Black Friday is just over a week away. But are you really ready? With the prevalence of various ad-leaking Black Friday web sites out there, it’s easier than ever to get a head start on your planning and strategizing.
As in year’s past I have my annual list of survival tips for you to check out. What do you do to survive black Friday? Do you go in groups? Stay at home? Share your tips below.
Survival tips for brave Black Friday shoppers everywhere…
- Pay attention to the ads: No one likes to get to a store and realize that the sale on that DVD only applies to the full screen version and you want wide-screen (or whatever other nightmare realization you might have)
- Wear clothes appropriate to the weather (both in and out): If it’s cold out, have a coat/jacket/sweater handy for waiting in lines before stores open, but be prepared to tie it around your waist or put it in a cart, if you’re lucky enough to find one. The less you have on, the better. Stores get very warm with thousands of people running around for the best deals. »Check the forecast for Black Friday
- Make a list! I cannot emphasize this one enough. Without it, you’ll surely forget at least one item you came for. If you’re super-organized, it helps to put the item, the store where it’s on sale and how much it’s supposed to be on sale for. Also handy, carry a highlighter to mark things off as you get them. (Print a handy, pre-organized list here!)
- Clean out your trunk (or cargo area): Better to have PLENTY of room for unexpectedly large items, or all of your shopping bags. Plus, if it’s in the trunk, it’s out of sight and theives are less likely to break in to steal your holiday gifts.
- Bring a reusable shopping bag or two: When there are no carts or baskets available you’ll be glad you have a handy bag to tote stuff to the registers in. Staff photographer Teesha McClam uses one that zips up to be pretty small until she needs it.
- Bring your ads with you: If you’ve got it, the store can’t dispute the price and you can check again on things you saw through the turkey haze the night before.
- Keep drinks and snacks in your car: You may have to wait in yet another line to get a beverage or a bite to eat in the stores and this way you stay hydrated, fed and safe. So pack up a small cooler with some drinks and snacks (sandwich size bags of crackers, chips and other snacks work well as do the various 100-calorie items).
- Pack light: If you’re carrying a purse, clean it out the night before so you have only the essentials (checkbook, credit cards, ID, store savings/rewards cards, cell phone, gum and a hairband if needed). If you really want to be safe, make sure it’s a purse that’s easy to carry, preferably across your body. It’ll make it that much more difficult for someone to snatch it from you. If you’re only carrying a wallet, clean it out too. If it’s too thick, it’s hard on your back.
- Wear comfortable shoes and clothes: Tensions will be running high, everyone will be tired and the last thing you need is for your feet to be aching while you wait in line. Same goes for your clothes. If you aren’t comfortable, change! No one cares if you’re making a fashion statement or not. It’s Black Friday.
- Put gas in your car the night before: Time is of the essence here. You won’t have time to stop and fill up between getting to and from each store you need to hit. Although, if you aren’t out shopping, lines at the pump shouldn’t be too bad…
- Have fun and be kind to fellow shoppers! This one may just be the most important! If you aren’t having a good time, you’re only going to make others miserable too. If you’re nice to others, it will likely come back to you. If you’re not, chances are, that’ll come back too, only you probably won’t like it.
« Printable, pre-organized shopping list This ready-to-print list (example at left) will make your Black Friday easier in just 3 steps. It has a column for the store, item, price and details for each item on your Black Friday wish list. This will make sure you know where you’re going and what you’re after in each store.»Step 1: Click here and print the list. Step 2: Fill it out. Step 3: Take it with you on Black Friday.
Happy Black Friday shopping!Tweet