As the popular Christmas song says, it’s the most wonderful time of the year. If you love shopping and finding the perfect gifts for everyone on your list, the day after Thanksgiving, which traditionally kicks off the Christmas season, is probably the most wonderful day of the year. Also called Black Friday, this date is when may stores start making a profit for the year, thanks in part to the great deals they use to get customers in the stores. If you do some savvy shopping, you can come out of the day having made purchases at rock-bottom prices.
Use Technology to Get News: You want to be completely up-to-date with information on the latest sales from all of your favorite stores. As Black Friday approaches, sign up for newsletters from your favorite brands and follow social media accounts to get the scoop on what deals your store will be offering. As the big day nears, you can expect to receive the latest updates and notifications of any last-minute additions to the big sales. You also may receive printable coupons (and often coupons you can show on your smartphone) to get additional discounts when you come into the store.
Make a List, Check it Twice: Just like Santa Claus, you need to make a detailed list of what you want to find when you’re shopping. Start by listing everyone you plan to buy a gift for this year. Then brainstorm a few ideas of what each person might want for Christmas, plus a budget for the maximum you can spend on that person. Having this list ready saves you from blindly wandering through ads (or even worse, stores) looking for gifts when you don’t even know who you’re shopping for or what they like.
Plan Early What to Buy: You don’t have to wait for the newspaper on Thanksgiving day to get the full list of deals that will be available on Black Friday. Many stores put their ads online several weeks in advance, and even if they had hoped to keep the secret, many sites aggregate ads that have leaked. Do your research now to check out the available deals and match them up with the list you have already created. Your goal is to select a gift for each person, plus a backup gift if the first one is gone, and to limit yourself to the number of stores you can reasonably get to in one day, taking into account the fact that many have long lines.
Map out a Plan of Attack: Your last task is to make a plan for how your day is going to go. Take note of when each store opens and figure out what order you will go to the stores. If two stores open at the exact same time, consider teaming up with a friend or family member so one of you can be at each store and get things for each other. It also helps to bring a family member with you to get in line at the cash registers while you go through the store and get items on your list.
With some careful planning, you can get almost all of your shopping done in one fell swoop without going over your budget. Whether you’re a seasoned veteran or a newbie, Black Friday has deals for you, and you just have to do your part to make sure you get them. Once you shop your first year, you’ll probably find yourself going back year after year to continue the tradition of saving money.
Image Source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Black-friday-walmart-bfcom.jpg
Holly is a stay-at-home mom who enjoys blogging on behalf of Sears and other reputable brands. She enjoys running in marathons, doing yoga, watching horror movies and baking healthy treats for her kids.