It gets bigger and bigger every year! While I COULD be referring to my rear end, I'm talking about Black Friday!
Yes, I am one of those nuts that shop all night after Thanksgiving dinner. My first year was quite an induction into midnight shopping. Last year, I went with my friend Becky and we hit up the outlet malls, Kohls, Target, Walmart...and I can't think of where all else we went! They kind of all ran together.
In all honesty, it's not really about the incredible deals, although there definitely are some, it's more about the experience and spending time with friends.
So I am looking forward to it again this year too, but today I want to share with you my top ten tips for a successful Black Friday experience:
1. Make a listThis is NOT the time to leisurely browse in the stores. You need to have an idea of what you're looking for.
2. Dress in layersThis is especially true if you'll be going in and out of stores. What I found is that it may be cold(or downright freezing!) outside, but most stores had the heat blasting inside. You'll be glad you can peel off those layers!
3. Bring a water bottle[See above about the heat]
4. Bring snacksYou will no doubt be standing in a long line at some point. That long line could just be waiting to get into the store! Regardless, that turkey dinner will not last as you're hustling and bustling around town. You'll want a little something to snack on.
5. Go with a groupAs mentioned before, there are lots of long lines. (And you thought your local amusement park was bad!) Here's a little trick that works well if the lines are extremely long. When you enter the store, have one member in your party immediately go stand in line. Then you can go do your shopping. This will maximize your time. Instead of spending time shopping THEN time waiting in line, you'll be ready to pay once you've done your shopping!
6. Don't take kidsThe number of people that had kids with them was disturbing! I can kind of see having a small infant. I mean, they sleep most of the time and wake up every couple of hours. It was the toddlers and older kids that bothered me. One-kids should be in bed at 3 A.M.!!! Two-they're gonna see the gifts you're buying for them! Please, please, please...leave the kids at home!
7. DownsizeIf you're like me, you carry a large purse. This is NOT the time you want to be lugging around your giant purse. Take the bare necessities and choose a smaller purse or small back pack. But please, no fanny packs!
8. Bring your patienceThis one should go without saying. Not everyone is in it for the pure experience of it and some of those people take it seriously! A little too serious if you ask me. Just don't get too involved in the drama.
9. Do your researchScope out your circular ads about the stores around you and what times they'll be open. Plan your route so you can maximize your shopping time. Some of the major department stores (Kohls is one I know for sure) offer an online personalized shopping list where you can click and drag your items to a shopping list that you can print off and bring with you. Most of them also have store maps. Handy dandy convenience!
10. Pre plan your Friday.When you're done with your midnight shopping and are coming home Friday morning, the first thing you want to do is crash. You will kick yourself if you have activities planned or kids to deal with Friday. While the rest of the world has been sleeping, you've been shopping like mad. Plan to do nothing (if you have that luxury) or something very low key that day. Don't plan to put up Christmas decorations...you'll be too tired. Pawn the kids off on grandma and grandpa...you'll
thank yourself. Pre planning will ensure that you'll want to do it again next year!!
...and one extra tip...
11. StockpilePick up super cheap items to use as gifts throughout the year or to giveaway to charities. Our school adopted families through the North Fulton Community Charities organization. I was able to pick up a crockpot for our family for $3! This is a great time to help out others!
What are your Black Friday tips?? I'd love to hear what works (or doesn't work!) for you!
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