom" with "CD-ROM."
Macy's Friends and Family Sale
Discount: Extra 25% off via coupon code "FRIEND"
Shipping: From $9.95 s&h or free shipping on orders of $99 or more
Expires: April 28Is It Worth It?: Family and friends will benefit from this extra 25% discount; we haven't seen a coupon this good since Cyber Monday! It's also one of the best sitewide discounts we've seen from Macy's. The extra discount includes sale and clearance items, but a variety of exclusions apply: shipping costs, furniture, mattresses, purchases in Macy's stores, and prior purchases.
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Lou Carlozo is a contributor to dealnews.com, where this article first appeared.
Stores across the country are getting a modern-day makeover. After decades of ringing up customers' purchases on cash registers, retailers are now turning to tablets to check out shoppers, often while roaming the store. The new technology, which benefits both retailers and consumers alike, can already be found in Apple Stores (which made the move to mobile checkout in 2007), select Urban Outfitters, and even in luxury stores like Barneys New York.
Retailers believe that by replacing their bulky cash registers with slim, portable tablets, sales associates will be free to offer customers one-on-one help with their shopping.
Studies have already proven customers are open to the change. In fact, a recent survey by AisleBuyer shows that 22% of shoppers have already been to a store where associates use mobile checkout to complete purchases. More importantly, 57% percent of customers think retailers who use mobile devices instead of cash registers are more innovative than their competitors. However, the most telling statistic indicates that 64% of consumers feel that store associates are more helpful when they're roaming the store floor, instead of standing behind a register.
Tablet Checkout Could Have Negative Effects
While tablet-toting sales associates may be the wave of the future, there are some potential drawbacks. For instance, some customers may feel put on the spot and pressured to buy things that they're still unsure about when surrounded by on-the-move sales reps at the ready. Even shoppers who are seemingly certain about a purchase may lose out. It's fairly common for a customer waiting in line to re-think an expenditure in that time; but mobile checkout could remove this process entirely.
Similarly, shoppers may find fewer opportunities to compare prices on their smartphones, now that there's incentive for associates to encourage shoppers to pay for purchases on the spot. Additionally, if there's a diminished need for workers stationed behind the cash register, a greater number of overly-attentive sales associates may be watching customers' every move throughout the store. However, some retailers, like JCPenney, are planning to avoid such a scene by training their salespeople about when and how to approach shoppers.
Another potential drawback to portable point of sale (POS) systems is having to re-train sales reps on the ins and outs of their tablet and software. Without such knowledge, customers could wind up waiting in line after all, or worse — with mistaken transactions. And that's not counting the number of newsletters customers' inboxes will see, as the chances of being automatically registered for promotions is that much higher if receipts go electronic.
More Products, Better Service
But despite the potential complications, the benefits of tablet checkout seem endless for retailers and consumers. Aside from a quicker checkout process, removing most or all cash registers will allow retailers to reclaim space inside their stores. Whether they use the new space to display more products or give their store a roomier feel, this could mean a little less pushing and shoving, especially during the holidays when every store feels too small.
But the greatest benefit of all — from a consumer's point of view — may be that floating tablet POS systems will give shoppers the feeling of having their own personal shopper/assistant, answering their questions and helping them make the purchases they want. But even with a shopping aide at one's side, is mobile checkout enough of an incentive to lure shoppers back into retail stores and away from the better deals we see online? Let us know in the comments below.
Louis Ramirez is a contributor to Dealnews.com, where this post first appeared.
According to various tech sites, Microsoft will announce its next-gen Xbox gaming console on May 21. As with any new electronic doodad, the Internet is all abuzz with rumors about it. Will it require an always-on Internet connection? Will it play Blu-ray? Will it cost $500? Answers: Maybe!
But since we're deal-sniffing detectives, the most interesting rumor for us is a tangential one that was first floated by Paul Thurrott of Supersite for Windows. He claims that upon the release of the next console, the current Xbox is going to plummet in price to $99.
A $99 Xbox Would Threaten a Ton of Media Devices
Firstly, a $100 Xbox would put the present day console on par price-wise with the open-source, Kickstarter upstart OUYA. Could the OUYA, a console based around the Android platform, compete with a console that's just as inexpensive, but already has a catalog of thousands of games? Further, there are rumors that Valve is also going to release a cheap, set-top video game system called Steam Box. With a $99 Xbox, their marketplace would become a whole lot more difficult to enter.
Secondly, think about what a cheap Xbox would do to the content streaming, set-top box market. The Xbox would be priced in-line with the Apple TV and the latest, highest-end Roku, although in order to access streaming content (like Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime, and a bunch of sports channels and extras), a user would have to either purchase an Xbox LIVE subscription (priced around $40 for one year, if you get a deal) or pay a monthly fee that some have suggested will be required with the updated consoles. That said, despite that additional fee, you'd get Xbox's streaming functionality plus the ability to play DVDs and video games.
Yes, consumers who are already invested in the Apple ecosphere will opt for Apple TV, but for those who are new to the whole experience and looking for the best bang for their buck, a $99 Xbox looks mighty attractive. However, people who don't want or need to play video games or DVDs may turn to Roku or Apple TV as cheaper options since they don't require a LIVE-like subscription.
Regardless of speculation, our recommendation to anyone looking to buy an Xbox 360, Roku, Apple TV, or OUYA should probably wait until May 21. At that point, we should have a more clear idea of what Microsoft is planning to do. It's not that long to wait, and if you do, you might end up saving money or purchasing a better product for your cash.
In early spring, there's nothing quite like getting one's hands dirty, planting flowers, fruits, and vegetables to mark the beginning of the season. Even if you're a gardening newbie, your foray into the fields (or onto your fire escape, if you're a city dweller), can be a breeze provided you equip yourself with 10 essential gardening tools.
Before you get down and dirty, you'll want a trusty pair of gardening gloves to protect your hands. Leather gloves are certainly durable, but tend to stiffen and contract when they get wet and then dry out. Gloves made of new composites and man-made leather last longer and offer better protection. Check out the G&F Florist Plus Gardening Gloves Set (from $13.79 with free shipping, a low by $1). You actually get two pairs with this order: a water-, oil-, and slip- resistant pair with high abrasion protection in breathable spandex and synthetic leather, and a second pair of mud gloves.
One of the gardening challenges many folks face is not from plants that won't grow, but those that won't stop growing when they reach their ideal size. This is where a good pair of pruning shears will come in handy. Whether you choose bypass shears (which work like scissors) or anvil shears (which have a pinching function) both can cut branches up to 3/4" in diameter. Just look for pruning sheers made with fully hardened steel, which can be resharpened, and a non-stick blade coating. The Fiskars 9124 Professional Bypass Pruners ($19.21 with free shipping, a low by $2) features adjustable blade tension that gives the user increased control over desired cutting force and precision. And since this is 2013, shears also come in left-handed models. The Felco F9 Left Handed 5-1/4" Bypass Pruners ($47.99 with $4.99 s&h, a low by $1) will make a difference for left-handed gardeners!
Unlike pruning shears, lopping shears are longer-handled and designed to cut larger branches up to 1 1/4" in diameter. They too come in bypass and anvil configurations, the former featuring a hooked blade to hold the branch in place so it doesn't slip away while being cut. Longer handles increase leverage and make for cleaner cuts, which can make a difference in the health of your plants. The Gilmour 25 AT Gear-Driven Anvil Lopping Shears ($27.99 with free shipping, a low by $13) have a 1 1/4" diameter capacity, use gears to triple the force of the cut, and have telescoping aluminum handles to extend the tool's reach.
To tame even larger limbs, you'll need a bow saw: a simple C-shaped saw with a blade that spans the open end of the "C." You could spring for a chain saw if you have a lot of timber to cut, but for occasional use this tool is the ticket. Look for a hardened carbon steel blade for long life, and keep it oiled between uses to reduce rusting. The Fiskars 7031 30" Bow Saw ($15.92 with free shipping, a low by $3) boasts an aforementioned hardened carbon steel blade, a lightweight tubular steel frame, and comes with a lifetime warranty.
With the exception of the rock, the trowel is one of the most primitive tools and useful for planting, weeding, and generally moving dirt around while on your hands and knees. And unlike the rock, the scoop is sometimes marked with a scale to aid in planting seeds at a specific depth. A narrow trowel is good for planting bulbs; a wider model is suitable for digging holes for plants. When picking out a trowel, look for good steel and a comfortable handle, as this tool will probably be with you for a lifetime. The Shanghai Worth Garden Products Green Thumb Carbon Steel Trowel ($7.15 with free shipping, a low by $2) has a durable carbon-steel blade and a resin ergonomic grip.
Hand or Whisk Rake
The hand rake is the small version of the fan rake and is used to move soil and chase down weeds. It combs through soil like your fingers do through hair. Look for a rake with steel tines ("teeth") that spring back completely when spread, and a handle that fits your grip. The Lewis Lifetime Tools WHR-6 Yard Butler Whisk Rake ($14.99 with free in-store pickup, a low by $3) has a durable, all-steel construction, a cushioned grip, and at 18", extends your reach to maximize efficiency. It also carries a lifetime warranty.
If you'd rather not spend time tending to your garden on all fours, the bow rake is an important tool. Gardeners use it to move soil, spread mulch, and pull out weeds. Look for a model with a sturdy steel head and 12 to 14 tines to do maximum work with minimum effort. Also make sure the handle is long enough to extend your reach comfortably. The True Temper American 14-Tine Bow Rake ($11.99 with $4.95 s&h, a low by $1) features a welded head with a 54" ash handle.
When it comes to digging a hole, nothing beats a round-point shovel. Look for one made of forged steel for better strength; stainless steel is pretty, but not necessary if you simply keep your shovel dry between uses. A longer handle gives you more leverage, and the common wood handle should last a lifetime if you treat it with linseed oil occasionally. Fiberglass handles are lighter option if you're willing to spend a little more. The Fiskars Long Handle Digging Shovel ($29.97 with free shipping, a low by $1) has an all-steel construction, pre-sharpened blade, and the teardrop-shaped shaft provides ergonomic comfort and control during use.
A flat-end spade is the right tool for planting larger objects. It allows for digging deep, narrow holes. Wider models move more soil, but result in heavier loads; if you don't want to do much heavy lifting, consider a narrow-bladed spade. Make sure the spade handle is comfortable in your gloved hand, and invest in one with a non-stick coating, which minimizes dirt clinging to the blade. The Truper Tru Tough 30" Garden Spade ($17.15 with $4.95 s&h, a low by $4) has a heavy-gauge steel blade and a lacquered handle with d-grip for balance and control.
Scuffle or Stirrup Hoe
This lesser-known tool is brilliant for keeping your garden weed-free with minimal effort. The bottom of the hollow rectangular blade, shaped like a stirrup, slips beneath the surface when used in a push-pull action, cutting young weeds off at the waist. Look for a stirrup hoe with a steel blade (rather than aluminum) for an extended tool shed life. The Ace Scuffle Stirrup Hoe ($20.99 with free in-store pickup, a low by $3) has a 1" double-edged blade and a hardwood handle.
These 10 gardening tools may each last a lifetime, so shop wisely. The result of your smart shopping and diligent labor could result in something delicious, fragrant, and beautiful. Certainly that's worth a modest investment in gardening tools.
Tom Barlow is a contributor to dealnews.com, where this article first appeared.
April 15. You see the date (surrounded by a frantic red circle) on your office calendar, and begin to experience a small twinge of dread. The ides of April — the cruelest month — is Tax Day in the United States. Whether you've waited until the last minute to crunch last year's numbers, or have already filed and found out that you owe the government money, then April 15 may be a day that you want over as soon as possible.
But it's not all bad! Several establishments realize this is a stressful time, and in an attempt to soothe the nerves of cash-strapped citizens nationwide, a number of merchants are offering goods and services at no cost. Gratis. Complimentary. Free! And nothing beats free, especially on Tax Day!
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Below, we've rounded up the top Tax Day freebies that have already been released. Unless noted, these promotions take place on April 15 only. Keep in mind that we'll be updating this list as we get closer to the big day and more offers appear.
Freebie: For the third straight year, the fast food chain is offering emotionally- and financially-taxed Americans a delicious freebie on Tax Day. Arby's is serving up patrons a choice of a free value-sized order of Curly Fries or a small order of Potato Cakes via this printable coupon. Not only is it a nice treat, it's also a great way to save some dough on lunch or dinner.
Freebie: Last year's Tax Day fell on April 17, but that doesn't seem to stop Panda Express from offering its freebie on April 17 of this year, too. On the Wednesday after Tax Day, present this coupon (either printed or via mobile phone) for a free Samurai Surf & Turf entree. Try this brand new meal without having to dish out any cash.
Freebie: Feeling bitter about filing? (Paltry return? Writing a check to Uncle Sam?) Then head to your nearest Cinnabon and nab two Cinnabon Bites for free. It'll sweeten up your day without emptying your wallet.
Freebie: Food isn't the only type of freebie you can get on Tax Day! After poring over every last detail of those tax returns, your mind and body need a rest. Bring this printable coupon to your nearest participating HydroMassage location for a free HydroMassage Experience. If you already have plans, don't worry — this offer is valid until April 19.
Freebie: It's always helpful to keep copies of your tax return. (You'll need to cough 'em up if you plan on applying for a mortgage, for example.) Keep the 2012 tax year on file by going to Office Depot and receiving a free black and white copy of your tax return (up to 25 pages, single-sided). Or if you need to dispose of some sensitive information, Office Depot also provides free document shredding (up to 5 lbs.). Offers expire May 1.
Updated: Other Great Freebies for Tax Day (or Otherwise)
- Schlotzsky's: The Original small sandwich for free with the purchase of a 32-oz. drink and chips (4/15 only)
- 7-Eleven: Medium Slurpee for free when you text "Slurp7" to "711711" (ends 4/30)
- The Melting Pot: Buy one portion of cheese fondue, get a second one for free (ends 4/11)
- Subway: Buy one 6" sandwich before 9 am, get a second one for free (ends 4/30)
- Chili's: Free appetizer or dessert when you "like" its Facebook page (ends 4/15)
- AMC Theaters: Free small popcorn (4/12 to 4/15)
- Great American Cookies: Free birthday cake cookie (4/15 only)
- Pinkberry: Free Pinkberrygreek yogurt from 11 am to 2 pm every Wednesday (ends 4/24)
While there are plenty of freebies already available, we will most certainly unearth more offers as we get closer to April 15. Make sure to bookmark this page and check back often for all the latest freebie deals!
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Alison Barretta is a senior editor for Dealnews.com, where this article first appeared.
Google's Nexus 7 is fast approaching its 1-year anniversary, and not surprisingly, the Internet is obsessed with rumors of its replacement. According to Reuters, Google's follow-up will be thinner, provide better battery life, and most importantly, it'll be cheaper than its predecessor. In fact, the new tablet could be up to $50 cheaper than the original Nexus 7.
While we love the idea of a $149 Android tablet, this price point could mean little-to-no discount on Google's next tablet. Because really, how much cheaper can a tablet of that caliber possibly get without the manufacturer going belly up? A $149 price point would place the Nexus 7 alongside a handful of other items that have seemingly hit their own deal plateaus.
Over the past two years, we've noticed how several types of electronics have stubbornly refused to get any cheaper. Naturally, new tech releases will periodically appear at high retail prices, but our data suggests that as far as rock-bottom deals go, we have likely already seen the cheapest feasible prices on devices within these five categories. (Unless otherwise noted, prices are referring to all-time lows, not averages.)
32" and 42" 1080p LCD HDTVs
Last September, deals on 32" 1080p LCD HDTVs hit rock bottom at $169. Since then, these TVs have remained at or slightly above that magic $169 price point. The same can be said of 42" 1080p HDTVs, which bottomed out at $189 in 2011 and $180 in 2012.
Could we see even lower prices on these sizes? Perhaps, but we feel that $169 for a 32" and $180 for a 42" is about as good as it gets for a long time to come. As a result, we're now seeing great deals on 55" and 60" HDTVs, as retailers try to make 55" TVs the new entry-level model and unseat 42" sets.
Point-and-shoot cameras have been declining in price (and relevance) for quite some time. Smartphones are mostly to blame, as casual photographers turn to their mobile phones to instantly upload photos to Facebook and Instagram. To entice shoppers, retailers have discounted digital cameras across the board. For instance, last November we spotted a 12-megapixel Kodak EasyShare camera for $37. Although we haven't seen a repeat of this deal, we doubt we'll see 12MP cameras for much less anytime in the near future.
Blu-ray Disc Players
Initially expensive, Blu-ray players have drastically plummeted in price since their debut. In fact, you can now buy one for just $35. Those with built-in WiFi tend to cost a bit more, at $45. If you compare them to current prices on standard DVD players, it's plausible that both variations might get a little cheaper. However, chances are that the difference will be slight, as Blu-ray players are very close to hitting their deal plateau.
For the past two years, the lowest-of-the-low prices on budget laptops (15" notebooks with any dual-core processor) haven't changed. In fact, in 2011 the best deal for such a configuration was $180, whereas in 2012 the best deal came in at $179. Needless to say, there's no room for further discounting below that point, as prices on these no-frills systems have hit rock bottom.
Budget Tablets From Major Brands
Amazon revolutionized the tablet market when it became the first company to offer a mainstream Android tablet for just below $200. However, because the Kindle is sold at cost, deals for Amazon's tablet remain scarce. (Instead of dollar-off discounts, the Kindle sees more promotions where it's bundled with a gift card.) Likewise, if the next-generation Google Nexus 7 is sold at $149 (or even $99 as CNET reports), chances are high we won't see any deals on new units until Black Friday, when at best we might see some bundle offers.
So while we — and presumably budget-conscious consumers — welcome the idea of a $99 or $149 mainstream tablet, don't be surprised if it doesn't get much cheaper than that. Of course, with these other deal categories, the starting prices are generally much higher than the prices we quoted; in order to find that 32" 1080 HDTV for less than $200, for example, you'll want to set up an email alert so you'll be notified as soon as we post a deal to the site.
Louis Ramirez is a senior feature writer for Dealnews.com, where this article first appeared.