Black Friday shopping can be exciting and terrifying at the same time. The crowds are huge and so is the pressure. You may feel compelled to go shopping even if you don’t need anything in particular.
For me, Black Friday shopping has been more of a tradition than a necessity.
I’ve always enjoyed the fun with my mom. Here are my top 5 shopping strategies we use to have fun while getting great deals.
5 Tips for Shopping on Black Friday
Make a List
Black Friday is not the time to browse. The stores will be overly crowded with less than friendly patrons. People can be very competitive pushing their way through the store to grab what they came for.
Know what you want to get in and out of each store quickly.
In order to do that, you should make a list.
I always start with a list of who I want to buy Christmas gifts for. I shop throughout the year as I notice things a friend or family member would like and just put it away.
On this list I write what I have already bought so that I don’t overbuy for one person or not buy as many things for another.
I write next to their names a few gift ideas I have for each person. Once I have completed the list, I consider what gifts are the most important to buy on Black Friday to save money. I put those on a separate list.
Compare Sale Ads
Now that I have a list of what I’m interested in buying, I start to look through the ads.
Black Friday is the only time of the year I buy the newspaper.
I look through the ads and cut out the ones I’m interested in as well as any coupons. Then I look online to see the sales listed for stores in my area and compare prices. I also note items that are listed as minimum quantity in the fine print, that way I know if it’s likely I will be able to buy that item or if it’s even worth trying for.
In some cases it isn’t worth fighting the crowds for on Black Friday. Cyber Monday may have the same or similar products for better prices or the same. Previews for Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales are available early on online.
Reading the fine print of the sales is important. I read those and note what the best option is for getting the product I want.
Create a Shopping Strategy
The next step is to create your shopping strategy. Plan the order in which you want to go to the stores.
I also think about what time I should get there to beat the crowd.
You should also consider how you will tackle the crowd to get to what you want.
It is helpful to have a shopping buddy. You can split up to find what you came for. It’s also easier to have someone with you to help carry your purchases. My shopping buddy is my mom. We make a great team.
Don’t let hunger get in your way on Black Friday. I prefer to go shopping after having a meal so that I am full and not thinking about food. I also bring a snack and water with me.
Keeping fueled up on Black Friday is important. I treat myself to a latte that day. My mom and I have a tradition of going out to eat after our fun shopping trip.
Don’t get so carried away with shopping that you don’t have room in your vehicle to get it all back home.
If you know that what you’re going shopping for on Black Friday is a large item such as a TV, make sure you can fit it in your vehicle. This is not the time to drive your compact car if your spouse or shopping buddy has a larger one.
We always take the SUV on Black Friday.
Along the same lines, make sure you know where you are going to store these gifts until Christmas.
Last year I stored a giant teddy bear, which was taller than my 6 foot husband, for a friend. She certainly had nowhere to hide such a large item from her daughter. Make sure you know where you’ll be taking your purchases to once you’re done shopping.