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Black Friday Frugal Fun


Hi all!

Anyone out braving the Black Friday crowds today trying to score great deals?

We haven’t even taken a look at any of the Black Friday specials. We’re kind of “phoning it in” for Christmas this year. We really don’t have any money to be out-and-about shopping. Plus, we already know what our parents are getting for the kiddos and they’re BIG gifts!!! Bikes from my mom and a motorized car from hubs’ mom, so we’re just going to do little necessities (e.g., new socks) and minimal other stuff (e.g., stocking stuffers) and call it a day. The girls are going to be so spoiled from their grandparents that they really don’t need anything extra from us.

So instead of going out shopping, we decided to do something special on this Black Friday. We decided to do an “experience” gift.

Black Friday Frugal Fun Challenge:

  • We decided to each take one kid so they could have special one-on-one time with us. So we had to think of two *separate* experiences.
  • We wanted to do something special we’ve never done before – not just taking them to the park or mall play area/normal stuff.
  • We set a maximum price tag of $25 per pair ($25 for Mom & daughter; $25 for Dad & daughter).

I jumped online to check out pricing for my idea and it totally paid off!!! I wanted to take my kid to Funtasticks. It’s a little local place with putt-putt golf, bumper boats, kids’ carnival-style rides, race cars, etc. After checking out the website, I discovered they were having a 50% off sale for 2-hour wristbands. Instead of $20.99 each, I only spent $20.99 total (+ tax)!!! The trick was that the sale was ONLY advertised online. There was no mention of it anywhere on-site and they were still ringing up wristbands at full price, so you had to ask to get the special rate. Again – it pays to check out sales and coupons online (I just saved a ton on my brakes that way, too!)

We had an absolute blast! It was 2 hours of unlimited outdoor adventures! We used every single second and took advantage of the slow day (almost no lines anywhere! We practically had the park to ourselves!)

Notice the spaghetti straps! It’s still in the upper 80’s here in sunny Tucson! We’re breaking heat-records from the 1890s with our current temps! But on the plus side, it makes outdoor fun all-the-more appealing!

It was so fun!

And don’t feel sorry for sister! She and Dad found a pottery place in the mall and spent their time crafting!

All-in-all, it’s been a great Black Friday! We spent time together as a family in the morning pulling out some Christmas decorations, ate leftover Thanksgiving sandwiches for lunch (one of my favorite parts of turkey day!), and spent the afternoon having some special one-on-one time with our kids.

How have you spent your Friday? Any great Black Friday finds?

Black Friday!


As the resident nut job of our family, you’d think it would be me who woke up and the crack of dawn on Black Friday to purchase the best deals for the holiday season but…

I was snuggled warmly in bed catching some Z’s.

As I’ve said before, I don’t participate in Black Friday.

Hubby on the other hand, was lined up with my brother outside Lowe’s and Home Depot brimming with excitement. For some reason, I imagine him getting a running start and riding the cart across those concrete floors while ‘It’s the Most Wonderful Time of The Year’ blares as a soundtrack in his head.

He saves gift cards people give him for his birthday and other holidays for months and dusts them off on Black Friday. Our checking account remains unharmed.

By the time I wake up, he’s sitting on the living room floor surrounded by his favorite tools and he has a glass of orange juice and a muffin warmed for me. Sorry ladies – he’s taken.

How’d you fair on the most dangerous debt day of the year *er*, I mean, Black Friday?

Navigating Black Friday…


Shhhh. Don’t tell anyone (and by ‘anyone’, I mean my mother) but…

I read Cosmo.

Come on! I read finance stuff all the time and every once in a while, it’s nice to read garbage *cough*, I mean, light reading.

Anyway, for those of you crazy folks *cough*, I mean money savers, who shop on Black Friday, Cosmo has some tips on surviving the busiest shopping day of the year.

#1 – Go to Blackfriday.com. They have a listing of retailers you can sign up for e-mail notifications when their deals are posted. They also let you know what stores are running pre-Black Friday deals.

#2 – Go online early, add items to your cart, and press refresh when the sales start to see if your items went on sale.

#3 – Join your favorite retailer’s Facebook page or subscribe to their Twitter feed. Sometimes subscribers get early access to sales.


#4 – Don’t buy gifts this year and pay down debt.

OK, they didn’t write #4. But that’s the one I’m doing.

Black Friday…


Black Friday this year was particularly dangerous. In late 2008, I lost my job and had only recently picked up a new one. We were so busy putting our financial lives back together that Christmas gifts weren’t an option. In late 2009, my husband was laid off and didn’t have a job over the holidays. We skipped Christmas that year too. This year, not only are we both employed, my husband got a raise and things are looking good on my end too.

I was ready to shop this year.

But, crazy thing happened on Black Friday…

I had to work.

I think I heard the Hallelujah chorus blaring from my wallet the entire morning.

Oh well. There will always be next year.

Did you shop on Black Friday this year? Or did you have a moment of sanity and skip it?

Happy Thanksgiving!!


What a great year this has been. I’m unbelievably thankful for my family, my friends, and *yay!* a good job in a bad economy.

I am so very blessed.

Wishing all of you a very happy thanksgiving!!


In Sickness and In Health…


I jinxed myself.

I made the mistake of saying I’d rather be sick this weekend than pour concrete. Not only am I miserably sick, they cancelled pouring concrete because it’s raining.

I’ve been in bed since Thursday afternoon and it’s incredibly painful to speak. I can’t even moan in pain because that hurts too.

My husband has been on his knees praying for the last two days. At first I thought he was being sweet but based on his hidden snickers, I don’t think he’s praying for my recovery… I think he’s thanking God for the silence.

As an added bonus to him, I couldn’t go out on Black Friday – the deadliest financial holiday of the year. The store I buy my work clothes from had everything marked at 50% off.

I’m miserable but my husband is happy.