The Black Friday Blues

I live in Canada.  Black Friday was not always something that happened here.  We used to only have the Boxing Day sales every year.  But, with the world being more socially connected, Canadians decided to try this Black Friday thing.  We have sales.  The purpose in starting it here was to help the Canadian economy by giving shoppers the opportunity to find deals and sales here at home, and in theory it makes sense.

The timing is good.  If you are able to get your Christmas shopping and major household purchases done on Black Friday, you stand to save a good amount of money.  There is a lot of hype about Black Friday.  Now it is going through right until Tuesday.  Sure, I like a good sale as much as the next person , but when you live on a budget, it is hard to plan for such things.

There are times I think about shopping.  I have already written that I can be an impulse shopper.  These days it applies mostly to food.  I have been following a plan, and making my own meals to eat healthier.  When I make food for the week it is called prep cooking.  In a household of 2 with only me on plan, I do the prep cooking on a much smaller scale than I would like to.  One or two recipes a week gets my breakfasts and lunches ready so I am able to stay on track and have a quicker exit to go to work in the mornings.  When I work hard at it, it works.  I have seen the results from the changes I have been making.  It is encouraging to see it work, and frustrating when it gets stalled or goes in reverse. I have been stuck in a rut this past month.  It is that time of year, when the undiagnosed seasonal depression kicks in.

I could have seasonal depression.  I do get gloomy in the winter.  I still go through the motions, go to work, eat, sleep,  repeat, but I don’t have a lot of energy in the winter.  I am also terrified of falling on ice outside.  I have a lot of padding built in right now to break the fall if it happens, but it is not something I have had good experiences with.  So if I could hibernate, wake up for Christmas and New Years, and them resume hibernation until the spring comes, that would be OK with me.  Maybe stretch my legs and get a box of chocolates in February, you get the idea.

Did I do any Black Friday shopping today?  I worked for most of those shopping hours.  After work, I came home and made supper.  There are leftovers, and I am trying a new recipe this weekend.  There was a bit of planning in supper, because the spaghetti sauce will be an ingredient in the casserole I am making tomorrow.  Right after supper we did go down the road to the grocery store.  When I climbed in the car this morning, I was told by my husband to be ready to go get groceries when he got home from work.  He heard a Black Friday ad on the radio while he was warming up the car, for the grocery store.  There is a sale on cheese and chicken.  So we got our groceries tonight.  Sans list, free style.  Which means there will be this or that needed between now and next payday.  But the groceries are done, and a sale on chicken and cheese makes us both happy.

We keep telling ourselves, if we work real hard, and keep paying down our bills, maybe next year we can get to experience The Black Friday shopping in Canada (or get in on the Boxing Day sales).  I don’t know if there will ever be a time that we will be able to do it.  But we keep working hard anyway, because we have to keep paying the bills.  They don’t pay themselves, and they won’t just go away.

What would I buy if I had the money?  A new car, it is hard to manage with one car and two people.  A new fridge and stove.  A new bedroom set, we haven’t got that grown up purchase done yet.  Cell phones, yes, you read that right, we do not have cell phones because it is an expense we cannot afford.  Peppermint plants for every room ( I read they keep spiders,  mice and bugs away).  Clothes are a given.  Sneakers for sure.  A new purse and some new shoes.  Make up.  But something I really want is more of those glass containers that I could store my prep cooking in.  We have some, but I was thinking today that if we could Black Friday some more of those, it would be beneficial for the days that I FEEL like prep cooking, I could do more and have some food frozen for the weeks I don’t feel like it.

At least the cheese and chicken freeze well.  Would I buy more of both tomorrow?  In a heartbeat.  I go through a fair bit of cheese and chicken with this plan, and I have to have the ingredients on hand for when I want to cook.  At least when we took the groceries in there seemed to be a decent amount.  It is expensive to eat healthy, and I am trying really hard to improve my whole life.  It is not easy, but it has to be done, and I am the only one that can do it.  I hate coming home from the grocery store and having a fairly large amount of money spent and only 2 bags of food to show for it.  It irritates the Scottish half of me.  If I am going to spend money, I want to feel I got my money’s worth.  Today that worked out OK.  Maybe next year we can start working on the want list instead of scrambling to cover the needs list.  Maybe next year.

I hope if you are reading this you were able to enjoy The Black Friday events on either side of the Canada US border that you got some deals that will make you happy because it was something practical that you really needed, or will use.  The cheese and chicken were very practical for us, and will be put to good use.  It will help me get back on track, and that is more important to me than any sale, because it is going to help me achieve my healthy lifestyle goals.  There is no price tag on my health.

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