I hate shopping. It doesn't matter what it is for, I hate shopping. So as you can guess, I have never in my life, gone shopping on Black Friday. That is, until today
My husband and I got up at 5 a.m. and out the door we went.( I was grumbling the entire time about how obscene it was to get up early just to purchase something.) Why did we go?
Well, we need new kitchen appliances. The big ones, the ones that need electricity. We purchased our current appliances new when we bought the house. Neither the refrigerator nor the dishwasher work correctly any more. Over the 12 years that we have owned them, we have had the repair man out at least twice for each appliance. I was not going to pay $350 to $400 for a repair order for each appliance again. The refrigerator was my biggest concern, it won't keep things cool and the milk and cheese keep going bad. It has been this way for about 6 months. The ice maker hasn't worked in over 3 years. My response has been that we will just do what the pioneers did and that is not to need to refrigerate much. If you plan meals carefully you can eliminate the need to refrigerate leftovers. For example, when I make cheese, my plan was to just make enough for the recipe or for the pizza or whatever and then I won't need refrigeration. Well, with a busy life it isn't always possible to spend so much time making this stuff every day, on demand, when you need it. If I loose electricity I know I can compensate for it by using ideas I wrote about here. However, if and when I ever loose electricity, I won't be as busy as I am now (work, church, appointments and such). I know it will be possible to live without the refrigerator then. It isn't now. I had resigned myself to the fact that we need a new refrigerator.
The dishwasher is a different story. I tend to wash dishes by hand. My thoughts usually lead to the fact that I can do it quicker then the dishwasher and it will save electricity and water. My husband has a different point of view. He always reminds me that he likes living in the 21st century! He frequently uses the dishwasher. So, a new dishwasher went on the list too.
We started comparison shopping a few weeks ago. I wanted control knobs, not computerized buttons on the appliances. Computerized panels tend to break and need replacing. Do you know how hard it is to find appliances without computer chips in them? We looked at a lot of appliances, price shopped and asked about Black Friday deals. We narrowed each choice down to two models at two different stores.
This brings me back to this morning. I was dreading the trip to the stores. I thought hordes of people would be out shopping. (We have all seen the pictures on the news of people fighting over deals. I didn't want to be part of it.)
Well, was I surprised! While there was traffic on the streets, there wasn't anyone in the appliance section of any of the stores we went to. The parking lots were not full, we parked the car and walked right in. It looked like a normal weekday shopping event - except for the fact it was 5 a.m. We were waited on right away and all the sales people were extremely nice. Our new appliances will be delivered next week! We saved money too because we got Black Friday deals!
Overall, it was a fairly pleasant experience. I think it took too much time to research everything but because we did, we made informed choices. It wasn't crowded this morning and we got a good deal on each appliance. We were home in about 1 hour. My overall impression is that the Black Friday crowds are a bit of an overstatement of the news media, at least at 5 a.m. they are.
I don't plan to ever go out again on a Black Friday, I still hate shopping. However, if I find myself needing another large item, the deals you can get on Black Friday are something to consider!