BLACK FRIDAY is the annual American retail-crazed extravaganza that offers deals beckoning and tempting frugal shoppers and bargain hunters nationwide out of their homes into the cold at insane hours of the night or morning! If done right, you can save a lot of money without camping out the night before! From a family who has mastered the art of Black Friday retail reconnaissance….here are my top 10 secrets for success on BLACK FRIDAY!
1. First, make a list and budget for your gift buying for the holiday season if you haven’t done so already.
We make something like this on Excel: We jot down ideas in the ideas list and keep a running total of what we’ve spent. From the budget, we calculate how much we have left to spend on each person.
Name Have Idea Budget Spent Total
Bob Hat Golf Stuff $75 $20 $20
Judy —– Sweater $75 $0
2. Research the BLACK FRIDAY deals online: Do your homework and read up on the ad scans! Crazed bargain hunters have leaked the ads for over a week now….check it out! Assess your shopping needs with the ads make a Quick GOAL List with item and store….(this will be elaborated later)
Golf Bag – Dick’s
Disney PJ’s – Walmart
DS LIte – Walmart
Book – Walmart
3. Match deals with coupons – yes you are allowed to use coupons on Black Friday! If there’s not a coupon in the paper ad, check their website. Also make sure to check Retailnenot.com to check for any additional printable savings/coupons/freebies.
4. If you’re going for the big screen TV or appliance, buy it with a credit card that doubles or extends your warranty for free! These cards give you that free extended coverage or double you warranty in case something should break. Both Discover Card and AMEX have a good reputation for the extended warranty if you make the full charge of the purchased item on the card. Also, Old Navy Card Holders are allowed to get the Black Friday sales pre-sale on Thursday!
5. If you are buying clothes for yourself or for the family (which I think this is a GREAT time to do so) go clothes shopping and try on clothes on WEDNESDAY. This avoids the nightmare of trying on clothes in the fitting rooms on Black Friday and eliminates the need to return items that don’t fit during the holiday season. If you can, put the clothes on hold under your name on Wednesday or Thursday….that way you can get in and buy them, and then get out! Remember your time is very valuable on Black Friday!!
5. Do your in-store recon after Thanksgiving dinner with your family. Scope out where things are located and make detailed notes about the locations, varieties and numbers of each item.
6. Elaborate and organize your PLAN: Find out what time the doors open, where the items are located and make detailed notes of it on your sheet.
WALMART: TIME OPENS 5 AM
DS Lite Nintendo Bundle, color RED, located back 3rd row, Electronics
2 sets Disney PJs: Boys sizes 3T, 6, Center aisle of store, children’s section
DICKS SPORTING GOODS: TIME OPENS 6AM
Golf Bag, front of store – Color Hunter Green
7. Map out your driving route the night before…prioritize your route by opening times and your biggest goal items. Even consider doing a test run of your route the night before. Also, you don’t want to be getting lost in the dark in an unknown area and wasting precious time. Make time goals for each store…..I mean you don’t want to spend over an hour in Walmart if it means you are going to miss fantastic Door Busters elsewhere! If you’re out of town, shop with a GPS in your car and plug the addresses of the stores in the night before.
8. Eat breakfast before you go whenever that is..and get your coffee prior to shopping if you’re one of those “I’m cranky if I don’t have coffee” people.
9. Come prepared,….bring your detailed lists, GPS, coupons, rewards credit card, budget sheet and the ads for each store. Women: Bring a sling purse that allows for two hand shopping. And remember buying something just because “It’s a good deal” doesn’t help your bottom line. In the spirit of BLACK FRIDAY, in the chaos and noise of it all, you may want to consider using hand signals with your shopping army!!! (See Below!)
10. Always get gift receipts – (and boxes but only if they are free!)
Most importantly, remember to be kind to others and remember the reason for the giving! Best of luck to all! Be safe and have a happy Thanksgiving and a successful BLACK FRIDAY!!! Check back to see Free Things to do on Thanksgiving!!!
I'm Stephanie, your local north-sider Chicagoan with advice on everything frugal! I enjoy living joyfully without excessive spending and sharing my 'saving money' advice and practices with others. I am a Christian and love music-making, cooking, traveling the world and of course, blogging! "LIKE" me on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Frugirlsteph