Taking Advantage of Black Friday Sales

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As an expat American married to a non American, I haven't been doing much celebrating Thanksgiving, since it isn't often done here, but some years I do go to Thanksgiving dinners with friends and family. This year I was invited to one, but wasn't able to go because we're busy packing up our house since we found out this past Tuesday that we are officially getting the keys to the place Monday morning!
We set a moving date for Wednesday and the house is crazy!

Anyhow, people have talked about the sorry state of affairs in my country, that Thanksgiving isn't celebrated here as a country, but this country has imported the so called "worst part" of Thanksgiving- Black Friday. People have issues with Black Friday since they feel it encourages consumerism, but I don't think so...
Or at least it doesn't have to.

Stores in general like to entice people to shop there by making sales, and Black Friday is no exception in this. Impulse shoppers can really hurt their finances if they see things on sale and all of a sudden realize that they "need it" when they would never have purchased it had it not been on sale.
When grocery shopping, if there are things you anyhow would be purchasing and then find them on sale and stock up, you saved money in the long run. But if you buy things that you never would have purchased had they not been on sale, it doesn't matter how good the sale is, that still is extra money that you wouldn't have spent otherwise, so it isn't saving money.

When it comes to Black Friday, you can end up saving yourself a lot of money if you don't get sucked into the consumerism craze, buying so many things simply because "they are on sale", even if they aren't such a good price (yes, sometimes Black Friday sales in one place are more expensive than their equivalent at cheaper stores not on sale, so price compare).
To use Black Friday to your advantage, if there are items that you anyhow need to buy and were planning on buying in the near future, look for those items on Black Friday and hopefully you can spend much less on them than you would have otherwise.

Walking into stores can be a huge headache and encourages impulse buys, but if you search online for Black Friday sales (or Cyber Monday) and put in specific parameters of what you are looking for, instead of browsing stores for whatever piques your interest or what seems like a good deal, you may be able to get some great deals.

Since we are moving soon, we had a shopping list of things that we were planning on buying anyhow for our new place, and fortunately a friend reminded me to check for Black Friday sales for them. In the past 24 hours we purchased:

A winter coat for myself.

I have very specific tastes in coats, and for years I've had coats that I hated so much that I refuse to wear them. I end up just wearing my husband's fleece jackets but I really wanted a coat that I liked, so fortunately my friend Michelle helped me find coats in my style and at affordable prices, so I bought this at a Black Friday sale. I'm really excited for it to arrive.

I also bought myself an office chair, shown at the top of this post, since I'm using such a broken and gross chair right now that I am planning on throwing out instead of bringing it to our new place.

Our washing machine, which we bought free, is on its last legs, and barely works. We've wanted to replace it for a while, but decided to wait to have it for our new place. We found one on sale that is energy efficient (as an A rating) and has a quick wash setting which ours doesn't have, and bought that.

Our dryer is currently dead, so we bought a new one that has a condenser, since in our new place the dryer won't be in a room with a window, so it can't have an exhaust pipe. This is also an A energy rating, and we spent a little more on one that the water that condenses goes down a pipe into a drain, so that I don't have to remember to empty the condenser each time.

For so long our oven has been broken but we've put off replacing it. The oven hasn't heated up at all, and out of the 4 gas burners, only 2 have been working, and not well at that. We've been using a toaster oven as our oven, which is a pain. So again, new place, new oven, and fortunately we found one with an A energy rating, and a decent price. When picking it, we specifically went for one that was aesthetic, since the oven will be at the end of our kitchen area and right where the living room starts, so it is especially important that it looks nice. We chose a chrome colored one to match our color scheme.

We didn't get a new fridge, even though ours is really old and ugly, because it is still fully functional, and it is very large. To replace our fridge with something similar would cost nearly 2000 dollars if not more, even with Black Friday sales... so we decided to hold off on that purchase for now. Though I'd gladly take suggestions of how to turn an ugly fridge prettier. If we want to paint it or otherwise change the color of the outside, or replace handles, any suggestions of how to do that?

Last but not least, we're looking at couch sets for our living room. We had looked into second hand couches, but none of them were good enough quality or what I was looking for, so they weren't worth spending the money on them... so we're looking on price comparison websites with their Black Friday deals and I think I might have found a couch set I like that is easily cleanable, but have to decide still if we're going to get that one or try to find something else.

Best thing about ordering these things now and our moving date is that these things will take 5 business days for delivery, which means they can go directly to our new place, so we don't need to pay movers to move these things from our current house to there, so we're paying less for moving.

Really excited!

Black Friday can definitely put a dent in your pocketbook, but if you play it right, you can actually have it make a smaller dent in your pocketbook than you would have had otherwise.

How was your Thanksgiving?
Did you/do you buy anything for Black Friday/Cyber Monday? What are your tips for making sure you don't buy into consumerism culture and buy just because it is on sale, but truly use Black Friday/Cyber Monday to save money overall?

Penniless Parenting

Mommy, wife, writer, baker, chef, crafter, sewer, teacher, babysitter, cleaning lady, penny pincher, frugal gal


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  1. Don't know if you have access to them, but have you tried IKEA for couches? Really reasonable, and sturdy. And most come with removable, washable covers.

  2. You can paint or wrap the fridge in contact paper. A more expensive but beautiful idea is to find a stainless steel refacing kit. The kits I've seen only work for flat appliances. Some of the metal look paints are pretty realistic.

  3. Thanksgiving was great Penny...I'm still stuffed! LoL.
    Shopping: Target had 10% off electronics coupon last sunday (before black friday) so we got a 65" LG 4K tv. I had been researching new tv's for about 6 months before finally taking the dive. Our old tv is a rear projection that is about 15 years old and takes up tons of space and was starting to get black lines. So I got the new tv, saved an additional $80 because of the extra 10% on top of the sale price so it was tax free too so total savings $480!

    I didn't do any actual in store shopping on black friday because I had to work, but I did run to Dollar General on Thanksgiving day to get some McCafe cups for $2.75 and I had $1.00 off coupons so K-cups for $1.75 a pack of 12. Great deal. Also grabbed some PJ bottoms for $3.50 that are fleece and so SOFT. That was at 7am, by 9am I had finished shopping on K-mart.com and got some great deals for stuff that was really needed.
    $13 for one queen size flannel sheet set
    $18 for 2 pairs of sneakers
    $7 for 2 cotton hoodies
    $2 each fleece blankets (got 3 for the kids)

    I think I should have gotten more hoodies since $3.50 is a super deal but my husband said he only needed 2.

    Most of my shopping for christmas has been done online (usually Amazon). And I only bought one thing online on Black Friday and that was a pair of swim shorts from swimsuitsfor all for $13 because they had free shipping and I got the shorts for 60% off and I really needed them for my swimming. Turns out mens swim trunks are great to wear but horrible for swim jogging.

    Overall I think I've done really well saving money this year with the holidays. And I remembered to pull out all the gifts I had misplaced last year (I shop all year long for Christmas) and wrap 'em up to give out on 12/25 this year.

    My tip for making sure I don't buy into consumerism is the fact that I'm a practical person. I don't buy stuff cos "I want it", I buy stuff I need because when I get stuff "I want" I find I wasted money because the toy loses it's charm after playing with it for 15 minutes, ya know. So I'm strictly practical and if I really really "want it", then I tell my in-laws because they usually will get me whatever it is I ask for. This year is a new waffle iron and small floor heater. I didn't "want" anything, just needed. Meanwhile, I bought my Mom-in-law some Wizard of Oz stepping stones because she "want's it." Such a waste, but that's the joy of Christmas.

    Love your Blog Penny, keep 'em coming and Happy Holidays!

  4. As a gift once, someone gave me a visit with a designer at my house. She provided a color scheme to unify my home. She also told me that spray paint in cans now is much better than it was many years ago. She advised me that anything that was metal could be spray painted with metallic paints. Her suggestion for my home was antique bronze. It has worked out very well for me, as I have gone room by room and repainted outlet covers, light fixtures, and many other items. I did not repaint my refrigerator because it goes with my stove and dishwasher. If you decide to repaint your fridge, I want to strongly urge you to paint it outdoors. I once looked at an apartment where a refrigerator was spray painted, and in spite of the painter putting down a wide girth of newspaper, etc., that spray paint was on the floor, many feet away from the refrigerator. Best wishes.

  5. Try appliance paint to spruce your fridge! Works surprisingly well.

  6. Amazon(and other places I'm sure) have appliance covers. Basically unroll, cut and stick.

  7. We took advantage of Black Friday sales to equip my husband for his winter biking. He bikes to work in all weatherconditions so he need good quality, warm and waterproof gear. We saved about 80$. Don’t know why people get all worked-up against Black Friday... I mean, we are adults, we make our own decisions regarding our spending, Black Friday or not! It's like blaming McDonald's for obesity... it's ridiculous.

  8. I worked Wednesday and Thursday nights. So I prepared my homemade stuffing on Wednesday morning before I went to bed so all my husband had to do was pop it in the oven on Thanksgiving day! He smoked our turkey. We had mashed potatoes, corn and two kinds of pie. Pecan and Chocolate silk--both store bought as I just didn't have time to bake and Pumpkin pie is NOT a fave in our house.

    Where did you get your coat? I likely will need a new winter coat as I have unfortunately gained a few pounds and I need a warm coat to wear as I do have to go outside in the elements at my place of employment..bracing wind chills of zero or below at times!

    Congrats on your new place! I can't wait to see pics of how you've decorated it!!

  9. My sister used contact paper to make her fridge look nice.
    We also finally took the plunge and ordered two things we've been putting off buying for a long time (oven and dishwasher). The oven is an additional oven (just made my first cheese lasagne in a very long time), and the dishwasher is replacing one that wasn't getting dishes clean (yes, dishwasher is a luxury item, but with my fibro - it's a huge difference in quality of life).

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