Friends sitting outside in the cold versus them sitting inside by the fire with hot chocolate.

5 reasons to skip Black Friday this year.

You’ve waited – maybe all night – and it’s finally time to shop. They’re opening the doors. The deals are waiting inside. Everyone’s excited, people are pushing, and suddenly the aisles are packed with people fighting for the last TV. Black Friday is like a sport for some people. For others, Black Friday is a drain on their energy and wallet. If you’re on the fence about whether to participate, here are a few points to consider for why it might be worth staying home this year.

  1. Celebrate Lazy Friday.
    We hereby decree the day after Thanksgiving is the official holiday of laziness. Thanksgiving is one of the busiest days of the holiday season, between hours spent cooking, hosting the meal and then cleanup. And many people shuffle between multiple meals throughout the day. After all that, the next day should be spent relaxing, spending time with family and friends, eating and generally taking it easy. Sounds nice, doesn’t it?

    Tip: Hold a Best Leftovers Chef competition for the best, most creative dish using leftovers.

  2. It’s not the only day to get a good deal.
    Though retailers create a lot of hype around Black Friday, the truth is they tend to start lowering their prices as early as November 1st. And many of the Black Friday deals continue to be available through the weekend, and even online. There are only a few deals that are available only in the store on Black Friday. In a study with Gap Intelligence, Consumer Reports discovered the best deals on TVs and kitchen appliances were in November, but not necessarily on Black Friday. For instance, the lowest price on a Samsung TV was in November before Black Friday. Similarly, an LG TV hit its lowest price on Black Friday, but the deal carried through the weekend to Cyber Monday.

    Tip: Keep an eye on deals starting November 1st. Compare prices between retailers and make an informed decision before you buy.

  3. Some Black Friday prices are available online.
    Good news: you can have your deals and eat your leftovers, too. Some Black Friday sales are available on the retailer’s website as well, and they often continue through the weekend. You can shop online from the comfort of your living room. And, a whole new round of deals may become available on Cyber Monday, which is specifically geared toward shopping online.

    Tip: Read the fine print under sale items. There may be a limited number available in-store only.

  4. Black Friday encourages overspending.
    In 2016, people spent an average of $289 on Black Friday, according to the National Retail Federation. Budgeting for the holidays is difficult already. Throw in a shopping spree and it can be even harder to manage your holiday spending. You may be enticed by low prices on certain items, but not everything is on sale on Black Friday. It can be easy to get caught up in the spending frenzy and overspend on items you weren’t planning to buy.

    Tip: If there’s something you have to go to the store for, make a list and stick to it.

  5. Support small businesses in your community instead.
    Small Business Saturday is a great alternative to shopping on Black Friday. You can still shop for the people on your list – all while supporting the local economy. Shop for art, locally-made items and more one-of-a-kind gifts for your family and friends. You could also make a donation in their name on Giving Tuesday instead.

    Tip: Look up Small Business Saturday events in your area. Make a day of it with some friends!

For some families, Black Friday shopping is an honored tradition. To you, we say plan well and may your sale items not run out. For everyone else, especially those overwhelmed by long lines, packed aisles and confusing sales terms, we say Happy Lazy Friday. Enjoy your turkey and mashed potato sandwich and a day spent curled up on the couch.