What happens when your Black Friday meets a Black Tuesday? Well, first you put off retirement for 10 more years. Then you halve your holiday budget and start cruising swap meets and lawn sales for gifts.
Or do you? One of the silver linings of any shrinking economy is improved bargain-hunting. So instead of buying somebody's used electric toothbrush, use this weekend to take advantage of some sweet going-out-of-business sales.
Granted, trees and shrubs aren't the sexiest gifts around, but they aren't unromantic. By giving your sweetheart, say, a 5-gallon oleander, you're not only beautifying your home, but nurturing a living thing that will flourish with your relationship. To that end, killer botanical deals can be had at Don Pickering's P&P Nursery in Mesa. Packing it up after 15 years in the business, Pickering is selling 15-gallon trees for $35 and 5-gallon shrubs for $10. That's about a third of what you'd normally pay. One caveat: Since Pickering is a wholesaler and ill-equipped for retail, prospective customers must call him to acquire the super-secret location of his lot.
>> Call Pickering at (602) 290-1805.
Once a stalwart mall retailer, Whitehall Jewelers will close all 12 of its Valley locations by the end of December. According to a manager at the Chandler Fashion Center location, bargain vultures have already snapped up many of the choicest stones (there was but a solitary diamond solitaire left in Chandler as this story went to press), but the store still has plenty of bands and other smaller-ticket items. And all of it is 50 to 70 percent off. Baby, it looks like you'll be getting that emerald-encrusted swizzle stick, after all.
>> Visit whitehalljewelers.com for a list of Arizona locations.
By the beginning of next year, Circuit City will cease to be. But the chain's nationwide going-out-of-business sale is the real deal: The same sweeeeet Panasonic 42-inch VIERA hi-def plasma television that's selling for $1,378 on amazon.com is going for a paltry $1099.99 at Circuit City. However, that deal and others like it are bound to be short-lived - one store was already sold out of Sony Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 units. For more reliable bargain-hunting, it never hurts to try Wal-Mart, which is purveying a $128 Magnavox Blu-ray player - allegedly the country's cheapest.
>> For other end-of-days electronics deals, visit circuitcity.com.