Some people who know me — and know how much I love a good bargain, are surprised to learn that I usually stay home on Black Friday.
Although I know folks who object to Black Friday shopping because they think it puts too much emphasis on commercialism, that’s not why I avoid going out the day after Thanksgiving.
Others point out that, the earlier stores open, the sooner their employees get pulled away from their own families. I suppose I can see that those huge sales do cut into family time. But that’s not my reason for avoiding the crowds, either.
I know other folks for whom the shopping itself is family time. For many, scoping out the Black Friday sales is a beloved family tradition. It’s what they do together every year, and theyhave a marvelous time hunting down all the best bargains as a team.
And I’ve got to admit, that does sound like lots of fun. In theory.
But I still plan to stay home.
I don’t enjoy shopping in general, and much less when I must stand in long lines and worm my way through thick crowds to (maybe, maybe not) find what I am looking for.
Not that I won’t do any shopping. Most likely I will. But I’ll do the bulk of my shopping online and avoid all the craziness that Black Friday has become.
There are still plenty of great deals to be had online, and when I shop through Rakuten (formerly Ebates) and earn cashback on every purchase, I save even more.
If you are not already a member of Rakuten, I’d encourage you to join right away. It’s super quick and easy, and it’s totally free!
You can shop all the stores you would normally shop and buy only the stuff you would normally buy, but when you go through the Rakuten portal to do it, you’ll earn cash back on almost every purchase — usually 1-5%, but sometimes as much as 32% of your purchase price! The savings is well worth the few seconds it takes to click on Rakuten before shopping.
Rakuten even offers a button you can install in your browser to be alerted if cashback (or a lower price!) is available for a purchase you attempt to make without first going through their portal. One click, and the savings are automatically credited to your account and added to your Big Fat Payment, which arrives once a quarter. That makes the savings truly effortless.
The installation takes only a few seconds, and will pay off indefinitely! (You can find complete, step-by-step instructions for installing the Rakuten browser button in this post.)
However you choose to spend Black Friday, we hope you’ll stay safe and don’t overspend!