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A Survival Guide for Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Updated: Feb 18, 2022

The voices are everywhere: Black Friday and Cyber Monday are coming, consumers! Make sure you wake up early so you don’t miss a minute! So many deals on the newest gadget and the cutest holiday decorations. Treat yourself – you deserve it! Spoil your family and friends – they will love it! Buy! Buy! Buy!

I have not participated in a mass shopping event in my entire life, but every year the voices still speak to me. What if I could save $20 on that new blender I have been wanting? My sister might really love those etched wine glasses…

We all know our houses are chock full of stuff we don’t need or use. We all know that finite resources are being used up at an alarming rate to produce more and more stuff that will eventually end up in overflowing landfills. We all know the average consumer is in debt and can’t afford a shopping spree. And yet, somehow, the voices still get through. But not this year!

How to Survive Black Friday and Cyber Monday: A step-by-step guide

Right now: Block any stores sending ads about holiday deals to your email or phone. All of them! If you really want to get added back to their list in 2022, they will gladly take you back. Avoiding advertising in your life as much as possible will really cut down on your shopping generally. So stop joining mailing lists even if they offer you a good deal. And, believe it or not, if you don’t shop online, advertisers ignore your social media accounts. I really only see advertisements from Pact and Planet Box, but I still have to remember not to click on them! 🙂

This week: Write a list of your close family and friends whom you plan to give gifts of some sort or other. Just writing down the names will help curb your shopping lust. Then, challenge yourself to think of local gifts (made here in New Hampshire), consumable gifts (think food, drinks, seeds and plants), and gifts of experience for these people. I have a list of local holiday gift ideas I put together for 2021, which I’ll update and repost for 2022 after Thanksgiving. You don’t have to know exactly what you’ll get them, just write down a category, like “house plant” or “zero waste gift” or “certificate for a massage”.

The advertisers can’t reach you on the beach!

On Black Friday: Get outside and away from the craziness. Here are some ideas:

  1. Take a hike! Rachel put together a great list of family-friendly hikes here in New Hampshire to inspire you.

  2. Visit the beach! As a bonus a) you can find a parking space and b) you can bring your dogs. The photos in the post are from the Marginal Way in Ogunquit, Maine, which we visited this past Sunday.

  3. Have stay-in-your-pajamas movie and game day.

  4. Host a neighborhood potluck and/or soccer game (added bonus: you’ll keep your neighbors home too)

  5. If you can’t resist shopping, hit up your local downtown. Brag to the shop-owners about shopping local on Black Friday. Make sure to bring your Low Waste Travel Kit and grab some holiday-flavored coffee from your local coffee shop while you’re there.

On Small Business Saturday: Saturday, November 27th (otherwise known as the day after Black Friday) is Small Business Saturday. If you love the thrill of holiday deals and you can’t resist shopping, this is the day for you. Most local stores have great deals on these days and it feels good to shop local. May I recommend visiting your local low waste or bulk store for gifts?!

Teach your kids that going outside and being with family beats long lines at the box store or staring at a Buy Now button all day!

On Cyber Monday: If you are at home on Monday, I highly recommend turning off all electronics and treating it as either a Get Shit Done Day (you know, write a list and do it), a Me Day, or another Get Outside Day. If you are at work and/or need to use electronics for work on Monday, this would be a great day to try out that new productivity app you’ve been wanting to use. I’ve never used one myself because I don’t spend a lot of time on the internet (I get distracted by weeds in my garden), but I’ve heard they are amazing!

I hope this helps and may the eco-conscious, life-affirming, minimalist force be with you!

– Hannah

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