Here's my tips for excellent Black Friday shopping:
- Pull out cash out of your banking account days before Black Friday, I say days because some times there are limits as to how much you can pull in a specific day. I've had issues two years with either my debit card being declined because my bank thought someone stole it and was on a early morning shopping spree or when the credit card machines were overloaded and super slow (that eats up time for other stores if you don't have cash).
- If you town has more than one kind of paper that has ads in it, purchase both! You never know if you'll get an ad in one and not in the other, or if you'll need two copies for two different shoppers (you and your shopping buddy). Be sure to look early on Thanksgiving Day so you are sure to get the papers as they do eventually run out.
- Do vehicle updates... gas it up, add windshield wiper fluid, clean it out. Take out everything you don't possibly need but leave the snow scrapper and the jump cables... you never know what you'll do (leaving the lights on) when you are in a rush or what is will do while your in the check out line (snow 3 inches!). You must have as much room as possible!
- Use those post-it tags while looking through the ads to mark things. I mark what I'm interested in at first glance. Then I go back through and find the best deal and at what location.
- When you have your "must get" items flag them with a post-it tag, if you have "maybe" items flag them with a different color flag, and then remove all other flags from your ad.
- Once you've figured out which store you have to hit up, make a list as to what time each location opens up. If you have more than one store that opens at the same time this is where that shopping buddy comes into play. Know the location for the closest store and the 2nd closest... never know when something you want will be out at one store and not the other.
- Plan your route. Since you know what time stores open, and where you want to go plan with your shopping buddy as to who is going where. There is no need for both of you to be at the same location unless there is a ton of door busters that you are trying to get or a very specific one (big screen tv) that the store may only have two of that you have to search for.
- Find your mittens, hats, scarves, hoodies, jeans and running shoes. Layout what your going to wear. Be sure to dress in layers as it can get pretty toasty running around in those stores!
- Find a trusty purse. One that you can wear over your body. In the zipper put your money, id, credit cards, debit cards, store cards, and any coupon... and ZIP IT. Then hopefully there is another pocket where you can stash Kleenex, chap stick, a hair tie, a snack, Tylenol, and anything else you may need during the day. Then in the big part you can shove my text tip in....
- Go to Ikea and purchase some of their plastic bags. They have them for a whopping .59 cents! No cart needed in any store, which can totally slow you down. Just dump it in your bag and your good to go. I do say though, bring along other bag to pack your deals in for your car so that you can use your Ikea bag at the next store.
- Get your travel mug ready along with your pot of coffee. Turn it on when your alarm goes off and you'll have something to quench your thirst in the car between stores. Also grab a bottle of water and some quick snacks.
- Get to bed early, but not before you set your alarm... or alarms in my case.
I've been known to shop from 4am till 4pm! Can't wait till Black Friday 2009!