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Black Friday Deals

We’ve all seen the ads from retailers claiming the best Black Friday deals. However, WalletHub has identified in its 2019 Black Friday Freshness Report that 18 percent of all deals are recycled this year. Among the retailers, Harbor Freight has the most recycled deals, totaling 60.2 percent of its current offers, whereas Costco has the least, at 2.4 percent.

Retailers with the Most Recycled Deals
1. Harbor Freight (60.2%)
2. Office Depot and OfficeMax (30.5%)
3. Ace Hardware (29.9%)
4. Sears (29.3%)
5. JCPenney (28.2%)

 

Retailers with the Least Recycled Deals
18. Best Buy (8.9%)
19. Lenovo (6.7%)
20. Dell Home (6.0%)
21. Fred Meyer (5.5%)
22. Costco (2.4%)

To view WalletHub’s full Black Friday Freshness report, please visit: https://wallethub.com/edu/black-friday-deals-better-or-worse/16899/

For a complete list of Black Friday deals updated daily, please visit: https://wallethub.com/edu/black-friday-ads/16713/

Lakeshore News, News Around the World

AAA Weekly Fuel Gage

On the week, gas prices are mostly cheaper across the country. A small number of states saw pump prices decrease more than a dime, though the majority saw fluctuation of a few pennies. Today’s national average of $2.59 is two cents cheaper than last week.

An increase in gasoline stocks amid robust demand helped to push gas prices cheaper on the week, AAA expects this trend to continue throughout most of the month, but the exception is Thanksgiving. With nearly 49.3 million Americans expected to travel by car for the holiday, gas prices may start to fluctuate by the end of this week.”

Today’s national average is six cents less than last month and three cents cheaper than this time last year.

Pump price volatility continues across the Great Lakes and Central States. However, most states in the region saw gas prices decrease by one to three cents and while Illinois ($2.65) carries the highest pump price average in the region, most state averages range from $2.35 – $2.55.

  Monday Sunday Week Ago Month Ago One Year Ago
National $2.597 $2.600 $2.618 $2.656 $2.625
Wisconsin $2.378 $2.382 $2.385 $2.498 $2.518
Appleton $2.299 $2.304 $2.304 $2.403 $2.457
Eau Claire $2.517 $2.519 $2.502 $2.622 $2.556
Green Bay $2.310 $2.311 $2.335 $2.458 $2.501
Janesville-Beloit $2.303 $2.303 $2.298 $2.409 $2.519
La Crosse $2.458 $2.459 $2.465 $2.483 $2.509
Madison $2.333 $2.334 $2.327 $2.437 $2.501
Milwaukee $2.286 $2.291 $2.284 $2.435 $2.417
Wausau $2.425 $2.426 $2.439 $2.580 $2.517

Click here to view current gasoline price averages

Lakeshore News, News Around the World

Most Sinful Cities

The holidays are here. And one thing they’re known for is encouraging indulgence, such as overeating and overspending, which can lead to unfortunate economic consequences. Americans are the fattest people in the world and every year sustain $150 – $210 billion in losses as a result. Plus, Americans began 2019 with over $1 trillion in credit card debt.

In light of this dark pattern perpetuated every holiday season, the personal-finance website WalletHub today released its report on the 2019’s Most Sinful Cities in America as well as accompanying videos. To determine the most wicked places in America, WalletHub compared more than 180 U.S. cities based on seven sinful behaviors: anger and hatred, jealousy, excesses and vices, greed, lust, vanity and laziness.

Here are some highlights from the report:

Most Sinful Cities Least Sinful Cities
1. Las Vegas, NV 173. Newport News, VA
2. Los Angeles, CA 174. Madison, WI
3. St. Louis, MO 175. Bridgeport, CT
4. Houston, TX 176. Columbia, MD
5. Atlanta, GA 177. Burlington, VT
6. Philadelphia, PA 178. Port St. Lucie, FL
7. Chicago, IL 179. Virginia Beach, VA
8. New York, NY 180. Chesapeake, VA
9. Miami, FL 181. South Burlington, VT
10. Denver, CO 182. Pearl City, HI

Most vs. Least Sinful

  • Irvine, California, has the lowest violent crime rate, 0.56, which is 35.9 times lower than in Detroit, the city with the highest at 20.08.
  • Port St. Lucie, Florida, has the fewest thefts (per 1,000 residents), 9.74, which is 7.4 times fewer than in Spokane, Washington, the city with the most at 72.11.
  • Fremont, California, has the lowest share of obese adults, 15.30 percent, which is 3.1 times lower than in Detroit, the city with the highest at 47.40 percent.
  • San Jose, California, has the lowest share of adult smokers, 8.20 percent, which is three times lower than in St. Louis, the city with the highest at 24.69 percent.
  • West Valley City, Utah, has the fewest beauty salons & spas (per square root of population), 0.184699, which is 36.9 times fewer than in New York, the city with the highest at 6.812589.

To view the full report and your city’s rank, please visit:
https://wallethub.com/edu/most-sinful-cities-in-america/29846/

Lakeshore News, News Around the World

Best Sports Cities

With the College Football Playoff selection committee to release its final Top 25 ranking on Dec. 8 and the North American sports industry worth over $69 billion and growing, the personal-finance website WalletHub today released its report on 2019’s Best Sports Cities as well as accompanying videos.

To determine the cities where the game is always on regardless of season, WalletHub compared 418 small to large cities across the five largest sports in the U.S.: football, basketball, baseball, hockey and soccer.

Best Large Sports Cities
1. Boston, MA
2. New York, NY
3. Los Angeles, CA
4. Pittsburgh, PA
5. Philadelphia, PA
6. Chicago, IL
7. Washington, DC
8. Dallas, TX
9. Oakland, CA
10. Denver, CO

 

Best Midsize Sports Cities
1. Cincinnati, OH
2. Buffalo, NY
3. Green Bay, WI
4. Salt Lake City, UT
5. Orlando, FL
6. Glendale, AZ
7. Ann Arbor, MI
8. Durham, NC
9. South Bend, IN
10. Baton Rouge, LA

 

Best Small Sports Cities
1. Clemson, SC
2. West Point, NY
3. State College, PA
4. Chapel Hill, NC
5. Tuscaloosa, AL
6. Hanover, NH
7. Morgantown, WV
8. East Lansing, MI
9. Princeton, NJ
10. Buies Creek, NC

Best vs. Worst

  • Cookeville, Tennessee, has the lowest minimum season-ticket price for a college football (FBS and FCS) game, $36.00, which is 31.9 times lower than in South Bend, Indiana, the city with the highest at $1,150.00.
  • New Orleans has the lowest average ticket price for an NBA game, $30.20, which is 3.2 times lower than in New York, the city with the highest at $97.77.
  • NHL fans in Pittsburgh are 28.9 times friendlier and more engaged than their New York counterparts.
  • Dallas has the highest NFL team popularity-index, whereas Nashville has the lowest.
  • Phoenix has the lowest average MLB ticket price, $20.86, which is 2.8 times lower than in Boston, the city with the highest at $59.32.
  • Atlanta has the highest attendance rate for MLS games, 124.71 percent, which is 2.7 times higher than in Minneapolis, the city with the lowest at 47.05 percent.

To view the full report and your city’s rank, please visit:
https://wallethub.com/edu/best-sports-cities/15179/

Lakeshore News, News Around the World

AAA: More Than 55 Million Travelers Taking to the Roads and Skies this Thanksgiving

The most since 2005; INRIX predicts record delays on Wednesday

More than 55 million travelers are making plans to kick off the holiday season with a trip of 50 miles or more away from home this Thanksgiving. This will be the second-highest Thanksgiving travel volume since AAA began tracking in 2000, trailing only the record set in 2005. Overall, an additional 1.6 million more people will travel compared with last year, a 2.9% increase. The vast majority of holiday travelers will drive to their destinations and, INRIX, a global transportation analytics company, expects Wednesday afternoon to be the worst travel period nationally, with trips taking as much at four times longer than normal in major metros.

In Wisconsin, more than 1.1million people will be traveling for the holiday weekend, which is a 2.9 percent increase from 2018. Of those travelers, more than 1 million will be driving (up 2.7 percent from 2018) and 97,000 will be flying to their destination (a 5.4 percent increase from 2018). Gas prices across Wisconsin are on average $2.38, down from 2.47 last month and down from $2.58 a year ago. The average price nationally for gas is $2.61.

“Millions of thankful Americans are starting the holiday season off right with a Thanksgiving getaway,” said Nick Jarmusz, director of public affairs for AAA. “Strong economic fundamentals are motivating Americans to venture out this holiday in near-record numbers. Consumer spending remains strong, thanks to increasing wages, disposable income and household wealth, and travel remains one of their top priorities for the holiday season.”

By the numbers: 2019 Thanksgiving travel forecast

  • Automobiles: 49.3 million travelers will hit the road this Thanksgiving, the most since 2005 and 2.8% more than last year.
  • Planes: With 4.6% growth, air travel will see the biggest increase in travel volume during the Thanksgiving holiday, with 4.45 million Americans expected to fly.
  • Trains, Buses and Cruise Ships: Travel by other modes will reach 1.49 million, a slight increase of 1.4% from 2018.

Nothing worse than Wednesday: Times NOT to be on the road

For the 49.3 million Americans traveling by automobile, INRIX, in collaboration with AAA, predicts major delays throughout the week, peaking Wednesday with trips taking as much four times longer as commuters mix with travelers.

“With record levels of travelers, and persistent population growth in the country’s major metropolitan areas, drivers must prepare for major delays,” continued Jarmusz. “Although travel times will peak on Wednesday afternoon nationally, travelers should expect much heavier than normal congestion throughout the week.”

Metro Area Worst Time Wednesday, Nov. 27 Delay Multiplier
Atlanta 5:30-7:30 PM 3.5x
Los Angeles 5:00-7:00 PM 3.5x
New York 5:15-7:15 PM 3.5x
Boston 4:30-6:30 PM 3.4x
Houston 5:00-7:00 PM 3.4x
San Francisco 2:00-4:00 PM 3.2x
Washington DC 3:00-5:00 PM 2.8x
Seattle 4:00-6:00 PM 2.7x
Detroit 5:15-7:15 PM 2.6x
Chicago 4:15-6:15 PM 2.4x

Source: INRIX

 

Lower gas prices fuel road trips; AAA to rescue more than 368,000

Gas prices have been fluctuating as of late, but are currently trending a dime cheaper than the national average at this time last year, giving Americans a little extra money to spend on travel and motivating millions to take road trips. For the majority of Americans, AAA expects gas prices to be fairly similar to last year’s Thanksgiving holiday, which averaged $2.57.

Meanwhile, more than 368,000 motorists will call AAA for assistance at the roadside this Thanksgiving holiday. Dead batteries, flat tires and lockouts will be the leading reasons AAA members will experience car trouble. AAA recommends motorists take their vehicles to a trusted repair facility to perform any needed maintenance before heading out on a road trip. And remember to slow down and move over for stopped emergency vehicles at the roadside.

Travel tip for the friendly skies: Fly Monday before Thanksgiving

A recent analysis of AAA’s flight booking data from the last three years revealed that flying the Monday before the Thanksgiving travel rush is the best option for travelers. It has the lowest average ticket price ($486) prior to the holiday and is a lighter travel day than later in the week. Travelers can also save by traveling on Thanksgiving Day, which has the week’s lowest average price per ticket ($454).

Car rental costs peak, hotel prices mixed

Holiday road trippers should budget more for a rental car this year, which have reached their highest prices on record for the Thanksgiving holiday (since 1999), at $75 per day. Travelers will also pay a bit more at AAA Two Diamond hotels, where prices are 1% more than last year, or $125 per night. Conversely, the average rate for AAA Three Diamond hotels has fallen 5% to an average nightly cost of $158.

Warm weather beckons this Thanksgiving

The theme parks of Orlando and southern California, and other warm-weather destinations will see an influx of travelers looking to escape the start of winter. Florida is home to four of the top 10 destinations, and Hawaii twice graces the list of top destinations in the U.S. this Thanksgiving, based on advance AAA Travel bookings:

  1. Orlando, Florida
  2. Anaheim, California
  3. New York, New York
  4. Las Vegas, Nevada
  5. Honolulu, Hawaii
  6. Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
  7. Tampa, Florida
  8. Kahului, Maui, Hawaii
  9. Phoenix, Arizona
  10. Miami, Florida

For those travelers planning an international vacation for Thanksgiving, sandy beaches are their destinations of choice. Nassau, Bahamas; Cancun, Mexico; Punta Cana, Dominican Republic; and Montego Bay, Jamaica are AAA’s top international destinations this Thanksgiving, with Munich, Germany rounding out the top five.

AAA’s travel experts remind travelers that it’s not too late to begin planning a Thanksgiving getaway. Visit AAA.com/Travel for travel planning resources to book your trip today.

Methodology:

AAA’s projections are based on economic forecasting and research by IHS Markit, a London-based business information provider. For the purposes of this forecast, the Thanksgiving holiday travel period is defined as the five-day period from Wednesday, Nov. 26 to Sunday, Dec. 1.

In cooperation with AAA, IHS Markit developed a unique methodology to forecast actual domestic travel volumes, using macroeconomic drivers such as employment; output; household net worth; asset prices including stock indices; interest rates; housing market indicators and variables related to travel and tourism, including prices of gasoline, airline travel and hotel stays.

AAA Reminder: REAL ID

As consumers make travel plans for 2020, AAA is reminding them about another consideration: as of Oct. 1, 2020, they will likely need to present a different form of identification to board a domestic flight. Beginning in October 2020, the accepted forms of identification for boarding domestic flights or for entering most federal facilities will be a current passport, passport card, military ID, or REAL ID-compliant state driver’s license.

For more information about REAL ID visit the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. For more information about passports, visit the U.S. State Department website.

Lakeshore News, News Around the World

Best & Worst Cities for Singles

With about 45 percent of all U.S. adults being single and the average date costing over $100, the personal-finance website WalletHub today released its report on 2019’s Best & Worst Cities for Singles as well as accompanying videos.

Some singles are closer to a happily ever after than they think, but it depends on where they live. To determine where singles have the highest chance of finding love, WalletHub compared more than 180 U.S. cities across 35 key indicators of dating-friendliness. The data set ranges from share of single population to number of online dating opportunities to nightlife options per capita.

Best Cities for Singles   Worst Cities for Singles
1. Atlanta, GA   173. Hialeah, FL
2. Denver, CO   174. Shreveport, LA
3. San Francisco, CA   175. Winston-Salem, NC
4. San Diego, CA   176. Yonkers, NY
5. Portland, OR   177. Columbia, MD
6. Chicago, IL   178. South Burlington, VT
7. Los Angeles, CA   179. Brownsville, TX
8. Madison, WI   180. Glendale, CA
9. Seattle, WA   181. Pembroke Pines, FL
10. Portland, ME   182. Pearl City, HI

Best vs. Worst

  • Detroit has the highest share of single persons, 73.85 percent, which is two times higher than in Fremont, California, the city with the lowest at 37.46 percent.
  • El Paso, Texas, and Las Cruces, New Mexico, have the lowest average restaurant-meal cost, $25.00, which is four times lower than in Pearl City, Hawaii, the city with the highest at $100.00.
  • Indianapolis has the lowest average price for a bottle of wine, $3.79, which is four times lower than in Salt Lake City and West Valley City, Utah, the cities with the highest at $15.28.
  • Port St. Lucie, Florida, has the lowest average price for a movie ticket, $6.63, which is 2.3 times lower than in Los Angeles, the city with the highest at $15.57.

To view the full report and your city’s rank, please visit:
https://wallethub.com/edu/best-worst-cities-for-singles/9015/