Missoula Black Friday Sales – A Holiday Shopping Tradition


Black Friday either creates fear, disgust, or excitement in people. You either love it or hate it.

Just in case you’re a little out of the loop, Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving when stores across the nation kick off the holiday shopping season. Most stores offer various rock bottom prices only on that day, and usually at the crack of dawn.

I’ve been monitoring the Black Friday websites and this year it seems a few of the stores are starting even earlier than the usual 5 a.m. on Friday. The earliest I saw was Toys R Us who is kicking off their doorbusters at 9 p.m. on Thursday night. Yeah, I have to admit, you wouldn’t see me there! By 9:00 p.m. on Thanksgiving, my tummy is so full and my eyes are so heavy that I’m just lucky not to fall asleep on the drive home from my in-laws.

I look forward to Missoula Black Friday sales every year because of the tradition my mom and I have created around it. We never looked at it as a day where we HAD to buy things, rather we approach it as an opportunity to spend the day together. If we happen across a great deal then it makes it all the better.

Mom and I have shopped Missoula Black Friday sales every year as long as I can remember. As a kid, we always enjoyed the hub-bub of Missoula and back in the day when Southgate Mall used to set up their cute, little Christmas scenes. We always loved strolling through the mall, soaking up the holiday spirit.


Erin and her mom enjoy a day of Black Friday shopping in 1995 at Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia.

We now have initiated my three boys into our Black Friday tradition. Believe it or not, it’s a day that my kids look forward to every year. Even with the “anti-shopping” gene that tends to run deep in the male species, my boys are eager for Black Friday. We use this day as a chance for the kids to window shop in the toy departments to giving us a good idea of what gifts Santa may be bringing.

The key to this day is to make it fun, entertaining, and stress-free. When the kids were toddlers, we had to adapt our ritual to accommodate for naps. So we started out in the late morning and then would come home mid-afternoon for naps. Then around dinner time, Mom and I would head back out by ourselves for dinner and some late-night shopping. We would stop for a cup of coffee around 9:00, just so we could push ourselves to close down Shopko at midnight. It was always a fun challenge and we would giggle as we quietly snuck back into my house with our purchases as everyone was fast asleep.

As you can tell, we view Black Friday as an enjoyable event versus a mad dash to claim the release of the newest toy or electronic. But don’t get me wrong, we definitely do our research first and know when and where the deals are on that day! We try to spend some time after our Thanksgiving meal on Thursday going through the ads, clipping coupons from the various stores, and mapping out our Black Friday sales game plan.

We aren’t the die-hard shoppers who begin at 5 a.m. Instead we usually start around 10:00. It also isn’t a day where we spend vast amounts of money. This isn’t when we buy all our gifts. Both my mom and I have been gathering gifts and ideas all year long so Missoula Black Friday sales aren’t critical to our Christmas shopping.

For those of you who are looking for the best deals on Black Friday, you might want to check out Blackfriday.info or bfads.net. These sites have all the Black Friday ads for most of the larger, big box stores. I was amazed at how comprehensive these sites are in providing all the up-to-date Black Friday savings information and deals. You can even sign-up for email updates and deal updates through these sites.

Now, if Black Friday makes you break out in a cold sweat at the thought of all those people, all the hussle-bussle, all the lights, noises, and cash registers “cha-chinging”, you may find Cyber Monday being more your speed. Cyber Monday is the online equivalent to Black Friday. It happens the Monday after the Thanksgiving holiday. Online retailers offer various coupons, free shipping, and specials all day long. So, in the quiet solitude of your home or office, you can get some rock-bottom prices on Christmas gifts without the hassle of Black Friday.

This year will mark over 35 years of Black Friday shopping for my mom and me. We will be out there come Next Friday, enjoying the holiday spirit, getting some great deals, and sharing the tradition with my sons.

What are your traditions for Black Friday? Do you avoid it or embrace it? Are you a doorbuster who’s up at 5 a.m. to stand in line? Share your Missoula Black Friday stories — or tales from Black Friday anywhere!


Erin’s got tons of tips for saving money, couponing, and sticking to a budget in her previous posts: Host Thanksgiving on a Budget, Plan and Shop Ahead for Christmas, and Teaching Money to Kids and Teens. Be sure to check out the Missoula Save it Club – just look for the Daily Missoula Fix buttons on the homepage.

   Visit the Coupon Queen’s “Save It” archive.


Erin Eisenman-Turner is proud to be a native Missoulian. Along with her husband and three sons, they raise chickens, pigs, rabbits, and vegetables at Turner Family Farms in the Orchard Homes area. When the farm chores are done, the coupons clipped, and the blog written, you can find Erin exploring Montana, collecting antiques, and trying to maintain a well-run, happy, and organized home for her family.