Whoa, retailers are going all out this year for the Black Friday shopping season. Many stores are opening earlier on Thanksgiving and it’s easy to get caught up in the advertising frenzy. 2013 is even more urgent than usual because we have a shorter shopping season. Thanksgiving isn’t until the last week in November this year and 6 less shopping days until Christmas. Wal-Mart, Toy R Us, and many other retailers are going all out with their advertising hype. It’s also partly our fault because in 2012, 35 million Americans went shopping on Thanksgiving. That’s up from 29 million in 2011.
Actually, I haven’t paid much attention to the hype surrounding Black Friday this year. I only knew about the shortened shopping season because I heard it on the local news. With a small child, it wouldn’t be fun to go shopping so early in the morning. I never had much luck on Black Friday anyway because we always got there a little too late and we didn’t really want to wade into the crowd.
Shouldn’t Thanksgiving be about taking it easy and being thankful? We should take a day off and spend time with our families. We rarely have the chance to relax these days because everyone is so busy. This year, I’ll roast a leg of lamb and Mrs. RB40 will cook a bunch of side dishes. It’s not the traditional turkey, but I’m sure we’ll overeat and crash just like we do every year. We definitely won’t be going shopping on Thursday and probably won’t even step outside. Thanksgiving is the perfect day to hole up at home. If you’re like us, here are some strategies to avoid the shopping craziness.
Just ignore it
It’s not easy to avoid Black Friday with all the advertising efforts going on around us. If you don’t need anything, then you should avoid opening any junk mail for the next 10 days. It’s probably a good idea to avoid watching commercials too. I don’t really need anything this year so I haven’t looked at any ads at all.
Have a game plan
Mrs. RB40 on the other hand wants to go to Cost Plus World Market on Black Friday. I’m not sure what she wants to buy there. I think she just wants to browse a bit. It’s a good place to pick up some wine and Christmas gifts. I might go with her if RB40 Jr. is up and at ‘em when she leaves. That’s the only store she plans to visit on Black Friday. If you have to go, then have a game plan and minimize the number of stores you’ll visit. Also make sure to set a budget and stick to it.
Go with Cyber Monday instead
If you don’t like crowds, then Cyber Monday is the way to go. The worst part about Black Friday is standing in line. In previous years, I’d grab a pack of socks (50% off!) and then I’d have to stand in line for 20 minutes. That sucks. I guess if I buy a cartload of stuff, I wouldn’t mind standing in line so much. (That’s why I don’t like Costco. Everyone has a huge cart full of stuff and I’m stuck behind with a few items.) It’s so much easier to buy online. Amazon has almost anything you can ask for and I think they should have a pretty good Cyber Monday sale.
Just wait for the after Christmas sale
Another option is to just wait for the after Christmas sale. This is my usual strategy for buying clothes. Retailers will be desperate and put everything on discount after Christmas. A ton of people will also be returning gifts that should be further discounted. According to various internet sources, December 26th is the best day of the year for clothes shopping. There will be big discounts and the inventory hasn’t been picked clean yet. I’m waiting until after New Year’s this time though because I’m still going strong on my no new clothing in 2013 challenge.
Luckily we don’t need any new appliances, electronics, kitchen stuff, or toys this year. We can just cook, drink, overeat, watch football, and crash on the couch like the old days. That’s what Thanksgiving is all about. We might go out for a bit on Black Friday, but it shouldn’t be more than an hour.
What’s your game plan this Thanksgiving? What are you thankful for?
photo credit: flickr michael holden