... Black Friday, that is.
You know I can't miss a bargain. It's physically painful for me to resist a smokin' hot deal. But I used tremendous self control, people. It's a fun story...
7:30 pm: We returned home from a delightful evening with friends and put the kids in bed
8:30 pm: I got on my computer to check my Couponaire FB Pals, lo and behold, Coupon Connections NW (probably my favorite coupon blogger because she's always posting something and she has this chat feature I've used several times) had posted that Safeway had a deal on gift cards. BRILLIANT! Spend $150 on gift cards and receive $15 OYNO (on your next order). Since a $300 TV from Target was at the top of my list, I decided to do 2 - $150 gift card transactions and I received 2 - $15 off my next $50 purchase at Safeway. SWEET! I earned 10% on my TV before I even got it.
9:00 pm: Gift card purchase at Safeway transaction one, no problem.
9:01 pm: Gift card purchase at Safeway transaction two, problem.
9:02 pm: Angry Shopper calls husband to complain. Husband does not answer... goes straight to voice mail.
9:10 pm: Angry Shopper arrives home and Husband immediately sees displeasure from Angry Shopper and doesn't even have to ask. Husband promptly did payroll... as a small business owner, payroll = transfer from one account to another at the same bank. It's instant. It's beautiful. It was a minor oversight.
9:30 pm: Make a list. Check it twice. Double check all sales just in case morning goes well and Angry Shopper (now Too Excited to Sleep Shopper) can hit more than one store. Find TV on the store map so I can get in, get it, and get out.
10:30 pm: Set coffee pot to start at 2:45am. Set alarm to go off at 3am for 3:15am departure.
11:00 pm: Ready-to-Sleep Shopper and Husband retire for the evening.
11:15 pm: Baby awakes, clearly disrespecting Just-Fallen-Asleep Shopper. "Doesn't he know I only get 4 hours of sleep tonight?"
11:45 pm: Sleeping Shopper is peacefully dreaming of long lines and friendly chat.
Black Friday Morning...
2:50 am: Groggy Shopper's eyes are open. It's time to shop.
3:00 am: Alarm goes off but Dressed-and-Ready (with previous day's make-up) Shopper is already pouring coffee.
3:05 am: Departure.
3:30 am: Arrive at Safeway to purchase second set of $150 Target gift cards. Success. Friendly chat with cashier who can tell Wide-Eyed Shopper is crazy.
3:35 am: Arrive at Target parking lot. Geared-Up Shopper is surprised to see that there are parking places in the parking lot.
3:36 am: Geared-Up Shopper finds the end of the line... the full length of the front of the store and starting to wrap around the side. By the time the doors opened, there were over 300 people waiting to get in.
4:01 am: The front of the store finally in sight and there are still shopping carts available. Elbows out, Geared-Up Shopper is comin' through.
4:01:30 am: The 40" Westinghouse TV for $289 is GONE.
4:02 am: Low Blood Sugar Shopper said to employee in red, "The ad should note if there are only going to be 25 TVs at that price. I bought gift cards, what am I supposed to do now?" Cart abandoned.
4:05 am: Pissy Shopper headed to Home section for $3 hand mixer (because Betty Crocker-wannabe's smells funny when I use it).
4:06 am: Pissy Shopper decides to abandon hand mixer because the line is too long because Wal-Mart might be a more profitable venture.
4:07 am: Pissy Shopper saw red-shirted manager near the entrance. I explained that I had purchased gift cards and Safeway won't take them back. Since they ran out of my TV in less than 10 minutes, could Target refund my gift card money? She said, "No. But let me see if we have a substitute."
4:07 am: Mindy, my Black Friday Angel, radioed to the back and found FIVE more 40" Westinghouse TVs. She led me to the back and then helped me carry my new TV to the front of the store.
4:10 am: Mindy, my Angel, even showed me that the pharmacy had checkers and I didn't have to stand in line for all of eternity.
4:12 am: Elated Shopper realized that my abandoned hand mixer was only 20 yards away (straight shot, no obstructions) and I asked Coveting Shopper to watch my TV while I went to get it. She did.
4:16 am: Pharmacy Checker rang up my purchase and gave me my $10 gift card... not one, not two, but three gift cards!!! Super Elated Shopper thought that the $10 gift card with $100 purchase was only on the first $100... imagine my joy!?!?! With my $30 at Safeway and my $30 at Target, that's 20% back on my purchase!
4:20 am: Super Elated Shopper drags TV (remember, I abandoned my cart) to the front of the store to wait for a cart to come free.
4:25 am: Super Helpful Employee #... I-lost-count helped me load my TV on a flatbed cart and take it to my car parked in Timbuktu AND load it.
4:26 am: Super Elated Shopper vows to be a lifetime Target shopper. LOVE Target and Friendly Employees. They kept referring to me as a Guest. LOVE Target.
Black Friday Continued...
(ending there would've been fun and fine... but why stop when you're ahead?)
4:35 am: Super Elated Shopper realizes that WalMart list is a possibility. WalMart opened at midnight for non-electronic purchases. The mad rush was hours ago and the electronic rush doesn't begin for another 25 minutes. Since Target and WalMart are in close proximity... let's do this... again.
4:37 am: Super Elated Shopper found a parking place within sight of the front door.
4:44 am: Super Elated Shopper already found main item - a stylish, black, $10 crockpot to replace my orange flowery 1975 crockpot. Realizing that the lines are nonexistent at the front, I went to purchase the other items on my list... where is my list? List is nowhere to be found. Wander Shopper finds red boxes to pilfer through. Slippers $3.50 - yes! DVD $1.88 - yes!
4:55 am: Wander Shopper walked straight to the front of the line, checked out and barely escaped with my life before the 5am electronics rush.
4:57 am: Powerful Shopper arrives at Fred Meyer for ESSENTIAL $39 wall-mount mechanism for new TV.
5:00 am: Powerful Shopper thought the doors opened at 6 am and I would get a good nap, but NO... I can be home before the kids wake up.
5:05 am: Powerful Shopper found wall-mount mechanism, but got trapped in electronics because the aisles were too small for cart.
5:06 am: Mildly Frustrated Shopper abandoned cart and carried heavy wall-mount mechanism out of electronics to continue shopping.
5:08 am: Oooh, half price socks.
5:20 am: Shopper-With-Sore-Arms found another cart.
5:30 am: Conquerer Shopper leaves Fred Meyer with stocking stuffers, 1/2 price socks, a pair of shoes, and wall-mount. I am Shopper, hear me ... unsnap my wallet.
5:35 am: Satisfied Overspender heads home and sees 24 hour breakfast establishments full of patrons and daydreams about the day when daughters will be required to go shopping with CnC followed by a high-protein, high-fat breakfast. "Elbows out girls, this ain't no tea party."
6:05 am: Satisfied Overspender hides the goods while everyone is still snug in their beds... I had too much coffee to go back to bed and I like to blog.
Had I not bought the gift cards at Safeway, I wouldn't have asked the manager what to do. It all worked out in the end. Is it possible that God had His hand in my little shopping adventure? Why not? His eye is on the sparrow.
(except that I will be going to Walgreen's sometime today to buy wrapping paper. Buy one, get two.)
"Wait, CnC, you bought something impulsively?"
"No, Dear Reader, I did not. It's called embellishment. I am not an impulsive buyer. Only one item was not on my list (I think), the shoes."