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Black Friday is finished. Expect for a very small amount of things, my Christmas list is finished. Everything for Ron and I’s three Angel Tree children is purchased and just needs to be labeled and turned in. And I’m glad Black Friday was a safe event. It was chaotic like always, but with the Colorado movie theater shooting and the recent mall shootings around the nation, I was nervous about going out. But it turned out OK and for that I’m really grateful. Yes, there are great deals to be had, but nothing to lose your life over. Sadly, we live in a world where things like that can happen.

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I don’t know what it is but I love Black Friday shopping. I think it’s something to do with shopping at a weird time and the excitement and chaos. And I love finding a great deal. I’m like that woman on the Walmart commercial that gets super excited when she gets the great deal. I don’t want to pay more for anything than I have to.

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My Ebates check came in the mail. This is the third check I’ve gotten, plus Ron has received one a few weeks ago. It’s the easiest money I’ve ever made. Basically, you sign up for Ebates and then go through their site to get to online merchants that you were already planning to shop at (think Target, Walmart, Victoria’s Secret, Amazon, Ebay, etc.). By going through the Ebates site, you receive a certain percentage of cash back on your purchase made at the retailer. The amounts vary by store. So let’s say I was planning on buying something from Victoria’s Secret. I go through Ebates first and get 2% (for example) cash back on my purchase. The cash back is then collected in my account and mailed out at the end of each quarter. It’s free money for doing what you were already going to do anyway. I love it, especially when I can combine an already great deal with cash back. On both Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Ebates will offer double cash back at more than 500 online stores. So whatever the usual percentage is will be doubled on those two days. It’s worth checking out. Check it out here and maybe you’ll get your first “big fat check” soon.

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Every year I look forward to Black Friday, and this year was no exception. Ron and I went out last night around 9 p.m. to be in Walmart when the sale started at 10 p.m. We met up with my cousin Anna there. The 10 p.m. sale didn’t include any major electronics, like televisions or blu-ray players, but it did include toys, movies, games, etc. I feel like there were more people in there than before. My guess is people who normally don’t do Black Friday shopping did last night because it’s easier to go out at night than it is to get up super early and go out. We were able to get everything we wanted, except our blu-ray player and a printer. We bought some movies, including Vampire Diaries Season Two ($10), a game for my nephew, a Barbie for my niece and an Elmo backpack for our Angel Tree child. Then it was on to Target which actually closes and opens its doors at midnight, which means you stand in a long line and freeze. We froze for approximately 90 minutes before  getting inside. We got everything we were looking for–some gifts, movies, a Christmas tree, clothes for the Angel Tree child, etc.–but the system was a little too intense this year. They had the front of the store near the cashiers roped off and you couldn’t cross it for anything unless you were checking out, even though they has used some sale items to block it off. Then Anna wanted a video game and she got trapped in a massively long line which was basically for anything electronic–televisions, video games, etc. My original plan was to price match the same printer and blu-ray player Walmart was selling at midnight at Target since we would be there when Walmart’s 12 p.m. sale started. And yes, as long as you have the ad, you can price match on Black Friday. There’s a little tip for you that can come in handy. However, Target didn’t have the exact same items so when we rolled out of Target around 12:45 p.m. we went back to Walmart, picked up the printer and found the very last blu-ray player they had. After that, it was on to the mall. Originally, I had planned on visiting Victoria’s Secret, because they offer some deals and a special gift bag on Black Friday that’s filled with some trial size items and some full size items, like lip gloss. However, the line was crazy long and the deals weren’t that good this year. Plus, they were offering the exact same style bag as last year so I bailed on that. We went next door to Bath and Body Works where I purchased 12 bottles of hand soap, yes 12, it’s the only time of the year I buy them and they’re six for $20. Plus, I picked up a decorative holder that you slip over the bottles. Bath and Body Works was also offering a bag, $20 with a $40 purchase, and it was a much better deal than the Victoria’s Secret one. The bag is really functional and inside it has two smaller bags, a loofah and tons of full size items like hand soap, lotion, body spray, etc. and coupons. On the outside of the bag is hand sanitizer in a little holder. When you add everything up inside, the bag is worth approximately $120. Definitely worth the $20. Plus, on my entire purchase I had a 20 percent off coupon and a $5 free item. Score! After Bath and Body Works, I walked into a few clothing stores, but wasn’t too impressed with the deals so we went and ate some Chic-fil-a, met up with Anna again before she had to work at 3:30 a.m. and headed home. I went to bed sometime after 4 a.m. but the Christmas shopping is basically finished. I need some little things like gift cards, but that’s it. I woke up this morning around 10:30 a.m. and we went out again to a craft store, picked up some groceries at Target and stopped by Walmart to see if they still had one of their doorbusters.  Then we came home and everything is wrapped, the blueray player is hooked up and our Christmas tree is decorated. I’d call that a productive day and because my day started at midnight, I feel like I got a whole extra day out of my weekend. All day I kept thinking it was Saturday. And now I can get ready for Cyber Monday 🙂

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Thanksgiving dinner is done. Now I’m standing in Walmart waiting for the black Friday sale to start. Crazy! Since it starts at 10 pm there are all these people here who have never black Friday shopped before. This could get ugly. I’m going to get my stuff and roll.

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Even McDonalds is having a black Friday sale. Well, probably not, but they are feeding the people who are shopping. Hopefully I’m done and on my way home before they even open!

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Not only do I have $30 in Super Cash, which is a total knock off of Kohls Cash by the way, but I also just found out I have $30 in rewards that I had no idea about. And the two are able to be combined. I’m going to clean up on some Christmas shopping at Old Navy tomorrow. I know it goes against my Black Friday Christmas shopping plan, but with the discounts, it’ll offset any of the great deals I would have gotten on Black Friday. Plus, one of my discounts conveniently expires before Friday, those clever little Old Navians. And, at least I won’t have to fight all the other people who plan to attend Gobble-palooza at midnight on Black Friday. I can now concentrate on Walmart, Target and Kohls which are all located in the same vicinity to each other. I can then come home in the wee hours of the morning, get some sleep, and head back out to the mall. Score! Hey…don’t judge me!