Dissecting My Black Friday Weekend Shopping

Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday. It goes on and on. And it truly does. By my calculations this is actually the second full Cyber week because one week and certainly one day isn’t enough.

After writing in defense of Black Friday shoppers and also encouraging people to shop in a way that is most meaningful and thoughtful to their own situations, I thought it would be fun to put my money where my blog is.

So here’s a breakdown of everything I bought starting on Black Friday and ending on Cyber Monday.


I made one purchase here to buy two books for HP. Then, I realized that Bookshop.org does more than sell books. They also sell games and puzzles and craft kits. So I made a second purchase! The prices were comparable to Target and Amazon. But they support independent bookstores instead of billionaires! I was more than happy to make both of these purchases, especially since our governor issued a three-week stay-at-home order. I didn’t think browsing my local toystore exactly qualified as essential work.


Old Navy

Again, this was not a purchase I thought I would make. However, I have been struggling to find a mask that stays in place while I talk all day in my classroom. I knew Old Navy masks were great, so I scooped up three packs for my husband and me on their 50% off sale.



I didn’t want to shop big this weekend, but I had a $10 reward that was expiring. So I purchased the “something to wear” part of HP’s Christmas gift and scored a pair of PAW Patrol gym shoes.


Soap Distillery

Somehow, I resisted to the urge to buy ALL THE SOAP from Soap Distillery. Instead, I just scooped up a three pack that will be split into stocking stuffers and given as part of another gift. This company is woman-owned, Black-owned, and local to Chicago!

(In full transparency, I would have probably spent another $20-$40, but the candle scent I wanted FOR MYSELF was out of stock. Womp womp.)



This was the only place I set foot in over the weekend. We made sure that we were in the parking lot right before Aldi opened, and it was us and one other shopper on Sunday morning. Aldi didn’t run any other deals that we knew of, and we always appreciate the calm of grocery shopping after Thanksgiving.

I wasn’t originally going to include this spending in our weekend recap, but then I decided it was worth it. We bought a few extra treats for ourselves. Plus, HP wanted to make a “box of meals for people in need”. (It’s a quote from a PBS Kids Thanksgiving game, and it might be the best thing to come out of screen time ever!) We let him choose some pantry staples and then he decided that we also needed to pick out a bunch of dog and cat food and treats.


Zoo Lights Tickets & Donation

This isn’t a zoo so much as it’s a small wildlife center, and it wasn’t a purchase so much as it was a donation. Tomato, toMATo. You have to purchase tickets but they are $Free.99. Since we are big fans of the work that they do and their holiday lights, we also made a donation.


Final Thoughts on Dissecting My Black Friday Weekend Shopping

First things first. I am obviously in no way shape or form finished shopping for Christmas. In fact, several of these purchases were made on the holiday weekend but not specific to the holidays at all.

However, I’m pretty pleased with this running start. We stuck to small businesses as much as we could, but I also know that I would be lying if I said there wasn’t a Target run in my future.

Moving forward, we are going to continue to shop small and try to support businesses and causes that we care about with our dollars. And you had better believe I am going to keep refreshing that page until my candle comes back in stock!

So Tell Me…Did you do any shopping over the Black Friday weekend?


  1. Wow Penny you are killing it! I feel like this year it’s taking all of my energy just to add a few items to my Amazon cart. Thanks for keeping it real and showing us how you’re spending your Christmas money. This is great inspiration!

  2. We didn’t really buy anything on Black Friday and Cyber Monday since it’s not really a thing here in Canada (although more and more shops are having sales). We did, however, bought some gifts for the family that we’re sponsoring for Christmas this year.

  3. KaLynn

    Thanks for introducing me to Bookshop; I hadn’t heard of it before. How do you find puzzles and craft kits on the site? It feels like a silly question, but I’m having trouble navigating it!

    • It’s tricky! To find the puzzles and craft kits, I searched Melissa & Doug and then the Klutz brand. Once I found those, then I got the hang of what else I could search. Hoping there will be a category for them at some point!

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