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Grocery is the #1 holiday purchase! Research shows where consumers are spending this holiday season

Grocery is the #1 holiday purchase! Research shows where consumers are spending this holiday season

With all the hype and Black Friday campouts at Best Buys and Toys R Us, you'd guess that the majority of holiday shopping budgets go to purchases like electronics, toys and clothing. But according to new research, the biggest share what comes out of your holiday wallet actually goes to ... groceries and restaurants.

New data from Card-Linked Marketing leader Cardlytics -- collected from millions of U.S. households over the past two years -- shows what consumers actually spend their money on during the holiday season.  When it comes to holiday shopping Americans are spending 24% of their budget on groceries followed by restaurants and apparel.  Toy purchases are actually at the bottom of the list.

The Top 10 Share of Wallet (see link/attached for graphics and pie charts for 2011 and 2012 holiday spending):

1. Groceries - 24%

Covington woman captures towering $500K lottery prize

Covington woman captures towering $500K lottery prize

ATLANTA – A half-million dollar Georgia Lottery prize has arrived for a Covington woman just in time for the holidays. Wanda Pitts, 49, played the instant game Right On The Money and won a $500,000 top prize.

Georgia Lottery representatives presented Pitts with an oversized check Wednesday at the QuikTrip at 11124 Highway 142 in Covington, the store where she purchased the lucky ticket.

“My niece and I were on our way home from shopping, and my niece said, ‘I feel very lucky. Let’s buy a lottery ticket,’” Pitts explained. “I stopped and purchased a ticket. When I saw the matching No. 14, I lost my mind.”

Pitts was overwhelmed with emotion when the store’s clerk confirmed the good news.

“I was crying. I was about to hyperventilate,” she said. “I was screaming and squealing, jumping up and down. I was excited.”

The lucky winner intends to financially help those in her family.

“I’m going to buy a new car and pay off my mortgage,” Pitts shared.

Black Friday Battle: Walmart to match best Black Friday deals in-store and online

Black Friday Battle: Walmart to match best Black Friday deals in-store and online

ATLANTA -- If you thought retailers were crazy to open on Thanksgiving, things just got a little juicer -- but better -- for consumers.

Walmart has decided to give customers matchups on Black Friday deals, starting this Friday!

At 8 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 22, Walmart will kick off a pre-Black Friday savings event in stores and online, lowering the prices on popular toys and electronics, to match select Black Friday offers from Target, Toys R' Us and Best Buy one week early.

6 ways to save On Halloween decorations

6 ways to save On Halloween decorations

ATLANTA -- Every year there are millions of dollars spent on Halloween, from costumes, snacks and candy to decorations.

Hopefully after reading this, you will be able to save a ton on Halloween decor for your yard and home.

Sad day for Atlanta couponers: The end of Kroger double coupons

Sad day for Atlanta couponers: The end of Kroger double coupons

ATLANTA -- The wave of couponers' cries heard in the Midwest and Texas has finally hit the Southeast!

For years, we have enjoyed the everyday doubling of coupons $0.50 and less. We got FREE items because of this great policy and it made handling an almost impossible budget easier for us couponers and savvy shoppers.

While I am not saying that this will hurt us (I will be posting some other things Kroger is doing), it does have me wondering -- in this competitive Atlanta market, where we use more coupons per capita then ANYWHERE in the US -- how will this fare? Will Publix jump on the bandwagon?

The end of double coupons becomes effective September 21, 2013. For this couponer, I will be having to double check my shopping list with this new rule. It's not fun, but a lot of new things are coming from Kroger, and I think this is why the program of double couponing is ending.

Winning lottery ticket worth $3M sold in Covington

Winning lottery ticket worth $3M sold in Covington

ATLANTA – A Georgia Lottery winning ticket worth $3 million was sold in Covington.

F S Food Mart, located at 10946 Highway 278 E in Covington, sold the winning top prize ticket from the instant game 100X The Money.

The winner, Dung Tran of Covington, claimed his prize Tuesday at Georgia Lottery headquarters in Atlanta.

Shop with a Hero returns for Christmas

Shop with a Hero returns for Christmas

COVINGTON, Ga. -- Newton County will host its annual Shop with a Hero program Thursday.

The holiday event pairs members of the Covington Police Department, Fire Department and Newton County 911 Center with disadvantaged children for a shopping spree at Walmart.

Each child receives $100 to spend as he or she pleases, according to Covington Police Capt. Ken Malcom. The money comes from a Walmart grant and the Covington Police Who Care campaign.

This year, 33 Newton County kids will benefit from Shop with a Hero. They will go shopping Thursday at 4 p.m.