Black Friday Prep - The Game Plan

This is it. This is the game plan. If you haven't made those three essential lists, stop and do that now. Without it you won't be able to make a good plan.

Consider that places you want to go.
Look at the things on the list and try to think about the stores you need to hit and their geographical proximity. Write them on a piece of paper, clustered roughly by geographic location (you don't have to be a cartographer). Hopefully you'll notice a few hot spots with many of the stores you want to hit. Personally, I usually put the Outlet mall at the top of my list because it will have most of the stores I plan to hit, all in one location, plus the prices are even lower than at a regular mall. There's also a shopping center near my area with both a Target and a Walmart, so that's another important spot for me. Prioritize these stores-- there's only so much shopping you can do in one night, and with turkey, gravy, and the stress of politely answering your judgy relatives' questions slowing you down, you need to be realistic to optimize the night.

Look-up the hours and sales.
Some places will open at 4am on Friday, others will open at 6pm on Thanksgiving, and there will be different "power hours" and "doorbuster deals" for different stores. Look at your hotspots map, and then write out your top priority times to be at each. Now you can figure out a timeline for yourself. Accept the fact that you might not be able to hit each and every power hour. Consider travel time and shopping time. 30 minutes from one store to the next within a single shopping mall is feasible, but it certainly isn't if you have to drive to another location. Be sure to account for parking time. It is at least 5 times what you expect it to be if you're going to a popular location like a mall or a Best Buy.

Case the locations.
You should know the insides of most of your stores. No wandering around and getting trampled for you! Know there the sweaters are. Know where to find the jeans, the DVDs, whatever you have on your list. Take stock of where the sale items are usually displayed, where the changing rooms are, and the flow of the check-out lines. This information will save you time and hassle. If they (heaven forbid) run out of the item you're looking for, you won't spend hours looking for it.

This is when you go into a store, try everything on, make note of it, and walk out with nothing, only to buy it when the prices plunge. Many stores will get new merchandise for Black Friday, but this is a good idea if you're not totally sure how sizes run. Old Navy, for example, is always on my list of stores to hit, and I always buy jeans from them. I try on the jeans ahead of time and take note of the cut and size so that I don't have to wait in line for a changing room on Black Friday.

There it is. Now you have your game plan!

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  1. I pretty much live for Black Friday shopping! Since August, I have been planning in my head what I need to do and what I need to get.

    A good shopper can never have too many tips, so thank you!

    Good luck shopping in a few weeks!

    HC XO,

    1. Same to you! Best of luck on Black Friday!

  2. These are some great tips! I never would have thought to try things on ahead of time. That's genius!

    xo Megan,

    1. It took me a couple years to figure this one out! Thanks for reading!

  3. I always want to go Black Friday shopping but then it comes around and I'm too broke and lazy. lol.


    1. It's not the best route for the lazy, but if you're broke (or rather, close to broke) I HIGHLY recommend it!

  4. Great tips! I made the mistake of putting off my Black Friday thoughts until...oh it's 1am Friday now...
    Definitely will try to use this guide next year though #HCXO