Friday, November 16, 2012

Smart Suzy: Black Friday roundup, a BLUE Black Friday, safe food prep, giving, deal

Suzy likes the idea of turning Black Friday BLUE, so can’t wait to hear what KyForward has in store. Sounds exciting. Stay tuned to hear about the exciting giveaway – can only guess and hope and try to snoop around – coming next Friday. Suzy loves surprises, especially good ones!

Suzy has some Black/Blue Friday news for you today, some ways you can play Santa inexpensively, advice on safe preparation of your Thanksgiving meal, and a heads-up on a super deal.

Black Friday

Thanks to Owen Sutton at Maximus Technology for this hour-by-hour roundup of Black Friday sales, starting, of course on Thanksgiving Day. Don’t all Fridays start the day before??

Go to his website for links to all the individual stores and their bargains.


Thanksgiving Day

6 a.m.
Kmart – Thanksgiving Day Sale
Meijer – Thanksgiving Day Sale

7 a.m.
Dollar General

8 p.m.
Walmart – Event 1
Sears – Thursday Doorbusters
Kmart – Thursday Doorbusters
Toys R Us

9 p.m.

10 p.m.
Walmart – Event 2
H.H. Gregg

Black Friday

12 a.m.
Best Buy
Sears – Friday Doorbusters

5 a.m.
Walmart – Event 3
Home Depot
Kmart – Friday Doorbusters
Office Depot

6 a.m.
Bed Bath & Beyond
JC Penny
JoAnn Fabrics
Sportsman’s Warehouse

7 a.m.
Big Lots
Half Price Books
Harbor Freight
Sam’s Club
Stein Mart

Play Santa with in-kind contributions


The Hope Center serves more than 400 homeless and at-risk people each day. There are many needs to be met and many items needed. If you have any questions about donating in-kind items, please contact Heather Mitchell at 859-225-4673. All donations can be dropped off at the Emergency Shelter at 360 W. Loudon Avenue.

Immediate needs are for disposable razors, towels and socks. Simple enough, right? Give while counting your blessings.

Other needs are just as “ordinary” — clothing items for men and women, flip flops, notebook paper, shaving cream, small soaps, toothbrushes, toothpaste, combs, deodorant, shower shoes, unused panties and bras, sheets, lotion, calamine lotion, shampoo, Motrin, Pepto Bismol, Tylenol, Milk of Magnesia, Robitussin PM (alcohol free), ChlorTabs, Aleve, t-shirts, underwear (new), feminine hygiene products, stamps, greeting cards and office supplies.

Plan to collect these items as a part of your regular day and drop them off periodically. A great way to giveback easily and regularly.

The Nursing Home Ombudsman Agency of the Bluegrass (NHOA) is once accepting holiday gifts to fulfill gift wishes of residents living in nursing homes. Now in its fourth year, the Silver Bells Holiday Gift Drive brings a little extra cheer for residents who will otherwise receive no gifts during the holidays.

To learn more about specific resident wishes and to purchase a gift, call NHOA’s office at 859-277-9215. Gifts should be returned to NHOA’s office, located in the Lexington Senior Citizens Center at 1530 Nicholasville Road, no later than Friday, Dec. 14 at 4:30 p.m. The gifts should be wrapped or placed in a gift bag with the resident’s name attached.

NHOA is a non-profit agency that provides a trained, certified ombudsman for all long-term care residents in the Bluegrass area. They serve as advocates for each resident and identify, investigate, and work to resolve complaints made by or on behalf of all residents. To learn more about NHOA’s services, call 859-277-9215 or visit

Getting that holiday meal ready — safely

As many prepare to share holiday meals with family and friends, the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department recommends some safe food-handling tips. Foods that have been sitting out for too long can be sources of bacteria that can potentially cause foodborne illness, which affects an average of 76 million people each year. Be wary of any foods — hot or cold — that have been left out for more than two hours. This so-called “danger zone” when food is between 40 degrees Fahrenheit and 140 degrees allows bacteria to multiply. Any perishable foods should be discarded after remaining for two hours at room temperature.

The following food safety tips will allow you to prepare, serve and enjoy a safe holiday meal:

Wash hands – Wash hands for 20 seconds with soap and water following restroom use, before preparing foods, after handling raw meat and before eating.

Clean – Wash and sanitize food-contact surfaces often. To sanitize utensils, immerse for 30 seconds in clean, hot water at 170 degrees Fahrenheit, or immerse for at least one minute in a solution containing one teaspoon of 5.25 percent household bleach per gallon of water. Bacteria can spread and get onto cutting boards, knives and counter tops. Wash fruits and vegetables before preparing.

Thaw properly – Proper methods for thawing a turkey include thawing in a refrigerator with a temperature of 41 degrees Fahrenheit or less (allow 3-4 days for thawing); placing under cool running water at a temperature of 75 degrees Fahrenheit or less; or thawing in microwave  and cooking the turkey immediately.

Take temperatures – Cook turkey at 325 degrees Fahrenheit until the internal temperature reaches at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Cooked, hot foods should be kept at 140 degrees Fahrenheit or warmer. Be sure to use a food thermometer to check temperatures.

Keep it cold – Cold foods should be kept at 41 degrees Fahrenheit or less. After the turkey is served, immediately slice and refrigerate on shallow platters. Use refrigerated turkey and stuffing within three to four days. Use gravy within one to two days. If freezing leftovers, use within two to six months for best quality.

Transport safely – Keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold. 

Reheat – Leftover turkey and stuffing should be stored separately in shallow dishes or platters.  Rapidly reheat leftovers to a minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

When in doubt, throw it out – If you are unsure of how long a particular food item has been left out at room temperature, the best thing to do is discard the item.

Best deal for Black Friday

Suzy’s new Friend, Owen Sutton at Maximus Technology, (see Owen Sutton on Facebook or here) has spotted the best deal on laptops to help you get ready for Black Friday. He says:

Best Balanced Laptop. (regularly $599). If it is the absolute cheapest laptop available you’re looking for, then this isn’t it. However, if you are looking for a laptop with great specs for the average home user, you found it. A 2nd generation Intel Core i3 processor with a 500GB HDD and 4GB of memory is an incredible value at $299. Plus it’s from a reliable brand. This PC boast a 14″ display; my favorite for balancing portability and usability. On the downside, it does not come preloaded with Windows 8. (an easy fix with a $39 download from Microsoft) The best part… no waiting in line, just order from You will need to set your alarm clock… sale starts at midnight EST on Black Friday.


Have a good regular ol’ Friday, Suzy Friends. Going to be a nice weekend – and next week is short and sweet: Thanksgiving, family time, great good, traditions and, of course, the real kick-off to holiday shopping. Hope you are planning your great deals, that retailers have a really black Friday and that everybody joins in KyForward’s effort to turn it BLUE as well.