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Sunday, December 27, 2009

Morning Coffee: Lackluster After-Christmas Sales

I did indeed hit the mall early yesterday morning, and I found Target's holiday clearance section was mobbed. I picked up a box of holiday cards, since I'm picky about those and I wanted the best selection, but for other items, I'm going to wait for the discounts to hit 75% and see what's left. Other stores weren't nearly as busy, and the selection was completely decimated at some stores. The Children's Place was fine, but Macy's and Baby GAP/GAP Kids were practically bare in some areas. In fact, there were so many empty racks at Baby GAP that I asked if the store was closing, but I was told that they were simply low on stock and not getting their next shipment until Tuesday. My overall sense was that there isn't going to be much of a selection this after-Christmas season, and that the deals aren't going to be astounding. I managed to find three pairs of pants for the boys at GAP Kids, but they weren't on sale - I only bought them because we really need them, and I used the 20% off coupon that I mentioned a few days ago.

Today's Toy Lightning Dealshave already started at Amazon. The current item is the Vtech - V.Smile Cyber Pocket, which has a list price of $70 but is going for just $20 - I think I'm going to pick one up to have on hand as a birthday gift. The last deal today is at 4 p.m. PST. Disclosure: I'm an Amazon affiliate, so any purchase you make after entering Amazon through a link on Chief Family Officer supports this site at no additional cost to you. Thank you!

A quick update on the bread-making: I looked at a couple of stores yesterday for a baking stone, but couldn't find one small enough to fit in my top oven. I may go the Alton Brown route and hit the hardware store - I'm hesitant only because I doubt my ability to pick a tile that's both food and oven-safe. I'm thinking of getting two of these 7-inch by 10-inch Pizza Stones, though I hesitate to buy on Amazon because many of the pizza stone reviews (of all the different kinds) complain about breakage. I'm going to make my first batch of dough tomorrow, and try baking it on a cookie sheet. We'll see how that goes.

Common Sense with Money has a money-making scenario on Oil of Olay Regenerist at CVS. I might do it since I have $10 in ECBs that I need to roll over by the end of the week, and I'm not interested in much of the ad.

Download the Beatles' "All You Need Is Love" for free from Blackberry. (Via Common Sense with Money.)

Mommy Snacks has details on a new Con Agra products rebate.

A Thrifty Mom shares her recipe for White Chocolate Chex Mix.

Banner via Escalate Media Affiliate Network
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate and/or referral links, and may refer to items that were sent to me for review. However, all opinions are my own. You can read Chief Family Officer's full disclaimer and disclosure policy here.

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  • At 12/27/09, 9:25 AM, Blogger CE said…

    I'm so upset I read your post too late about the cyber pocket - they were all sold out!

  • At 12/27/09, 9:43 AM, Blogger Sara said…

    You can try baking on a cast iron griddle or pizza pan - both have worked really well for me!

  • At 12/27/09, 10:51 AM, Blogger Camille said…

    I only went to Target, and very late, but I found the sales to be lackluster. I'm going to wait until later this week and see what is left then.

    I prefer to bake the bread in a cast iron 5 quart stock pot with a lid a la Le Creuset (but mine is a $30 version from Sam's Club!). It works just as well and is A LOT less hassle than putting the water in the oven. I would suggest getting one of those rather than the pizza stone. I've never used a pizza stone for the bread. Before the stock pot I used a jelly roll pan with a silpat on it. Worked great!

    I've also read that you can use a 12 inch unglazed terra cotta tile in place of a pizza stone and they are much cheaper. Apparently you can find them at Home Depot or the like.

    Have fun!

  • At 12/27/09, 12:43 PM, Blogger Chief Family Officer said…

    @CE - Bummer, I'm sorry you missed the deal! For future reference, I try to get the Morning Coffee post up by 7 a.m. - it's earlier during the week when I have to go to work, on the weekends, it's a little later.

    @Sara & Camille - Thanks! You've both made me happy I haven't bought a stone :) I just made my first batch of dough, and it's rising in the kitchen as I write this. I'm excited to see how this turns out!

  • At 12/27/09, 1:31 PM, Blogger CE said…

    The Google Reader doesn't bring the feeds in right away though, so I don't see the morning posts until mid-morning (plus we were shopping at Target this am). We got some jam gift packs, nut gift packs, fancy silver paper plates, holiday candy all at 50% off. I may check back in a few days to see if they've gone down to 75% off.

  • At 12/27/09, 8:09 PM, Blogger micrendle said…

    I have the artisan bread book and the bread is great! I have used both a cookie sheet and a pizza stone to bake the bread and I didn't really see a difference except my bread has sometimes stuck to the pizza stone but never to the cookie sheet.
    Have fun!

  • At 12/27/09, 11:45 PM, Blogger The Martin Family said…

    While they are a bit pricey, I have many pieces of Pampered Chef stoneware. I LOVE THEM! I even have one that fits in my toaster oven. Once you "season it" (like a cast iron), it's like having a nonstick pan. And they don't burn...even sugary things. I've burnt the stink out of the tops of my cookies, but the bottoms (touching the stone) didn't burn.

    I think they cook every food well. I have just about every shape possible...9x13 casseroles, rounds for pizza, cookie sheets, pie pans and even loaf pans. I make everything from cookies to lasagna on mine. And I just got one for muffins so now I can ditch the old metal muffin tin too. :)

    And Pampered Chef has a 3 yr policy where if it breaks for any reason (including your 3 yr old trying to "help") you send them a tiny piece of the old one and they send you a whole new stone.

    Sorry for the infomercial...just throwing out another option and giving some love to stoneware. :) Good luck with your baking adventure no matter the method.


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