Extreme Couponing My Way Through Black Friday (and Thanksgiving Thursday)
I've never been a big fan of Black Friday shopping and have always preferred the shopping opportunities available on Thanksgiving. Thanks to extreme couponing, I'm more excited by the Thanksgiving day shopping opportunities than I have been in years.
Long ago, before the Internet and when I had very young children, I spent some years living overseas. I really enjoyed having an early Thanksgiving celebration and then heading out (alone!) to do some shopping in the local markets. Those were great shopping trips. Coming back to the United States and being surrounded by Black Friday frenzy pretty much threw me off the idea of doing any shopping Thanksgiving weekend -- though I would occasionally venture out if I was feeling really brave (or really desperate for deals).
Then, about 10 years ago, something happened ... TW and I were at home on Thanksgiving with just the big kids, who were sound asleep in their beds. It was going to be a really low-key Thanksgiving when we discovered drug stores were open on Thanksgiving and so was K-mart! We hopped in the car and were thrilled to find the stores almost completely empty. That started our Thanksgiving Day shopping tradition. We've done it every year -- even when we've had all (or most) of the kids at home.
This year's Thanksgiving Day shopping trips are going to be W-I-L-D because we are COUPONERS and the coupon blogs have opened our eyes to a wealth of opportunities to be had at our beloved drug stores and at K-mart (which we really only shop at on Thanksgiving Day.)
Our first stop will be CVS where the deals are ... well... go look for yourself. How would you like to get paid for taking home $100 worth of products? I'm not doing all of these deals, even if all of the products are in stock, but my shopping list is so long that I'm trying to figure out the most efficient way of moving through the store. I'm even thinking about doing multiple transactions this week (which I never do) because $100 in ECBs is a lot of ECBs at one time. So I'm checking out all of my favorite coupon bloggers who are sharing their CVS shopping plans and deal scenarios to decide what I want to do.
Here are a couple of my favorites:
Like Mashup Mom, I'm not super excited about Walgreens -- we'll go, but it will be the third stop for us and I won't be heartbroken if I don't find much left on the shelves when I arrive. I have some RRs to burn, and I'm sure I'll be able to do that -- and walk out with a few good deals. And that's good enough for me this week.
The only thing that might make me change my mind about Walgreens is their brand new iPhone app, (it is available for Android, as well). They'll be sending mobile coupons via the app and/or text message on Black Friday. Will they send them out on Thanksgiving -- or will they wait? And which coupons will they send? It's a mystery, but I have my app and I have it set to text me when the coupons launch. Maybe their ad is a little light because they're going to send out the really good stuff via their new app? A couponer can only hope ...
At K-mart, we'll be looking for inexpensive DVDs, a DVD/cassette player, holiday pajamas, socks, gloves, and maybe another blow-up air mattress, since one of ours seems to have bit the dust. (With teens coming for visits, it's always important to have an air mattress or two laying around ... )
We'll be paying for our K-mart purchases with gift cards we've accumulated over the year plus $100 in gift cards that I bought at Jewel last weekend in their latest gift card deal. (Buy $100 worth of gift cards and receive a cash register coupon for $20 off your next grocery purchase.) That deal worked out great for us -- we always spend around $100 at K-mart on Thanksgiving Day and by taking advantage of this deal, we've already saved 20%. Win!
Now you know what my Black Friday (Thanksgiving Thursday) shopping will look like ... tell me about your plans. Are you using coupons? How about the redlaser app that allows you to compare prices of products so you know that a good deal really IS a good deal?
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