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Black Friday deals 2019: I'm the Cheapskate and here's what I'm buying

New additions! These are the items I'm actually willing to spend money on.

Black Friday 2019 thumb green
Robert Rodriguez/CNET
This story is part of Holiday Gift Guide 2019, your source for the season's best gifts and deals, hand-picked by the experts at CNET.

Oh, Black Friday, you silly misnamed consumerism-run-amok thing, you. As CNET's resident Cheapskate, I've been surfing the Black Friday wave since it began a month ago, and I'll reluctantly admit it: There are some damn good deals. I've been cataloging the latest and greatest in this list of the best Black Friday deals right now, but if I can get personal for a moment... What would I actually buy myself this year? Or buy for others?

I'll start with my wish-list. These two items have stubbornly refused to go on sale anywhere: 

  • The Oculus Quest VR headset, which is utterly fantastic but has yet to budge from its $399 list price. Lenovo will cut the Oculus Rift S to $349 on Black Friday, a $50 savings, but that model requires PC connectivity. The Quest is the one you want, so I'm hoping someone steps up with a discount.
  • The DJI Mavic Mini, a brand new drone that's arguably the perfect consumer model. Coincidentally, it's also $399 -- and also MIA from Black Friday and Cyber Monday ads. (Even deals on the darn good DJI Spark are hard to come by right now.) Dang! I want the Mavic Mini, and I don't want to pay $399. (Unfortunately, I have it on good authority that DJI won't allow any store to sell it below retail, so for now, $399 it is. Wellbots, for its part, doesn't charge sales tax except in NY, so that's arguably one of the best deals.)

OK, let's move on to the Black Friday deals that are available, the ones that get the Cheapskate Deal of Approval. (See what I did there? Deal of approval? I'll show myself out.) Note that I've removed a couple items that are sold out or expired.

Ted Soqui/Corbis via Getty Images

Okay, I can't really spend my money on this, because I'm already paying full price like a sucker. But if haven't yet subscribed, this is truly fantastic deal on the streaming service. Yes, there are ads, and yes, the price goes up after the first year. (Hopefully it'll stay at the current, very reasonable, $5.99 rate.) Still for Hulu newbies? Too good to pass up. See complete details.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Already a great deal at $33, now it's a steal. The XSound Go delivers extremely decent sound for its size, plus it's waterproof.

Available now, but only through today! Read our Tribit XSound Go review.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Looking to update an older Roku device? Get the super-luxe ultra-premium model for the lowest price ever. The Ultra supports 4K and HDR, of course, but also includes Ethernet and USB ports, a microSD slot and a lost-remote finder. And speaking of that remote, you can plug in wired headphones (JBL earbuds included!) for easy private listening.

Available now, but not in stock until Dec. 7. Read our Roku Ultra review.

Walmart

Sorry, Bond and Bourne: Pound for pound, there's no action-movie series that delivers the goods like Mission: Impossible. This set includes all six titles in both Blu-ray and digital formats. It normally sells for anywhere from $48-$60.

The bundle is also available at Amazon for the same price. I suggest you... wait for it... choose to accept it. (I'll show myself out.)

Available now.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Sorry, gotta do it: The Force is strong with this one. Propel's drones originally sold for $180. They're incredibly fun to fly, and if you're able to find the TIE Fighter and/or Speeder Bike elsewhere, you can engage in actual aerial dogfights. These are getting increasingly hard to find; don't miss this for just $35.

Available now.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Quite possibly my favorite true-wireless earbud deal of 2019, the EarFun Free sounds almost too good to be true. (It also sounds very good in your ears, which is of course the most important thing.) Consider: noise-isolating ear tips, IPX7 waterproof design, USB-C and Qi wireless charging. Hey, aren't you supposed to pay, like, $200 for earbuds with those features? Guess not.

Use code CNETCSK3 at checkout.

Available now. Read our EarFun Free hands-on.

Phone Loops

My single favorite phone accessory in the history of phone accessories, the Phone Loop has evolved with tons of cool new patterns and colors, eco-friendly packaging and a new elastic option if you prefer something a little stretchy.

Whatever you choose, they fit any phone case and help you keep a secure, comfy grip. Plus, they add no bulk or weight, and they don't interfere with wireless charging.

They're normally $5.99 apiece, and you need to buy three to bag free shipping. Do that, then apply promo code cheapskate to save 33%. (Basically it's buy two, get one free.) Get one for yourself and two for stocking-stuffers. 

Available now.

Apple

Wow, wow, wow. Back in September I warned against buying the newly discounted Apple Watch Series 3 because I fully expected Black Friday deals. But I expected, oh, $169 -- which, incidentally, is the upcoming price from Target. Maybe $159 somewhere.

But $129? If you're an iPhone owner, do not. Miss. This. Deal. The Series 3 is an excellent smartwatch, one that originally sold for $329. I doff my hat to you, Walmart; you beat everybody on this one.

Walmart's Black Friday sale begins online at 10 p.m. ET on Wednesday, Nov. 27. Check out all of Walmart's other Black Friday deals. Read our Apple Watch Series 3 review.

Walmart

Wondering what's Onn? It's a new-to-Walmart brand, kind of like Insignia at Best Buy. And it's jumping out of the gate with a ridiculously good deal on a 50-inch 4K screen with built-in Roku. There's also a 40-inch model for just $98. Just one thing to keep in mind: Nearly all the initial ratings are from Walmart Spark reviewers, who received the TV for free in exchange for their feedback. Not saying you can't trust those reviews, merely that there may be some bias.

Check out all of Walmart's other Black Friday deals.

Ninja

Kitchen-counter real estate is precious; you have to use it wisely. That's why my new-favorite appliance is the Foodi Oven, which can not only air-fry, but also toast, roast, broil, bake and even dehydrate. And although it has a fairly wide footprint, it's designed to flip up and out of the way when not in use (see photo).

I've been testing the hell out of this for the past week or so, and I'm not kidding when I say it's the new favorite. 

Available now.

Now playing: Watch this: How to win Black Friday and Cyber Monday in 2019
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CNET's Cheapskate scours the web for great deals on tech products and much more. For the latest deals and updates, follow the Cheapskate on Facebook and Twitter. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page, and find more great buys on the CNET Deals page.