Black Friday for Normals: Five Tips
Some very normal people, many of whom I know and love, consider Black Friday to be an essential part of their holiday traditions.
First thing, I love you and hope you enjoy your shopping.
Second thing, I am not on board with this.
My inner crotchety old man comes out around this time of year. "It's all a scam! They're just trying to sell you stuff you don't need! In my day, we put oranges in crocheted stockings and were THANKFUL."
But I'll admit, there are some great deals to be had, so let's look at Black Friday through Lazy Genius glasses.
1. You don't have to buy stuff.
You really don't. Just because it's the biggest shopping day of the year doesn't mean it has to be yours. Sure, if you have a list, if you discover deals on things you were already in the market for, or if you really do love spending the day in the crowds and finding deals with your mom and sister, by all means have a blast.
But you don't have to spend a cent on Black Friday. Just giving you permission to skip it entirely.
2. If you wouldn't buy it full price, don't buy it on sale.
"Wow, these fancy headphones are half price! I mean, I never wear headphones or travel or do anything that would require them, but they're so cheap! And I think Beyonce wears them!" You saved fifty bucks in order to spend fifty bucks on something you didn't really need or even want until you saw the sale price.
I'll say it again: if you wouldn't buy it full price, don't buy it on sale.
3. Know your people, and shop for them.
I have a system for giving meaningful gifts to family and friends, so it's much easier to look through sale fliers with intention when you know the kinds of gifts you want to get your people. In the past, easily 80% of my Black Friday purchases have been for myself... on things I didn't really need and would never have bought at full price.
If you get carried away, if you find yourself scrolling forever to spend that last $12 to score free shipping, or if you really want to stick to a budget, just don't buy for yourself. Know your people, and shop for them and them only.
4. Use discounted store gift cards.
You guys know about Raise, right? It's a totally non-shady website that sells people's unwanted gift cards for a slight discount. Sometimes it's only a couple of bucks, but if you know you're making a purchase at Lowe's, why not buy the gift card and save a few bucks before you even buy!
I don't like to buy cards unless I know where I'm shopping and what I'm buying, but it's a great resource for easy savings at stores like HomeGoods, Old Navy, Macy's, Wayfair, Amazon, iTunes, Overstock, Home Depot... literally just about everywhere.
P.S. Here's five bucks off your first gift card purchase. It's an affiliate link, but I would tell you about Raise even if they didn't pay me. Crowd-sourcing unwanted gift cards is a brilliant way to shop smarter. And most of them are digital gift cards; no waiting for snail mail required.
5. Do your research (and even some shopping) now.
There are sites like this one that have gathered all the Black Friday sales and fliers and put them in one place. You can shop by best deals (warning! warning! but possibly helpful), store, item, or anything else you can think of. The pressure to save is higher when you're frantically flipping through the newspaper literally hours before you're supposed to leave for your marathon shopping day and then you end up buying anything and everything.
Figure it out now, shop from a list, make a plan, and you might even discover that some of those "sale" prices are actually happening now. Those stores are tricky, y'all.
Don't let the Black Friday gods trick you into spending money you don't have on things you don't need, but if you're intentional, you can make the biggest shopping day of the year actually work for you.