The Journal Gazette
Wednesday, November 10, 2021 1:00 am

Stacking up the Black Friday discounts

LISA GREEN | The Journal Gazette

Thank goodness that Friday has a lifespan beyond 24 hours.

It includes Saturday and it includes Sunday -- at least when it comes to some retailers' Black Friday specials. And the deals can last even longer than a weekend. I was reminded of that on Tuesday.

Christmas creep is real. 

I often take vacation in early November and while enjoying the Smoky Mountains last week, I noticed a deluge of retail emails promoting Black Friday. Wasn't it just a few days ago the kids were out trick-or-treating as we prepared to say goodbye to October?

I did a limited amount of shopping at an outlet mall last week. That was for me. Now it's about others. Mostly.

I confess: I've been known to purchase some items for myself while shopping for Christmas gifts.

After getting back into town Saturday evening, unpacking and washing clothes, late Sunday afternoon became my "Black Friday." Top of my list was finding three gifts -- a coat for a child, a coat for a young mother and a sweater for a toddler.

Coupons typically dictate my shopping stops and so JC Penney was first on the list. I had a $10 birthday coupon and another for 35% off select regular or sale-priced items there. Considering many Black Friday deals offer anywhere from 50% to 60% off, I was optimistic walking in the door.

Within 30 minutes, I had browsed the women's department and settled on a reddish knee-length coat with a hood. I took the escalator down to the children's department and quickly found a khaki puffer jacket for the child.

The woman's coat was priced at $100 and the sale price knocked $40.01 off. Add in the 35% coupon and the $10 birthday one and that saved another $31. Even after adding in the 7% sales tax, the coat cost me just $31.02.

The savings on the child's coat was even bigger. Initially priced at $80, the sale discounted it by $62.01 and the cashier offered to see if I had any reward money based on past spending on my account, and I did. That added $10 more to the savings. So I got the coat for $9 -- after I agreed to round up from the $8.44 total to help a charitable cause the cashier asked if I was interested in.

Two coats for $40. Savings: $143. I'm still searching for the sweater.

I love the way Penney's lets customers cash in on more than one discount in the same sale.

Tuesday, I went in search of another coat and found JC Penney had some of the same pricing on racks I noticed Sunday. I didn't find a coat there in the size I needed for the second child, so I went back to my first stop of the day -- Macy's. I purchased a kid's coat for $24.99, or $26.74 with tax. I saved $60 on that, based on the special deal pricing.

Now I realize that retail mark-up on items is substantial. It has to be in order for businesses to profit. 

Still, I love getting to the register and seeing discounts stack up. It makes me feel like I'm winning.


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