- 1 Don’t fall for the holiday hype
- 2 A New York Times digital subscription
- 3 The best wireless earbuds under $100
- 4 A fun monthly craft kit for kids
- 5 Bright felt-tip pens
- 6 A tried and true electric pressure cooker
- 7 A meditation app for this moment
- 8 Smart home security
- 9 The best affordable Alexa speaker
- 10 Vibrant, colorful lighting
- 11 A buy-it-for-life hammer
- 12 More deals we love that are at least 40% off:
- 13 The Best Black Friday 2020 Deals Available Now
- 14 The Best Walmart Black Friday Deals 2020
- 15 The Best Deals From Best Buy for Black Friday
- 16 The Best Black Friday Costco Deals Available Now, and 7 We’re Expecting to See
- 17 Related
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Life can be tough. That’s, well, life. But certain delights make the experience lighter: pulling up to an intersection right as the light turns green, cracking an egg with two yolks, and scoring a great deal on an item you’ve really wanted. We can’t help with the former two, but if you want a deal you’ve come to the right place. Below we’ve rounded up the biggest, best discounts on some of our favorite Wirecutter-approved items so that this day, at least, you can win.
A New York Times digital subscription
Right now, there’s a lot going on in the world. If someone on your gift list would like to keep up with it by reading America’s preeminent newspaper (we’re biased, Wirecutter is a New York Times company) get them a NYT Basic Digital Access Subscription. This year-long subscription is currently available for $52, billed as $4 every four weeks—a small price to pay for access to all the news that’s fit to print! After the promotional year is over, the monthly cost will go back up to $17 every four weeks.
The best wireless earbuds under $100
Working out is hard enough: make the experience just a bit better with comfortable, water-resistant earbuds. This pair from Skullcandy, our budget pick from testing, features the best sound for its price, a five-hour battery life, and Tile integration. And at the lowest price we’ve seen them for, it’s a great time to buy: the deal even includes a two-year warranty and eligibility for Skullcandy’s lost-earbud exchange program.
A fun monthly craft kit for kids
For the kid in your life who loves to craft and make art projects, a monthly craft subscription box will make an excellent gift. We tested 14 craft subscription boxes from various brands, and found that Kiwi Crate worked best for five to eight year olds: These kits don’t just focus on traditional crafts, but rather on hands-on activities exploring concepts of science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics for fun and learning. And at just $10 per box with the code MERRY, it’s fun that won’t cost you much.
Bright felt-tip pens
The Paper Mate Flair Felt-Tip Pens are featured in our guide to the best school supplies, but they’re really a great tool for anyone who enjoys writing colorfully (I include myself in this category: taking notes at work is infinitely more fun when they can make a rainbow on the page.) The pens also dry quickly, making them a forgiving writing utensil for those still developing their penmanship or those who like to doodle at meetings. This is a good deal for a pack of 20 assorted colors and it can be added to an order over $35 for free shipping.
A tried and true electric pressure cooker
For someone balancing a job, home life, and a freaking pandemic, an electric pressure cooker can make the difference between a delicious home-cooked meal and another call to the pizza shop. After years of testing, the Instant Pot is still our favorite for the job: it’ll braise meat in a fraction of the time it takes in the oven, but will also slow-cook, sauté, steam, braise, and cook grains, risotto, and even yogurt with no need for stirring. The upgrade pick in our guide, the Instant Pot Duo Nova 10-Quart offers a more streamlined interface, a larger LCD screen, and a lid that seals automatically when closed. If you’re interested in a size in between the 6- and 10-quart options, the 8-Quart option is available for $70.
A meditation app for this moment
Calm Meditation App (12-Month Premium Subscription)
Deal price: $35; street price: $70
Read our review of the best meditation apps.
Not to be rude to 2020, but for the most part, it was pretty stressful. (Other words that come to mind: soul crushing, maddening, and utterly impossible.) Give yourself or your loved one a little relief with a great meditation app. Calm will likely appeal to more experienced practitioners who don’t need or want as much guidance, since the sessions are a little less structured than on similar apps. Their subscription also gets you access to a few other bonuses, like sleep guidance and ambient music.
Smart home security
If you’ve been wanting to invest in a home security system, one of our favorites is available at the lowest price we’ve ever seen. The Wyze Smart Home Starter Pack comes with two of our top plug-in smart outlets, our budget indoor security camera (the older V2 model), three of our budget smart LED light bulbs, two Contact Sensors, a Motion Sensor, and a Wyze Sensor Bridge. Though the system isn’t compatible with many other smart devices, the kit works with a Google Nest Mini so you can control it all by voice.
The best affordable Alexa speaker
If you’re looking to extend Alexa to other parts of your home, the Echo Dot speaker is the best affordable option. The Dot doesn’t sound as good as the standard Echo, but it works just fine for listening to radio or for playing music when you don’t need to fill an entire room, and you can also use it to make calls and send messages. It listens just as well as the full-size Echo, and comes in several fun colors.
Vibrant, colorful lighting
Much more exciting than just a rote light bulb, a smart bulb allows you (or your very lucky recipient) to control when lights turn on and off using an app or just the sound of your voice. This two-pack from Philips Hue is a variant of our upgrade smart LED light bulb pick and down to just $15 with store pick up. You’ll need a hub to get the most out of these bulbs, so this deal is best for existing or prospective Hue owners.
A buy-it-for-life hammer
With more time staring at your walls than ever before, you may have noticed a few home projects that need handling. Whether it’s hanging some macaroni art your kid made, or putting up more shelves to handle all the books you’ve read during quarantine, the right hammer will make the job a breeze. We’ve tested them for years, and our favorite remains the 16-ounce, steel-handled Estwing E3-16C. It has powerful heft without being uncomfortably large or heavy, its slightly squishy, tacky grip is among the easiest to hold and the least prone to vibration, and its striking face gives a clearer line of sight than tools with oversized heads.
More deals we love that are at least 40% off:
This drop is an excellent chance to upgrade your audio experience and save on our top Bluetooth wireless headphone pick. Just shy of the lowest we’ve seen, the Jabra Elite 85h offers great sound straight out of the box, long battery life, and has an intuitive set up with easily accessible controls. If you’re looking for a new pair of over-ear headphones, this is a great chance to save and all finishes are discounted as well.
If you’re interested in learning more about your ethnic heritage and you’re okay with the privacy risks that accompany DNA testing services, the AncestryDNA test kit is informative, easy to understand, and affordable. Matching the lowest we’ve seen for our top DNA testing kit, this is a solid discount on this Amazon Deal of the Day.
If you’re looking for a sleek, highly organized bag, then consider the Topo Designs Travel Bag 30L. It’s our pick for document organization from our guide to the best carry-on travel bags. It’s open interior makes packing easy, plus accessible front pockets and holders neatly carry books, papers, and miscellaneous items. This is the first deal we’ve posted on this new pick and it offers a pretty nice discount at $113.
Down to $7 in black, this is a good deal for the Nidra Deep Rest Eye Mask is our top pick for the best sleep mask. Whether it’s blocking out the light from your college roommate’s late-night study session or getting some shut-eye on a red-eye, we recommend this pick because its lightweight, contoured design makes it great for most scenarios and face shapes. This isn’t the lowest price we’ve seen for this mask, but it’s still almost half off the street price.
Ring Alarm 10-Piece Home Security System (2nd Gen)
Deal price: $130; street price: $230
Read our review of the best home security system.
Our budget pick in our guide to the best home security system, and the cheapest no-contract security system, the Ring Alarm 10-Piece Home Security System (2nd Gen) is currently available for Costco members. This specific set up includes a base station and keypad, range extender, motion detector, and six contact sensors. While we don’t recommend Ring cameras anymore, the Ring Alarm still remains easy-to-use for people who want no-contract 24/7 monitoring without eating a hole in their pockets.
Right now, you can snag our useful smart display without the camera pick, the Google Nest Hub, for $50. This is the lowest price we’ve seen for this pick, which offers most of the same smart home capabilities as the Hub Max, so if you’re looking for a compact smart display that doesn’t have a built-in camera, this is a great opportunity to save.
A portable Bluetooth speaker is a great piece of tech to have on camping trips, just outside in the backyard, or in any room of your home. Right now you’ll be able grab the UE Megaboom 3, a notable competition option from our guide for $100—matching the lowest we’ve seen. We liked the features and ruggedness of this speaker but we didn’t think it was as full sounding as our other picks. Despite this, it’s still a good alternative if you don’t want to spend a lot.
Ozeri Pronto Digital Multifunction Kitchen and Food Scale
Deal price: $7; street price: $15
Read our review of the best kitchen scale.
Available for $7 in silver on black when you clip the on-page coupon, this deal is the lowest we’ve seen our budget kitchen scale. Similar to our top pick in looks and feel, the Ozeri Pronto Digital Multifunction Kitchen and Food Scale was even slightly more accurate during testing, particularly with heavier weights. However, it was a little slower when it came to reading smaller weights and it automatically shuts off after only two minutes. Still, if you’re looking for an affordable and attractive scale for your kitchen, this discount is a great chance to save.
One of our upcoming number pad picks from our guide to the best Bluetooth and wireless keyboards is currently available for $25 when you clip the on-page coupon. If you’re looking for a separate number pad for your keyboard setup, check out the Satechi Bluetooth Extended Keypad.
Back down to $300 from $500, this is another nice chance to save on our upgrade pick for the best bookshelf speakers in all three available finishes. The KEF Q150 outperformed our top pick in all regards and our testers universally preferred them if money was no object. This deal is a significant discount and matches the second lowest price we’ve seen for a pair of these speakers.
Source: The NY Times
Keyword: 10 Black Friday Mega-Discounts of 50% off or More