Every year for as long as I can remember, my mother has done all of her Christmas shopping on Black Friday. She scours the newspaper ads, makes her lists, and leaves the house at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving, while the rest of us are still in our food comas. She doesn’t even come back home until we’re having brunch on Friday morning, and she has a trunk (and often backseat) full of gifts for everyone on her list. For the rest of the month, she relaxes as the rest of us are scrambling for gifts.
For my mother, though, relaxing doesn’t necessarily mean sitting around at home. She keeps an eye on holiday sales and buys all the things she’s wanted during the year. After seeing her haul year after year, I’m convinced this is a strategy that others should try as well. There are a few types of items in particular that she looks for during the holidays, and she’s found some stellar deals on the following things:
Coats: Every November, my mom takes a look at her coat closet and picks one kind of coat or jacket she’d like to add to her collection (or one she’d like to replace). Then she studies local department store ads for winter sales until she finds the perfect coat on sale. She’ll often pair the sale with a coupon from the newspaper to get an even better deal.
Kitchen gadgets: My mom’s kitchen gets a bit of an overhaul every December as she prepares for the waves of holiday guests who will be coming through her home. Last year, she picked up an espresso maker so she wouldn’t have to send guests out to Starbucks for their favorite drinks. Other gadgets you can often find on sale include baking pans, toasters, and blenders.
Clothes: When it comes to cool weather clothes, my mom never buys anything outside of December. She can always find some great sales on pants, sweaters, socks, and shoes in the weeks leading up to Christmas. Last year, she found a new pair of boots that even made me a little jealous. Your favorite stores will probably have some great deals, too, so keep your eyes open for them.
Movies: My parents rarely go see movies in the theater, but my mom loves movie nights at home. Whether she’s sitting through an action movie with my dad or curling up with a good historical drama on her own, almost every movie she owns was purchased on sale during December. One of her favorite strategies is to keep a list in her purse of the Oscar-nominated films from the previous year and watch for them on sale whenever she’s at a store that sells movies.
Linens: With so many guests coming through her house during the holidays, my mom is always looking for deals on sheets and towels for the guests. She finds half price sales on these during December and takes the opportunity to replace whatever is looking worn out. Online sales on linens are especially good during the holidays, but she sometimes finds better deals in January, when stores are trying to unload sheets.
Although I don’t know if I’ll ever manage to get my shopping for others done on Black Friday, I’ve taken my mom’s lead in looking for deals on things I need while I shop for others. Plus, it makes shopping a lot more fun when I can get something for myself, too. This year, I’m hoping to score a great deal on a food processor!