Shopping Ain't All Bad

With everyone strapped this holiday season, deals abound

I don’t know about you, but I think what’s happening to the economy is great. Let me demonstrate with one simple statement: Gas is ridiculously cheap. These days it costs me just $18 to fill up my car — a “plum” 1993 Saturn to be specific — which means I can actually buy more of everything I don’t need.

Now my materialistic daydreams are a thing of the past. Not only do I expect bigger and better this holiday season, I can actually reciprocate in spite of my minimum wage income.

The money I save on gas is one thing, but finding expensive gifts at a bargain is just an added perk. Deals are popping up all over the place, and it would just be silly to pass up any of them. It’s the “season of savings” — maybe the phrase will catch on, maybe it won’t. But it’s true.

I say put a smile on someone’s face by putting a diamond in their stocking. OK, I could be going overboard, but the possibilities are endless.

It’s finally time to spread some cheer. And nothing spells cheer like pricey but oh-so-yummy items for cheap.

I love Macs. I love the iPod, the iPhone, the MacBook. If there's anything with that apple symbol on it, I’m sold. I’d buy Apple toilet paper. And though this cure from the PC world is not normally easy to afford, luckily there are a few options right now.

The appropriately named Best Buy is offering the new black-keyed MacBook for up to $150 off. You could buy an iPod with that — or at least I would. You can also purchase a refurbished laptop from for as much as $200 off the original price.

Maybe to some buying a used gift is unseemly, but let me reiterate: I’d take anything Mac. And the company takes care of you with an inspection pre-purchase, as well as offering a one-year warranty.

My love of technology ends with the aforementioned above. My new brother-in-law and my father have finally stopped discussing the Wii, but now it’s on to Plasma screens and hi-def. More specifically, a 42-inch glossy black LG plasma flat panel. This puppy runs for around $1,300, but with the help of you can convince anyone that this is the best gift to give.

By comparing prices, everyone can enjoy the crisp, clear picture from the comfort of their own home. If you can trust customer reviews, there are no problems with this method of shopping. And let’s face it: Isn’t shopping in stores not only taboo but also a hassle this time of year?

This might come as a shock to some, but I love video games. I suck 100 percent. I am completely awful at everything from Mario to RPG, but it’s entertaining nonetheless. And what I love more than video games is movies. So it is a genius move on Playstation 3’s part to go full-throttle with a Blue Ray player.

I might just buy this for myself. And you know why? Because, once again, the stingy gods have shined upon me, allowing me to buy without breaking the bank. The running price is $399, but has a special treat for truly devoted gaming fans: By applying for an official Playstation Visa Card (don’t scoff just yet) you can get the system for $250.

If you’re worthy of the application process, it’s not a bad deal. There’s no obligation to actually use the card, so why not? You only have until Dec. 31 to reap the benefits of this promotion.

So don’t be completely down about the economy’s effect on your gifting capacity. Like gasoline’s decline in value in just two lousy months, lots of formerly expensive goodies are available for those of us who make an effort to find them.