Let me start by saying my wife hates shopping. I, on the other hand, love it. I rarely make purchases, but I actually love the environment and people watching. So what did I do on Black Friday? I stayed up Thursday night until the Black Friday deals hit on Amazon and other websites, and I bought……nothing. I'm not saying I didn't try. There was a certain gift I was looking to buy for my wife. I was ready the second it became available on Amazon, and by the time my click went through, I couldn't even make it onto the 500+ waiting list. So much for high speed DSL!
So, a little disgruntled I sifted through my email offers and found a beautiful gem. ING Direct had some incredible offers available if you paid attention. I ended up opening a savings account for my son and ING Direct paid me $27 into the account. Nice promotion.
And, I decided not to visit any stores.
Results of Black Friday = +$27 in cash
Small Business Saturday was a different story. In case you don't know it, Small business Saturday was designed as a day to support your local business whether they be restaurants, retailers, or some sort of service business. The great thing that American Express did was to offer a $25 statement credit to anyone who signed up and made a purchase at local small business of $25 or more.
So, being the supportive guy that I am (and someone who will never leave $25 in free money on the table), I headed to a local, eligible specialty retailer and splurged! I bought:
- 1/4 lb 18 month jamon serrano (prosciutto) – $7.54
- small Lindt chocolate bar for my son – $.49
- house made dark pecan turtles – $2.39
- Mo's Milk Bar (45% deep milk chocolate with hickory smoked uncured bacon and alderwood salt) – $8.25
- Hachez Cocoa De Maracaibo Classic bar – $5.99
- Japanese green tea with jasmine – ~$5
All indulgences! Not a single utilitarian purchase! Yay (low cost) hedonism!
Within minutes of checking out AMEX sent me a confirmatory email that I had made a qualified purchase and would shortly receive the statement credit. Hopefully I'll also get my 2% cashback on the full purchase. With this kind of fun, next year I'll do it with both of my AMEX cards. Maybe I'll even dedicate one to charity.
Results of Small Business Saturday = $25 in free merchandise – $6 in spending = +$19 in merchandise
That pretty much sums up my shopping experiences over the holiday. Somehow, I found a way to come out ahead. How did you do this year?
If you're still looking for gift ideas this year be sure to check out my list of Practical Gifts That Don't Suck.
PS Chocolate+Bacon+Salt = Delicious!