Tips for Black Friday Shopping

Friday, November 21, 2014
Do you brave the crowds on Black Friday or do you stay safely tucked inside your house until the crazies have long left the mall?

I am part of the crowd that includes the crazies! Yes! I wholeheartedly shop on Black Friday, and I love it!

For the past 5 years, Emma and I have been waking at 3:30 to hit the mall. This is going to sound totally crazy, but I love that she loves shopping on Black Friday. I know, right??? What sort of little monster am I creating?

We've learned quite a few things in our years of Black Friday shopping, and today I'm sharing them with you.


1) Have a game plan
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Walking into the mall at 4:00 am aimlessly will get you NO WHERE. Make a list of the stores you want to hit and any appropriate sale times and items that fall into the sale time frame. For example, last year Gap was offering 40% off everything in the store between the hours of 4 am and 10 am. We put that sale at the top of our list. Scour the ads in the Thanksgiving Day newspaper and put together a list of stores you want to visit and people you need to buy for.

2) Be prepared for crowds and long lines...and cranky people
All are simple facts of life on Black Friday. There is nothing normal about shopping between the hours of midnight and 7 am. Those who do so will short-circuit. AND...the lines at Starbucks are outrageously long. People who have forgone sleep in favor of shopping + lack of caffeine = disaster. Bring your patience pills and a bottle of water because you'll be popping them all morning.

3) Create a budget and stick to it
It is easy to be swayed by all the SALE signs and stores promising "great deals", but your spending will quickly spiral out of control unless you create a budget and a shopping list and remain loyal to both.

4) Dress comfortably
Black Friday is not the day to break in your brand new 3 inch heeled boots. Comfortable and functional clothes and shoes are the key here. Leave your coat in the car as you DO NOT want to be stuck lugging it around.

5) Park at a convenient location
If you're planning on a big haul at the mall, you'll need to make frequent trips to your car to drop off your bags. This is the one and only time I advocate driving around to jones for the best parking spot possible.

6) Have fun with it!
Don't take the shopping too seriously. If an item is out of stock, make a note of it and move on to the next item. Don't fret, just keep an eye out for it at another location or save it for another shopping trip. Take the crowds with a grain of salt and keep in mind that aside from Black Friday, there will still be 29 days to accomplish your holiday shopping. Use the outing as an excuse to go out for lunch at your favorite restaurant or to buy yourself a little treat. Go on! You'll deserve it after your morning.

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