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Herding Cats: History of Black Friday Deals, Cut Thanksgiving Day Costs and NASA Power Naps

By (view all posts by Dealman)
at 9:58AM Friday November 18, 2011
under Loose Change

This week we have a scientific survey about saving money, NASA takes on power naps, money-saving tips for around the house, saving on Thanksgiving, the meaning of Black Friday, and a parade of geese.
Live Science: 9 Ways Americans are Saving Money - Pretty interesting survey from LiveScience about consumers' saving habits.  One of the more alarming facts: people going to the doctor less.  An apple a day keeps the doctor away...but going to the doctor today could save you from much larger medical bills in the future. Cutting out the expense is understandable in down times, but not advisable.  The others--couponing, eating at home, and so on--are less surprising, but it's good to see other people are in the same boat.

MoneyTalksNew: How to Sleep Your Way to the Top - Literally -  Another survey, with a very provocative title.  Turns out that according to NASA power naps are hugely beneficial to work performance.  One significant issue: you have to convince your boss that sleeping on the job is OK.  Not sure if quoting NASA is enough of an excuse.  Personally, forcing myself to sleep when I'm not particularly tired doesn't work.  Another issue: there are probably people who actually don't want to be alert for work--they'd rather be half asleep.

Patch: Money Saving Tips That Really Make a Difference for Families - Nice list of tips that aren't all necessarily for families. Some you may know and are probably doing, some you may not.  One of the major ones I'm thinking of doing (but haven't yet) is canceling cable.  There's so much streaming on Netflix that it's not entirely necessary.  My daughter will be annoyed that she can't watch the newest "Wizards of Waverly Place" but she hasn't seen all the old episodes so she'll get over it.  What's keeping me is that I'm also a news junkie, and though the web can cover that in a big way, I like having access to cable news for a big story. But then again, saving is about making small sacrifices.

Mint: Cut Down on Thanksgiving Costs: To be perfectly honest, there aren't a slew of saving money tips for Thanksgiving that aren't relevant throughout the year.  "Use coupons" isn't necessarily a groundbreaking tip.  Maybe there are those who look to save on a big meal like this one who don't necessarily bargain grocery shop the rest of the year--so now's the time to get into the habit.  Potluck is always a good idea.  The big one is to not buy a bird 10 pounds too large.  Or, if you do, have some recipes on hand to put those turkey leftovers to good use. Wisebread also has a good thread about saving on Thanksgiving.

Moneycrashers: What Is Black Friday - History of the Holiday Shopping Phenomenon - Neat comprehensive post about the big shopping day.  Somehow, Black Friday is still a big deal--and I mean that because Black Friday hysteria erupted during the pre-internet days and now you can find many (if not all) of the very same deals sitting at home at your computer.  Of course, there's some pleasure in storefront shopping, but this might not account for the madness of some Black Friday sales. And, of course, Savings makes it easy to find Black Friday deals.

What are your Black Friday plans?

Video of the week: Disney comes to life: