Black Friday Prep - The 3 Shopping Lists

I'm a serious Black Friday shopper. None of this getting trampled at Best Buy nonsense. I go in with plans. I have strategies. My family and I are so serious about it, we build our Thanksgiving schedule around it. Right now it's just stage one of my planning for this year's Black Friday-- and accompanying Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday. The most important part of the early stages is the lists. There are three essential lists that all other shopping plans are made off of:

The Holiday/Christmas Shopping List
This is pretty straight forward. I write out a list of people I plan on giving gifts to. I usually tier it out based on rough budget ideas. I am going to spend more on my sister than I would a distant cousin, for example. It may sound awful to place your friends and acquaintances on tiers, but in general it really helps me budget things out better and set realistic expectations for how much money I plan to spend on someone before I step into a store. Don't think of it as a hierarchy, and instead picture it as circles, with the most distant circle being your Christmas Card list.

Things I Need List
This is a specific listing of the stuff I need to get. I usually put numbers of either how much of something I need (ex. 3 new pairs of jeans) or a max budget ($30 of scarves). Having this list helps me make sure I lock down all the essentials for the coming year!

The Price is Right List
This third list I make usually comes after I've got the first two down. This list is made of wants that I'd consider buying if the price got low enough. Usually this is large purchases or fun things-- example: a new camera, a nice dress, a cashmere sweater. For the Price is Right wishlist, I always have a $ figure in mind for the max I'd pay for the item. It's also important to know what it is you're shopping for. For example, if you're looking at a TV, be sure on the specs you want- size, brand, type of display. No point in paying for something that's not exactly what you wanted. It's also good to have an idea of where you're planning on hunting for said item. For a camera, I'd search Amazon on Cyber Monday. For a sweater, I'd search the outlets (I always go on Black Friday) and see if there were any nice ones at J. Crew or Banana Republic.

Part one of your Black Friday planning is now complete!

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  1. This is so helpful! I never go black Friday shopping. I just can never justify the trouble and chaos for the savings. But your list really makes me want to do it! What's the biggest amount you've ever saved?

    xo Megan,

    1. I have walked out of a Liz Claiborne with $800 worth of product for $60. I'm not sure if that's the most I've saved, but it was very memorable. I've also walked out of Kate Spade with between $700-800 of stuff for about $80. It's totally worth it if you know how to do it! I totally recommend it!

    2. Wow, that is definitely worth it!! I'm looking forward to the next steps to prepare for Black Friday. Thanks for sharing!

  2. I always like to think of practical gifts that I KNOW people need, and if not that, then something they really like but don't necessarily get a chance to splurge on all the time like a massage or for me, lululemon :)