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Minecrafters: Piper Computer Kit deal!

If you want this one, go fast: Amazon is currently running a lightning deal on the Piper Computer Kit which is normally $299. Right now it’s just $223.25 while the deal lasts.


It’s the perfect way to learn coding hands-on, through Minecraft (which the kids already love). This isn’t one of those “impulse purchase” items, but if it was on your list, this may be the only discount we see this season. Go get it!

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Cyber Monday ahoy!

So a quick note for today—obviously there are going to be a ton of both Daily and Lightning Deals at Amazon, and if you’re like me, you’ll just keep that window open all day to see what’s coming around. But! I want to call out one in particular: If you’ve been waiting for a Blendtec deal, today they have the Blendtec Total blender listed at $234 (down from the regular price of $400+).

Now, longtime readers likely recall that I am the queen of blenders, in that I use mine a lot and did a ton of research after having a couple of cheap blenders die, and ended up opting for an Oster model given “best buy” status from several consumer publications. I used that Oster for years, and it served me well, but it, too, eventually died. I make a lot of smoothies with frozen fruit, and that’s hard on a blender. Anyway, I then found a refurbished Blendtec and have been using it (and singing its praises) ever since.

Is this a ridiculously expensive blender? Yes. Will you love it and will it keep working for a very long time, cheerfully chewing through anything you throw into it? Yes. This would be a poor impulse buy, and also a bad idea if you don’t use your blender a lot, but if you do use it a lot and really want a top-of-the-line one, this deal today is the one to beat.

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Say cheese!

This deal comes to you courtesy of my photographer husband, because sometimes he knows things I would never run across on my own.

So: The regular price of this Fujifilm Instax Share SP-2 Smart Phone Printer is $200, but this week it’s down to $149 (I’m giving you the link to it on Amazon, but this is a from-the-manufacturer instant rebate so the price is the same everywhere). Now, why is this a big deal? Aside from the 25% savings on a handy little photo printer than any Instagram- and Snapchat-addicted teenager would love to have, my husband tells me that these Fuji items basically never go on sale (except around the holidays, briefly, like now).

It’s a little rich for my blood, even on sale (and make no mistake, the paper isn’t cheap, either), but it’s a very good deal on an item that’s in demand. Right now my college kid is still asleep, but when she wakes up and sees this post and realizes no one is buying this for her, she’s going to be grumpy.

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Don’t say it

One of my favorite party games is on sale at Amazon at an all-time-low price (reminiscent of the December markdowns we used to see—I wonder if they’re starting early this year??): Snap up Taboo for just $7.80!

If you’ve never played, basically the goal is to get your team to say a word without using a list of prohibited words to evoke the target word. So maybe the word is marriage, but you can’t say wedding, bride, etc. It sounds easy, but if you want to get to know your friends in a whole new way (I will never forget playing with a church group—including the pastor—when I was barely an adult, and someone was trying to get us to say “soulmates” and said “Mir and her boyfriend are…” and someone screamed out “Lovers!” At a church group with the pastor. Good times!), this is the game to have on hand.

At this price, grab one for the gift closet even if you don’t have anyone in mind just yet.

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If you’ve got “big TV” on your list…

… this may be the deal to beat, this season, and it’s not even Thanksgiving week, yet!

Best Buy currently has a Samsung 48″ LED 1080p Smart HDTV marked down to just $279.99 shipped. Which is… well, frankly, that’s nuts. It does appear to be the 2015 model—so not the latest/greatest—but for me, I’d gladly save the money when chances are excellent that whatever enhancements the new one has aren’t visible to the naked eye, anyway.

bbsamsungtvThis model averages 4.5 stars at Best Buy with over 2,000 reviews, and for comparison, Amazon reviews have it at a 4-star average, but the price there is nearly double. Do with that information what you will.

Let’s not discuss what you might be watching on TV in the coming months. Maybe just a nice Netflix binge to escape from reality? That’d be my choice, but you do you.

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Waffles to the rescue

Let’s face it: waffles are a pain in the you-know-what, if you’re cooking. Pancakes are a lot simpler. But sometimes you just need waffles, with all their crispy little nooks and crannies and offspring-soothing powers. (I am speaking hypothetically, of course. I would never substitute waffles for good parenting. Probably.)

Did I ever tell you the story of how I snagged this Cuisinart Belgian Waffle Maker brand new at a yard sale for $5? It’s one of my prize possessions. The thing about a waffle maker is that the cruddy ones are, well, cruddy, and so it’s worth getting a good one, but on the other hand, you probably don’t use it all that often, so you don’t want to spend a fortune.

So, good news! Today Amazon has this Oster Belgian Flip Waffle Maker (which has even better reviews than mine) marked down to just $25.08. That’s within pennies of its lowest price ever, and just about the right price for a kitchen electric you might only use a few times a year.

Also, I’ll be jealous, because as much as I love mine, it doesn’t flip, and that seems fancy.

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As American as… a giant TV

Forget apple pie; the mark of a true American these days is a gargantuan television set, right? Right.

You can wait until the Black Friday scramble if upgrading your set is on your holiday list, sure. You may end up spending a lot of time in line or missing out because that “great deal” was a grand quantity of one, but hey, if that’s your thing, have at it. I prefer to snag the deals earlier so I can point and laugh while everyone else is panicking.

Deals like this one: Right now, Best Buy has this 65″ LG LED Smart Ultra HD TV marked down to $850 (you’ll have to add it to your basket to see the promotional price) with free shipping. LG is a consistently high-rated brand and that’s a whopper of a set. (For comparison: Here it is at Amazon for $1,400, and the lowest I saw it anywhere else was about $1,300.)

I’m not sure I’ve quite reached the point where I want a TV this enormous, but if you do, you’d have a hard time doing better than this.

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It’s tote time!

Longtime readers know that every time these Samsonite Tote-a-Ton duffels go on sale, I get very excited. That’s because these things are as big as steamer trunks, super durable, and fold down to the size of a small paperback book. I knew they were great before I moved my oldest into a dorm, but let me just tell you: She packed all of her clothes in one, and all of her bedding/towels (including pillows and such) in another. We kept saying “There’s no way it’s all going to fit in there…” but it totally did. And unlike bulky suitcases that we would’ve had to take home with us (because dorm rooms are not exactly long on storage space), these did their duty and got folded down and stuck on a closet shelf.


Now one tends to come home to me once a month filled with laundry, but that’s a different story.

Anyway! They come in all sorts of colors, and my sale line is about $20; when they go to $20 (and very occasionally, lower), that’s when I think they’re an unbeatable deal. Right now the black with red trim and the turquoise with black trim (do not be fooled by the picture, it really is a turquoise-y color and not the kelly green that photo shows it as) are both down to just $18.89 at Amazon. Run, don’t walk. If I didn’t already have two for each kid, I’d go buy more. Buy ’em for your kids, buy ’em as graduation gifts for other kids, buy ’em to store whatever you have all disorganized at home. It doesn’t matter. These are worth every penny.

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Protect that screen (and get a spare)

If you have an iPhone 6/6S/7, check this out: Amazon has this Soft Fiber Glass Film iPhone 7/6/6s Screen Protectors 2-Pack listed at $7.90, which isn’t bad, anyway, but there’s a hidden coupon. Add ’em to your cart, go to checkout, and another $6.99 will be discounted, making your total for 2 screen protectors… just 90 cents. (With free Prime shipping, that is, but I assume everyone has Prime by now.)

I have a child who shall remain nameless who goes through screen protectors at, shall we say, a rather rapid rate. Stocking stuffer!

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Need the perfect gift?

kindnotes-ldI think I mentioned this here once before, but the folks at KindNotes were kind enough (see what I did there?) to send me a sample, a while back, and left it with my girlchild in her dorm as a surprise for after we left. She loves it. What could be nicer than your own personal jar of encouragement and affirmation?? Especially when it comes in such a pretty package.

Right now Amazon is running a Lightning Deal on the Colorful Turquoise Splash set of KindNotes, and with $10 off and free shipping, this is a no-brainer for anyone you adore. Get it as a thank-you, get it as a “thinking of you,” get it as a “you’re really hard to buy for but I knew you’d love this,” just go ahead and get it. The tiny, beautiful envelopes alone are worth the money.

[Edited to add: Looks like a few other options are on sale, as well. Click around to see.]

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