Right now everyone in the US is either recovering from Black Friday sales or stalking their favorite websites for Cyber Monday deals. This was the first time I headed into these big shopping days as an independent woman, using my hard earned cash flow.
Do you know what surprised me? I didn’t want to buy anything.
I kept looking anxiously for a good deal on something I needed, but I found nothing much I considered to be worth my money. I did end up buying on sale:
Candles at B&BW. Best candles ever! I always get them reduced price.
New shoes for Josh, because his old pair wore out.
New jeans for me, because my old pair ripped at the hip.
New white socks, because ours have holes and are no longer white.
I “splurged” on a gray tank from Lauren Conrad, which I believe came down to $8.50. I didn’t need that, but I’ve been dying to try her collection. Hence the “splurge!”
I realize how mixed up we get when it comes to wants vs needs. You can take advantage of a sale to get things you needed to buy anyway, but if you’re buying things purely because they’re on sale you’re not really saving any money.
I had this anxiety-ridden dilemma all week and I’m glad it’s finally over. I think I did fairly well. Next time I think I will plan better, as I got overwhelmed this year. The more minimalistic I try to be the more anxious shopping makes me!
How was your week? Did you find the perfect sale?
This blog entry was posted in Minimalism on Nov 28 2011.
It’s that time of year to give thanks for everything you’re lucky enough to have.
Oh wait, so why is everyone telling you to go shopping?
While I love a great deal, it’s always consumerism overload this week. Don’t you think it’s ironic that we spend the most money on new things the day after we’re thankful for what we already have?
Black Friday Tips
If you’re going to tackle Black Friday, here’s what I recommend:
Don’t waste Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is time to spend with your family and loved ones over good food and great conversation, not shopping or planning to shop.
Plan ahead. That being said, do plan ahead. Make a list of things you want to buy, where they are, and the price. You will know what you’re doing and avoid wandering around in a sea of people pushing their way around you.
Be realistic. Some things will be sold out when you get there. Expect it.
Remember Cyber Monday. Web stores are having great deals on the Monday after Thanksgiving, which saves you from road rage and getting trapped in between shopping carts for half an hour. Even on Black Friday, it’s good to remember most deals can be bought online in addition to in store.
Make a list. It’s the perfect time to buy Christmas gifts or things you actually need to replace around the house. Make a list and stick to it. Don’t fall victim to buying something just because it’s 75% off if you don’t need it. That’s wasteful.
A Better Option
Have you considered not running after that carrot corporations are dangling in front of you this Friday? Try not buying anything. It’s actually easy to do if you stay home and enjoy an activity you love.
However, this is still hard for some. Here’s a second alternative. Many small businesses and individuals have sales on Black Friday too. Give them a chance.
Artists: Many online artists sell their work at a discount or offer discounted commissions. I have some friends who do this. If you’re one of them, feel free to comment below with your information!
Handcrafters: Places like the Etsy.com marketplace will have people offering their items on discount, sometimes even with free shipping. Now is the time to discover some great handmade items!
Business Owners: Some small businesses are having sales. Check out what they’re offering before going to a huge mall. You may find a smaller crowd and even better deals.
Back when I lived with my parents, organizing my shoes was not much of an issue. We had a huge shoe rack in the garage we would all place out shoes on while going in and out of the house.
When I moved out, I had a few options to think about. In the end I went with this small shoe rack from Target. It limits me, which is a good thing, but still fits perfectly in the space I have available. In this case, the best space I had to put the shoe rack is on top of our built-in drawer system.
I generally organize them by type of shoe, so you’ll notice they’re grouped in categories. I find that I’m looking for category when I’m reaching for a shoe. For example, if I’m wearing my longer pants I’ll reach for a heel. If I’m going to hang out with friends, I’ll reach for a sandal. These are all the shoes I own, which total to 16 pairs. Did you know the average woman owns 17 pairs of shoes? I was shocked and figured I didn’t have nearly that many. Turns out… I’m pretty darn close! I plan on weeding through these by replacing old pairs and seeing which I rarely wear. As always, I find less is more.
How do you organize your shoes? How many pairs do you own?
I’m often torn between two options when I’m wanting to an item — should I buy it, or should I try DIY?
Naturally, there are certain items I never think about making myself like shoes, bags, electronics, etc. However, there are some things like jewelry and pillow cases that I was so picky about, I decided to just craft them myself. But there are a few things to consider before making an item yourself:
Do I have the materials for making it?
If not, can I easily obtain them?
Would I be able to create this item without injuring myself or others? (Maybe this is only me.)
Why go through the trouble? In my case it’s equal parts being cheap to equal parts being picky. For example, it’s been so hard for me to find a pillow case cover design that I like for decorating our bed cushions. I’ve been able to find some fabrics that are perfect, so why not just make them myself? Paying for the fabric would be merely a fraction of paying for them already made. Even IKEA’s decorative pillows are $15-$20 each at the cheapest.
Benefits of Doing It Yourself
Aside from being cheaper, here are some other benefits of DIY:
Learning. You’re actually teaching yourself a new skill by crafting something.
Creativity. You can make the item any way you want and don’t have to settle.
Originality. Shelf items have hundreds of duplicates. You’ve made something one of a kind.
Gifting. It’s amazing how much more a gift means to someone you love if you made it yourself!
Quality. Start a DIY project with a loved one and share quality time together.
If you’re still not up for making something yourself, there are wonderful resources like Etsy that sell handmade items from individuals and small businesses. Do your part and support these artists!