Black Friday is not for everyone but I find that it’s actually pretty thrilling because I love the hunt for good deals. I know that if I plan my shopping agenda carefully, I can actually get all of my shopping done in one day and stay within budget. The excitement for me really starts on Thanksgiving when all of the ads for Black Friday come out in the newspaper. That day I can see all the ads and start planning out my Black Friday agenda. While scoping the ads, I make a plan of attack. It starts with looking at what is on sale and what time the store opens. The time the store opens is imperative because if one store opens 2 hours earlier than another, then I can hit the one that opens first then continue down the list, circling which items I want to purchase. Along with checking out the ads in the Thanksgiving newspaper, I scope out site forums like afullcup.com and slickdeals.com where shoppers share good deals they have found for Black Friday. This is great because sometimes not all advertisements will be in my newspaper.
One thing you will notice this year is that they have done away with that whole 4 AM sale, now you will be planning your shopping to start at midnight, some as early as 11 Thanksgiving evening! I love my kids dearly but we don’t see eye to eye at midnight, so I make sure they stay at Grammy’s house after Thanksgiving. This allows me to shop for them as well as shop at a quick pace at all the stores I want to hit up. Once that alarm rings in the middle of the night, I grab a cup of coffee then my Fiancée and I head off to the stores! The reason we like to team up and do our shopping together is that one of us can stand in line while the other one shops. The lines at stores like Toys R Us and Kohl’s can get long, usually over 100 feet long just to wait to check out! This helps speed up our shopping experience and gets us to the next store quicker.
These stores can get crazy and besides making sure I have on a good pair of boots incase I get run over by a shopping cart making a mad dash for a deal, I like to shop in an unusual place for a deal. I’m not always one of the first people in the doors to grab the hottest deals but I have found that even if I show up a couple hours after the store has opened, I can shop in the store’s “go back” bins for a good deal. This is where the store employees put the items that customers decided they didn’t want to buy at checkout. I’ve actually found great deals on electronics and toys by shopping in these bins at stores like Target and Walmart! Another great thing about Walmart is that if another store is having a sale on an item, I can take that ad and actually ad match it there! This is great for hot ticket items that are on sale elsewhere because more than likely they will not be sold out at Walmart if it isn’t advertised there.
When it gets closer to afternoon and I know I am spent after limited about of sleep and some hardcore shopping, I call it a day. I do know that if I don’t get everything I need for the holidays on Black Friday, I can shop online on Cyber Monday in which thousands of sites will offer one-day deals on-line. More about Cyber Monday coming soon!