Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Free & Exclusive! My Black Friday and Cyber Monday Scores

I didn't purchase any of these adorable teddy bears on Black Friday.  But I did make some other great purchases--read on!
I'd like to call myself a minimalist: I don't own a car, can fit all of my possessions into a small storage space, and keep everyday spending to a, well, minimum.     

However, I've observed Black Friday for years.  It’s not uncommon for me to set my alarm for 5 am the night of Thanksgiving in order to be the first in line at a store the next morning--and then to hit a half dozen stores before 7:30 am. 

One year I received a free pair of scissors from JoAnns for being one of the first to arrive!  Another year Macy’s stayed open all night between Thanksgiving and Black Friday!  The saleswomen told me it wasn’t the greatest strategy—the store was almost entirely empty during the wee hours of the morning.

Sometimes I check things out on Thanksgiving Day.  That’s a good strategy—see what’s on sale in the evening, then return the next morning to make purchases.  There are a surprising number of people at Target on the evening of Thanksgiving, by the way.

Perhaps all of this makes me a heretical minimalist.  But anyway, so it is. 

This year, however, I was in Hong Kong where Black Friday isn't observed. ☹️  And I don’t want to buy a lot of stuff anyway, as that means I’ll have to carry it around in my suitcase.

However, I did manage to score some virtual deals!


Audible has a great Black Friday and Cyber Monday sale, offering 300 or so books in a variety of genres for $5-$8 each.  
I signed up for Audible last year after first arriving in Hong Kong and craving familiarity.  Although HK doesn’t feel nearly so foreign now, I had to get back in on the sale this time around.  

From Black Friday through Cyber Monday, Audible has around 300 books on sale for $5-$8 each, ranging from self-help to classics to series.  I’m a sucker for classics.  Here’s what I purchase this year:

True Grit by Charles Portis
This movie is a classic and honestly I hadn’t even realized it was based on a book.  It’s been so long since I’ve seen the movie that I can barely remember the story.  Although that scene of John Wayne at the end is hard to forget.

Master and Commander by Patrick O'Brian
This much-loved fictional series based on the British Royal Navy during the Napoleonic wars is a favorite of my father’s (and his brother’s).  I tried to get into it about thirteen years ago but it wasn’t happening.  I did enjoy the movie, however, starring Russell Crowe.

Maybe after having visited and enjoyed mariner-rich Bristol, England, the supposed origin of pirates, I’ll be able to get into the story and appreciate what I've been missing.  It’s a new era, right?  Thirteen years is a long time.  

Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
I have to be honest, I had no idea who Greg Heffley even was when I saw an enormous balloon of him in photographs from Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade.  That piqued my interest (how is it that something so loved by so many is completely unknown to me?) and so I decided to pick up this book when it went on sale for $5.

It’s only 1.5 hours, so even if Wimpy Kid's not my thing (which I’m suspecting it won’t be—I'm pretty sure the series is for ten-year-old boys), it shouldn't be hard to get through.  And I'll have an  appreciation of just who this wimpy character is.

GIF Maker by Momento

Several weeks ago I discovered the Ap Momento, which creates fun videos and GIFs from all photographs you have stored on your phone.  The free version, however, is difficult and lame, hardly allowing you to do anything.  So when the paid subscription went on sale for only $1 for three months, I went for it.

Here’s a video I recently made from a friend’s birthday party--proof that I actually DO have a life outside of the internet.  (The videos look much better as Instagram stories.) 

I think I'll have a lot of fun with Momento, creating GIFs and videos for friends and Instagram stories.  If I get really hooked, maybe I’ll subscribe in February for the $50 a year fee.


Brass Plum
You kinda can't go wrong with Nordstrom--cuz even if you do, the return is hassle-free.  
And as it turned out, it wasn’t an entirely digital weekend.  In the last hours of Cyber Monday I squeaked into Nordstrom’s sale and purchased these super cute thermal leggings and a top to match. 

Plus, I got my first pair of Zelle live-in leggings—an exclusive Nordstrom brand.  They look perfect for exercising outdoors during these cooler Hong Kong months.  

None of these items were on sale, actually, but I’ll receive a $25 coupon towards future purchases.  Not bad.

What About You?

Well that’s everything.  It wasn’t as quite an eventful Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend as I’ve had in the past, but I am happy with my haul.

What about you?  Did you shop over Black Friday and Cyber Monday?  What did you purchase? 


  1. You are definitely a minimalist. I think pajamas, leggings, books and movies are really at the low end of being a spendthrift when you're a minimalist. Kind of more like necessities. I use Librivox (it's free but there are ads, or you can buy the ad-free version) and I've been listening through the classics - some of which I've read a long, long time ago or seen the movie, and some that I haven't. It's great for driving or working out. Oh, and I love those PJ bottoms!


    1. oh, I love Librivox! I'd actually kind of forgotten about it cause it's been a few years since I've listened to it. But yeah, they have so many great classics on there! I listened to Ulysses and Candide on Librivox. I'll have to look into it again.
      Yeah, that's the thing about books and movies; if you haven't seen or read them in over a decade, they're due for a re-listen!

  2. Oh! I didn't even think about digital deals! I'll have to add that to my list of items I can get as gifts. Thank you for sharing!

    1. No problem! Yeah, digital deals are great bc they don't involve any shopping.

  3. I think it is amazing that you are living a true minimalist life without all of the extra stuff like a car. Pretty cool that you got to check out Black Friday. I know it is my tradition too, hehe. It is great that you got some nice purchases from Cyber Monday!! I didn't really buy anything for Black Friday... Or Cyber Monday. At most, it was just my regular shopping @__@!

    Nancy ♥

  4. It's fun to shop at any time of year!


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