Yeah, I just went there.
Sure, Black Friday a horrific example of overindulgence and consumerism, but it goes perfectly with a holiday where we gorge ourselves on far too much food.
Growing up, Turkey Day was often spent with dozens of other American expats who all brought their favorite dishes for a food-coma-inducing potluck. When I came back to America, I’d never heard of Black Friday. After a brief explanation from a friend: “Yeah, you just wake up really early and go shopping because shit’s like on sale…” I decided it seemed like such a quaint American experience.
The first Black Friday shopping in 2008 yielded the purchase of an iPod (I probably only saved $20 because Apple sales are pretty terrible). It was a Christmas present from my parents, but I was able to get the discount so I went ahead and bought it for them for me. I still use that same 120 GB iPod today.
In subsequent years, Black Friday has been about bonding with friends and family. There is never pressure to get in line early or be the first person through the door.
Instead, we go more for the fun of watching the craze and picking up a few items. There are always lists and budgets involved. Our purchases are often Christmas presents for each other — which means we try to employe ninja like tactics to keep each other from seeing what we’re buying. And when someone starts to get cranky and the simple fix of a donut to kick up blood sugar doesn’t help, we head home.
Oddly enough, my Mom and I don’t like shopping. We only go when we need to and don’t tend to buy much throughout the year, which makes our participation in Black Friday even stranger. It’s almost as if we save up all our energy the rest of the year just for one giant burst of shopping spree power!
This year, I have my eye on a 6-quart Crock-Pot at Walmart for my Mom. It’s on her Christmas list and being sold at $9.44 which is about $30* cheaper than I’d get it on Amazon like I planned. Will I rush the doors of Walmart, throwing elbows and hurling trash talk in order to save myself $30? No. Will I have fun waking up at 4 am to go out shopping with my family and happen to pick up the Crock-Pot? Yes!
If you already planned to buy new clothing, or kitchen appliances or Christmas presents then Black Friday can actually be an opportunity to save money. If you’re just shopping for the sake of shopping — then you already know the answer.
I understand the hatred towards Black Friday spilling over into Thursday and interfering with Thanksgiving. I also agree that stores should have to wait until midnight to open their doors and allow their employees to enjoy the day with friends and family. But, I will still be waking up at the crack of dawn, heading out with my loved ones to score some deals and probably finish my Christmas shopping, because Black Friday doesn’t have to be about the madness and the consumerism. It can just be a fun experience
It also helps when you prepare like this….
*When I previously wrote this I believed it would only say $10 — but turns it out was a 6 quart Crock-Pot and saved me $30!
BROKE MILLENNIAL WEEKLY WRAP-UP:
- Reuters – Generational Smackdown! Who is best at retirement savings? (featured)
- DailyFinance – Millennials: It’s Not Too Late to Plan for an Early Retirement (posted)
LINK LOVE: THE ANTI-BLACK FRIDAY POSTS EDITION (Basically all other Personal Finance bloggers)
- Why I’m Done With Black Friday – Red Debted Stepchild on L Bee and the Money Tree
- Stop the Black Friday madness! – Cash Rebel
- Is Black Friday Really Dead? – Frugal Rules
- Shopping Deals for the Rest of the Year – Budget and the Beach
- How I Feel About Black Friday [in Gifs] – Budgets are $exy (not totally hating, but highly amusing)
17 responses to “Frugal Find: Black Friday”
Haha, no worries, it was totally bonding for my mom and grandma and I back in the day. We weren’t crazy shoppers either chilling at Best Buy on Thanksgiving. We had lists but we were pretty casual about the whole thing. My favorite was actually the $4 DVDs at Target 🙂
Now, I just don’t want to mess with it. I’m treating my family out to dinner instead of buying gifts. They all have enough stuff and I’d rather bond over a nice meal!
Hope you had a great Thanksgiving/Black Friday, friend 🙂
It was fun! The cheap DVDs used to be my favorite too, but Netflix kind of killed the need for those.
It’s funny how black friday had completely polar opposite reactions in the PF community. Either you really loved it or hated it. 🙂 That’s a great deal on the crockpot! I’m still using the one a friend gave to me but it’s the kind you can’t pull out the middle to clean it. Weird! Thanks for the link love!
That’s part of the reason my Mom wanted a new one. The lid cracked in her old one (it was 25 years old) and you couldn’t remove the middle to clean. Must be a lot tougher to clean those out.
Getting up at 4am is never fun for me. I’m also not a huge fan of shopping. I’ve been thoroughly enjoying my morning in bed 🙂
You can always just stay up all night too! Another great way to prepare for battle. Glad you had a good sleep in.
Smooches all around! Y’all be safe out there – it’s a wild and crazy world… gotta keep those greenbacks safe! 😉
Kept those greenbacks safe AND saved a few. #Winning!
Erin, when I saw the title of this post I was ready to have a comeback, but you definitely weren’t one of those awful people shopping on Thanksgiving. 4am is an acceptable time, it was actually quite quiet in my store. Thank you for recognizing that people shouldnt’t’ve shopped on Thanksgiving.
Here was my POV as to why people shouldn’t shop on Thanksgiving.
It’s tough too that company’s – like Walmart – had time cut offs on specials which encouraged people to shop on Thanksgiving. If the item you wanted only was on sale from 7-8 then that’s when you would be going to the store. I wish there could just be an agreed starting time of midnight or 4 am or something so it would reduce the number of folks having their Thanksgivings interrupted.
I went out for Black Friday last year and saved over $100 on things I was planning on buying anyway. This year I only shopped at Kohl’s…via the internet. They had all the same deals and sales online! For $164 I got boots for my wife, three dress shirts (the brand/fit I like), a nice sweater, and a winter coat. This came with free shipping and $45 in Kohl’s cash. I think I did pretty well for myself!
Sounds like a good deal! I saw Khol’s had some great sales, but ended up shopping at Macy’s and The Limited. Saved about $40 on a pair of boots I needed and $25 on some Levi’s. Solid day for me too!
Score on the crockpot! I bought my own crockpot on Black Friday about five years ago, and it’s the most frequently-used appliance in my kitchen! Glad you survived the crowds!
I love my Crockpot too! Probably my second most used appliance next to my electric kettle. I lucked out with crowds too. We were in the outer parts of Charlotte, so our shops weren’t as packed as the downtown areas would’ve been.
Great job on the crock pot deal! I went out on Thanksgiving night for a while and it was madness. Never again! Glad you survived =)
I love me a good crockpot (I have two) so I’m all about saving on kitchen appliances (particularly those that make my life so much easier). I didn’t do much “Black Friday” shopping this year. I think I spent $3 (after coupons) at Rite Aid. I did do a little Cyber Monday shopping, but stuck to my budget and crossed a lot of things off my Christmas list.
Agreed! The BF and I have made it a tradition to go – not without lists and budgets, of course! 🙂