Even if you are a Giants fan like me, there are plenty of reasons to get excited about the Super Bowl. It's an excuse to drink beer, eat little cocktail weenies—and get great gadget deals.
Alright, first thing's first—we need to talk HDTVs again. With the game looming, you may be thinking about an upgrade or, in some cases, your first HDTV set. In this economy, spending money is always an issue, but at this point, waiting for even cheaper HDTVs will probably keep you on the sidelines for a good long while. In the meantime, you are missing out on all the crystal-clear action. I mean, even The Simpsons are going high-def this year.
No worries though—retailers are busting out some great deals on HDTVs in anticipation of the Super Bowl crowd. Here are some examples:
• Westinghouse 32'' 1080p LCD HDTV for $364.99 (normally $564.99—use this rebate form).
• Samsung 40'' 1080p LCD HDTV for $1,108.83 plus free shipping and a $200 gift certificate to NFLShop.com (normally $1,699.99—use this gift certificate claim form. Valid through 1/31).
• Vizio 42'' 1080p Widescreen LCD HDTV (factory refurbished) for $589.97 (normally $999.99).
• Toshiba 42" 1080p LCD HDTV for $749 plus free shipping (normally $1,399. Use coupon code "MMCHTV50").
• Toshiba Regza 46'' 1080p LCD HDTV for $999.99 plus free shipping (normally $1,499.99).
• Sharp Aquos 52" 1080p LCD HDTV for $1,449.99 plus free shipping (normally $2,099.99. Use coupon code "MMCHTV50").
• Walmart's Super Bowl HDTV sale—$100 off/$100 Walmart gift card included (for example: 32'' Samsung for $498, 46'' Sony for $1,298).
If you decide to take advantage of these sales or any others you may have found through shopping comparison sites like PriceGrabber.com and Shopping.com, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. Most importantly, you need to know which HDTV is going to work for you and your budget. Our guide How to Choose and HDTV Like a Pro and the followup How To Buy and HDTV Today (Or Any Day) will give you all the information you need to make smart decisions.
It's a good idea to carry around a web-enabled cellphone to comparison shop in the store, or have a friend at a computer standing by. If they have an in-store pickup service, that could lead to even bigger savings—not to mention a guarantee to have your TV before the game on Sunday.
What To Watch Out For
As always, it's almost always a good idea to avoid pricey warranties, profit-heavy accessories like HDMI cables and unnecessary services offered in the store. There is a 99% chance you are getting screwed.
Don't fall for liquidation sales. You may feel that the demise of Circuit City presents an ideal opportunity to score some new gear for the game. The reality is, if you're not constantly cross-checking those supposedly slashed prices, quite the opposite may be true.
It Isn't All About the TV
The Super Bowl isn't just about a big HDTV. It's about people getting together, getting drunk and yelling at that HDTV. It's also a good time to pick up some of the extras you are going to need like cool remotes, cooking equipment, and other football-related gear. Here are some of the best deals going:
• Logitech Harmony 550 Universal Remote Control for $59.97 plus free shipping (normally $99.97)
• Logitech Harmony 610 Universal Remote Control for $49.99 (normally $79.99)
Other Home Entertainment Gadgets:
• Sling Media Slingbox Pro-HD for $259.99 (normally $299.99)
• Cambridge Soundworks Surround Speakers for $99.99 (normally $299.99)
• Polk Audio Two-way Floorstanding Loudspeaker for $99.99 plus free shipping (normally $199.99)
• Pioneer HTP-2920 5.1 Surround-Sound System for $199.99 plus free shipping (normally $329.99)
• Madden 2009 on PS3 for $36.99 plus free shipping (normally $56.99 / Great for exacting revenge on a blown season. Damn you Giants!)
• NFL History of the Pittsburgh Steelers on DVD for $13.99 (normally $26.98)
• Pittsburgh Steelers: Super Bowl Champions on DVD for $8.86 (normally $19.98)
• Any Given Sunday on DVD for $4.86 (normally $14.96, and Wilson's favorite Oliver Stone film)
• Friday Night Lights for $3.15 (normally $12.98)
• Remember the Titans for $5.73 (normally $14.99)
• The Comebacks on DVD for $4.99 (normally $14.98)
• Jerry McGuire on DVD for $8.99 plus free shipping (normally $19.95)
• Little Giants on DVD for $6.99 (normally $14.97)
• The Waterboy on DVD for $8.26 plus free shipping (normally $19.99)
• We Are Marshall for $4.99 (normally $14.98)
• Tool Box Jumbo Grill with Stand for $24.97 (normally $99.99)
• Coleman Outdoor Grill and Stove for $32.36 (normally $82.99, in Target stores only)
• Hamilton Beach HealthSmart Grill for $18.99 (normally $36.11)
• George Foreman Champ Grill for $19.99 (normally $39.99)
Beer and Popcorn:
• A handful of deals and rebates on beer (This is what it is all about)
• Nostalgia Movietime Popcorn Maker for $22.54 (normally $36.23)
• Presto PopLite Hot Air Popcorn Popper for $14.99 (normally $29.99)
• Orville Redenbacher's Original Popping Corn Kernels for $6.95 (normally $26.95)
For the Ladies:
• Football for Dummies for $7.99 (normally $19.99)
• Arizona Cardinals earrings for $5.99 (normally $21.95)
• Arizona Cardinals apron for $12.95 (normally $14.95)
• Pittsburg Steelers earrings for $3.99 (normally $13.95)
• Pittsburg Steelers apron for $12.95 (normally $14.95)
• 5 lbs. of Holiday Chocolate for $1.49 (normally $24.99 - use coupon code "AVA910")
• Mini Football for $0 (use fake e-mail address, could possibly be spam)
• 1,200 Digital Photo Prints for $0 (use coupon code "FREE800")
• Diet Dr. Pepper for $0
• Orville Redenbacher Natural Gourmet Popcorn for $0
• Bruce Springsteen Songs for Guitar Hero World Tour for $0 (valid until 2/04)
•3D glasses for Super Bowl commercials for $0 You may want to hold on to these.
Now get out there and enjoy the game. And I would like to take this opportunity to say that the last six weeks or so of the Giant's season made me want to puke. If I wanted to see a team look like crap, I would go back to a standard-def TV.
Prof. Dealzmodo is a regular section dedicated to helping budget-minded consumers learn how to shop smarter and get the best deals on their favorite gadgets. If you have any topics you would like to see covered, send your idea to firstname.lastname@example.org, with "Professor Dealzmodo" in the subject line.