I'll let you in on a little Cheapskate secret: Sometimes, like a mystery writer, I'll start with the end and work my back. Or, in my case, start with the bonus deals and then move onto the main deal. But sometimes the bonus deals pile up so high, it only makes sense to turn the whole post into one big multi-deal Monday, like today!
Without further I-can-never-remember-whether-it's-ado-or-adieu:
1. I'll see your 16GB and raise you 64GB
Let's see, a 16GB iPad Air for $499, or this: Amazon's Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 (64GB) for $299 shipped. (The regular price on this model: $479.) Pretty easy decision, right?
Granted, the Kindle's screen is a hair smaller, but overall this tablet is a serious powerhouse stocked with lots of Amazon-exclusive features -- including my all-time favorite, the option to download many Prime TV shows and movies for offline viewing.
Normally I'd say "put me down for two," but Mrs. Cheapskate will divorce and then kill me if I bring one more tablet into the house.
2. 50 inches of happiness
Good heavens, big TVs are getting cheap. For a limited time, Walmart has the Sceptre X505BV-FMQR 50-inch LED HDTV for $349 shipped (plus tax). It normally sells for $499.99.
One caveat: Pick it up in your local Walmart store if you can, as some buyers reported shipping-related damage (probably the result of a box that's not as solid as it should be).
Overall, though, reviews for this model are very positive, and it features three HDMI inputs and a 60Hz refresh rate (meaning no, the worst thing to happen to television since Kim Kardashian).
My local oldies station now plays music from the 80s. No! Oldies come from the 50s and 60s, thank you very much. If you agree, here's an amaze-balls music deal: "Best of Rock 'n' Roll & Jukebox Music: 100 Greatest Hits from the 50s & 60s" for $2.59.
Yep, that's one hundred DRM-free MP3 tracks for under three bucks. The CD features original songs and artists, too, from Ricky Nelson and Roy Orbison to Louis Prima. Shut up and take my money, Amazon!
4. Read me a story
This is a total rerun deal, and not even the best version of it I've seen, but I just love audiobooks so much I can't help it.
The typical Audible free trial lasts 30 days and gives you one free book. Head over to LivingSocial, however, and you can score a two-month Audible membership for free.
That's good for two free books, but as you might expect, it's for new customers only. After your two months, you'll be billed at the usual $14.95 rate unless you cancel. My two recommendations: "Unbroken" (the book is way better than the movie) and "The Good Earth."
5. Photo-editing freedom
Serious photographers need serious image-editing tools, but do you really have to pony up for Photoshop? Not today: DxO is offering its Optics Pro 8 (Win/Mac) image-editing program for free in exchange for your e-mail address.
This version is a couple years old, and clearly the company is vying to sell you its newer Optics Pro 10 -- a totally fair marketing strategy, if you ask me. The thing is, many users will be able to do what they need with version 8. I don't know a lot about the product, but here's one review if you want to know whether it's worth your time.