Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Thanksgiving Themes, PART 2: "Shopping"

Ever since the white man negotiated a November land purchase from Native Americans for the low, low price of "not killing you", Thanksgiving has been associated with getting good deals.  For decades, the time to give thanks for shopping has been narrowed more and more precisely to the day after Thanksgiving.

If you haven't heard, that day is called "Black Friday," first designated as such in 1966 by Philadelphia city police.  It sounds like a somber religious holiday, but it's actually a joyous cultural celebration.  It's so packed with joy that retailers are finding that 24 hours can no longer contain the joy associated with the holiday.

For the Hungry Preacher, Black Friday celebrations began a few hours before midnight on Wednesday night.  While Beth was studying ads for moderately priced Christmas gifts, I was absorbing the ridiculous prices for toiletries and other essentials at CVS and Walgreens.

Between those two stores, about 40 different items were being offered at a sale price, starting at midnight.  Then, after your purchase, you'd receive a coupon for the full amount of the item good on any future purchase at the store where purchased.  As far as I was concerned, these items were free.  Of course, I need to make sure I don't loose the coupons, but isn't that true of cash as well?

The kicker is that the stores allow you to use manufacturers' coupons when purchasing the items, and then they STILL give you coupons back for the full amount.  So if I buy a tube of toothpaste for $3, and pay with a $1 coupon and $2 cash, I walk out with a tube of toothpaste and a coupon for $3 off my future purchase.  It's like they're paying me to take the toothpaste.

Since Facebook still has more hits than willpreachforfood, friends of my wife may have already seen this picture posted on her account, but I'll post it here anyway.

I can't help feel that I could have gotten more.
Considering the coupons that I received back, and subtracting the money that I fronted, I actually came out about $10 ahead, plus getting all this stuff.  And most of it is stuff that I will actually use (like razors, toothpaste, and medicine; the stuff that I won't use I got because they paid me to take it).

The actual shopping experience was fun enough.  There were about 30 of us at CVS at midnight, and it wasn't long before you couldn't tell who were friends prior to showing up and who were just being friendly and helpful to others.  You could hear bits of conversations like, "I think this is the size of lip balm that you need to get.  Oh, but where did you get the detergent?"

Oh, and it seems couponing is largely a girl thing.  It was me and 29 women galavanting around the aisles.  At one point, someone said, "It is so cool that you do this.  I can't get my husband to get on board with coupons."  To which I said, "Look, I didn't come here to hear about your marital problems--I just want my free pack of Benefiber, OK?"  Tee-hee.  Just kidding.  I actually said something like, "Yeah, there are some good deals."

While checking out, I heard a couple or three ladies in line about 7 feet behind me saying stuff like, "You don't see too many men out doing this sort of thing" and "His wife must give him a really good list."  I turned around, and they were all like, "Oh, he heard us!"  There was much giggling.

Of course, a few minutes later, I got to see all my new friends across the street at Walgreens, and we went through the whole thing again (this time sidestepping a dropped and broken-open gallon of milk in the middle of the check out line).

By 1:30 a.m., I had visited 2 Walgreens and 1 CVS, and was ready to call it a night, since I was still recovering from my illness and wanted to be at 100% for receiving my broken nose.  My Black Friday shopping was over, and it was barely even Thursday.  Well done, Hungry Preacher, well done.

Check back tomorrow for part 3 of Thanksgiving Themes: "The Train."



  1. That is a seriously impressive haul, THP. Well done. (And I hope your nose heals quickly!)

  2. Aw, shucks. You should see the stack after I went out Saturday for a few more Walgreens stops. I probably about doubled what I had gotten from my T-giving shopping. :)