Hello, my Frugs! I don’t know if you’ve picked up on this, but I’m not a fan of the Black Friday mayhem and crowds. I mean, people, it’s one day. There’s no need for anyone to lose life or limb over shopping.

When I worked in newspapers as a reporter, I used to volunteer to cover the Black Friday story so I could get a jump on the deals. But I was PAID with healthcare and vacation time to be part of the early morning madness.

Visitors to the annual Holiday Marketplace in Alaska browse vendors' stalls on Sunday morning, Nov. 13, 2011. (John Wagner/AP)

1) Cyber Monday: Cyber Monday is the Monday after Black Friday when a lot of people log onto their work computers and shop online. It’s a growing phenomenon and retailers have hopped on the trend, offering their own Cyber Monday deals. Consider shopping this way. The Boss Man won’t mind because he’ll be shopping for his tykes, too.

2) Free Shipping Day: Dec. 16 is Free Shipping Day. More than 1,200 retailers are offering free shipping for shopping online. You will have delivery by Christmas Eve if you’re in the continental United States.

3) LivingSocial: The daily deal site did something smart this year and announced that it was offering both Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals. The deals, featuring brands such as Verizon Wireless, BlueFly, Sketchers, Office Max and Skype, will be at least half off.

Natalie P. McNeal is the creator of TheFrugalista.com and author of The Frugalista Files: How One Woman Got Out Of Debt Without Giving Up the Fabulous Life, detailing how she got rid of $20,000 worth of debt while living life on the frugal side of fabulous. She is also addicted to Twitter, so follow her @frugalista.

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