Money Mondays – The Blackest of Fridays

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I know for a lot of families, they plan ahead of shopping routes, stores sales, whose car can hold the most stuff, and which big ticket item they are buying this year months before Black Friday is even a thought in most of our minds.  I’m not even kidding when I say they map routes.  I have known people throughout the years that would literally map out their routes and hand out copies to family members to score the best deal on that majestic Friday.  I think military strategists could take a lesson or five from them.  I know for some families, they have the tradition of getting up early and going shopping on Friday, or just enjoy the thrill of the hunt; not so much the long lines, possible fighting, and waking up hungover from booze and turkey filled stomachs.  Is there really any advantage of all the effort shopping and planning?  I think years ago it was beneficial to shop that day to save money, but with the way things are now, most companies offer better sales all through the year, especially after big marker holidays.

I worked retail for a long time.  A very.long.time.  I actually enjoyed it.  I enjoyed meeting new faces each day, and helping them find exactly what they were looking for on that particular trip.  I’ve worked countless Black Fridays, Christmas Eve’s, New Years Eve’s – you name it.  All because stores have to be open when people are free from work to make that last dollar in hopes of paying the bills.  Does this all really translate to saving the most money the Friday after Thanksgiving?  Not at all.  The best time to actually save money for holiday shopping if you decide to wait until this time of year is the first week of December.  Most stores will play the mark up game around Black Friday, or have sales that only last a few hours, but within a week there will be some sale that is going on all day or wraps around a weekend.  No longer do we have to rely on the newspaper ads every Sunday either.  All of your favorite stores will be sending out endless ads about deals, coupons, and savings clubs soon, if they haven’t already.  If you are an online shopper, I suggest trying out Ebates.  They have such a wide variety of stores you can browse or shop at any time of day.  You can still use coupon codes for various stores online, and also receive cash back.  It’s well worth your time to even check it out.

What about for those of us who hate shopping the big name stores?

A lot of small businesses will be open on Black Friday too!  I’m sure they will be offering corresponding sales through out this holiday season as well.  Why not try a new shop this season?  I’m sure they have that unique item you need for your friends or loved ones.  A lot of small businesses have also have great online stores as well, so you won’t have to worry about getting up early or fighting for a parking space in the cold.  It makes the whole process convenient.

If you do decide to venture out this year, let’s work together to stop shopping on Thanksgiving day.  I know important medical and safety staff should be out working because we need them.  Everyone else?  Let’s stay home and be together this year in our elastic waist band pants, Netflix, and good food.  If you are going out on Black Friday?  Let’s work together to not be on the defense or attack.  You’re buying items, not defending your land against the opposing army.  Also, stop leaving trash everywhere.  We see the endless litter outside of stores even on the weekends.  All the coffee cups, food wrappers, and printed media that you no longer need just thrown about like it’s nothing.  Be accountable!  If you notice that the trash bins are filled, let an employee know so it can be emptied.  Better yet, if you are going out in a group, bring your own trash bag and have one member of your party throw out any and all trash so you don’t leave anything behind.  Lastly, let’s respect the hard workers that are helping you find the items you need, and ringing you up, and have patience.  They know the line is long, and I’m sure they are doing the best they can to get you back out the door to your next destination as soon as possible.

Stay safe, stay calm, and shop on!

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