Can you believe that the middle child of holidays is almost here? You know, Thanksgiving, that day that doesn’t usually get the respect, decorations, and media it deserves. If it weren’t for Black Friday and the hype, Thanksgiving would just be a day of parades and a bunch of turkeys (plus the traditional bird people serve at dinner heh heh).
Honestly, I have never been much of a Black Friday shopper, but I know a pro – my sister. This woman has made a sport out of squeezing pennies so hard that Lincoln cries. There is an urban legend about her that one black Friday she saved over $1500 while only spending $200.
My sister is the main source of information for this article about making a plan for your Black Friday adventure. From her shopping prowess, I’ve created a free printable sheet available below that can help you organize the big day.
Here are the tips to make a Black Friday plan:
- Have copies of the Black Friday Ads for the stores you are shopping. Get a newspaper the Wednesday, two days before Black Friday; you can generally also print these from online. You will want to bring these copies to the stores during the shopping spree because sometimes the price will ring up wrong at the register and there’s probably no way a price check will be happening in the midst of all the craziness. If you have the ad on hand, you can prove what the price should be. Another reason to have the ads is to be able to determine your overall shopping plan.
- Choose the deals you want to try to get. Circle with a marker or pen on the ad what deals you are wanting to try to snag and write a quantity if you want more than one. This will help you during your shopping plan and also is there are questions regarding price at the register, it will be easier to find the items advertised price.
- Go to the stores the week before Thanksgiving. This is a good time to see where items are usually stocked. During Black Friday, there might be a special one day location for the deals but some might still remain in the normally offered location.
- Go to the stores the day before Thanksgiving. Doing some recon before a mission is always helpful especially if you and some friends are splitting duties the day of the operation. Write on the Ads where in the store the item can be found such as the aisle, location on aisle, and what shelf from the bottom or top. If the item hasn’t been moved from the normal location, this is a good time to ask people working at the store if there will be a different location the day of the sale.
- Print a store map or draw one. Some stores have apps with maps of their stores.(Lowes is a great example.) If a store doesn’t have a map, then when you visit them the day before Thanksgiving, make a rough sketch and mark where items are located in the store. This is especially helpful if you are dividing a conquering the shopping with other people. You can just hand them a map and tell them which items to pick up.
- Prioritize what’s most important. Is coordinating the store openings to get the most bang for your buck most important or is being able to buy that one gift that would be perfect for a special someone most important?
- Organize your Black Friday plan. Use the printable worksheet below to organize all this information. If you want to try to get all of your Christmas shopping done in one day, then organizing a plan will be a key to success. On the worksheet below fill in the store name, time it opens, the hours for specials you are interested in, number of items you want to get at that store(this way at checkout, you can count in your shopping cart to make sure you have the right quantity), write y or n for having an Ad and also for having a map, and then a notes section. Having all the stores written on one piece of paper will help you prioritize where to go first and get your Black Friday plan ready.
- Bring snacks and drinks in the car. If you are a die-hard shopper, then you already probably have this covered. There might not be enough time between stores’ deals to stop at a drive thru. Or if you camp out in the wee early morning to get into a store, then you’ll definitely want to remember your coffee, tea, or soda to keep you pepped up.
It can take some serious preparation to save while Black Friday shopping. Remember to not let all that shopping go to waste by abandoning your cart to get something and come back to find out that someone had been shopping in your cart. Yep, it can happen! And don’t forget to bring your Black Friday plan, store maps, and ads with you on this exciting and fun day.
Good luck on your big adventure!!!
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Do you shop on Black Friday? Let me know in the comments below.