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by SixFigureStart | October 30, 2009


Perhaps appropriately for the last Friday before Halloween, all our money-saving tips—plus the genuinely free thing we'll tack on—are about the color black. That's right: the color of night, the best rock band T-shirts (seriously, can you see this logo on any other color shirt?), and healthy bank balances everywhere is the theme running through this post.

Of course, one of the main ways that the color is going to save you money is almost a month away, but there's no harm in being prepared. Black Friday—the day after Thanksgiving—is the traditional start of the holiday shopping season and for some reason it's taken on almost mythical significance in the retail world. "Arr," you can almost see the wizened sages of capitalism saying, as they rock on their porches in the mist "Black Friday be a fickle mistress. If she be good, seasonal sales be good. If she be bad, we're all doomed." For that reason, big box retailers—and especially electronics retailers—offer some ridiculous deals over the course of the weekend. Speculation on what's likely to be hot this year includes Blu-ray players (some estimates have them going for under $100), and netbooks (look for as much as half off on those running Windows XP, as retailers attempt to offload them to make way for the new Windows 7-enabled stock). The one caveat: you may have to brave actual stores with throngs of people to take advantage of the deals. Alternatively, you can also wait until the following "Cyber Monday," which kicks off the online shopping season, and often features many of the same deals, with added benefits like free shipping.

The reason we're pointing this out so early? Most shopping experts agree that having a plan of attack is key to getting the best value out of Black Friday/Cyber Monday—in short, knowing what you want, where it's likely to be, and how much you're willing to pay for it. So start making your list now, checking it twice…oh, wait, that holiday's much further away, right?

Back on the black theme, here's the specially themed Halloweeny free stuff we lured you to this post with: a free Black Jack taco from Taco Bell. Just show up between the hours of six pm and midnight on Halloween (that's tomorrow) to claim it. Happy haunting.


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