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Monday, November 26, 2018

Making Black Friday Work For You



Black Friday and Cyber Monday some of those things that most frugal bloggers write about, and not just somewhat, but with a lot of emphasis, especially advertising deals as the days get nearer.
You might have noticed that I have not done anything of the sort. Unlike many other frugal blogs, my emphasis is not on sharing deals; I rarely do that. Instead I talk about how to live a frugal lifestyle, and the tips and tricks I do to make that possible. Additionally, I share my experiences, what I did, after the fact, so people who want to get ideas and inspiration can.

Some people use Black Friday deals as an excuse to make a lot of purchases they wouldn't have had otherwise, but convince themselves that it was a frugal purchase because it was on sale. Something that you purchased just because it was on sale but you wouldn't have purchased otherwise isn't frugal; it's still more money than not buying at all.

Some people, like my friend Michelle, manage to get the best of Black Friday by making shopping lists of things they and their family needs, and waiting until Black Friday to buy them. In order to do this, you need to be well prepared and not desperate because when you're desperate you end up needing to spend more money to get things now.

The way some people utilize Black Friday reminds me of the difference between living paycheck to paycheck and being ahead in your budget. When you're living paycheck to paycheck and without a stockpile of groceries you can't always wait until things are on sale to purchase them; you end up buying them as needed even if they are pricier because you don't really have a choice since you need to eat.
If you buy clothing for your children as the season changes, you can't really wait for Black Friday to purchase them clothing, as it gets cold enough to need winter gear even before Thanksgiving. The friends of mine who buy clothes on Black Friday don't buy for their kids' current sizes but buy future sizes on sale to have on hand. I haven't managed to do this, and to be honest don't know how well it would work for my kids, because my oldest, Lee, not only grows in sporadic patterns so I don't know what sizes would fit him what season, but he also is very particular about fashion and style and even if I buy what I think he'll like for next season, he's probably going to change his mind between now and then on what is fashionable.

So this Black Friday I didn't have a whole long shopping list of things I was planning to buy. In fact, I hadn't planned on buying anything. I even went clothes shopping for Lee on Vertbaudet a few weeks earlier for winter clothes....

And then Michelle told me on Thanksgiving day that Vertbaudet was having a Black Friday sale with the entire store 40% off, and flat rate 5 euro international shipping. And then I realized that when buying Lee his winter clothes, I had forgotten to buy him pants. So I went to Vertbaudet and picked out some pants for my son together with him, and then price compared them with other sites that also had cheap or free international shipping (because just because something is on sale doesn't mean it's the cheapest or best option) and saw that it was the best deal so went ahead with that. (PS the sale, as of my writing this post, is still live!)

Last year I bought myself really cheap airfare on Cyber Monday to Belgium (25 dollars round trip) and took a look at my favorite website for finding cheap airfare, Skyscanner.com, and didn't find anything that was so cheap that it drew me in that I haven't already visited that I felt I must buy, and I already have an international trip planned this winter (more on that in another post) so I felt less of a drive to purchase a ticket, so didn't buy anything for Black Friday /Cyber Monday there. However, I do recommend that if you love to travel you go today to Skyscanner.com and search for airfare which will be much cheaper today. Alternatively check out Ryanair.com today to see if they have any 10 euro flights to and from where you're located.

The last thing I bought on Black Friday was another pair of shoes. The store I went to the other week had amazing shoes in my size, something really hard to get locally, and I decided to see if they had any black Friday sale and discovered that their entire site was more than 20% off. The pair of shoes that I was eyeing but was waiting to arrive in black was available, and the sale on it was even more than 20% off and I ended up purchasing it for 20 dollars off the original price. Yes, I didn't need the pair now, and did recently buy myself a pair, but finding shoes I like in my size is hard enough, and when I do they're pricey enough that it was worth getting my dream shoes on sale now.

I had looked for art supplies for my son, but what he wanted was so pricey even with a Black Friday sale (over 100 dollars for the set of Prismacolor Premium pencils) that I decided to skip that for now.
I also was looking for a cup with a cover and wide reusable straw for homemade smoothies as store bought smoothies are one of my indulgences I allow myself, and with the right cup I can recreate that experience more cheaply at home. But I found out when searching for those cheaply with black Friday sales that it's available cheaply all the time without any special sales, so no rush to buy it specifically now.

Yes, there are so many things available for Black Friday and so many things with deals available that one might say that I missed the opportunity to get bargains by not checking out deal sites with black Friday sales. I could have looked for holiday gifts but I didn't have anything specifically I was looking for, and haven't even decided what I'm doing about gifting this year, so I'm totally cool with not buying gifts and not buying more in general.

I'm big into making Black Friday work for you, and not have it be an excuse to blow the budget. And this year, I definitely feel like I made Black Friday work for me instead of being a slave to the deals.

How do you feel about Black Friday? Do you tend to save up your purchases for a while and buy them all on Black Friday? Do you avoid spending money on Black Friday as a protest against consumerism? Do you do something in the middle?

20 comments:

  1. ANOTHER pair of fancy shoes for mommy, but no room in the budget for colored pencils for Lee. Guess some people just aren’t meant to be parents.

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    Replies
    1. This type of viciousness has no place here.

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    2. Someone owning a seco d pair of nice shoes is harsly extreme. No where near as extreme as say, anonymously picking on people via the interent. Whatever you save on not having shoes for yourself, and I hope you don't if you are trolling others that do, you can spend on etiquette lessons.

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    3. You do NOT have to buy your kids expensive art supplies to be a good parent! $100 for colored pencils is a lot of money- I don't think I ever spent more than $20 for a set for my own kids, and usually closer to $5. It sounds like Lee wants something very specific for high-level art- not the kind of thing that fits easily into the household budget. Perhaps he can buy it himself with the proceeds from drawings he sells.

      It is NOT unreasonable to purchase extra shoes for yourself, so that you've got a pair already in the closet when the current pair wears out. It's not like an adult is going to outgrow her shoes before wearing them out! And she's already shared how much trouble she has finding shoes that fit. She can't just pick up cheap shoes in any old store.

      Buying spare shoes, in a good quality product and a hard to find size, is a perfectly reasonable way to spend household money. Fancy art supplies, that go WAY beyond what a kid would "play with" is a completely separate kind of item.

      And what's with the judgement here? Somebody "shouldn't be a parent" because they spend money on themselves?

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    4. Shoes are a necessity.

      Prismacolors are for working artists. If you care so much, I’m sure he’d enjoy a contribution to his supplies.

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    5. If Anonymous thinks a mother -- one who works outside the home and takes public transportation -- doesn't require a second pair of shoes, that anonymous troll is wrong. If Anonymous thinks $100 art crayons for children are a necessity, they have bad priorities. And for that same miserable troll to criticise a good hard-working mother shows the extent to which that troll is out of touch with reality. Seriously, Anonymous should get help.

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    6. Dear Anon: I must admit to not understanding the world anymore. Perhaps it is my age or my personality. However, if you don't enjoy this blog why read it? I am certain there are other blogs that better fit your philosophy of the world. Why is it necessary to make hurtful comments? What is the gain? Is it because you need to slam the door as you leave? Just exit! I am certain there are other places which will be happy for your readership.

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    7. Penny's children are blessed to have her as a mother. Please find another outlet for your anger and unhappiness; your hate does not belong on this blog.

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    8. My jaw dropped at this comment. Seriously? Skipping over $100 for pencils? I would too!!! Locally I can buy a box of decent ones for a few dollars. OF COURSE the impossible to find shoes would be a priority! Agree with other posters - if you are WALKING everywhere shoes are SO SO important. I am very lucky to have a thrifty mother myself who enjoys the bargain hunt in thrift shops and because of this I own several pairs of amazing quality shoes - and boy do I appreciate them and care for them - unlike the $20 throw-aways that I can afford. Throw aways because after a season or two they are falling apart.. while the quality ones (probably retail at $200 CAD regular priced) last FOREVER. Worth it. Yes.

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  2. I'm going to just leave this up here so people can know what kind of nasty comments I deal with on a regular basis here.
    And the irony of such a comment on a post where I said I just bought my son a whole new wardrobe from Vertbaudet and spent more on that than on my shoes. A whole lot more. For something he will grow out of in a few months, and then I rinse and repeat.
    And no, I wasn't going to spend 100 plus dollars on a set of a specific type of colored pencils for him when he already has quite a few colored pencil sets with over 200 different colors, just not the most expensive, top of the line, prismacolor premier.

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    Replies
    1. That person is just mean. Pencils aren't a need. Enjoy you shoes and wear them in good health.

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  3. Some ppl are just nasty.you don't need to justify yourself to them. Anyone following tour blog knows what a dedicated mother you are

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  4. Good for you for spending money on yourself .as a mom sometimes it's hard to spend money on us when you have to get for all the kids. Thanks for inspiring me to go out and buy something for myself
    .
    To the nasty comment above I bless you that you have no more bittermebi in your life .just be happy.

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  5. I don't understand why some people feel the need to go online and say mean and hurtful things to people they don't even know. Does it make them feel better about their own horrible lives ou their own poor choices?

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  6. I will also say that I maintain a price list and sizes all year round (yay Google Keep) and I compare between what happens on Black Friday and what I've seen in previous years. I usually keep about 1 year ahead of what my family needs in clothing. This year I got 60% off already reduced clothing at a non box store, freebies via QVC, and 50% off+ free shipping at Old Navy and Children's Place. I also found random small deals- like 40% off+10% off +free shipping at Lord & Taylor for example, but only found 1 skirt that I liked there for my daughter (but since free shipping I didn't care that I was only spending $5). My husband had wanted a hair cutting machine (we have been borrowing a neighbors for months), and 2 days before Black Friday I found it at Walmart for $32. Then, on Black Friday, it dropped via Amazon to $20! I snagged it and will return the Walmart buy. But that is a good example as to why to wait until Black Friday- I should have known better!

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  7. You get a lot of nasty comments?

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    Replies
    1. You betcha. This is more tame than the next comment this person left me, which I didn't allow through. And much more tame than some of the other nastiness I get.

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  8. Is this what Lee wanted https://www.googleadservices.com/pagead/aclk?sa=L&ai=DChcSEwj2n9jwoPXeAhUVBoYKHQSvCnkYABATGgJ2dQ&ohost=www.google.com&cid=CAASE-RosrS4dquJXlk69pNhKaIptaU&sig=AOD64_0yUcVvJoS0vQySHvtnXvrebfsHcQ&ctype=5&q=&ved=2ahUKEwihpNHwoPXeAhVBq1kKHUifCgoQwg96BAgTEAc&adurl=

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes! Not as big a set as what he wants but much more affordable so a good compromise. Buying that. Thanks for the heads up!

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  9. Sorry you got all that junk from someone who does NOT appreciate how much you do for your family just plain viciousness. My late father always said that some people cant digest their food unless they can hurt somebody

    ReplyDelete

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