About the Post

Author Information

After spending several years in social services, Nicole has finally followed her lifelong dream of being a full-time writer. In addition to her work for The Hudsucker, Nicole is also a staff writer for Womanista. An avid comic book fan, BBQ aficionado, professional makeup artist and first-time mom, Nicole can be found exploring Kansas City rich history when she's not blogging about suburban life at Suburban Flamingo.

A Minimalist Approach to Black Friday

Image Credit: Ikea

It’s Thanksgiving time for those of us in the United States and in addition to a big holiday meal, there’s one thing that many Americans are looking forward to: Black Friday deals.

Retailers run some of their biggest, splashiest sales and specials on Black Friday, often prompting large crowds at brick and mortar stores and driving major online sales through the weekend — even into Cyber Monday. It’s a holiday weekend where many, many people will be buying many, many things as they try to score the best deal and clear up their Christmas lists to boot.

But all that shopping and its associated stuff can get overwhelming, which is why more and more people are turning to minimalism both as a guiding principle for consumerism and as an aesthetic for how they live their lives and operate their homes. So, as we gear up for Thanksgiving and before you dash out the door for Black Friday, here’s a brief overview of what minimalism is, and how it might help you keep your stress low, your wallet fuller, and your holiday happier this yer.

What is minimalism?

There is a wide range of definitions for what minimalism can mean and look like for various people. From the ultra spartan lifestyles of having one mug and a mat on the floor by choice, to simply not having a lot of clutter or excess things — minimalism pairs things down to the basics without the superfluous. While it can get overwhelming, generally minimalism is the idea of doing more with less by making use of what you have without accumulating a lot of extra. Think having enough coffee mugs for your and your family’s regular use instead of that slightly unwieldy collection taking up a whole cabinet (it’s okay, we have that situation, too).

OK, sounds reasonable — but how do I apply this to Black Friday?

One of the big issues most consumers have when they go shopping is that they often go into a store for certain things and come out with an entire cart load of goodies (hey, Target, hey!). Part of that is by retailer design with their appealing displays and strategically-placed products, but part of that is also that consumers don’t always think about their purchasing process until the bill is due. And even then, we’re not great at returning things we don’t need or use. To help with that, there’s a two pronged approach you can try. First, make a real list of what you plan to buy and then, both before you head to the store and even at checkout ask yourself “Do I really need this?” or “Do I really need to buy this?” That deal on a big screen television may not end up being such a big deal if you think about it before you buy it.

Think quality over quantity

If you do plan on buying items this Black Friday or any other day, in addition to thinking about whether or not the item is needed, also consider if what you’re buying is worth it. Here’s an example: you’ve decided that you have a budget of $200 to spend and you want to buy clothing. That $200 will buy a lot of items at a discount retailer or fast fashion store such as Forever 21, but the items may not wear as well or be as sturdy as the significantly fewer, better made items you would buy elsewhere. Which is better? A lot of cheap sweaters you can wear only a few times or one or two better-made sweaters you’ll enjoy for seasons to come? Which would you prefer to get as a gift? An important facet of minimalism is making smart choices with what you choose to purchase and bring into your life — choose quality.

Don’t count out thrift stores

Another important aspect of minimalism is re-using items so for your holiday shopping consider thrift stores. Thrift stores are full of great finds at a fraction of the cost and, many times, you can find brand new items. And there’s more benefit to thrifting as a minimalism practice than simply spending less money and reusing goods. You can find amazing things in thrift stores. Got someone on your list who is super into the ’90s fashion revival? Hit up a thrift store for some real ’90s vintage items! A real ’90s concert shirt is way cooler than the big box reproduction. Have someone really into decor? Thrift shops have great decor items and trinkets you won’t find anywhere else.

Remember, define what minimalism is for you

There are always going to be people who want to criticize how you do anything. Spend anytime on social media and someone will tell you you’re doing something the “wrong” way and the same is true for embracing a minimalist holiday shopping season. Ignore them. You get to define what minimalism looks like for you at this moment. Maybe it’s the quality over quantity option. Maybe it’s just going to one store instead of 10. Maybe you’ll go deep into minimalism and decide to give experiences rather than items as gifts this year. It’s all good and no matter how you approach it, you’ve at least put extra thought and care into what you do making the old adage of “it’s the thought that counts” especially true.

* * * * *

Will you be trying a more minimalist approach to Black Friday? Let us know in the comments!

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

One Comment on “A Minimalist Approach to Black Friday”

  1. GentlemansFamilyFinances November 22, 2018 at 8:54 am #

    I totally agree and I really like what you are proposing here — less is more and when it comes to buying things for the sake of it.

    We are all guilty of panic buying and getting seduced to buy things we don’t need or want (and how often you been gifted something by a friend/family and never used it?) — it’s a great waste when Christmas/Thanksgiving should be about spending time with the people you love and not just spending money for the sake of it.

Leave A Reply [Invalid Emails Will Be Marked As Spam]

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: