Friday, November 27, 2009

Black Friday....Madness?

I've probably always done some shopping on "Black Friday" when I was younger, as I was always the one who loved to shop, but I never did the crazy...get up in the middle of the I've never been a morning person and generally if I am up at 3-5 am it is because I have yet to go to bed from the night before.

One year (2004) my sister and my mom were at our house for Thanksgiving and my sister and I had perused the newspaper ads, found some good deals and thought we'd get up SUPER early to run out and get our treasures and come back home and go back to bed (she too is a night owl and together we can stay up late, catching up, whatnot). We fell asleep on the living room floor, talking, went out did our shopping and that was the year I started to get hooked on it. It was fun getting up early (not that I'd want to do it all the time, but once a year or so is fun) getting a special coffee drink, standing in the cold with all the other die hards and being with someone else made it something fun to do.

The next year (2005) it was a Thanksgiving of just my husband and I and I was (surprisingly) able to talk my husband into going with me on this crazy shopping trip. He is a morning person so getting up early didn't bother him too much, getting a special coffee...he loved...then he saw the MADNESS (long lines you wait in, the pushy people grabbing the last one of what you were just going to get) inside a couple of the stores and couldn't believe it. He kept saying this is insane, however, I still enjoyed myself.

The following year (2006) I was sure my husband wouldn't join me in my endeavor again but I was able to introduce my oldest stepdaughter to this wonderful day after Thanksgiving tradition. She had worked in retail the several years before and has always been able to see it from the working side of things but this was her first try as being the customer. I made it kinda fun and made up a couple of little blank notebooks for us to make our lists in and jot down ideas of what to get those we needed to buy for and be able to check off what we got. We ventured out early, got our special coffee (which she is an addict to anyways) and stood in line. We giggled and shivered and had a blast...she was HOOKED! We went to so many different stores and shopped til early afternoon.

In 2007 we were in a teeny tiny but wonderful mountain town with my Dad & stepmom Terry and there were no stores that held any sort of Black Friday shopping deals...which was fine by me (hey, I can skip a year and it doesn't bother me at all) we helped decorate for Christmas instead and my stepdaughter in her own town did the Black Friday shopping but we still remained in contact as to what good deals she found, etc...

In 2008 we were in Lewiston with my stepdaughter and her family for Thanksgiving so I went with her and her of which was up and in line at Walmart at 1:30 am...with a nice little heater, saving us a place in line. It was pure madness....everyone rushing to what they wanted (oh, by the way, I am a people watcher too so just watching these pushy people was fun as well). We shopped until later in the morning and went to breakfast and went home for a nap.

This year was another year of my husband and I being at home by ourselves but he piped up and mentioned he would go with me if I wanted to go shopping this year...of course I now there is a feel good feeling that I get when I go out on this crazy shopping day, that is invigorating and fun. So yesterday I perused all the ads (and I'm going to admit this totally OCD way I did it, but I put all the ads in order by if we were leaving our house and making a huge circle and the order of what stores we would come to...I wanted to make it easier when I did my list).

Since this year has been a difficult one for us financially we weren't getting too much but I want to highlight on the few wonderful deals we did get. Cabela's (opening at 6 am...not too terribly early) had these Roughneck jeans (regularly $24.95) on sale for $9.95. Since my husband likes Levi 501 jeans, and they are generally $40+ and the cheapest I can ever find them on sale is $32, I wanted him to look these jeans over, try them on to see if they fit well and he liked them so we could get them for him to wear to work instead of his expensive jeans. Yeah, on a tight budget we saved a bunch on the jeans, he liked them so we got 3 pairs, when the guy gave us our total, we paid for 3 pairs what I would normally pay for 1 pair of the Levi's....score! Walmart was doing price matches on other store ads and I wanted to get the Uno Moo game for our granddaughter (which was at Kmart for $12.99 & they opened at 6 am too - and way too far away to make sure we got one) so we checked Walmart for it, they had one left on the shelf. Walmart also had in their ads these reversible, puffy down type coats for men, women and children for $7. I've been wanting a coat of this type for a year or so but I figured they would all be gone by the time we got to Walmart so I didn't even write it on my list. When we got there and I was making my way back to toys (to get the game) I passed by all these racks that had these coats and they had a bunch of them still left and the top of the rack was marked $4...I figured that was a mistake and checked their ad and it did say $7 so I picked one rang up for $4 and the checker told me that yeah they sometimes will have in store sales like that....unbelieveable to me that I got a coat like I've been wanting for that cheap. I truly believe that it was a gift from God because He knew I've been wanting one and it really had to be cheap for me to get one. We went to a few other stores to get a few stocking stuffer type items, to Costco for a few groceries and our free cookbook and then we needed to make a quick stop at the mall for Bath & Body Works. Scott had let me know a couple of days earlier that he was getting low on cologne and back in the summer he had found one they carried that we both really liked. I had 3 different coupons for Bath & Body Works so I figured I could get him a stocking stuffer and use up these coupons. I ended up with pine scented oils for our burner and our plug in thing and a free lotion along with his cologne and I only paid $3 more than what his cologne was...I like how they allow you to use all kinds of coupons in one shopping trip.

We were both beat so we headed back home to take naps because we were going downtown to see the Festival of Trees and the lighting ceremony that the Coeur d' Alene Resort puts on every year. We hadn't been down there for the last several years and it is something we enjoy doing. We have had a very fun, eventful day.

I know many people don't understand the craziness behind shopping on this day but it is like I heard a lady say on the TV the other night, when you are on a small budget, (especially in such a bad economy as what we have right now) you try to get more bang for your buck and this kind of a shopping day makes it easier to do so. My brother got his first taste of it this year as he was looking for the Nintendo DS and Walmart had them for $98. He couldn't believe how wild it was, how crowded it was, but he started looking around at some of the things on sale and was better able to understand it a bit. He said he found a few things he'd like to have but since he wasn't shopping for himself he by-passed them.

I myself have always been lucky (I know it is the Lord blessing me) to not have to encounter the rude, pushy people on this shopping day. I always encounter the other ones who are kind and considerate, say excuse me, or even help you look for what you are looking for if you help them as well...makes for a much more pleasant shopping experience.

1 comment:

  1. This was the first year in a long time that I wasn't able to go on Black Friday. (Did I go last year???) With Nate working that day... I just don't want to pay a sitter.

    I've always enjoyed it, too. Though I've never gotten up super early, I'll get out there at about 7am. People are usually friendly... we're all in the same boat, right? I've never had the misfortune of running into super rude people.

    I've loved looking at the ads, finding things to buy for people, and getting a lot of it done in one day... and for cheap!