Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Green gift guide for the holidays

With the holidays approaching quickly I thought I would take time to post on a subject that has become more popular over the past couple of years. The color green has always been my favorite, but now days it takes on a new meaning. We use “Green” to define eco-friendly or for the environment. Below is a list green gifts for the holidays.

1. Carbon Offsets
“Carbon offset is a financial instrument representing a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions,” says Wikipedia. Why a carbon offset you might ask? It is a creative gift that can help out the environment. Large corporations are buying these in huge quantities to help offset their carbon emissions. The Environmental Defense Fund has setup a website that highlights a few companies that sell Carbon offsets. I know it’s an odd gift to give, but in the long run it will help the environment out and this is a gift we all can benefit from.

2. Thompson Organic Chocolate
I can hear the cheers now, mmmmmmm chocolate. But not just any chocolate, this is organic. Not only does this taste great, but it’s good for you too. Thompson Candies have been making chocolates for over 126 years. These guys know what they are doing, they have a wide assortment of chocolates and candies too choose from. All their organic chocolates are grown on farms in Central America using organic agricultural methods. So take a look at their website and buy your loved one some organic chocolate for the holidays. You can never go wrong with chocolate!

3. Bambu Natural Kitchenware Products
I know what your thinking, what has he come up with this time? Well I am trying to give you a wide assortment of gift ideas to choose from. This product is also very environmentally friendly; it’s made from bamboo which is a fast growing sustainable product.
Bambu makes a wide range of kitchenware products that are all made from 100% organically grown bamboo. They make everything from cutting and serving boards to kitchen accessories. The website gogreeninstages.com sells the Bambu product. Not only can you buy eco friendly gifts, but you can learn more about them in the process.

I have tried to highlight a few green gifts for the holidays. There are plenty more websites that sell green gifts, you just have to research and find out what the best gift for your loved ones might be. I hope this list and the ones to come help make your holiday gift choosing a little easier.

Comments, criticism, useful knowledge?


Monday, November 24, 2008

Black Friday

With Black Friday coming up this week, I thought I write a short post on it today. This gives you time to get prepared for the big event. Most retailers are banking on you the shopper coming in and spending as much as possible on gifts. Sadly, I am willing to bet there will be more than a few retailers going out of business this year because of the economic meltdown. But, hopefully this year the malls and all retail outlets will be packed just as full. With all the deals floating around I am sure the retailers hope this happens as well.

As for this frugal guy, I will be a fixture right in front of the television watching my favorite college football team, hopefully WIN. Now back to the subject, Black Friday. A friend of mine showed me a website to help you prepare for this special day, you can go here and plan out which stores you want to hit and who has the best deals, oh the website is www.black-friday.net. Another great website, www.dealnews.com lists hundreds of pages of deals. Each retailer is fighting for your money and they have the offers to prove it.

There are deals to be made, money to be saved. You just have to search around and find out where they specials are. I know most families are going to spend less this year on gifts. But, with websites such as black-friday.net and others shoppers can still spend less and come away with just as much gifts. A Reuters article reports that “Retailers ring up roughly 10 percent of total holiday sales during the three-day weekend, best known for the deals offered on Black Friday -- named for the days when store chains used to turn a profit for the year.”

Depending on what you are looking for this year, I am sure there is a discount or coupon available for it. This year more than some in recent memory retailers are starting the discounts early. Some started offering lower priced goods a week or 2 in advance of Black Friday. Some are offering discounts as much as 40-50% off right now, and even more on Black Friday and the weeks leading up to Christmas.

If you live by the frugal code and pinch your pennies, then this is the best time for even you to spend a little money. With all the discounts offered this year, those of us with a little extra spending money can come away with some really good bargains. I for one will be doing most of my shopping online, most retailers are offering just as good a deal online as in their brick and mortar stores. And I don’t have to get up before the rooster crows to find such great deals.

I hope this article sheds a little light on the Black Friday Phenomenon. And how special a day this is for the US Retailer some will come out in the black and others will shut their doors forever.