There is a perfect storm happening this year to make this one of the biggest shopping seasons yet. First of all, Thanksgiving came particularly late, so people are feeling the crunch when it comes to shopping for the holidays. Plus the unemployment rate is the lowest it's been in 50 years, wages are rising, and the personal savings rate is the highest it has been since 2012.
People are ready to shop. Here are some things to snag:
1. Mint Mobile: Any plan for $15 per month
I put this first because depending on how much you currently spend on cell service, you could save over $1,000 over the year if you're smart about this.
Mint Mobile is a fraction of a cost of the big guys, and requires no contract. Most people I know spend about $80-120/month on their cell plan, so $960-$1,440 a year. But low-cost providers (Cricket, SimpleMobile, Virgin, Mint Mobile, etc.) offer the same service on the same cell networks. I've paid $40/month for unlimited everything on SimpleMobile for the past few years with excellent service (both customer service and cell service).
Mint Mobile's Black Friday/Cyber Monday deal makes the first three months just $15/month. Its highest priced plan is still just $45 per month.
I did the math for you: Even if you currently spend "just" $80/month at one of the big carriers, and even if you paid the exorbitant (and stupid) $180 fee to get yourself out of your contract, you'd still save $330 over the course of the year if you switched.
Save 53 percent off the first three months with their Black Friday/Cyber Week sale. (That makes it $6.95/month for the first 3 months, then $14.95/month after that.)
3. Echo Dot
Ready to cozy up to Alexa? This is a pretty good deal, at $44.99 or 5 payments of $9.
4. $400 off a MacBook Pro
A 15-inch Machbook Pro (16GB RAM, 256GB Storage) is down from $2,400 to $2,000. As low as $1,800 if you get it slightly used.
5. Really nice knives
If you've been wanting to graduate to grown-up knives, take advantage of this 40 percent off offer. You can get a 6-knife or 3-knife set for nearly half off (the 3-knife set is $528, down from $880). Offer good from Nov 25 to Dec 6, no code needed.
Support small business artisans! From Nov 27 to December 2, shop Cyber week discounts up to 60% off.
Been thinking of trying one of those food subscription boxes? HelloFresh is a good option and lets you pause anytime. Take $90 off plus score free shipping using code HFBF2019.
8. Wireless Earbuds (AirPod competitors)
Want to join the legion of people with wireless earphones without dropping $150+ for AirPods? This $49.99 version by EarFun is a great option -- for Black Friday/Cyber Monday, it's down from $79.99. These 'buds are bluetooth, USB-C and wireless-charging, and fully waterproof. Amazon gives another 10% off coupon, which knocks off taxes to make it an honest $49.
9. Living DNA for $69
Living DNA's test is comprehensive; it covers your overall ancestry, including both your mother's and father's lines. It also offers family DNA-matching. This kit is marked down to $99, through 12/3/19. (If you want health information in addition to your family background, that kit is $129.)
10. 23andMe Health + Ancestry Kit for $99
This kit is almost always $199, so if you've ever wanted to do this, do it now. Just send in your spit and get back over 125 DNA-based reports on your ancestry, as well as your health and wellness.
Causebox is a subscription box that delivers exclusive, ethically-made products that support women creators all over the world. You get $200+ worth of items in each box for $49.95, and it's delivered quarterly (not monthly). You can pause or cancel anytime.
For Black Friday/Cyber Monday, use code FALL20 when you sign up for an annual subscription and get 20 percent off your first box. (Hint: if you sign up with a friend, you can split the items in the box and then it's just $25/quarter to receive beautiful items and support women artisans all over the world.)
Subscribe to dog-centered subscription box BarkBox (starts at $22/month), and for Black Friday they'll do a hilarious, free dog portrait for you. Picture your dog with an Elizabethan outfit on, in a gilded frame. It's puptastic.
13. Sustainable fashion
Beautiful and ethical, Amour Vert has lovely, unique dresses, jumpsuits, and more. It's offering 20 percent off everything online and another 30 percent off certain sale items through Cyber Monday.
14. Miss Jessie's
This fresh, bold brand caters to girls with curly hair who love luscious hair and beauty products. They're doing 20% off select items for Thanksgiving (ends midnight Nov 28); sign up for the newsletter for more exclusive Black Friday sales.
15. Ethical lingerie
Azura Bay is a woman-owned lingerie and loungewear brand whose mission is to empower both the person wearing their clothing and those who made it. Their collection is far more size-inclusive than brands like Victoria's Secret -- sizes range from 30A-40H. They're offering a whopping 15-70% off the entire store from Nov 27 - Dec 2.
16. Expand your mind
Learning platform Udemy is discounting tons of courses from $199 to just $9.99 through Nov 29, for Black Friday. You can take classes on everything from Python, data science, and Microsoft Excel (wouldn't it be nice to go from a beginner to an expert?) to Google Analytics and neuroplasticity. There's even a creativity workshop with Elizabeth Gilbert.
17. Gorgeous, ethical jewelry
You will never wear a cooler pair of earrings than Peacebomb pieces by Article22. They're made from the metal from old bomb shrapnel and scrap, and they're beautiful.
In 2009, the brand started working with villagers from Naphia, Laos to repurpose scrap metal. Encouragingly, artisans employed by the organization earn 5x the minimum wage to make the jewelry, and your purchase contributes to the Mines Advisory Group, which safely clears some of the 80 million unexploded land mines in Laos.
Correction: An earlier version of this article misstated the terms of the Living DNA and the Mint Mobile deals. The sale price for the Living DNA Ancestry kit is $69 and for the Living DNA Wellbeing kit it is $129. The sale is through December 3. Mint Mobile's highest priced plan is $25 per month.