ON THE last Friday of this month I am going to keep my purse tightly zipped.

Not that I am a lavish spender - I can’t afford to be. But on November 24 I am not going to go near a shop, not even if we find ourselves out of milk or bread.

Nor if we run out of cat food and I am surrounded by wailing felines am I going to patronise any retailer - the pampered creatures can do what their feral friends do all day long and go out to hunt rodents.

Even if the worst case scenario comes to pass and the tea caddy is empty, I swear I will not set foot in a shop.

This will be in contrast to the world and his wife, who will be setting off at dawn for retail parks across the country to bag themselves a wide-screen TV for less than the price of a bag of chips.

November 24 is Black Friday - dubbed the biggest shopping day of the calendar year.

The cut-price shopping extravaganza originated in America as an annual post-Thanksgiving event and, predictably, it has found its way over here.

But the date is shared with Buy Nothing Day, an international protest against consumerism - and that’s the occasion that I am marking by keeping well away from shops.

It shouldn’t be too difficult, and I can’t for the life of me understand why I don’t do it more often, but like many other people, I rarely go through the day without shopping.

I am forever finding that I need this or that. Even when I’ve been to the supermarket, as I have today, I will return and discover that I have forgotten something crucial to the meal I am about to prepare.

I always believed that other people were far more organised, competently shopping for the week ahead. So I was pleased to read findings released this month by Waitrose in its annual food and drink report, which revealed that two out of three people visit food shops at least once a day and a staggering 65 per cent go more than once.

More than half of us don’t decide what we’re having for dinner until lunchtime, and one in ten will decide just before they eat.

So what hope for ‘buy nothing day’? I reckon I have enough food in my freezer and cupboards to last at least a month, so it should be a doddle.

But even when we are not shopping we can still be spending. With all the direct debits people have nowadays, for utility bills, phones, extra TV and film channels, insurance, and all that palaver, there is a good chance that cash will be coming out of our accounts on that very day.

When I was growing up, there was, of course, Sundays, lovely quiet Sundays, when you couldn’t spend because all the shops were closed. Town and city centres were peaceful, pleasant places to stroll and enjoy. Wednesdays afternoons were the same, with half-day closing. Unthinkable now, of course.

Putting a Yorkshire twist on the occasion, in Bradford Artworks Creative Communities is holding a Buy Nowt Day on November 24, where families can turn up at the Delius Centre for free fun.

Buy Nothing Day comes once a year, but its aim is to encourage further days of non-consumerism. I might just have a go and see how many days we can last. Depressingly, I don’t think it will be for long. Something will crop up - a birthday present needed, a car repair or another unexpected bill that needs paying.

If we are serious about buying less, we must rethink our entire lifestyles. Or move to a remote Amazonian village.

I’m debating which is easiest.