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Black Friday (Not) Shopping: 6 Frugal Alternatives

Nov. 12, 2014
Black Friday, Shopping
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Let’s face it. Sometimes the deals offered on Black Friday aren’t worth the trouble. Who wants to lose sleep to camp out in front of the store and then fight with the crowds over the last Sony PlayStation offered at 50% off?

If you’ve had enough of the shopping frenzy that ensues every year when Black Friday rolls around, here are six alternative ways to spend the day after Thanksgiving.

Go to the Zoo

It’s not uncommon for zoos to offer specials on Black Friday to lure visitors away from the mall.

The Tulsa Zoo in Oklahoma, for example, has offered free admission in the past, and Zoo New England in Boston offered 50% off admission from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. last year.

Not only is a trip to the zoo a great way to save money, it also offers fun for the whole family and is the perfect excuse to get out of the house.

Eat Out For Less

After cooking for Thanksgiving, making another meal may be the last thing on your mind. Good thing that a number of restaurants feature Black Friday specials. For example, last year Chili’s offered a free kid’s meal with the purchase of an adult entrée. At LongHorn Steakhouse, customers buying a lunch combination got 50% off a second lunch combination.

Take a Hike

When everyone else is hitting the malls, why not hit the trails instead? Take advantage of your day off to get some exercise and experience the Great Outdoors. You can take along some friends or family members or use a hike as some “me” time. Not only will you feel better about yourself, your wallet will also thank you. Don’t forget to pack some Thanksgiving leftovers for a snack!

Visit a Museum

If you’re looking for a fun, non-consumerist way to spend this Black Friday, check out your local museums. Some museums offer discounted admission on Black Friday and may even include perks like free donuts and coffee for early-bird visitors. Check in with your favorite museums to see if they have any special programs, like live music or interactive projects for children.

Say Goodbye to Thanksgiving

With sales starting as early as “Gray Thursday,” it’s easy to forget about Thanksgiving in the rush to get to the store. But you don’t have to jump up from the dinner table to run to the mall.

Black Friday is the perfect opportunity to end Thanksgiving on a positive note. Remember what you’re thankful for, and appreciate the time you’ve spent with your family – or the opportunity to finally escape from them.

Take your Thanksgiving leftovers out of the fridge and turn them into something new. You can find dozens of recipes on the Internet for ways to transform your uneaten turkey, sides and desserts into completely different dishes.

Prepare for the Holidays

Maxing out your credit card isn’t the only way to kick off the holiday season. Consider staying at home on Black Friday and getting into the holiday spirit by decorating your home and garden. Bring old boxes of lights and tinsel down from the attic, or cut out paper snowflakes with your family.

Black Friday is also the perfect time to write holiday cards. It’ll give you a chance to sit back and reflect on your year and maintain connections with your friends and family – something you can never buy at the mall. If you’re feeling crafty, get out your collage supplies and make your own personalized cards.

If you’re looking to save, try making some homemade gifts this year. If you have the day off, Black Friday is the perfect opportunity to get your creative juices flowing. Thoughtful, handcrafted gifts are often the most memorable, and you may even be able to recycle some items lying around the house. Check out Pinterest and About Home for inspiration.

Written by Melinda Szell



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