Black Fridays past
There’s always been something to bargain shop for, either for presents or the house. In 2010, having paid off the credit cards and with our TV starting to die, I scoured leaked ads for a mid-range flat screen. I also got an all-in-one printer for $25. And the traditional* food storage containers.
Over the years, I’ve gotten great deals on various presents and items for the home. On two occasions, we used GameStop’s increased trade-in offers to upgrade consoles. We used the ads to find the best price on replacement TVs.
Admittedly, things have been steadily slumping toward the mundane. In 2014, it was mainly about fleece PJ pants and a new dishwasher. Last year, I was scouting for a Roku streaming stick deal and a suitcase. (In a truly, embarrassingly-grown-up moment we also loaded up on underwear and protein bars.)
So, sure, we were getting increasingly boring — but at least we bought things that lasted! Well, with the exception of the protein bars
This Friday, my list consists of household goods.
To be clear, I’m not talking about home goods like decor or furniture. Nope, this year is all about stocking up on things like Band-Aids and toothpaste.
See, I’ve been perusing leaked Black Friday ads in the past couple of weeks, but nothing has jumped out at me. That is, until I saw the Walgreens ad a few days ago.
Apparently, the store will offer a three-day coupon for 25% off non-sale items. Which is handy because I’m nearly out of a few skincare products, none of which appear in the leaked ad.
I made myself a note to check out those three items on Friday. Then I remembered that we’re almost out of trash bags and added it to the list. Oh, and Q-tips. And I need a new mouth guard.
Over the next couple of days I kept finding things that we’re running out of. Then things we’re not that low on, but hey, if the items are going to be 25% off…
Suddenly, I had a 17-item Black Friday list that includes exciting things like laundry detergent, aspirin and so on. Disheartening to say the least.
An Excel sheet is born
Looking over the list, I realized that several of the items’ prices have historically been lower on Amazon. I needed to make sure I wasn’t buying blindly on the assumption that the discount gave a better price. So I went to my old friend, Excel.
I made columns for Walgreens, Amazon and Target. Later, I added Boxed,** a site I’ve been meaning to check out. It’s got good prices, plus 15% off and free shipping on your first order.
Then I spent about 90 minutes going through each site to find items’ costs, adjusting for discounts/coupons and converting everything in price per unit. #ExcelNerd
In the end, Walgreens is still a better deal on about half of the items. Well, assuming that I can combine the 25% discount with the Buy 2, Get 1 Free skincare offer.
Either way, it’s nice to have a game plan — especially one that doesn’t involve leaving the house. But man oh man, it’s still a pretty sad BF shopping list.
Do you guys have any big Black Friday savings plans? Any of you revel in saving on the boring stuff?
*Traditional because we somehow mange to lose or need to throw away at least half of them within a year of purchase. Still, $7-12 a year isn’t too bad.
**If anyone’s interested, use this link to sign up. You’ll get a $15 credit on a $60+ order.