Tales of sweet discounts: Black Friday 2012

Thanksgiving, both the holiday and the break, were wonderful. I spent time with family and might-as-well-be-family friends. Weirdly enough, one of the highlights was hanging out with my mom in the middle of the night. Why? Black Friday, baby!

Before I say too much about my Black Friday adventure, let me preface by saying both myself and my mother have worked retail which included major sale days and holidays. We both, like many other people, enjoyed working these crazy days for two reasons: they are normally so offbeat they’re actually very fun and, at many stores, you get paid overtime. While I understand the argument some have expressed (or, in a few cases, shoved down everyone’s throats) that we should all boycott Black Friday because of the employees who are forced to work on Thanksgiving evening, I respectfully disagree and would like to politely remind you that many, many, many other people work holidays: civil servants, trade workers, pharmacists, grocers… While some are vital (ahem, police obviously can’t all have the day off) some are not. Football fan? If you’re mad about store clerks, you should be mad about stadium workers at football games, too. Every job has it’s crummy parts and when I was working a cash register holiday pay was not one of them. This shopping day could be equally fun when set at 2 or 3 a.m. like in years past, and could be greater if everyone was primarily polite, but it shouldn’t be dismantled.

Now, off my high horse and back to the savings.


Target. To be entirely honest, my mother and I wandered Target for a while doing normal shopping because we weren’t planning on buying anything crazy like a television or gaming console. We headed toward the few Black Friday deals we knew we wanted, but they were all small: a teeny gift for Lance, a wireless mouse, tea, etc. The only “big” savings I wanted was the $19.99 super-plush blanket for the bed, on sale from $40. When I found the display– and the woman restocking it– I was told only twin-sized blankets were left. “That’s not what you need, is it?” Le sigh. No.

When we hopped in line we were surprised how quickly it moved (much faster than last year!) and again at how much fun we were having hanging out with other discount-loving shoppers, all of which were very nice. I saw one woman in line offer her cart as resting place for those who couldn’t find one, and they shared who pushed it We were having a weird, but undeniably good, time.

And then I saw it. Someone– the weakling! (kidding)– had left the line and all of her things. Sitting in the abandoned basket was (dun dun dun dunnn!) my blanket in the right color and size. As I chased my mother back down the line, I held it up and yelled “I got one!” All the other women in line started clapping. “Hooray, you got one!” I’m still laughing about it.

American Eagle. I didn’t wear jeans for years. Seriously. I wore skirts and tights and that was that because jeans are, well, uncomfortable. Years went by of me wearing sub par pants after I decided I couldn’t rock the constant skirt any longer. I was still on the fence until I found American Eagle’s stretchy, skinny jeans. With the entire store 40% off on Black Friday, I stocked up.

Francesca’s. This adorable little shop had BOGO 50% almost everything, so I bought two pairs of their amazing fuzz-lined Warm Regards tights. They’re like wearing secret sweatpants, and after almost daily wear during any crisp weather both my pairs were looking rather pilly.

Express. I think Express is a hit-or-miss store, and with the 50% off storewide sale that included sale items they were a total hit on Black Friday. I left with two going out tanks with metallic detail, one gold and one silver, for $9 each instead of the listed $40-something.

Ulta. Last month I found my new favorite foundation and, like most my make-up, I bought it at Ulta. The Benefit Some Kind-A Gorgeous retails for $30, and that’s about a 6-week supply. (Note: It is totally worth it. Smooth look, nice finish, staying power, portable… Did I mention it’s packaging looks like a record?) I intended on buying it regular price and stocking up on the Ulta-brand body washes, lotions and sugar scrubs (Another note: Ulta-brand products are wonderful, especially the bath and nail items… and eyeshadow… and they’re always on sale) that were B2G2 free, plus snagging another It’s A 10 hair treatment with coupon.

The hair product came with a freebie, which was a surprise: a sample of a deep conditioning treatment. Better yet, as I was leaving I noticed one Benefit giftbox tucked away that featured a full-size foundation, waterproof mascara and pore minimizer for– get this!– $25! Less than the foundation alone! It says it was a $79 value. I can’t wait to test the other products.

Did you score any good Black Friday, Small Business Saturday or Cyber Monday steals?

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