It’s Black Friday… and I’m Saving Even More by NOT Shopping

posted by Andrea | 11/29/2013

nora in the shopping cart

It’s Black Friday — which means many of you woke up at the crack of dawn (or were up all night) shopping for all the latest deals and steals.

Good for you! I hope you’re having lots of fun — say ‘hi’ to my sister and my mom for me!

I, on the other hand, will be hiding under the covers with Nora until the holiday traffic dies down :)

Have I mentioned that I hate shopping?

Only about 57 times! Well, guess what… I hate it even more when the stores are crowded, when I need to wait in long lines, and when the one thing I’m looking for is out of stock.

So yes, I’ll be enjoying Black Friday from the comfort of my own home — and I’m guessing that I’ll save even more NOT shopping than I would if had gone out and found a bunch of amazing deals.

In fact, this is my thought-process all year long. I save SOOOOO much more by simply not shopping than I would if I ever tried to get all those fabulous deals at 15 different store each week.

Just for fun, I went back and looked through our last 6 credit card statements online, and would you believe that from the beginning of June through November, I’ve hardly stepped foot in any other store beside the grocery store and the hardware store.

It’s true — and I’ll prove it!

Here are all my shopping trips (outside of my weekly grocery run) for the last 6 months:

Aldi’s = 1 trip:

As I mentioned in this post, I rarely ever go to Aldi’s — just once in a great while to stock up on canned goods, chips, and a few other non-perishable items.

Hobby Lobby = 1 trip:

#1 = To purchase a few things for Nora’s play kitchen (with a 40% off coupon).

Carter’s = 2 trips:

#1 = To use up a $10 off any purchase coupon I got in the mail (my bill for 3 items came to $10.60 BEFORE the coupon!)

#2 = To exchange a wrong-sized item Nora got for a gift. Nothing else was purchased.

Kohl’s = 3 trips:

#1= To purchase a wedding and shower gift for my cousin this summer (with a 30% off coupon and gift cards)

#2 = To return some gifted items we got via the mail. Nothing was purchased.

#3 = To replace Dave’s “holey” wardrobe (with a 20% off coupon, a $5 off coupon, and gift cards). Here is the dialog between Dave and I after that quick shopping trip (posted that night via Facebook)

shopping trip

Target = 3 trips:

#1 = To purchase a baby shower gift for a friend (with a gift card)

#2 = A quick grocery run (milk, eggs, bananas) when I was already in that parking lot getting gas.

#3 = To look at their maternity clothing — unfortunately I didn’t find anything I liked.

Thrift Stores = 4-6 trips:

These are not on my credit card because I usually only spend a couple bucks each time and I pay cash. Also, this number is probably a little higher than normal because I was scouting out items for Nora’s play kitchen

Home Depot / Lowe’s = 12-15 trips:

We frequent our local hardware stores because of all the home projects we do. Between all our landscaping this summer and our current renovations upstairs, we have an on-going list for Home Depot and/or Lowe’s.

There have been times when we are in the middle of a project and go to the hardware store 3 or 4 times in one week — but then we might not go again for 4 or 5 weeks. However, we’re really good about sticking to our list and only buying the materials we absolutely need for that specific project.

So while I realize this still might seem like a lot of shopping to some of you — I have a feeling that it’s A LOT less shopping than the average American — especially considering 3 of the trips above were for returning or exchanging, and I used gift cards and freebie coupons for many of the other transactions.

For the record, I have NOTHING against any of you who are having a grand time shopping until you drop. If you enjoy shopping — then go shop and have tons of fun finding all those fabulous deals! I realize there are lots of you who just love the act of shopping and socializing with friends even if you don’t actually buy anything. That’s great.

The only point I want to make is that sometimes, it’s even MORE cost-effective to not shop versus spending all day shopping for spectacular bargains.

Happy Black Friday!

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17 comments

  1. Lori

    11/29/2013

    Great post,so true! Are you already finished shopping?

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  2. Lori

    11/29/2013

    Also can i ask what might be on your christmas list,also ideas for Nora. We have a 2 1/2 year old daughter.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Honestly, we wont’ bet getting her much of anything. I have a package of Play-Doh I’m going to give her and maybe some stickers or other small art supplies — but she really don’t understand opening gifts yet so it’s just “adding clutter” to give her so much stuff.

    For her birthday, we made her the kitchen — but didn’t give her anything else to actually “open” and I’m positive she didn’t know the difference :) Simple truly is best with little kids!

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  3. Katy

    11/29/2013

    I do not shop on Black Friday…there has never been any sale that I was willing to brave the crowds for…I’d rather pay an extra $5 or find a coupon and go on a less busy day. I worked at a fabric store in high school, and after watching people practically physically fight over 60% off fleece fabric…that was all the Black Friday shopping I needed to see :) But for those who enjoy it, I hope they have fun today

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  4. Kelekona

    11/29/2013

    I got my shopping done well before Black Friday.

    I’ve been looking at some of the offers, and all I see is electronics and other stuff that’s inappropriate to be called xmas gifts.

    [Reply]

  5. Susan Young

    11/29/2013

    Could sweet Nora’s lashes get any longer? Usually you see those incredibly long lashes on little boys ~ not girls. She is adorable. I have six little grandboys (not a girl in the bunch!) so I love seeing pics of Nora.

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  6. Susan

    11/29/2013

    I shopped once on Black Friday. Never again. The people were rude and cruel, and when I seen a man take a toy from a little kid (the kid wasn’t his), well, that was enough. We stay home, and I make gifts for Christmas.

    Have always felt that Christmas has become too commercialized and far too removed from its true meaning.

    When you have to have someone to tag team like a wrestling match or something, well, it’s not my cup of tea. Ha!

    [Reply]

  7. Abby

    11/29/2013

    I choose to work on Black Friday instead of shop. I can’t stand the crowds and I’m not willing to fight for things we don’t really need just because its a good deal. The day after Thanksgiving is very quiet around the office and its a good day to get work done and make some money to put us in the black!

    Also, my uncle has managed retail for years and according to him, the best deals are not on Black Friday but a week or two before Christmas. Stores want to get rid of the inventory to make room for new stuff coming in.

    [Reply]

  8. Eva

    11/29/2013

    I went out Wednesday to buy some things a I saw in the paper. I didn’t save as much as I would’ve buying them Thursday or Friday but, I’m saving my sanity not running around and standing in lines. We did a lot of Xmas shopping online. Today is the day we start decorating for Xmas. My little ones are excited to help and today the elf will arrive for my little girl:)

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  9. Erin@The Humbled Homemaker

    11/29/2013

    Love this–I hate shopping as well. My mom and sister love it. Give me a day to sleep in over fighting the crowds ANY DAY !

    [Reply]

  10. Vicki

    11/29/2013

    I worked retail so I’m not too wild about shopping either and I don’t go on Black Friday. I used to be an avid online shopper but not so much anymore since my friend had her charge card number stolen and….well you know the rest of the story. Be careful, we always think it won’t happen to us, well so did my friend!

    [Reply]

  11. Melissa

    11/29/2013

    It’s true that more is saved by not shopping. My husband and I needed a coffee pot. We use ours daily and after five years of daily use, our old one is breaking. We went out together yesterday to JCPenney since it opened at 8pm. We got there as doors opened. We got the one item we came for (a $100 coffee pot on sale for under $40), we cashed out while the other people were still shopping and let. We were back home by 8:30pm. That really wasn’t so bad and we got a great deal on an item we needed. Love that!

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  12. Lori

    11/29/2013

    Andrea, Is there anything on your Christmas list? By the way, Nora’s kitchen is adorable!

    [Reply]

  13. Anna C.

    11/29/2013

    I went out today… just to Meijer. Every year we get our kids a set of pj’s, a book, and a board game. I went mainly for pj’s for my son… the carter’s sale of buy 1 pair get 2 for free. He needed pj’s since he grew taller. I put the other 2 up for his birthday in January. There was no crowd and I found everything on my list for $55 and saved over $100. All that is left is my son’s large gift now.

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  14. Sonia

    11/29/2013

    I totally agree with you! I decided to work at my husband’s archery range and then to knit Christmas presents.

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  15. Darla

    11/29/2013

    I love this post. I did not hit the Black Friday sales except for a trip at 7:30 this morning to JoAnns for fabric to make my girls Christmas dresses. I got a great deal and the store was not that crazy at all. You are smart to not buy a lot of stuff for a two year old. We have always done that and now that our kids are 14, 12, 9 and 6 they really don’t ask for a lot. We are mostly giving them gift cards and memberships for fun things we can do all year like go to the musueum, roller rink, movies, baseball games, etc. Yeah for no more clutter!

    [Reply]

  16. Alissa

    12/05/2013

    This post made me laugh so much! I feel the same way. It’s not really saving money if you’re buying things you don’t really need just becaue there’s a huge discount. Never made any sense to me.

    [Reply]

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