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The Coupon Lady: Several restaurants offer kids meal deals on Tuesdays

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It’s time to vote! On Tuesday, we will be exercising our freedom to choose who will be our president for the next four years.

Some area schools are also out on Election Day, so if you find yourself needing a quick meal before heading back to work and school on Wednesday morning, you might want to take advantage of some great kids-eat-free nights after doing your civic duty. Families can be conservative spenders at any one of these restaurants on Tuesday; Moe’s, Atlanta Bread Company, Great Wraps (at Mullins Crossing), Carolina Ale House, Taco Bell, Firehouse Subs, IHOP, Denny’s and McAlister’s Deli. All offer free or 99-cents Kids Meals on Tuesday.

If you check out clearance this week, you should be able to score great deals on Halloween costumes and decor. Not only will Target and Walmart discount merchandise, but the temporary Halloween stores will also clear out their merchandise.

Halloween costumes will be on sale for up to 90 percent off their original prices, and décor will be discounted up to 75 percent. I have two young children, so we use the costumes for dress up in addition to trick or treating. The costumes also can be given as dress-up gifts for children for Christmas, especially with the addition of a few accessories. Adults should also take advantage of the clearance sales to buy costumes for next year’s parties or volunteering events.

With the onset of colder temperatures, you will start noticing some deals on cold-weather merchandise such as blankets and quilts and hot drinks including tea, coffee and hot cocoa. Now that football season is well under way, a sports fan can score some great deals on some college-themed merchandise.

This year, expect to see some sales well before Black Friday. The National Retail Federation predicts that holiday sales this year will increase 4.1 percent to $586.1 billion. That’s just above the 10-year average of 3.5 percent growth for annual holiday sales increases, but down from the 5.6 percent growth figure for holiday sales in 2011.

This means that election worries, high gas prices, weak markets and worries about the expiration of tax cuts and possible automatic spending cuts will all have negative effects on Christmas spending this year, so retailers will be enticing shoppers with early deals.

According to AllYou.com, November is the best month to buy televisions, stereos, wedding dresses and clothing.

Online shopping is projected to grow by 12 percent this year, and Amazon.com is expected to surpass Walmart during this Christmas season. One way to save money at Amazon is to consider getting an Amazon Prime membership. Amazon Prime members get free two-day shipping with no minimum purchase, so you can ship presents directly to family members. A one-year subscription to Amazon Prime normally costs $79. However, if you are a young parent, you can sign up for three months of free Amazon Prime under Amazon Mom. If you are a student, you can sign up for six months of free shipping under Amazon Student.

This month, you will find plenty of sales on baking goods in grocery stores. The coupons that come out during this season follow sales cycles of 24 weeks (most items have six- to 12-week sales cycles). Now is a great time to stock up on any baking goods you might need for the upcoming Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.

This month you should find great deals on canned foods including broth, condensed milk, canned pumpkin, vegetables, fruits, spaghetti sauce and cranberry sauce. You will also find other pantry goods on sale such as stuffing mix and potatoes. Other items on sale this month include butter, turkey, gravy (canned and mix), breads and rolls and frozen pies.

Produce in season this month includes potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbages, kale, celery, bok choy, leeks, chard, mustard greens, parsnips, carrots, beets, rutabagas, turnips, winter squash, cranberries, pumpkin, pears, kiwi, lemons, kumquats and some varieties of oranges.

NEXT CLASS

Carol Gunter will hold a free class on using coupons at drugstores at 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 10 at the Kroc Center, 1833 Broad St., Augusta. To sign up, call the Kroc Center at (706) 364-5762. Reach Gunter at (706) 823-3318 or augustacouponlady@yahoo.com.


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