It’s that time again. The holiday season. Christmas and Hanukkah, er, Thanksgiving Hanukkah and Christmas. If it were up to the retail stores, the winter holidays started before the fall holidays even started.
Whether or not you celebrate any of these holidays, there are some great retail and restaurant deals to be had in stores and online.
Personally, I just can’t get into the Black Friday madness. I understand it but it is a little overwhelming for me. Plus, the getting up at 5 a.m., I just can’t handle. Though, I have noticed many of the stores this year are opening up at midnight for early shopping, which is more my “late bird” style!
I do have some tips, though, that can help you find your way through the maze of aisles and fellow shoppers!
Preparation is the key. Do not go out without a plan of attack. My first Black Friday, I had no plan, no idea what to expect, and thought I could just browse. Uh, big fat wrong. I was seriously walking in circles in some sort of haze trying to figure out what I even wanted to buy.
If you don’t know what you want to buy, just stay home. The people who come out on Black Friday are the shopping ninjas. They will eat you alive. I joke about this but it really isn’t funny when you consider some of the injuries and deaths that have occurred on Black Friday.
After all my Black Friday shopping negativity, if you still want to brave the waters, I do have some tips that can help you before you head out. Or you can just be like me this year and shop the Black Friday online sales!
Be sure to price check all the items you want to buy against prices online. I recommend using the Bing Search shopping section to make your comparison shopping. Just type in the item you want to price and a list of stores and prices will come up. You will also find reviews and other information about the product all in one place! (I have been using this often after a phone call with the Bing experts!)
You may find the online price is not much different than the advertised Black Friday “deal”. Only you can determine if the savings is worth braving the madness!
:: Other Tips
- If you have a smart phone, you will want to check out my recommended Apps for Black Friday.
- Prioritize the items on your list. Start at the store where you are going to maximize the most savings.
- Factor in drive time, finding a parking space, and additional crowds and traffic.
The Morning of Black Friday
Hopefully, you have heeded my advice above about a plan of attack. You need to take that part extremely seriously. I have had two Black Friday #fails because I was too indecisive about what I wanted to purchase or the items I really wanted to buy were out of stock by the time I reached that particular store.
Black Friday morning is starting at midnight at many stores. You will want to dress comfortably with comfortable shoes. Layers work well depending on your weather as it gets hot in the crowded stores but you don’t want to worry about a bulky jacket when you are getting the last Pillow Pet as it will just slow you down.
Keep the kids at home. They will slow you down and you will really lose your sanity. However, you will want to bring a shopping buddy.
This is key as you will need someone who can keep you on track, keep your place in line, and have a few laughs.
- Carry your ads with you in case of a dispute.
- Stick to your budget. Shop with cash or a prepaid card so you don’t go into the red on Black Friday.
- Carry a smaller purse with only the necessities.
- Recharge, refuel, and relax with the free restaurant offers after you have completed your shopping.
In the past, we’ve browsed other smaller stores in the mall after our main shopping and found many unadvertised deals at these stores.
If you don’t want to head out on Black Friday, that’s okay too. Really. You can find some great deals from the comfort of your own home. Many retailers are offering hot online deals all week long, which I have posted on my Black Friday Deals Page and my Cyber Monday Page. Amazon has again already begun their Black Friday deals early and so have many other retailers.
Don’t forgot about all the Daily Deal sites too. Many of these flash event sites will be offering additional discounts on top of their great deals.
If you are planning on doing online shopping, be sure to use a cash back program like Ebates to earn cash back on all your online purchases. This can add up at this time of the year. Plus, you get a $5 bonus when you make your first $20 purchase.
Again, you will want to use a search tool like Bing to search for “Store Name Coupon Code” to find the latest coupon codes for a particular store. If you use Ebates, you can find a list of coupon codes for each store on the store’s page.
Are you planning on doing Black Friday Shopping in stores or online?