Winning the Black Friday fight

I’m not giving in. No way, no how.  Staying home, resting my full turkey belly. No reason to shop. I have the same argument with myself every year. And then …

The advertisements and the myriad of emails blast my email. My phone dings nonstop with texts announcing 30 percent off coupons. My snail mailbox is overflowing with circulars and catalogs. I feel the pressure, hear the voices of happy songs jollying their way into my bank account. I try to fight it and then, a great steal is calling my name …

Okay – fine. Maybe a smidge of online browsing. Just a tad of walking through the mania in the mall. It will be good exercise to walk around, I reason with myself.

And, there I am hours later with bags of stuff (I really don’t need) just because it was a good sale.  I fell prey to the advertising gods and I lost. Big time.

Last year, I developed a new Black Friday strategy. I left my credit cards at home and just browsed. I thought I would kick myself for leaving my credit cards at home, but I wanted to have free fun with just a little cash for snacks. Here was my plan:

Take my two big girls, 11 and 15, with me.

Walk the chaos, feel the vibe and listen to the tunes overhead.

Take in the smells and the colors and styles of the season. Grab a hot cocoa with the girls.

Go give the girls free makeovers at Sephora, try on silly dresses and hats for photos.

Play a game of Guess That Price in the higher end stores. My 11-year-old is really good at this one!

Make a mental note of a few items I may want to scour for Cyber Monday sales.

Window shop, till we drop.

Take girls out to late lunch with the money we didn’t spend.

This plan ended up working perfectly with a total of $30 (including lunch) spent. We felt a part of the Thanksgiving weekend fun. My local mall, Westfield Old Orchard in Skokie, had lots of activities going on, some beautiful displays that kept us busy and plenty of places to run out of the cold.

This year we are going to do the same and we can all hardly wait to not spend a dime! Armed with last year’s tally we are looking to beat that number. We even added a new layer to our fun – we are going to hand out the coupons we received in the mail to other shoppers to use. I am teaching my girls (and myself) we can have fun during the holidays without spending a lot and to try hard not to fall prey to the world of advertisements.

Wish us luck!

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