Super Shopping Day
November 15, 2007
There is one thing that gets me through the hell that is Thanksgiving. Black Friday. As any regular reader knows, I love a bargain, thus I live for Black Friday.
Until recently I was a complete ameteur when it came to Black Friday shopping. My sister-in-laws and nieces would spend hours pouring over the sales fliers as their turkey digested. I had always had to work on that day, and knew that I wouldn’t be able to go anywhere but the local Wal-Mart, so I never really paid much attention to the fliers, their conversations. I would occasionally venture into Wal-Mart before work to get a thing or two that I had seen on their early bird flier, but for the most part I was ignorant of the whole concept.
In 2003, I was given the day after Thanksgiving off work, and my sisters-in-law invited me to go shopping with them. I accepted. Ultimately we ended up taking my minivan, and going shopping at a town 2 hours north of my home, but close to one of my SIL’s. We spent all day in the stores, and I had a good time. There were good deals, but as I was pretty much done with my holiday shopping prior to turkey day, so I was basically just along for the ride. I ended up spending the day carting my family members to whatever store they wanted to go to.
I liked the bargains, I liked the crowds, but I didn’t like chauffereing, the waiting on someone else, and the not being able to go where I wanted to go when I wanted to. Also, if I wanted to drive 2 hours to go to a mall, I would go to Nashville, where there are several malls of a much better quality than those in Southern Illinois. I knew my experience that Black Friday was my cup of tea, if I could do it alone, or with just one other person.
The next year I found out that Wal-Mart would match any competitors price on any advertized blitz item, if you present them with the ad. This was perfect. I could pick all the good deals from the other fliers, and could get them close to home. Additionally, I wouldn’t spend all day running from store to store. My mom and I got up early, scored the great Wal-Mart deals, got alot of additional stuff (DVD’s, computer games, etc) price-matched, and were home by daybreak. There were some things I wanted that Wal-Mart didn’t have in stock. Namely, Will and Grace, Season 1 on DVD for $4.99, but none the less, this strategy became my Black Friday plan of choice.
The next year J and I wanted to get his oldest daughter a video camera. Circiut City had an excellent deal on one, I was unsure if Wal-Mart had it, so we had to venture to our nearest mall area, an hour from home, to get it. His sisters decided to come to the same town we did, so we ended up spending the day shopping with them. Once again, I grew impatient with the waiting for and keeping up with a crowd. And once again, I didn’t get to go to some of the stores I wanted. When I rented a stroller for my son, then wound up pushing everyone else’s coats and shopping bags around with him, the fact that Black Friday should be done alone was solidified.
Last year I had to work, so my options were limited. I used sites that listed the Black Friday ads to aid me in my planning. I made a list a week before what was going to be on sale where. I did a walk-through of Wal-Mart beforehand, to find the location of all the items I was going to buy when Friday morning arrived.
The big day finally came. I arrived at Wal-Mart shortly after 5 am, ads in hand. I went through, picking out the items on my list, and a few that weren’t on it. I presented my ads to the cashier, resulting in lots of savings. I was through shopping so fast that I had time to grab breakfast, then head over to Big Lots and JC Penney’s for more bargains. I arrived at work at 7:15, an unprecidented 15 minutes early knowing that after numerous attempts I had finally concocted the perfect Black Friday strategy.
In 8 days, I plan to do it all again. However, this year, I’m starting at Walgreens. They are having a great deal on a digital camera, which I am in desperate need of.