It seems like when it comes to Black Friday, people either love it or hate it. I'm a lover. There is something about the thrill of the hunt, tracking down terrific bargains, stretching the holiday dollar. But there's also just the fun of it all.
For the third year in a row, Annie and I went Black Friday shopping with my friend Beth and her daughter Olivia. They picked us up at 10 'til 4am and we headed to Kohl's. I was determined to stick to my list and not get distracted by good-but-I-don't-need-them deals. So just $30 later (with a $10 rebate form in hand), Annie and I sat down to wait for our partners in crime. Next stop, Target.
Kohl's was busy, but Target was crazy! We waited in the comfort of the car until the doors opened. It took more than 5 minutes for the line that wrapped around the side of the building to stream inside before we could go in. I only had 2 things on my Target list, both in toys. And I knew right where they were because on Wednesday, I had walked the store and scoped out where the items I wanted were located. We had them in hand about 3 minutes after entering the store.
Of course, no trip to Target is that quick and that "don't buy what you don't need" resolve got lost a little, as usually happens in Target, Black Friday or not. I picked up some short socks for $1/pair for Annie (because God forbid socks should actually cover your ankle!) and a couple of $3.99 movies.
After we checked out, Beth and I both realized that we'd forgotten the $25 for $20 iTunes card. So we headed back in -- which was fruitless because apparently it wasn't just any old $25 iTunes card that was available for the discount. It was the Christmas iTunes cards. But not just any Christmas iTunes cards, as we found out at the register, but the exact card in the ad, which of course we couldn't find.
It was frustrating, but nicely illustrates one of the keys to Black Friday shopping - don't take it too seriously. The deals are awesome, for sure. But the key to the fun is to keep it lighthearted. Be serious about the shopping, but be willing to let it go without getting all crazy if the item you want isn't in stock or there is long line at the register.
Despite the hassle of the missed iTunes opportunity, we still made it out of Target in time for probably my best deal of the day -- an artificial (because Charlie is allergic to everything green), LED (because that's what Mike wanted), multicolor (because that's what I wanted), 7-foot Christmas tree, originally priced at $200 for -- get this -- $49! Thanks Home Depot!
After a quick breakfast at Cracker Barrel, it was off to Walgreen's (nada), Bath and Body Works (where I accidentally got a handful of foamy, shapeable shape all over my hands!) and then Old Navy for insane deals -- $5 fleece sweatshirts to start.
By this time it was 9am and I was starting to fade a little. A stop into Justice for Girls and Bed, Bath and Beyond and I was ready to call it a day.
Of course, my Black Friday saga doesn't end there. Annie and I went home, ready to crash but Mike was itching to get out. He was not so much into Black Friday as he was feeling cooped up in the house. Because of his knee surgery, he can't drive yet, so it was back to stores for me -- Target again (though I sat in the car) and Best Buy, where we did find some great deals -- including 3 Blu Ray discs for what normally would be the price of one!
Finally, back home! Ahhh....except that Mike and the boys had planned to go to a movie and oh, that's right, he can't drive, so I had to drive them. The first theater was sold out, so I drove them to another one, further away from our house. Rather than driving all the way back home and then have to drive back to pick them up, I decided to kill time on that side of town. How? You got it -- Black Friday shopping!
All in all, it was a fun, yet exhausting, day. I got a few things crossed off my list, did some shopping on behalf of my Mike's mom who asked me to pick up some things for the kids, and only have a couple of items that I need to return.
How about you? Did you do any Black Friday shopping? What was your best deal? Or do you stay as far away from the stores as possible?