Sunday, November 30, 2008

Black Friday....

I know it is Sunday but I wanted to talk about Black Friday. In the past I have gotten up at the crack of dawn and went shopping on the day after Thanksgiving. Before I was married I would always go to Tennessee to spend the holiday with my parents. My mom, my sister and I would get up in the middle of the night and go shopping. Unfortunately, my parents live over an hour away from the mall or most shopping centers. So, we had to get up REALLY early. Sometimes I wouldn't even buy anything, I'd just go for the fun of it. Then I had children. I'd guess I have went out about half of the Black Friday's since having kids. I did send Jake to Walmart one year to get some super duper deal. Another year I went with Jake's Stephanie, Linda and Gail (Tim's mom). It was fun but I didn't feel so well. At the time I didn't know what was going on but later I found out I was pregnant with Avery. Again, I don't think I really bought anything. For the most part, when you are traveling with a bunch of kids it requires a lot of packing. When you are visiting and have to drive home with all your stuff there isn't really any room for "loot" you get on Black Friday. This year on Thanksgiving I decided I HAD to go shopping on Black Friday out of necessity. Money is tight and I need a deal - even if it means getting up at the crack of dawn and fighting the crowds. I poured over the ads and made a plan. I have a pretty small budget to work with and this year I MUST stick to it. So, I wrote out a list of who is on my Christmas list. I assigned an amount of money I can spend on each person. The tricky thing is trying to get the same "value" gift for each person. So, if I get some super deal at CVS for 15 cents but the item is valued at $30 (it happens) then I don't have to spent the rest of my budget. Does the make sense? Also, with the kids. I don't feel like I have to spend the exact same amount on each kid. I will try to make it fair but I am not counting each penny. After I had the budget set I looked through the ads. Walmart (as I cringe) had the best deals - as far as the items I needed. Plus, they price match. There was one item at Target that was almost $10 cheaper than at Walmart so I just brought the ad and they matched the price without any question. I did go to Target later but I'll get to that in a minute. I got up so early. I put on a hat, pushed last nights makeup back into place and brushed my teeth. There are a couple of Walmarts in our area so I decided to go to the Super Walmart - afterall Super must mean better, right? I got there at 4:55 A.M. I had to park a good city block way from the entance. It was PACKED. When I entered the store there weren't any carts left! I just started laughing. I thought I must be nuts. I finally got a cart. I headed to the DVD's because they advertised Spiderman 1 & 2 for $2 each. Can't beat that, right? Well, they didn't have even one of them there. There were three or four displays of DVD's and not one of them had a price marked on it. Some were $2, some were $6 and others were $9. No price anywhere. That is annoying. Then I was looking for these crayola things - they were a steal and my kids love that kind of stuff. They didn't even have them out. The sale's lady went to the back and brought me the one I didn't want but I took it so I didn't seem ungrateful. Later some lady asked me where I got it and I gave it to her (good deed for the day). I did see a woman with one that I wanted in her cart and she said she found it on some random shelf by itself. Bummer. Pretty much that was my experience. I found a lot of what I was looking for but none of it was marked. If I had not made my list I would have been lost and frustrated. It was packed but people were really nice and polite. They did have a police officer in the electronic department. That was funny to me. I did buy one item that was not on my list. Not too bad, I'd say. I did have to wait in line for 45 minutes to pay but while I was waiting the lady I had asked about the crayola thing in her cart came and found me because she found another one. Wasn't that so nice???? (her good deed for the day). Overall not a bad experience but I do feel like Walmart set up a scene for a serious mess. I hope they weren't all like that. When I went to Target everything was well marked and displayed. They had a great check out system and I got through the line in about 10 minutes. Also, they still had items that were advertised and were fantastic deals at 8 A.M. unlike, Walmart that ran out of those TV's in less than 5 minutes. Most of my Christmas shopping is done. Yippy. Oh, and so far I am under budget!

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