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Two weeks ago the country seemed to go into a frenzy. Were we preparing for war? Were we all expecting a mad dash of relatives coming over from far flung corners of the planet? Or was it the end of the world?

No. It was the news of… Black Friday, one of the many “traditions” that England has imported from America, along with Proms and other such things. Retailers across the country announced “massive bargains” and “must have deals” on a number of products across their stores and of course online, clogging up a number of email inboxes of their various consumers in order to entice them to buy.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love a bargain, especially so close to Christmas, where we are all fighting to get the best deal for our loved ones. But I have to say, having A) Had the misfortune of having to take a trip into town and B) Having opened my emails to dozens of promotional emails, more so than normal and C) Saw all the news reports, , is it REALLY all that it’s cracked up to be?

I spent ages sifting through my inbox, looking through trying to sort out whether or not any of the emails were worth it, strangely enough many of the retailers who had sent me “one day only” offers, I had to think to myself… “I could have sworn these were cheaper last week!” Needless to say, I purchased at a later date. Then came the brave venture of going into Tescos. I went into collect my glasses… Honestly, I thought that I had walked into a disaster movie being filmed. People were fighting, (literally) in order to collect the latest bargains, shoving people (and children) in order to walk away with whatever item they found, hurling abuse at one another.

I have to say though, as I made my way through the crowds… was it REALLY necessary to start a public brawl over a see through toaster? Did Auntie Maureen REALLY need that Babyliss straightener set that you could have actually picked up for a cheaper price 2 days earlier? And do you really need to purchase that set of dinner plates even though you have the one that’s still sitting in the packaging in the cupboard that you insisted to yourself “I will use this Christmas for sure!”

And then come the news reports. The hysteria over this “freak event” was really shocking, yet more so was how people were treating one another. I mean, do we really need to shove pregnant women over in order to score yet another kettle and then verbally abuse her for all the country to see? Come on Britain! we have enough traditions to be proud of, do we really need to import someone else’s and then turn on one another for a “bargain item” that has most likely been marked up in normal price and then “lowered” so slightly in order to get a deal. In all seriousness though, there are better ways for frugal shopping, for instance why not shop around online, subscribe to the likes of HOTUKDEALS or Moneysavingexpert¬† Forums and really get a bargain on something that you know you will be able to use? I for one am going to do so.