This year, for the first time in my married life, I seriously considered leaving the comfort of my quiet, warm Craftsman-style house and pink Aeropostale sweat pants to brave the wilds of “Black Friday.”
For me, that’s a big deal. You see, I don’t like crowds. I avoid malls and Wal-Mart on normal weekends like I avoid the flu. And I’m especially unfond of large groups of people prone to shoving.
But here’s the problem: Toys ‘R Us has Lego sets for 40% off.
Do you know how expensive Legos can be? I mean, seriously, we’re talking expensive. And I have four Lego-crazy kids in my care. Even my toddler asks me, “Play Legos?” as she carries around a cowboy-themed mini-figure.
Yet, here I sit in my quiet, warm Craftsman-style house in my pink Aeropostale sweat pants writing this blog post rather than racing to the Lego aisle at our local Toys ‘R Us — which controversially enough, kicked off their sale at 8 p.m. tonight.
I have my husband Ted to thank. He tamed my deal-craving, suddenly crowd-adventuring spirit with the reminder that Black Friday is no longer an in-store event only. Ted’s not alone in his advice.
In a recent article, Money-Saving Mom Crystal Paine actually encourages shoppers to make their purchases online.
She notes four advantages:
- You Have More of a Selection When Shopping Online. Typically, online sites are stocked better and have more variety than you’re going to find in-store. However, do note that the deals still sell out fairly quickly online. So if you see a deal ahead of time you’re particularly interested, you may want to wait up until midnight to go ahead and get it, as it may be sold out by the morning.
- You Don’t Have to Drive to Multiple Stores. One of the biggest headaches of Black Friday shopping is strategizing where to be when and how you’re going to be multiple places in time for the great sales. Save gas and time by just clicking your way to savings.
- You Can Use Online Coupon Codes. Many online sites will have coupon codes available for free shipping or 15% off that you can stack on top of their fantastic Black Friday sales. Before placing your order, check RetailMeNot.com to see if there’s an online coupon code available for the site you’re ordering from.
- You Can Get Cash Back. Set up a free account with Ebates and click through their site and search for the online site you’re shopping with before placing your order. You’ll usually get anywhere between 1% to 15% cash back for each online purchase. While it might only be a few dollars per purchase, these trickles add up to a nice check every three months!