On the pro-consumerism side of the Super Bowl ads was Squarespace’s ode to small business, starring Zendaya as Sally, who went from selling seashells by the seashore to being a seashell-themed lifestyle brand thanks to online sales. Equally #stuff-friendly is the ad for cash-back shopping app Rakuten, which depicts a poker player betting personal belongings such as a vacuum cleaner and TV instead of poker chips. Nobody should buy more #stuff than they need just to get cash back, of course, so even if you like to shop, spend wisely and use the #declutterer’s rule of thumb: Eliminate two items for every new thing you bring in.
You can avoid delivery delays (and save a lot of wrapping paper) if you buy the people on your #gift list an “experience” rather than a physical product. A short course from MasterClass might be in order if your giftee would like to learn a trade from a world-renowned luminary such as Martin Scorsese, James Patterson or Gordon Ramsey; a gift certificate from the local cooking school, massage therapist or maid service might also make a nice gift. Whatever you choose, most businesses can deliver a gift certificate via email, making your shopping almost effortless. #ShoppingTips
Black Friday has come and gone, but there are still deals to be found on gifts as retailers scramble to supply shoppers in time for #Christmas. Amazon is offering “epic” daily deals and relatively reliable shipping times, and deal “trackers” such as TechRadar’s will help make sure you get the best price on that blender, air fryer or gaming console from the big-box stores. Handmade goods specialist Etsy offers a sale page if you’re looking for something a bit more whimsical and personalized, such as socks with your favorite dog’s face printed on them or a custom charcuterie board. #ShoppingTips
The circulars are out, and the buzz is building. There are so many deals to be had on the busiest shopping day of the year — how could anyone just sit around the house enjoying a long-awaited day off and some Thanksgiving leftovers?!
As tempting as some of those deals might be, you don’t have to shop on Black Friday. In fact, it might save you lots of money in the long run if you avoid the crowds and keep your credit cards hidden away in a drawer. Otherwise, you might overspend.
“We go with a list, but other tempting deals reel us in,” says Simply Organized Home. “Then, all of a sudden, we had to have it. After coming home and realizing we went over our budget, we get a sickening feeling down in our stomach.”
That sickening feeling foreshadows bills that might be a lot more than you want to pay after all of the gifts are given and all of the tidings are told. What’s more, a lot of that impulse stuff is probably unnecessary, so you and yours will have to find places to put it.
Then there’s the hassle of fighting the crowds — those legions of people who, like you, want to save a buck or two on whatever the “it” item is this year. Do yourself a favor and turn tail on those crowds unless you truly regard shopping as a competitive sport.
The fact of the matter is that you can probably get just as good a deal by shopping online, and do so in a more targeted and efficient way. If you know exactly what you want, you can probably get just as a good a deal while sipping coffee in your bathrobe.
And if you don’t buy those things nobody needs, you and your giftees will have less clutter to cope with at home. Less clutter means less anxiety — and less time spent simply managing one’s own possessions.
Use the day to plan what you want to give to your family and friends. Consider giving a gift that take up no space whatsoever, like a charitable donation to the Vietnam Veterans of America or another worthy nonprofit.
Or take a day to decompress. Instead of going to a mall or big-box store, “Go ice skating,” says The Minimalists. “Donate your time to a food bank. Play in the snow (or in the sand). Or just relax and enjoy the holiday season. Simply be together — no purchase necessary.”
To ensure you don’t overspend at the Black Friday sales this week, start out with a strict budget, Consumer Reports advises. Whether you do most of your holiday shopping in-store or online, decide how much you’re ultimately going to spend, and stick to that number. If you are not sure that you’re getting the best price on something, move on to the next web page or display. And if you can’t resist using a credit card to overspend, only carry cash to stores instead. Finally, check retailers’ return and exchange policies on Black Friday items to avoid paying a restocking fee or having to keep merchandise you don’t want.