Black Friday Survival Guide
When the turkey and stuffing is gone, the oven mitts will come off as holiday shoppers prepare to square off on the most epic shopping day of the year-Black Friday. This guide will help you create a shopping strategy so you can take advantage of the best Black Friday deals without going crazy!
The Week Before
- Have a plan.
- This is the most important thing you can do to ensure a successful Black Friday. Create a budget and stick to it. Then start going through all the Black Friday deals that have been advertised in newspapers and flyers and make a list of the products you’re interested in.
- Compile everything into an itinerary with every product you want to buy and where you can buy them. Figure out the order in which you want to visit the stores and create a schedule of when you’ll try to arrive at each place.
- Bring a copy of the ads with you and circle or write down exactly what you’re looking for. Not only will this help you stick to your plan, but you can show it to a salesperson if you’re having trouble finding it.
- Know the hours.
- Many stores open much earlier on Black Friday than they usually do. Once you know which stores you want to go to, figure out what time they plan on opening on Black Friday.
- Plan on arriving at least a half an hour before the doors open. Odds are it will probably still be dark outside.
- Also, some deals are only good until a certain time, so plan on going after the sales with the earliest expiration time first.
- Know the store layout.
- You don’t need building schematics or blue prints, but it helps to know where things are located in the store beforehand.
- If you have the time, visit the store before Black Friday to get a sense of your surroundings.
The Night Before
- Charge your phone.
- Your cell phone might be the only way to find your shopping buddies in a throng of Black Friday-crazed shoppers.
- You can also use your cell phone to coordinate and tag team with friends to make your shopping more efficient. Or you can send your spouse to another store while you shop to cut your shopping time in half.
- Get a good night’s rest.
- If you’re planning on starting your shopping at 4 a.m. on Black Friday, go to bed early. After finishing a great Thanksgiving dinner, it shouldn’t be too hard to go into a turkey coma.
- Pull out your clothes for the next day.
- The goal is to dress properly and comfortably on Black Friday. Many people stand in line in the cold for hours before the store actually opens. Bring warm layers that you can take off as the day goes on.
- Wear comfortable shoes-preferably running shoes.
- Set your alarm.
- And don’t hit the snooze button!
The Morning Of
- Eat breakfast.
- Forget about the diet on Black Friday. The goal is to fuel up for an intense day of shopping. Eating protein-rich food like eggs will keep you full longer so you don’t have to worry about stopping for food mid-shopping spree. Feel free to eat a piece of leftover pumpkin pie as well!
- Pack Sustenance.
- If you do get hungry later in the day, come prepared with snacks, like a granola bar or Power bar. Also bring a water bottle and some ibuprofen for the inevitable headache.
- Leave the kids at home.
- Do you really want to deal with kicking and screaming kids while you’re surrounded by kicking and screaming shoppers? Didn’t think so. Give the babysitter a call.
At the Store
- Park strategically.
- Park closer to the exits, not the entrances. There will be more available spots, and you can make a quick getaway to the next store on your list.
- Get in and get out-quickly.
- This is not the time for browsing. Tag team with one or two friends if possible. Have one person immediately go and stand in line for the cash register (this line can often take up to an hour to get through). This person can also act as the central coordinator while the other two go through the store and try to find items.
- Defend your belongings.
- Just because you have something in your shopping cart doesn’t mean it’s yours yet. Keep an eye on everything you’re trying to buy.
- Also keep an eye on your purse or bag. Black Friday attracts the kind of crowds that pickpockets thrive on.
- Be patient. And nice.
- With Black Friday naturally comes some pushing and shoving. Don’t get caught up in tiffs between crazy shoppers who take Black Friday too seriously. Black Friday can be a lot of fun.
- Don’t forget to be nice to the salespeople. They have to deal with a lot of nasty people on Black Friday. A little bit of courtesy can go a long way if you’re having trouble finding something on your list.
- Some stores start their Black Friday deals at 12:01 a.m. that day like Sears and Kmart, so you could theoretically get all your shopping done before the store even opens their doors. Many of these deals also include free shipping.
- Don’t forget about Cyber Monday! This lesser known day of great deals takes place on the Monday immediately following Black Friday.