Posted on November 28, 2011 at 10:02 AM
CONSUMER EXPERT SARAH PLATTE/ CYBER MONDAY DO'S AND DON'TS
Do make a budget and shop with a list – Sixty-two percent of shoppers who go without a list end up with impulse buys and holiday debt, according to the National Retail Federation. Take a look at your account balances and determine how much you can invest in holiday purchases, then create your shopping list around the best deals.
For example: FootLocker.com, $15 off orders through 11/28, Chico’s 30% off + free shipping, BestBuy.com up to 70% off items like blu-ray players, tablets, laptops; Sony up to 50% off HDTVs; Ann Taylor 40% off everything
Do use online coupons – Aggregator sites like PromotionalCodes.com or CouponWinner.com can be life-saving websites when you’re looking to save extra time and money. These sites organize Cyber Monday deals as well as promotional codes you can use to get extra savings. Going in on an online purchase with a friend and using a promotional code can also ensure you’re eligible for best offers.
Do pay cash when possible – Paying interest on credit purchases will sabotage any savings you score, so stick with cash or debit. If you must pay credit, at least check with your rewards program to see if you can get double points or cash back on Cyber Monday so you know which card will be your best option.
Don’t get overwhelmed – There’s a very short lead time on the release of Cyber Monday deals, and a high volume of great offers. Historically, apparel has been the best category for Cyber Monday deals. Again, those aggregator sites can be very helpful. One of them, CouponWinner.com has a comparison tools called CouponScout that allows you to compare up to five retailers in one screen, so you’ll see who is offering the best deals in a quick glance.
For example, New York and Company will be offering 50% off everything + free shipping, and Heels.com will be offering 30% off sitewide + free two-day shipping.
Don’t be afraid to wait – Some items are best to wait on. Toys are usually at their lowest price points during the 14 days leading up to Christmas, and high-end brand name televisions see their best deals after Black Friday, even in early January.
Don’t be married to a brand or retailer – Going with a competitor or third-party brand can mean saving. For example, if you’re looking into getting a new smartphone, you’ll find bigger savings by going with an online retailer like Wirefly.com, which provides nearly every phone on the market for free with an activation plan. If you buy directly from the carrier, you’ll end up paying up to $400 more.
Don’t pay for shipping—Many brands like Best Buy, Calvin Klein and others are offering free shipping during the holidays, even site to store shipping. FreeShippingCoupons.com organizes all the brands that are offering free shipping in one place, so if you’re ever in doubt, check that site.
SANTA CLAUS THE MUSICAL/ CASA MANANA
Community Bank presents the world premiere of Santa Claus the Musical at Casa Mañana Theatre, November 26 - December 23. Tickets are on sale now.
Inspired by the book The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus by L. Frank Baum, author of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, comes this enchanting story that explains everything you ever wanted to know about jolly, old Saint Nick. Take part in this magical adventure to find out why Santa Claus goes down the chimney, fills stockings with toys, and lives at the North Pole. This exciting holiday tale features classic Christmas carols and delightful new songs! You won't want to miss this wonderful production that is sure to warm your heart with holiday cheer.
Santa Claus the Musical stars Christopher J. Deaton as “Claus,” Mary McElree as “Necile,” and Greg Dulcie as “Auk / Wintaur.” Deaton and McElree recently appeared in Casa Mañana’s productions of Oliver and The Wizard of Oz. Dulcie was recently seen in Casa Mañana’s productions of To Kill a Mockingbird, Evita and Brer Rabbit.
Additional cast members include Aubrey Adams, Ashley Arnold, Alyssa Gardner, Paul Grant, Drew Kelly, Doug LoPachin, Michael Pandolfo and Cara Statham Serber.
Youth cast members include Westin Brown, Macy Crowe, Caroline Ellis, Sam Farmer, Marisa Hampton, Hayden Hart, Hayley Lenamon, T.J. Little, Caleb Midkiff, Courtney Lynn Povero, Addie Presson, Avery Presson, Kendall Procaccino, Natalie Renfro, Kristin Robinson, Cooper Rodgers, Riley Seymour, Brandon Shreve, Tiffany Stringer, Tristin Thomas, Brooke Verbois, and Lauren Weik.
Santa Claus the Musical is written and directed by Joe Sturgeon, Casa Mañana’s Director of Theatre for Youth. Aimee Hurst Bozarth is the Musical Director, Jeremy Dumont is the Choreographer, and Tammy Spencer is the Costumer.
The performance schedule is: Saturday, November 26 at 1:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.; Sunday, November 27 at 2:00 p.m.; Friday, December 2 at 7:00 p.m.; Saturday, December 3 at 1:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.; Sunday, December 4 at 2:00 p.m.; Friday, December 9 at 7:00 p.m.; Saturday, December 10 at 1:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.; Sunday, December 11 at 2:00 p.m.; Friday, December 16 at 7:00 p.m.; Saturday, December 17 at 1:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.; Sunday, December 18 at 2:00 p.m.; Tuesday, December 20 at 7:00 p.m.; Wednesday, December 21 at 7:00 p.m.; Thursday, December 22 at 7:00 p.m.; and Friday, December 23 at 7:00 p.m.
Tickets for Santa Claus the Musical are on sale now and can be purchased by calling the Casa Mañana Theatre box office at 817-332-2272. You can also visit the box office at Casa Mañana Theatre, 3101 West Lancaster Avenue, Fort Worth, 76107. Ticket prices are $20 to $25 per person for adults and children, depending upon seating location. For more information, visit www.casamanana.org.
PAUL MCCULLOUGH/ DESSERT PARTY
Paul has been a guest chef for top TV shows including Extra, KTLA's Morning Show, The Fine Living Network and USA Network and been featured in many national magazines. The Food Network chose Paul as a finalist on the third season of the top rated "The Next Food Network Star" and he is featured in August 2011 release
"Food Network Star: The Official Insider's Guide to America's Hottest Food Show".
He is currently in production of his first cookbook, Simply Fabulous Food, due out in 2012.
Owner and executive chef of Paul's Kitchen, a boutique catering and event company in Los Angeles, Paul is a party planner of choice for celebrities and the entertainment industry. Paul's Kitchen is known for its down-to-earth approach to food and commitment to cooking fresh, quality ingredients in unique flavor combinations that are always presented in a fabulous way.
METROPCS DALLAS WHITE ROCK MARATHON
AUTHOR VALERIE WESTFALL
JENNIFER FARRELL/ GREEN HOLIDAY IDEAS
Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) host and Green-Living Expert, Jennifer Farrell is one of the foremost experts on green living. Her handbook entitled "Lean, Clean, and Green: Where to Flex Your Green Muscle," is a manual guiding consumers on how to lead a more eco-conscious life. Farrell has been a host for several popular television shows on numerous networks including A&E’s “The Big Fix” and “Find & Design.” Jennifer has also hosted Style Network’s “My Celebrity Home” and "Merge" that focus on reusing, repurposing, and recycling to create the best living environment. She has been a guest on "The View" and her own award-winning gardens have recently been highlighted on HGTV.
Buy local. It supports local farmers and saves pollution on transport.
Look for sustainable foods, beverages and packaging, like aluminum bottles and cans
Don’t overbuy when food-shopping and bring a reusable bag
Make sure to save leftovers in aluminum foil
Aluminum is 100% recyclable and can be recycled infinitely without any degradation!
Use LED lights to save energy
Put your lights on a timer so you can make optimum use and save electricity
Repurposing things like aluminum foil is always crafty, fun and recyclable
Use natural items like leaves, pine cones and berries in centerpieces to cut down on waste
Think about how your gifts give back, like recyclable metal in electronics
Save wrapping materials like bags and bows to reuse. Also wrap with foil and recycle it!