Black Friday Shopping – Team Up, Strategize, and Enjoy!
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Black Friday Shopping – Team Up, Strategize, and Enjoy!

Posted on Tuesday, November 25th, 2008 at 12:41 pm
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So just how DO you survive Black Friday, let alone get the bargains that caused you to leave your comfortable bed in the wee hours of the morning?

Have a strategy.  Plan to survive.  Plan to win.  Plan. Plan.  Plan.

First, check the stores online and the circulars in your local paper.  See what deals appeal to you most.  Remember, when an item is available in limited quantities, it will go very quickly.  Plan what store you will hit first – and know where the merchandise is in that store.  Have your coupons organized, and use credit or debit cards that offer some kind of rebate.  Be ready with a backup strategy for shopping if the top item on your list is in short supply.

Sometimes it is good to divide and conquer – several members of a family can divide up, with one at each store. Or decide which store is most important to shop first, and spread your team out!  No matter how early the doors open, be there as far ahead as you can.  If a large store opens at 4 or 5 am, you need to be standing in line no later than an hour before opening if you want to score the most limited deal.

Yes, the lines really do stretch all the way around the store and down the parking lot to the highway.  So dress warm, and carry cell phones and bottled water. Plan which items you will be looking for first.  Once the doors open, it will be a rush, so you really have to know where you are going.   If they ran out of cameras at one store, your cousin at another store might be able to score the item.

If you are shopping alone, just focus on the items you are after.  Don’t get caught up in the initial confusion and rush.  Know where you are going and work the store.  If you have young children with you,  make the occasion a sleepy but happy one, with time for treats, potty breaks, and fun. Yes, even children are part of Black Friday –  in strollers and slings and wraps, or riding in the basket.  Of course, Santa’s helpers will have to be discreet!

Above all, be of good cheer!  Don’t be pushy, rude, argumentative.  Stand firm in the line, and develop a friendly rapport with the other shoppers.  People often swap tips, but beware of rumors that might mislead you or throw you off track.  Courtesy goes a long way with bargain shoppers.

The nicest part of Black Friday is coming home with great bargains, making leftover turkey sandwiches, and then setting up the computer for Cyber Monday – and all the incredible online sales that will take place daily and hourly from Thanksgiving eve through Monday.

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Good Tip: Saving money is important – especially if you have a lot of expenses like bills to pay, loans to pay off, and all the other things that drain your bank account. Figuring out a way to save money can feel tedious to some, and like a punishment to others. U.S. News suggests that you try one of these money saving challenges. The “No Eating Out for a Month” Challenge This one is self-explanatory. The goal is to avoid eating out for an entire month. This might be super easy for people who enjoy making meals at home. People who really enjoy dining out, or ordering food to be sent to their home, may struggle with this one. It’s worth a try because spending money on take-out is more expensive than buying groceries. The Pantry Challenge This one is a variation of the “No Eating Out for a Month” challenge. The goal is to use up all of your groceries before you buy more. It forces you to try and remember why you bought a food or beverage that you don’t know what to do with, and gives you the opportunity to find a way to use it. The one exemption to this challenge is the foods that have expired. Don’t eat them! Throw them in the trash. The “No Spend” Challenge Make a goal to avoid spending money during an entire weekend. The only exemption in this challenge is that you are allowed to pay bills. This challenge is interesting because it requires creativity. You must be creative and find workarounds for problems that you would typically solve by spending money. You may have a different outlook on spending after finishing this challenge.