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Black Friday: A Couponer’s Dream or A Couponer’s Nightmare (What Do YOU Think?!)

4:16 PM MST
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As you probably know, Black Friday is almost upon us (yikes!). And with Black Friday comes some controversy as many stores are planning to open their doors on Thanksgiving day (several stores did this last year as well). Instead of waiting until the wee hours of Friday morning (as was the case in many year’s past), retailers like Target, Toys R Us and Walmart are opening their doors on Thanksgiving evening. To see more of the Black Friday craziness, check out this video here which details how hardcore shoppers are already lining up for Black Friday. So crazy!

Now some would argue that having access to the awesome Black Friday sales earlier than normal is a couponer’s dream, while others may argue that all this retail craziness is taking away from family time and the true meaning of Thanksgiving. Check out more about this debate in the US News article found here entitled “Black Friday Backlash: Retailers Take Heat From Employees Over Thanksgiving Hours.”

On a personal note, I have never been a fan of Black Friday (I much prefer Cyber Monday where I can snag incredible deals from the comfort of my own home ~ in my PJ’s :D ). I would rather spend the entire Thanksgiving day with my family eating good food, playing games, and just enjoying one another.

I have absolutely no desire to wait in line for hours fighting with other shoppers only to find out the deal that I was waiting for is sold out or maybe is not even that great of a deal after all. However, this is just my take on Black Friday and I am sure that many of you may disagree. With that being said, I would love to have you share your thoughts and opinions on this topic…

“Is Black Friday a Couponer’s Dream or a Couponer’s Nightmare?!”

If you are planning to brave the stores on Black Friday, be sure to go here to check out my Top 12 Black Friday Shopping Tips! And be sure to click here to browse through all the Black Friday deals that have been posted thus far.

Join the Discussion

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  • Melinda says:

    I’ve done early-morning black-friday shopping for years. But I’ve had it! I cannot believe the shopping starts Wednesday night and goes on and on and on. Thanksgiving is becoming a crazy shopping day. I’m shopping from home this year, even if it means I pay a little more. Let families (employees and the shopping public) be together and celebrate being grateful for what we have, rather than shopping like we have nothing. That’s my thought this year.

  • Sara says:

    I’ve been reading the comments on here and I can’t believe no one has mentioned this. My brother in law worked security at a hospital. It was mandatory (drunken turkey fights??). Anyway, we did it on Wednesday night instead. We knew he had to work so we just accommodated the situation. Years later, my mother worked at Target and she knew taking the job that Black Friday, Christmas Eve, etc would be busy. So we ate at noon. She played with kids and then we drove her to work. She appreciated the extra money. I don’t think she felt like she was missing out on family time and neither did we. My mother has since passed away and her missing that Thanksgiving didn’t mean a thing. Watching her face, as my daughter opened that barbie dream house because my mom had a little extra money, was the memory I have from that last year. I worked in a grocery store for years and worked all the holidays/holidays so I could buy the things my mom couldn’t afford. I have teenage cousins who the minute dessert is served, bury their heads in their cell phones and make plans with their friends. Family time, huh? My brother took a part time job for Christmas on top of going to school full time so he can finish school with no debt. My husband is a manager at a gas station. He works Christmas/Thanksgiving so one less employee has to be there. I would much rather he be home with us, but again, we’ll eat the day after or the day before. I have always gone out shopping on black friday with my female cousins. But now, we’re older and have small children. We’ll probably put them to bed, let our hubbys play Black Ops, and head out. Or maybe not. But please don’t make anyone feel bad about whatever decision they choose. My daughter plays with that Dream house every single day I am blessed to have had such a wonderful mother who volunteered to work Black Friday.

    • Jessika says:

      Sara, I’m in tears reading your comment. You seem like a great person, your mother is smiling down on you. Proudly of course, may good bless you and your family. Happy holidays

    • tgin says:

      thank you for sharing this. May your family be a symbol of true love and devotion.

    • SMS says:

      Great post! I come from a family of nurses, EMT’s and retailers as well. The Christmas I was pregnant with my last child I was scheduled to work an overnight shift Christmas eve into Christmas morning. I was charge nurse, one of the nurses working on the floor along side of me was my mom. We left work, she picked up my grandma, and we all went back to my house to watch my kids open presents. My mom always had to work the holidays, and now I guess she passed that tradition down to me ;)

    • anne says:

      Material “things” are a distraction to what is purposeful and meaningful if it is done at the expence family and friends. Yes, it is rewarding to coupon and saving my family our hard earned dollars, but not on a “Thanksgiving” day. As a Nurse for over 25 years and we schedule meals and gathering around my NECESSARY obligations to my community. People, if you want to justifiy this crazy retailers dream for us to spend more/charge more on a day of gratitude, don’t do it under the pretence that one day of holiday pay for these people who do have to work in retail will give them that extra financial boost to provide for their familys for the holidays.

      • Sara says:

        Because so many people will be shopping the next 5 weeks, stores will stay open late meaning overtime and extra employees. When you live paycheck to paycheck and always wonder if you will have enough money to cover food, rent or clothes on your children’s back, it makes you feel good to have an extra $500 or so for the month to buy your children a little something. I got a CD player for Christmas one year and I will tell you I cherish that thing like it was made of gold. In fact, it is over 15 years old and sitting on my desk at work right now. I know people say Family is important and material things don’t matter. But the truth is sometimes they do.

        • anne says:

          I think the post was about “shopping” for deals on Thanksgiving day not the five weeks that follow or the extended store hours. No one is going to begrudge the person who wants to work hard to provide for your family.

  • Stacy says:

    I worked retail for 9 years and loved working holidays. Either I could take the day off for $13 an hour or work and make $33 an hour. I’m like most that didn’t want to turn down that pay
    . My family adjusted dinner times for me and Black Friday I went to work with no sleep. Christmas we were one of those odd crazy families who actually would plan Christmas with the family when we could all schedule it. It’s about being together not which day it’s on
    And I loved work Black Friday. It was 2 hours of just chaos. But everyone was so nice and it was fun. Than got to relax for the rest of your shift.

  • Ilyssa says:

    I’ll be out Black Friday shopping with my mom! We go together every year. I usually try to look for great deals online for my big ticket items and use Black Friday as a fail safe. This year I scored a 32 inch TV on Amazon for $1 cheaper than Walmart’s Black Friday price. Saves me the time in line and guarantees it gets here.

    I am not a hardcore shopper. I get there right as the store is open, wait patiently and try to be kind to others. I never go for the big doorbuster items. This year it’s just movies, towels, some tools, a few “not so hot” toys and that’s it. If I find they are sold out, no big deal… I was only going to save $30-$50 (total).

    I’ve got some horror stories though. One year, my mom and I were waiting in line about 15 minutes before Sears opened. An older woman was walking up to the line and she slipped on some ice, broke a few bones and hit her head (she was bleeding). We immediately ran over to help her. When we asked people in line to help us by calling an ambulance, moving their cars so an ambulance could get to her, getting her blankets or other things to keep her warm NO ONE would get out of line to help. They were too concerned about their deals!

  • Sarah says:

    No way for me! As I’ve gotten older, (yes the dear old age of 30! lol) I don’t like the crowds. Now even more so that I’m a stay at home mom I find I have even less patience for the general public. There were a TON of awesome toy deals I found this year in the months of July, August, & September and then some great prices along the way for the adults in the family. This is my first year I can say that I’m all done Christmas shopping before Thanksgiving!! It feels great. Also 90% of all my shopping was online with free shipping! Love Love that. More time to do other family things.

  • Maggie says:

    DH and I are going to volunteer at our local animal shelter instead of fighting traffic and crowds. I get great deals all year, and there is no bargain for me that’s worth the mayhem in the stores. I’d far rather spend the day off snuggling with puppies, walking dogs, and helping animals in need get adopted.

  • melissa says:

    I am completly against shopping on Thanksgiving as its a day for families and traditions. That being said a tradition of ours is to go black friday (or black thursday as we are now calling it) together. Just us girls and our mom with a couple family friends. My mom wasnt against going on Thursday so she wouldnt have to wake up early on friday so we are going shopping. I know a lot of people are saying its mean to the employees but they do get paid a lot more then their typical hourly rate and most volunteer. I worked a black friday ONCE in retail but chose to work the last hafl the day and it was insane and a LONG day but i didnt mind working. Also my dad has worked on christmas for many many years. we used to get up at 2AM growing up so we could open presents with him before hed leave for work at 4. Wed then go back to bed and then wake up late and play withour new toys until he got home then wed have dinner around 3. :)

  • helen says:

    I am one that it’s terrorized by the long lines and the pushing and shoving so I choose to simply not take part of it and enjoy it with my kids and family that’s the most important time to me, whatever anyone chooses to do I don’t judge to the people that do black Friday sales I admire Your courage but it’s sad to Me that they have to make workers work these days, but with this economy I think many benefit with the extra hours and of course the shoppers get the great deals, but I will be home that is my choice to each it’s own. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!

  • Cait Tanner says:

    It does bother me that black FRIDAY is now thursday- especially because this year my birthday falls on thanksgiving, so I’d rather be home eating. However, I do love black friday, even though it is CRAZY!!!

  • SMS says:

    I go out Black Friday shopping with my MIL. It’s one of the times of year we “bond”. A lot of the time I get gifts on discount that I can donate or give to kids/families from the “giving trees” in our community. I also pick up a lot of household things I have had on my ‘wish list’. I can stock up on towels, jammies, etc. We’ve found a way to “work” the lines, we go to the grocery store for lunch…There is no item I would spend a night outside a store to wait for, no item I would punch someone over, no item
    I would be trampled over….I think the people that do that just don’t follow Collin’s site ;)

  • Mandi says:

    I’ve already done my Best Buy Black Friday shopping. Got what I wanted with free shipping and the best part is that it’ll be here today. I ordered everything yesterday! I have never found a deal worth all the chaos of Black Friday. I would much rather get my stuff online. My son wanted Skylanders and I was able to get it at Target for $51, regularly $75 a few weeks ago. Black Friday ads have it priced at $49. That extra $2 is so worth it for me to pay to not go out on Black Friday!

  • Janette says:

    I heard reference to a study on NPR the other day and reading this post made me want to paste the part that I found pertained to the question of Black Fridays value for the couponer . In short the study explored wether the best deals were in fact given on black friday based on last years data. Here is just part of it.

    According to the ShopAdvisor study:

    Sunday, Nov. 13, 2011 was the day with the highest percentage (59 percent) of products on sale.
    Thursday, Dec. 1, 2011 (after Black Friday) was the day with the next largest percentage (57 percent) of products on sale.
    On Black Friday 2011, 24 percent of the toys on ShopAdvisor’s list were priced above their initial holiday season price.
    Dec. 23, 2011, two days before Christmas was the day after Black Friday with the most toys (40 percent) selling at a premium price.
    ShopAdvisor suggests holiday shoppers, “watch for sudden price drops and avoid price spikes that often last only a day or two before plunging back down to their original price or lower,” according to PR Newswire.

    The vendor also says shoppers can expect steep discounts in the two weeks before Christmas, and then again after December 28.

    “Avoid day-after-Christmas shopping; wait until Dec. 29. If the toy you are giving does not have to be under the tree on Christmas day, it pays to wait until Dec. 29 when 17 percent of all the toys in the ShopAdvisor Watchlist were available for 30 percent less than their pre-Black Friday prices,” PR Newswire reported.

  • smellyann says:

    NIGHTMARE! Never have, never will.

  • Patty says:

    My family has nurses, corrections officers and so on so holidays might be shared on the actual day by some, but with everyone it has been a different day as long as I can remember and even then with a large family it is hard for everyone to be there. My husbands family was big on celebrating the holiday on its day. Whatever works for your family is what works and is best. When I was young my mom, me and my 2 sisters would go out on Black Friday but it was very different then – very festivie and just a day to be together maybe buy something have lunch. I have gone once as an adult and once was enough. I work hard and get little time with my immediate family so I like to be lazy Friday morning and just spend extra snuggle time. Having said that my husbands mom and brother recently passed away so this year we are leaving on Thanksgiving day to Disney World. It will be us, his sister and her family and his dad who lives in Florida will meet us there with his wife. It was too hard for them to think about a day where they had a lot of tradition and what it would be like. I don’t think this will start a new tradition (but you never know), but it is what they needed. I’ll miss my family during that time, but we already have a plan to be together when we get back. I hope everyone enjoys Thanksgiving and Black Friday – whatever your traditions are and whatever you plan to do.

  • Teresa says:

    I am loving the fact it opens Thanksgiving night because I don’t have a baby sitter for Friday and now I can get the gifts I need without him being there or worried he is going to get hurt in the process. Expecially this time of year not working as much I need to save as much as possible !

  • Tiffany Jones says:

    I hate black Friday and I think it is TERRIBLE that they are moving it to Thursday now!

  • Melony says:

    I will be skipping it due to being out of town. However, I have no Christmas shopping to do as none of us in this family need anything. It started with my in laws telling us a few years ago that they did not want anything for Christmas due to having too much junk in the house already. We haven’t looked back since. It’s really nice that I can concentrate on donating things to homeless shelters/animal rescue orgs all year long instead thanks to Hip2Save! :)

  • Ang says:

    ill just wait for the online deals on Monday. People are crazy!!!!

  • says:

    Me and my husband do it every year together. We make it into a date. I am a little sad there starting it so early this year, being we have 3 little ones and have to leave while there still awake, but my mil will be with them. We look forward to it every year just being together and shopping for our kiddos:) It’s a tradition I hope we can do every year together.

  • Donna says:

    I did the Black Friday craziness last year and bought sent $800 on what I thought were awesome deals. Before Christmas arrived I had taken every single thing back and bought it at an even cheaper price.

  • Mary says:


  • Tracy says:

    I do think mid night would be a better time to start the sales. But I go with my mom and my sister and sometimes a few aunts. We shop til we drop and then wind up at Cracker Barrel for breakfast. I don’t get much time shopping alone with no kids in tow so this is a treat for me. I do feel people should be entitled to a day off so I would prefer it be a true black Friday, not black Thursday.

  • Chris says:

    Checkout this pre black friday madness that I was in just for sweet potatoes. I just wanted to get in and out, but that didn’t happen.

  • Jessic says:

    I have never been before. I won’t be going on Thanksgiving because that is just not right for the workers. I also think Black friday is the complete opposite of the Christmas Spirit and what it is really all about.

  • Jennifer H. says:

    When I was a child, Black Friday started at 8am on Friday. I went once and never again. Too stressful, long lines everywhere, people rushing, screaming, yelling. Yike !! Now I prefer to bypass all the shopping and go sightseeing on Black Friday instead. You have the whole place to yourself. It’s very relaxing.

  • Erin says:

    I’m going out for sales, for the first time in YEARS I don’t have to work in the morning so I’m going to chug some coffee, pull an all nighter and then top it all off with a work shift lol! I’m actually very excited because I get to find some great deals on toys and clothes for my kids and if i’m lucky I’ll get a camera I have my eye on but if I don’t so what? I’ll also be getting to spend the night shopping with my best friends from school who I haven’t seen in years because we all moved away to different states!

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