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It's that special time of the year again. Time for food, family, and most importantly Black Friday shopping deals.
If you are planning to brave the crowds and mania that is Black Friday, here are a few tips to help you survive the shopping madness.
Start by making a list. Write down the item, store, price, and who it is for. It's ok if it's for you, just write it down.
You can also write down the price versus the regular price to determine how valuable the sale is. Camelcamelcamel.com is a helpful tool (with a weird name) in seeing the price history of a product on Amazon.
Identify which deals are the most important on your list. What item will you be heartbroken if you don't get it?
Many stores have doorbusters with limited supplies. To ensure that your Black Friday excursion is successful, visit the store with your most important find first.
Try to be realistic with which purchases are valuable and which might be a waste of money. You can also check your list to see which sales are the best deals. No need to risk bodily injury if it's only a small discount.
For extremely popular Black Friday sales, there is frequently a line out of the store prior to opening. Plan to arrive early and wait in line to be one of the first buyers.
The early bird gets the massively discounted 4k TV.
Stick to a Budget
Along with regular Black Friday sale items, stores position add-on sale items to catch your eye. Create and stick to a budget to avoid major credit card surprises later. You don't want to be drowning in debt from taking advantage of too many sales.
Similar to visiting a casino, consider bringing a set amount of cash with you. When the cash is gone, it's time to go home.
If you are short on funds, try one of our 50+ ways to make more money. Any money you make is extra that is free to spend!
Bring a Friend
When a fistfight breaks out over the last hot toy, who has your back?
Bring a friend that will join the fray, or will at least record the moment for social media fame.
Choose someone who will match your style, whether that be the “I'll visit a couple stores to just pick up a few items”, friend, or the “I will finish all my holiday shopping today/need to wear a diaper to skip bathroom breaks”, friend. Choose wisely.
A significant number of Black Friday sales extend beyond Black Friday. Many stores open Thanksgiving night and time sales throughout the weekend.
If your Black Friday turns into 4-day Black Weekend, make sure that you take care of yourself.
Bring snacks and water in your car to re-energize in between stores. Go home to sleep and shower. Other shoppers will thank you for your shower. Maybe pick the friend that is ok with bathroom breaks.
Get rest, pace yourself, and try not to smell bad.
Wait for Cyber Monday
If Black Friday doesn't sound like your cup of crowd flavored tea, then wait for Cyber Monday. The last few years Cyber Monday sales have rivaled or beat Black Friday. Plus you can get all your shopping done from the comfort of home.
If you don't already have one, get an Amazon Prime Membership. Member-only deals and free 2-day shipping can save a lot of money. You can sign up for a free 30 day trial of Amazon Prime here.
Stay Safe this Black Friday
With so many people out for the weekend, make sure to stay safe.
Shopping in crowds can be a frustrating experience. If you find yourself in a heated exchange, take a deep breath, think of your loved ones, and then rip that toy out of their hands and make a run for it.