My Black Friday shopping strategy: Don’t leave the house!

The only thing better than scoring a great deal is scoring a great deal while still in my jammies with hot tea and leftover pie in hand.  Seriously.  Thanks to my social anxiety, I don’t do crowds well.  They make me very uncomfortable, so the internet, especially internet shopping, has been a Godsend for me.

Black Friday has some great deals, but is it really worth the hassle? Here are 6 reasons you should stay home this year.

If you’ve never done your Black Friday shopping online, here are 6 reasons to give it a try this year.

1. Crowds.  And these aren’t pleasant, happy-go-lucky crowds.  These are tired, over-stuffed, deal-crazed super-shopper crowds who will push, shove, and step on anyone who gets between them and a 50% off plasma TV or doll, a la Frank Costanza from Seinfeld.  Black Friday craziness has gotten so out of hand that there is now a website devoted to keeping a tally of Black Friday deaths and injuries.  And this year you can throw in the open carry enthusiasts who will be bringing their favorite Uzi to help them keep other shoppers away from the deals they want.  No thank you.

2. Lines. I can get all my shopping done in the same amount of time I would stand in line at a single store.  My back thanks me.  My feet thank me.  My patience thanks me.  And not for nothing, all the people who don’t have to wait behind me thank me, too!

3. Savings.  You can get almost all the same deals online.  This is the one reason I might, someday, consider going to the store during the Black Friday madness.  Most, but not all, deals are available through the stores’ websites.  Door buster deals typically aren’t offered online (though some are), and items with limited quantities may be sold in store only.  However, cashback sites like E-bates usually offer extra cash back on major shopping days, so I may end up saving more money by shopping online.

4. Morals.  Many people struggle with the dilemma of shopping on Thanksgiving day or not – and whether or not those who work in retail should be able to enjoy the holiday with their families or manage legions of crazed bargain hunters.  There’s no such issue with online shopping.  No store has to open early.  No one even has to be in the warehouse since inventory is tracked by a computer.  Employees can stay home with their families, enjoy their holiday, and do their own shopping online!

5. Comfort.  Now that I have a 3-year-old I can’t plop down in my recliner and shop from there, but I can hide in the office, turn on HGTV and shop in my UConn sweats, cup of piping hot tea and Thanksgiving leftovers nearby.  It’s a beautiful thing.  Well, in truth, it ain’t pretty, but it’s damn comfortable.

6. Self-Control.  Personally, I find it a lot easier to resist impulse buying when shopping online.  Those socks on sale for $.25 aren’t nearly as tempting in a picture as they are in the brightly colored bin with Santa and Rudolf on the side.  I also find it helpful to check my cart balance regularly to see how much I’m spending.  Of course, I could add up all the stuff in my cart at the store.  But that would require, you know… math!

Regardless of how or where you shop, be safe, be smart, and keep your budget in mind!

FYI: More Excellent Me has a great how-to for shopping online, and for those who still like to head out to the store the Grocery Coupon Network has a helpful tips on making the most of your trip.

Will you be shopping online or in store this Black Friday?  Share in the comments!

Black Friday has some great deals, but is it really worth the hassle? Here are 6 reasons you should stay home this year.